Biomedical Research Center

Biomedical Research Center

Multidisciplinary Methods Research Core (MDMC)

The Charles Drew University research mission is to close the gap on health care disparities among underserved and racial/ethnic minority populations. The overall objective of the Multidisciplinary Methods Research Core is to expand and enhance the capacity to conduct health disparities-related research at CDU, thereby increasing the number of well-trained, experienced researchers conducting research on vulnerable populations.

Specific Aims


To achieve this objective, the Multidisciplinary Methods Research Core has the following Specific Aims:

Specific Aim 1: To provide multidisciplinary expertise and quantitative methodological support to CDU investigators engaged in biomedical, epidemiological, clinical, bio-behavioral, socio-psychological and translational research

Specific Aim 2: To facilitate the expansion of research that uses large health and social science databases at CDU by increasing faculty access to large databases and providing multidisciplinary support for large database analysis

Specific Aim 3: To provide multidisciplinary expertise in survey research methodology and to support implementation of a broad range of surveys including ‘rapid surveys’ that are relevant to the study of vulnerable populations and underserved communities

Specific Aim 4: To expand institutional capacity, broaden the institutional user base, and increase utilization of qualitative research methods and cultural adaptation techniques to facilitate high quality, multi-method health disparities research at CDU

The Multidisciplinary Methods Core will facilitate development and implementation of methodologically sound and culturally appropriate biomedical, epidemiological, clinical, bio-behavioral, and social science investigations.

Multidisciplinary Methods Research Core Faculty and Staff


Mohsen Bazargan, Ph.D.
Multidisciplinary Methods Research Core Leader

Jose Calderon, M.D.
Core member

Sheba George, Ph.D.
Core member

Kevin Heslin, Ph.D.
Core member

David Martins, M.D.
Core member

Deyu Pan, M.S.
Core member

Magda Shaheen, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H.
Core member

Darryl West
Data Analyst

Core Functions and Resources


Quantitative Unit

  • Quantitative Unit Consultation – related to study conceptualization, study design, sampling and power calculation, measurement, analytical methods, data management and analysis, and data interpretation.
  • Quantitative Unit education and research training – lectures and workshops in study design, sample and power, systematic review, spatial statistics, multivariate analysis, hypothesis testing, etc.
  • Quantitative Unit research support and collaboration – Unit faculty work closely with large database unit, survey unit (within core) and with GIS and HIT implementation in Informatics Core

Large Database Unit

  • Large Database Unit consultation – related to identification, availability, appropriateness, and limitations of database resources for research questions; data extraction and development of sub-sample datasets.
  • Large Database Unit education and research training – lectures and workshops on availability and use of large databases, sampling and weighting issues in secondary database analysis, statistical analysis of large databases, etc.
  • Large Database Unit Research support and collaboration – large database user group, deployment of interactive web-based data interface, and GIS enhance large database research resources.

Survey Unit

  • Survey Unit consultation – formulation of research questions, survey study design, rapid survey design, survey sample size estimation, data collection strategies, data management, data analysis, data interpretation, report development and publications, design, adaptation, and validation of survey instruments
  • Survey Unit education and research training – lectures on survey design, small community based rapid survey, survey sampling and sample size for rapid survey, statistical analysis of rapid survey, survey implementation, etc.
  • Survey Unit research support and collaboration – Unit faculty are collaborating with Project EXPORT, MBRS, RCMI CRC, and AHRQ M-RISP; the qualitative unit, the Informatics Testbed and GIS laboratory, with junior research faculty throughout the University, and with community organizations and County and State health departments.

Qualitative Methods Unit

  • Qualitative Methods Unit consultation – study design, data collection, and measurement strategies, interpretation, and analysis of data
  • Qualitative Methods Unit education and research training – invited lectures, unit faculty lectures, qualitative methods/cultural adaptation workshops, establishment of qualitative methods library.
  • Qualitative Methods Unit research support and collaboration – contributions to cross disciplinary program of research by supporting other infrastructure programs within and outside of RCMI cores, e.g., participation in evaluation activities for Informatics testbed and collaboratories; support of RCMAR methods core; support of NCRR RTRN.