Research Facilities and Training Sites

CASAA
MIND RESEARCH NETWORK
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
CLINICAL AND OTHER COMMUNITY FACILITIES


UNM CASAA

CASAA is a Category III (research intensive) center at the University of New Mexico with more than $9 million annually in external funding. CASAA supports more than 100 faculty, staff, and pre- and post-doctoral trainees. CASAA investigators, affiliated with the Departments of Psychology, Sociology, Communication and Journalism, and Economics, are leaders nationally in 12-step research; research on Motivational Interviewing and the Community Reinforcement Approach; family-involved treatment models; mindfulness-based relapse prevention; training and dissemination research; development of instruments for research on alcohol and drug use; studies of mechanisms of change; clinical research in special populations, particularly adolescents, women, Hispanics and American Indians; research on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD); and research on methods to reduce harm from risky drinking.

CASAA is the home for the UNM Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP). CASAA has long-standing relationships with a number of community-based treatment programs that are available as sites for specific clinical trials. CASAA has partnered with community treatment programs in Gallup (Na'nizhoozhi Center, Inc.), Santa Fe (The Life Link, Inc.), Espanola (Ayudantes, Inc), and Albuquerque (UNM Addiction and Substance Abuse Programs, UNM Milagro program, Albuquerque VA Hospital, Turquoise Lodge, UNM Hospital) to conduct rigorous clinical trials of substance abuse treatments in real-world clinical settings. The relationships between CASAA and these treatment facilities are on-going and reciprocal, and CASAA is widely regarded as a key resource for the development and testing of empirically supported treatments for alcohol and other substance use disorders. These programs treat approximately 7000 patients per year. In addition, CASAA has uniquely strong relationship with several pueblos, with current clinical research being conducted on the Zuni pueblo. CASAA also has an on-going relationship with the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center (BCJDC), an 80-bed facility that houses male and female residents.

CASAA investigators have mentored many UNM junior faculty, pre- and post-doctoral fellows, and undergraduate students. CASAA also provides campus-wide training on research grant writing. CASAA had funding from NIH for 20 years to run the Career Opportunities in Research (COR) undergraduate research training program for underserved student groups, and has an NIAAA Institutional Research Training grant (T32) to prepare pre- and post-doctoral fellows for careers in research on mechanisms and methods of change related to alcohol use, abuse, and dependence.

CASAA's research infrastructure is ideally suited to support the development of new clinical investigators. Highly experienced teams are in place to handle many of the technical aspects of clinical research. The availability of such resources makes it much easier for a beginning investigator without established infrastructure to conduct high quality research. The Program Evaluation Services unit (PES) conducts highly structured and specialized research interviews, tracks clients longitudinally, administers and scores psychological tests, maintains confidential case file management, performs quality control of assessment protocols, and coordinates with data entry staff. PES has consistently achieved outstanding follow-up rates, averaging 89% for 10 recent clinical trials conducted at CASAA. The Research Data Services (RDS) unit provides independent double-entry electronic verification of hard-copy interviews and questionnaires, and maintains an extensive on-site research computer network. Hard-copy files are transferred directly from PES to RDS (which are housed in the same suite), and the average turnaround time to a verified case data file is two weeks


The MIND RESEARCH NETWORK (MRN)

MRN is a world-class research organization located in Albuquerque, New Mexico with state-of-the-art imaging, genetics and information technologies and services. MRN is headquartered in on the north (medical school) campus of UNM. MRN staff includes roughly 160 employees, 20 graduate students, and 60 volunteers. Domenici Hall is also home to two state-of-the-art animal research facilities: UNM's Biomedical Research and Integrative Neuroimaging (BRaIN) Center, a neuroimaging facility for basic studies of central nervous system pathophysiology in animal models; and UNM's Neurobiology Research Facility (NRF). In addition, Domenici Hall provides all of the human research space for UNM's Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry - both part of UNM's Health Science Center (HSC), and clinical space for the Department of Neurology's Clinical Neuroscience Center (CNC). Resource sharing and collaboration between UNM and MRN are encouraged by this proximity, as well as by joint academic appointments. Together, UNM and MRN form a unique neuroimaging center for advancing neuroscience research.


DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

The UNM Department of Psychology maintains research space for Departmental faculty and graduate students, including the newly designed Clinical Neuroscience Center, which houses three clinical neuroscience labs (Pediatric EEG, Adult EEG, Transcranial Stimulation), centers for imaging and data analysis with high-speed IT links to the Mind Research Network (MRN), testing rooms, shared computerized work areas, as well as office space and secure data storage.


CLINICAL AND OTHER COMMUNITY FACILITIES

CASAA maintains close relationships with a range of community facilities, including treatment programs, probation and parole offices, and youth and adult correctional facilities. The UNM Department of Psychiatry maintains a psychiatric research facility well-suited to the conduct of specific types of clinical trials. Training faculty and fellows also have conducted research in a range of other clinical facilities, including the UNM Emergency Department, the UNM Cancer Center, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and primary care clinics of the Presbyterian Healthcare Services.



Photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn