Research Initiatives

The Center for Community Health Integration’s research spans a number of areas that contribute to emerging understanding of disease prevention and the promotion of the health of individuals, families and communities. We are committed to integrating research, teaching and patient care to attain these goals.

We conduct collaborative research and development to advance community health and integrated, personalized health care. We work to assess and address contextual factors that result in a great heterogeneity of effects related to health inequities while focusing on specific problems and strengths based solutions. Our research aims to improve understanding of how diverse determinants interact in complex ways to affect the health of people and populations. 

Defining Research

While the majority of CHI’s research is population based it can include and be influenced by all levels of research from bench to bedside to population based study. Each of these levels is critical to understanding and developing solutions to the research questions. The four basic levels of research include:

  • Basic Science Research
  • Clinical Research
  • Population Based Research
  • Translational Research

Basic Science Research 

Basic science research, also known as “bench” or “wet lab” research focuses on conducting experiments in a laboratory setting. These experiments range in variety, addressing inquiries from the creation of a new pharmaceutical drug to studying the regulatory effects of genes. At its core, medical bench research is about addressing the interaction between molecules and seeing how they can impact human health and well-being.

Clinical Research 

Clinical research focuses on the application of basic science research findings on a patient level. The applications for this type of research range from evaluating a new testing device to the efficacy of a new drug. These interventions may be used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis or for relieving symptoms of a disease. To this end, clinical researchers often work closely with basic science researchers to analyze patient specimens in order to continually assess the point of inquiry.  

Population-Based Research 

Population-Based Research generally studies a group of individuals taken from the general population who share a common characteristic. This group may be studied for different reasons, such as their response to a drug or risk of getting a disease. Population-based research can also use the lens of populations to study possible correlations between behavior and health. In doing so, it provides a starting point for research focusing on other levels to investigate the probability of causation from a physiological perspective.

Translational Research

Translational research refers to the direct application of research findings at all levels towards the betterment of health and well-being for individuals and the public. Translational research uses a "bench-to-bedside" methodology, from laboratory experiments through clinical trials to point of care and patient application. The end point of translational research is the production of a promising new treatment that can be used in a clinical setting.