Research Programs

Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) is a collaborative network of six active breast imaging registries and two historic registries focused on research to assess and improve the delivery and quality of breast cancer screening and related patient outcomes in the United States. The registries maintain linkages to tumor and pathology registries in their region and are supported by a central Statistical Coordinating Center. Two important objectives of the BCSC are to enhance the current understanding of breast cancer screening practices and to help improve the practice of community-based mammography screening. Both objectives are aimed at improving the balance of benefit and harms of breast cancer screening and achieving the ultimate goal of reducing breast cancer mortality.

CHARGE -- Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment
The CHARGE Study (Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment) is a case-control study of 2,000 children with differing patterns of development aimed at determining root causes of autism and of developmental delay or mental retardation. This investigation is the first comprehensive examination of exposures in the environment in relation to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Besides exploring a broad array of chemicals and biologic factors, the project will focus on interactions between genes and environmental factors.

Environmental Health Sciences Core Center
The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) is one of more than 20 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers across the country, that facilitate multidisciplinary scientific and community-driven research collaborations to reduce environmentally-related diseases and to grow the next generation of environmental health scientists.

KHANDLE -- Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences Study
KHANDLE is an NIH National Institute on Aging-funded longitudinal cohort study of the enthoracial epidemiology of dementia 1600 individuals aged 65+ (25% Black, 25% Asian, 25% Latino, 25% White). Goals of KHANDLE are to define ethnic disparities in dementia incidence and to advance understanding of such disparities by assessing early and midlife risk factors for cognitive impairment and MRI and PET markers of brain injury.

LifeAfter90 is an NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded longitudinal cohort study enrolling 800 individuals age 90 or older.  Those  aged 90+ are the fastest-growing segment of the elderly population in the US, yet there is an enormous dearth of information on mild cognitive impairment and age-associated dementias particularly in non-whites and those from lower socioeconomic classes in this age group. The objectives of LifeAFter90 are to determine if in those aged 90+ there are ethnoracial differences in the incidence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, to quantify mid- and late-life risk and protective factors for these conditions, and to understand the burden of cerebral and brain pathologies in a multiethnic cohort of individuals aged 90+.

MARBLES -- Markers of Autism Risk in Babies - Learning Early Signs
MARBLES is a longitudinal study for pregnant women who have a biological child with autism spectrum disorder. The MARBLES study, which began in 2006, investigates possible pre-natal and post-partum biological and environmental exposures and risk factors that may contribute to the development of autism

Project TENDR -- Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks
Project TENDR is a unique collaboration of leading scientists, health professionals and children’s and environmental advocates investigating the now substantial scientific evidence linking toxic environmental chemicals to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, attention deficits, hyperactivity, intellectual disability and learning disorders.

SOLID -- Study of Longevity in Diabetes
SOLID is an NIH National Institution Aging (NIA)-funded cohort study of diabetes and aging. Individuals with type 1 diabetes are living longer than ever before, yet very little is known about how this group can age successfully. The goal of this study is to characterize cognitive and physical aging, and predictors of successful aging and longevity in a cohort of 800 elderly individuals with Type 1 diabetes, 200 with Type 2 diabetes and 200 without diabetes.

STAR -- Study of Healthy Aging in African Americans
STAR is a NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded longitudinal cohort study of lifecourse vascular risk and brain aging in 750 African-Americans aged 50 and older. Goals are to understand the trajectory of normal cognitive aging from midlife to late life, burden of cognitive impairment, and long-term contributions of vascular disease on brain aging in African-Americans, an understudied and rapidly expanding segment of the elderly population at higher risk for dementia.

SWAN -- Study of Women's Health Across the Nation
The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) is a multi-site longitudinal, epidemiologic study designed to examine the health of women during their middle years. The study examines the physical, biological, psychological and social changes during this transitional period.

US Pointer - US Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk
A two year clinical trial to evalaute whether lifestyle interventions that simultaneously target many risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline. Funding provided by the Alzheimer's Association. US POINTER is the first such study to be conducted in a large group of Americans across the United States and Dr. Whitmer is PI of the second Vanguard site for US POINTER which will be conducted at UC Davis.