Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Northwestern Summer Biomarker Institute

New to biomarker research? Need a refresher? Northwestern University offers an accessible three day workshop on incorporating biomarker research into survey research. This is largely introductory with an emphasis on biocultural applications to human survey and population studies, so those researchers with little to no experience in biomarkers or lab science more generally will benefit the most.

C2S Summer Biomarker Institute
June 6-8, 2011

Application Deadline: April 1, 2011

Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health invites applications for the 6th annual three-day summer institute on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University, June 6-8, 2011.

About the Institute

Interest in incorporating biomarkers into survey research is currently high, but disciplinary training is such that few investigators possess the necessary dual expertise in the social and biomedical sciences.

The institute is designed to provide a hands-on introduction to state-of-the-art methods for integrating biomarkers into population-based, social science research, covering technical as well as conceptual issues associated with biological measurement in naturalistic settings.

Thomas McDade (Anthropology), Emma Adam (Human Development and Social Policy), and Christopher Kuzawa (Anthropology) direct the workshop. Presentations by additional researchers with extensive biomarker experience will also be featured.

By the end of the institute, participants should have the tools necessary to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of specific biomarkers for their research agenda, to communicate effectively with potential collaborators about biomarker issues, and to engage in innovative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Course Content

The institute will walk participants through the entire process of data acquisition, from the collection of samples to the generation of results in the lab.

Material will be covered in seminar and laboratory settings through a combination of presentations, discussion, and hands-on exercises.

Specific topics will include:
Biology/environment interplay: Theoretical perspectives
Rationale for biomarkers
Procedures for sample collection, transport, and storage
Options for the analysis of saliva and capillary whole blood
Laboratory analysis of biological samples
Analytic models for incorporating biomarkers
Current applications
IRB and ethical considerations
Strategies for effective collaboration

Participation is limited, with preference given to individuals who have received their PhD or MD since 2006. Participants from groups historically underrepresented in population health research are especially encouraged to apply.

Following confirmation of participation, a $400 registration fee will be required by June 1. It will cover all materials, coffee breaks, and lunches during the institute, plus one group dinner. Participants are responsible for covering their travel and lodging expenses.

Applications to the institute should be submitted electronically. To apply, send the following:
1) Curriculum vitae (including contact information)
2) A brief statement (two pages or less) discussing your research interests and how participation in the summer biomarker institute will advance those interests.

E-mail all materials as attachments to:
Patricia Lasley, Administrator:

Application deadline: April 1, 2011. All applicants will be notified by April 15.


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