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Center for Health Research

The Center for Health Research (CHR) is a full-service research facility available to all SPHHP faculty conducting externally funded studies.

CHR Facilities

  • A reception room/waiting area
  • Six interview rooms, four of which are ventilated to accommodate smoking cessation research
  • Two multi-purpose rooms
  • A meeting/kitchen area
  • A phlebotomy room

A core group of employees (including nurses) are available to coordinate studies; screen and/or interview study participants; obtain physical measurements such as weight, height and blood pressure; draw blood and other lab work; and code and enter data. Specialized equipment includes ultrasound equipment for testing carotid IMT and brachial reactivity.

For more information, contact Debbie Saltino, CHR coordinator, at or 716-829-5604.

Current Projects

Physical Activity and Marijuana Use

Principal Investigator: R. Lorraine Collins, PhD

Funding Agency: NIDA/NIH                                                       

Period: 9/2009 – 8/2013

Abstract: Marijuana is the most popular illegal substance used by emerging and young adults (ages 18-25). The goal of this project is to evaluate whether physical activity/exercise serves as a positive alternative to marijuana use among regular marijuana users. Findings from this project will contribute to scientific knowledge about relationships between physical activity/exercise and marijuana use and contribute to the development of secondary prevention strategies to reduce substance-abuse risk among young adults who regularly use marijuana. 

Stress and Subclinical Cardio-Metabolic Disease in Police: A Longitudinal Study

Principal Investigator: John Violanti, PhD

Funding Agency: NIOSH                                                    

Period: 9/2010 -8/2015

Abstract: Police work is one of the most stressful jobs in society, but little is known about the effects of this stress on an officer’s long-term health. The research will study how job stress affects officers over time and will provide information on specific causes of stress on police. The findings will be used to develop prevention programs for officers.

Microvascular Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Principal Investigator: John Violanti, PhD

Funding Agency: CDC                                                 

Period: 8/2012 – 10/2015

Abstract: Research has been conducted on associations between cardiovascular diseases and larger blood vessels, but investigations of very small blood vessels have been far more limited. Researchers will use retinal images from a high resolution camera to examine small microvascular vessels, which may be associated with CVD. Retinal microvascular changes have been shown to be associated with chronic hypertension and clinical cardiovascular disease outcomes. Retinal arteriolar narrowing also is known to be associated with subclinical markers of cardiovascular disease. The study will also assess three cardiovascular biomarkers: Cystatin C, resistin and vitamin D.