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Campus Hosts One of Nation's Largest Health Studies
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), one of the largest and longest-running surveys of America’s health and nutritional status, established an outpost on UNC Charlotte’s campus this summer. NHANES field teams conducted more than 300 in-home interviews across the area, and about the same number visited the mobile examination center on campus for a comprehensive physical exam.
College of Health and Human Services Dean Nancy Fey-Yensan worked with numerous UNC Charlotte divisions to secure the space and resources for the NHANES mobile center. She said the data the survey collects are "like gold" to CHHS researchers.
"NHANES has been and continues to be absolutely essential in yielding scientifically derived, foundational data that is used to identify the health care needs of a rapidly changing population in the U.S. It is the most comprehensive, valid and reliable health data set in America," said Fey-Yensan. "The data set is accessible to our researchers who can look at it and examine current population health trends and ask, and importantly, answer, the most salient health questions for the populations we serve."
New ROI to Optimize Biomedical Resource Allocations
Public and private entities that fund biomedical research face difficult choices on how to allocate a finite level of capital, and scientists often take risks in selecting research topics multiple times in their academic careers. UNC Charlotte data scientist Lixia Yao, in a recently published article in Nature Biotechnology titled “Health ROI as a Measure of Misalignment of Biomedical Needs and Resources,” suggests a better method for those funding agencies and scientists.
“We believe that greater returns on investment can be achieved for the entire society if we could more effectively distribute biomedical research resources, including both funding and human capital,” said Yao, an assistant professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems in the College of Computing and Informatics. She worked with collaborators at Columbia University, GlaxoSmithKline and the University of Chicago to develop the health ROI.