Pilot Studies Core

Carol Musil, RN, PhD

  • Director and Co-Investigator
  • Professor
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Mary Dolansky, RN, PhD

  • Committee Chair
  • Associate Professor
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Abdus Sattar, PhD

  • Statistical Lead
  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
  • School of Medicine


The Pilot Projects Core supports the development, implementation and dissemination of self-management intervention research examining the brain-behavior connections underpinning effective self-management behavior. The Core mentors pilot investigators in developing and examining the brain-behavior connections of self-management interventions for specific populations. The core also organizes common measurement and analysis strategies, and collaborates with other NINR Self-Management Centers in education and dissemination efforts, and through data harmonization using Common Data Elements (CDEs) and joint biomarker analyses. The core provides biostatistics and economics support, together with editorial support to the SMART Center. The pilot study core is led by Dr. Carol Musil.

Biostatistical support needed for the SMART Center research will be led by Abdus Sattar, PhD, Associate Professor, Population and Quantitative Health Sciences. Dr. Sattar has expertise in longitudinal modeling and survival analysis, with special expertise with oncology research. Dr. Sattar is responsible for collaborating with SMART Center investigators regarding study design issues, providing expert guidance on data management and directing statistical analysis for the pilot studies. Working with Dr. Sattar are Dr. Christopher Burant, Dr. Stephen Ganocy, and Dr. Mendel Singer. Dr. Burant, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, has considerable expertise in structural equation modeling (SEM) and psychometrics. Dr. Ganocy is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and statistician at the School of Nursing, and the Data Management and Statistical Analysis Unit in the Bipolar Disorders Research Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Dr. Singer, Associate Professor of Health Services Research and Policy in the Division of Public Health, provides expertise and mentorship in economic analyses.