Ahsan partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago to establish the first NIEHS P30 Environmental Health Core Center in Illinois. The ChicAgo Center for Health and EnvironmenT (CACHET) promotes multidisciplinary environmental health research among clinician, laboratory and population scientists from two Chicago area universities with complementary strengths and structure to understand, evaluate and ultimately reduce environmental health related disparities among residents of the region and beyond.
Illinois Precision Medicine Consortium (IPMC) – All of Us Research Program
The All of Us Research Program is a historic effort to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health. By taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology, researchers will uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine. The UChicago site, led by Institute Director Dr. Habib Ahsan, is collaborating with Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to establish the Illinois Precision Medicine Consortium (IPMC). Alongside Northwestern and UIC, the UChicago will be recruiting 33,000 of the 100,000 participants in Chicago (and rural Illinois) in the next 5-years.
Chicago Multiethnic Population And Surveillance Study (COMPASS)
A population-based cohort study designed by researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine to understand how lifestyle, healthcare-related factors, environment, and genetics (inherent tendency to acquire or avert disease) affect health. COMPASS is led by Institute Director Dr. Habib Ahsan (COMPASS PI) and Institute Associate Director Dr. Brisa Aschebrook-KIlfoy. Over the next several years, COMPASS will evaluate many different scientific questions relating to lifestyle, environment, biological and other factors to identify the reasons why specific individuals or racial population subgroups have different risks of developing cancer and other chronic diseases. Identifying the causes of these diseases and their differences across population sub-groups will help us develop new strategies to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases among all Chicagoans.
Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study [HEALS]
A large prospective cohort study, led by Institute Director Habib Ahsan, is based on individual-level data from a population exposed to a wide range of inorganic arsenic from drinking water in Araihazar, Bangladesh. Over the past 15 years, ~35,000 men and women were recruited to investigate the intermediate and long-term pre-malignant, malignant, and non-malignant health effects of environmental arsenic exposure from drinking water and diet. HEALS participants completed detailed questionnaire and clinical data, as well as biological samples at baseline and biennially thereafter, through a dedicated medical clinic established by the University of Chicago that exclusively serves the HEALS participants. A range of health outcomes including incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular disorders are ascertained. A subset of this cohort has extensive biomarkers and genomics data including genome-wide SNP, gene expression and methylation data on ~8,000 HEALS participants.
UChicago Cancer Epidemiology Studies
In 2010, the Epidemiology and Research Recruitment Core (ERRC), Co-Directed by Institute members Drs. Brisa Aschebrook-KIlfoy and Brian Chiu, at UChicago was established to foster projects of high quality epidemiologic, genetic, and behavioral research. In addition to investigator initiated projects, the ERRC has its own IRB approved protocol for collection of questionnaire, blood, urine, saliva, medical records, and follow-up contact from patients newly diagnosed with cancers at University of Chicago Medical Center. Since its inception in 2010, the ERRC coordinators have recruited more than 4,000 participants from various cancer sites including blood malignancies (i.e., lymphoma, multiple myeloma) and cancers of the breast, head and neck, colon, rectum, prostate, bladder, and kidney. The overall participating rates are approximately 80%. This resource supports several concurrent research initiatives from investigators at U Chicago departments as well as other institutions nationwide.
The North American Thyroid Cancer Survivorship Study
NATCSS, Directed by Institute member Dr. Brisa Aschebrook-KIlfoy, is a longitudinal study of quality of life outcomes for thyroid cancer survivors that includes participants recruited at the UChicago as well as using a multi-institutional recruitment network. Thus far, survey data has been collected on nearly 3,000 participants using an electronic invitation and survey. Biospecimens (both blood spots and saliva) have been collected on a subset of participants on-site and through the mail.
Cook County CARES (Cancer Alliance to Reignite and Enhance Screening)
Cook County is the most populous county in Illinois and the second‐most populous county in the United States. According to the 2010 census, Cook County had 5,194,675 residents, who represented 40% of all residents in the state of Illinois. Although Cook County has a similar colorectal cancer incidence rate as Illinois, its mortality rate is significantly higher than the Illinois overall rate and ranks 3rd across the 104 counties in Illinois. The overall aim of Cook County CARES (Cancer Alliance to Reignite and Enhance Screening), Directed by Institute member Dr. Karen Kim is to establish a multi-level, multifaceted framework to increase organized approaches to colorectal screening, prevention and control in partnership with a diverse group of healthcare system sector partners. The program purpose is to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among a defined target population of persons 50-75 years of age within a partner health system, defined geographical area (Cook County), and disparate populations. This project is aligned with achieve the CDC national level screening target of 80% by 2018.
The Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research
The Chicago CDTR, Directed by Institute member Dr. Marshall Chin, facilitates innovative interdisciplinary diabetes translation research that integrates health care system and community. Successful translation of diabetes research findings into real-world practice requires interventions at multiple levels: policy, health care organizations, health care microsystems, providers, patients and families, and the community. Their work aims to bridge the gap between the research arena and real-world practitioners, administrators, and policymakers seeking to improve diabetes care. The Center builds upon the University of Chicago Diabetes Research and Training Center Prevention and Control Core’s strengths in disparities, community-based participatory research (CBPR), cost-effectiveness analysis, health services research, quality improvement, behavioral change, and geriatric diabetes within the context of a University with world-class strengths in both the basic and social sciences. The Center serves as both a provider of core services and expertise, and equally importantly as a true working community of collaborators from across Chicago, the Midwest, and the nation.
The South Side Health & Vitality Studies (SSHV)
The South Side Health & Vitality Studies (SSHVS, or “the Studies”), Directed by Institute member Dr. Stacy Lindau, involve a large group of health researchers from the University in partnership with community members. Together, we are working to generate knowledge and study the impact of interventions in order to create and maintain good health on the South Side of Chicago. Through this collaboration, we seek to design and conduct studies that result in benefits that are meaningful to researchers and community members. A flagship project of SSHVS is MAPSCorps. MAPSCorps pairs high school youth with science-oriented University students. Working in teams, MAPSCorps participants walk every block of our communities, observing, collecting, cataloguing, and analyzing data about all public-facing businesses and organizations. Through hands-on, real-world experiences youth learn to practice integrity in interpersonal relationships, in the workplace, and in science.
The Chicago Center for HIV Elimination (CCHE)
CCHE, Directed by Institute member Dr. John Schneider, seeks to eliminate new HIV transmission events over the next 30 years (from 2011 to 2041) by using network science to target and integrate prevention as well as create structural and community-specific interventions. The Chicago Center for HIV Elimination was conceptualized as a way to integrate the research, clinical, and community-based activities at the University of Chicago that are strategically positioned to eliminate new HIV transmission events. CCHE is managed by an integrated team of faculty who work with staff, students, trainees and community to develop the scientific and programmatic agenda each year as they move towards elimination of HIV transmission.