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Tobacco Product Evaluation and Exposure Core

  • Exposure to tobacco products and test atmospheres
  • Measurement of urinary metabolites
  • Tobacco product composition analysis

The Tobacco Product Evaluation and Expose Core will provide members of AHA Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center (A-TRAC) the research capabilities to 1) identify and evaluate tobacco product composition and constituents; 2) perform realistic tobacco product exposures in animal models such that delivery of tobacco products that replicates real world human exposures; 3) measure biomarkers of tobacco exposure and develop analytical techniques and approaches that improve our understanding of the complex relationship between markers of tobacco exposure and biomarkers of cardiovascular injury. The core will serve both the needs of center projects and be an active research core in its own right as it develops new and improved techniques that enhance the breadth and sensitivity of detection of tobacco product constituents and promotes better understanding of new and emerging tobacco products.

4-chamber inExpose (SCIREQ, Montreal, CAN) system capable of performing simultaneous multi-dose level exposures.
Daniel Conklin, Ph.D.
Daniel Conklin, Ph.D., University of Louisville

Cardiovascular Pathology Core

  • Clinical chemistry
  • Platelet activation and coagulation pathways
  • Endothelial function, integrity and repair
  • Cytomics
  • Central biorepository

The Cardiovascular Pathology Core (Core C) will provide unified and validated measurements of several biomarkers of cardiovascular injury for Center Projects. Using state-of-the-art techniques, this core has already established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for quantifying a range of biochemicals, metabolites, cytokines, and common and rare blood cells.

The scope of the core services will not be limited to the requirements of these projects. It will refine ongoing areas of exploration and strive for developing novel assays to expand its repertoire.
The fertile and dynamic resources of the Core and the technical excellence of its investigators in cardiovascular pathology and toxicology will also enable other Tobacco Research Centers to interface with A-TRAC.

The core will be housed in the Baxter II building in the Health Sciences Center of UofL. The core currently has state-of-the-art equipment for all its needs. Among the flowcytometers, the core has an LSR II an Accuri C6 and a MoFlo Legacy cell sorter. Other essential equipment includes a Cobas-Mira Plus chemistry analyzer, a CellDyn hematology analyzer, a Chrono-log aggregometer, a BioTek SynergyMX plate reader, and a Zeiss LSM 510 confocal microscope. Additional equipment for histology, immunohistochemistry and microscopic imaging are also available to core personnel.

Research Training and Education Core

The overall goal of our Multidisciplinary Educational Training Core in the AHA-Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center (A-TRAC) is to develop the next generation of basic, clinical, and translational academic investigators in tobacco-related cardiovascular medicine and policy and to cross-train investigators in tobacco regulatory science.

  1. To select early investigators to support by the TCORS Research Network. Each participating institution will nominate trainees to participate in the longitudinal TCORS network. Four trainees will be funded by the TCORS mechanism. In addition, faculty and trainees seeking to participate in the longitudinal tobacco career development program may apply to participate in the TCORS Education Core.

    All applicants will propose a scholarly/advocacy/education project and be selected by a Committee composed of 1 member of each of the participating institutions, including the Education Core.
  2. To mentor the next generation of investigators with expertise health education. We will develop a formal, competency-based education and mentored training program with a unique core of experiential training modules designed to nurture the talents of post-doctoral trainees, clinical cardiology fellows and early-career faculty to provide state-of-the-art training in cardiovascular/translational research, public health education and communications. All trainees will participate in interactive courses and seminars. Center investigators and/or staff will participate in the development and implementation of educational activities for training programs, and Center resources will be made available for use by participants. We will actively recruit investigators from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and disadvantaged backgrounds, and participants from a wide array of disciplines.
  3. To accelerate career development for tobacco scientists at all career stages across the multi-disciplinary centers. We will develop curricula and training opportunities in cardiovascular research, and we will make this content available to the trainees from other funded P50 Centers, through web-posted curricula, webinars/podcasts, short courses, and twice yearly in-person meetings. During the period of appointment, some appointees will visit other TCORS Centers and the AHA for training and collaboration. The Center will support the development of the appointee’s independent research careers through pilot/developmental research projects and by supporting collaboration with other funded TCORS Centers. We will teach “academic survival skills” including strategies for effective literature searching and reference managing, scientific and grant-writing skills, effective scientific communication, and responsible conduct of research.
  4. To conduct educational research and program evaluation of the training core to assess the effectiveness of the TCORS Educational training program. We plan to study the proposed virtual faculty training core and learning communities to report outcomes.