CCBAR  Newsletter Archive

Chicago Core for Biomarkers in Population-Based Aging Research (CCBAR) at the NIA Center on Demography and Economics of Aging at NORC and the University of Chicago

The goal of CCBAR is to foster an interdisciplinary research community and to establish a means of exchanging rapidly evolving ideas related to biomeasures collection in population-based health research. 
The three main activities of CCBAR are:
1) an annual conference series;
2) an interactive website; and
3) The Biomeasures Core Interdisciplinary Workshop Series.

Annual Conferences

CCBAR organizes and hosts an annual conference series including biomedical and social researchers from around the country with expertise or interest in biomarker collection.  This series of two-day sessions provide a unique opportunity to facilitate an ongoing dialogue and establish a network of scientists actively engaged in biomarker collection in population-based research on aging.  Topics covered in the conferences include: 1) updates on the most recent technological developments in the collection of biomarkers of disease, cognition, function, and medication use among older adults; 2) integrating social and biological data in multilevel, integrated analyses, including exploration of the most useful theoretical and statistical models; 3) ethical issues of privacy and reporting; and 4) the practicalities of collecting biomarkers from older adults who may have some physical or cognitive impairment.  The conferences are documented in annual "proceedings" which are disseminated via the website (see below).

See the 2011 CCBAR Conference video presentations.

CCBAR Website

The CCBAR interactive website serves as a central resource for collecting, monitoring, and disseminating the most recent developments regarding biomarker data collection in population-based aging research.  CCBAR works to link researchers and provide a virtual biomarker research community, establishing a means of exchanging rapidly evolving ideas related to all aspects of biomarker collection in population-based research.  Questions that the website may address include: 1) When should biomarkers be considered for inclusion in population-based aging research?; 2) What principles justify the use of biomarkers?; 3) What methods of collecting biomarkers are available and under what circumstances are these methods best applied?; 4) What are the best methods for analytically integrating sociodemographic data with biological data?; 5) How can the integration of biomarkers in population research enhance understanding of health and improve health outcomes?; and 6) What are the human subjects implications for conducting biomarker research in the population setting?

The Biomarker Core Interdisciplinary Workshop Series

With the understanding that health is a complex construct dependent on psychological, social, cultural, biological and environmental factors, the goal of The Biomarker Core Interdisciplinary Workshop Series is to promote an interdisciplinary approach to the study of health in aging populations.  Through monthly meetings including senior researchers from a broad range of disciplines, we hope to promote a discourse that will help to develop and advance our understanding of interdisciplinary theoretical approaches, methodology, and analysis in order to optimize the study of health and aging.  Included in this discourse are an exploration of both the challenges and opportunities to enhance interdisciplinary research both in Chicago and in the larger scientific community.  These meetings are complemented by a series of smaller meetings that will provide practical training for junior social and biological scientists in the interdisciplinary research and analysis of aging.  Through these smaller meetings we also hope to develop a working curriculum for others interested in interdisciplinary training in health and aging.