Smith IDDRC - Biobehavioral Measument Core

The goal of the Biobehavioral Measurement Core (BMC) is to provide timely and cost-effective solutions to biobehavioral measurement problems encountered by KIDDRC investigators. Across the KIDDRC, behavioral measurement problems range from studies of transgenic mice to assessments of learning in at-risk children in pre-school environments. In providing solutions to these problems, BMC staff strive to fulfill five specific objectives:

  • Consult with investigators about problems and solutions relevant to research measurement.
  • Design effective solutions to research measurement problems.
  • Develop software and/or hardware to solve measurement problems.
  • Maintain hardware and software instruments used by MRDDRC investigators and other cores in support of research activities, and provide assistance where appropriate.
  • Inform, educate and train investigators regarding new measurement approaches and technologies.

The basic structure of the BMC revolves around four technology areas: measurement, mechanical engineering, electronics, and software development. Although these areas are named as separate entities for the sake of simplicity, in many instances these areas must be integrated to solve a measurement problem. For example, measurement of tremor in rodents requires an instrument that integrates mechanical, electronic, and software features (e.g., Fowler et al., 2001). This melding of technical domains should be kept in mind when the reader examines the BMC organizational chart. In particular, the Manager of the core is expected to be conversant in these domains of measurement and technical knowledge. The unique generative power of this core arises from its ability to join these areas together with the specific scientific expertise of a Center investigator to produce novel and effective biobehavioral measurement instruments. Of course, it is also the case that new measurement solutions emerge from the joining of computer technology (not requiring mechanical or electronic considerations) with expertise in behavioral science as illustrated by the software measurement creations of Dr. Greenwood and collaborators and described later in this narrative.

Douglas Brownyard, Software Analyst

Douglas Brownyard is responsible for installation, maintenance, and networking of equipment, instrumentation and software supporting KIDDRC investigators at KU Medical Center. Mr. Brownyard has provided network and computer support to the KUMC community for over three years, and his duties include program installation, upgrades, resolving hardware/program conflicts , and arranging for equipment repair and replacement. He reviews, recommends, and implements software and hardware solutions to ensure cost-effective and efficient technical support. Brownyard specializes in the distribution, installation, maintenance and security of software programs supporting bioinformatics and DNA microarray analysis, including GeneSpring and Affymetrix software, on core workstations as well as on individual investigator workstations. Brownyard is responsible for workstation preparation for multi-user workshops for training in analytical software platforms. He also conducts video recording in center investigators' laboratories when this is needed. Mr. Brownyard has developed and maintains web sites and on-line request forms for KIDDRC support cores, with specific emphasis on informatics-intensive activities. Brownyard's salary for 71% effort is paid by the core grant and 29% by a restricted fee fund generated by fee for service activities.

Last modified: Sep 18, 2014