Pre-ARCs and the ARC Process

Pre-ARCs serve as intermediate phase of exploration of research themes before becoming a formal ARC. Ideas on Pre-ARC themes have been initiated by investigators as well as by the Evans Center Director. Once a pre-ARC group is assembled, the group is invited to post here a summary of missions  and plans for an ARC, including names and affiliations of PIs who are interested in joining. This 1-2 page outline will provide enough information for other colleagues to consider participation in the pre-ARC, and eventually ARC (following approval of a review panel). As is the case with the pre-ARCs and ARCs posted here, the Evans Center Director will discuss such research themes, and provide insight as needed. For additional information, please contact Dr. Katya Ravid.


pre-ARC discussions are in progress toward formation of new ARCs that will focus on areas of Biomedical Innovation and Technology, Tuberculosis, Women’s Health, Health Disparities/Health Equity, Brain Tissue & Substance Use Disorders, and Parkinson’s Disease. Please visit the web page to learn how to Join an ARC and the associated incentives.


Since 2009 Pre-ARCs were also explored on the following topics:

Biomedical Innovation and Technology Affinity Research Collaborative (BIT-ARC); Dr. Katya Ravid (2022)
The ARC should include at least 3 investigators representing different disciplines. Physical, chemical and data science investigators/engineers and biomedical researchers are invited to identify a technology they wish to collaboratively develop to address a biomedical and technology need. Technologies could include the development and/or application of new devices, data and analysis infrastructure, materials or innovative chemical or biological therapeutics, that address unmet needs for the diagnosis, treatment or rehabilitation of patients, especially those served by BU and BMC faculty and staff. Successful projects might be afforded BU guidance towards licensing and commercialization. The hope is for such projects to be developed by the pharmaceutical, materials or device development industries under license to BU or BMC.

Bridging Basic and Clinical Science to Reduce the Harms and Consequences of Persistent or Risky Substance Use; Drs. Alexander Walley and Kathleen Kantak (2022)
The formation of this pre-ARC stems from the opportunity to foster collaboration among the continuum of nationally-recognized clinical and basic science researchers housed in various schools and departments across Boston University campuses, but with not enough collaboration between these often-times separate worlds. In this pre-ARC, we will explore ideas for building an ARC geared towards understanding the persistent or risky use of addictive substances (i.e., alcohol or other licit and illicit substances) despite negative consequences to the individual, including impairments in cognitive and emotional health, long-term medical complications, and overdose death. Through the discovery of genetic, neurobiological and psychosocial underpinnings of persistent or risky substance use, we hope to discover new pathways for prevention and harm reduction. We are in the process of recruiting more members and forming faculty teams interested in utilizing resources from the Brain Tissue Repository, the Animal Science Center Breeding Programs, and existing clinical human cohorts, data, and sample repositories. Long-term objectives for the ARC include fostering back-translational collaborations among clinical and preclinical substance use researchers across BUMC and CRC and to advance new collaborations with, for example, researchers from Computer and Data Sciences and the Center for Systems Neuroscience to broaden the approaches used to mitigate the individual and societal burdens of persistent and risky substance use.

Women’s Health: Gender-specific Addiction Science; Dr. Tracy Battaglia (2022)
The aim of this ARC will focus on issues related to cognitive, behavioral and healthcare delivery issues for women with addiction; and it’s intersection with social determinants, violence and infectious disease.

Women’s Health: A focus on reproductive biology; Dr. Tracy Battaglia (2022)
The aim of this ARC will focus on the need for biomaterials, medical devices, and care delivery innovations for women’s reproductive health; with an emphasis on populations historically marginalized or in low resource settings.

Progress of the Women’s Health ARCs will be toward the intended vision for a Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at BU/BMC to lead the nation in discovery and delivery of comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate women’s healthcare that:

    • Advances research at basic and/to clinical levels, with emphasis on health equity
    • Improves clinical practice, especially for special populations
    • Contributes to changes in public policy

Building real-time data driven health interventions; Drs. Belinda Borrelli, Lisa Quintiliani, Vasia Kalavri, Nicole Spartano (2022)

There are several groups of investigators across Boston University campuses working with mobile health devices and platforms to conduct interventions among populations to promote health and health behaviors. Boston University also has a wealth of computational investigators, with tools and experience to create multi-use streaming platforms that can collect, house, and analyze varied mobile health data. The overall goal of this pre-ARC is to blend two existing campus initiatives – the Focused Research Program funded by the Hariri Institute (computational focus) and the Mobile and Electronic Health ARC funded by the Evans Center (applied focus). Together, investigators involved with this multidisciplinary pre-ARC will be able to address case studies involving large volume, continuous data and utilize them in health promotion interventions in novel ways to deliver real-time theory-based information (e.g., just-in-time adaptive interventions: JITAIs), all in ways that protect patient privacy. Use cases vary according to the fields of the investigator and include any application that yields continuous data, such as blood glucose monitoring, voluminous data obtained through virtual reality platforms, and geo location data, among many other applications. 

TB Interdisciplinary Approach to Research Alliance (TIARA); Drs. Karen Jacobson, Bob Horsburgh, Laura White (2022)

Musculoskeletal Biology Over a Lifespan (CeMH); Drs. David Felson and Paola Divieti   Pajevic with Dr. LaDora Thompson (CRC SAR) (2022)

Platform Development for Evaluation of Tryptophan Metabolites and the Cancer Microbiome
Director: Dr. Matthew Kulke; Co-Director: Dr. Evan Johnson (2020-2021)

Data Science Application to Adolescent Health Equity, Prevention and Treatment (AdHEPT); Drs. Kimberly Nelson, Monica Wang, Pablo Buitron de la Vega and Linda Sprague Martinez (2020)

Environmental Toxicants; Drs. David Sherr, Stefano Monti, Jonathan Levy, Jessica Fetterman (2017)

Effect of Violent and traumatic Events [EVE]: An E-cohort study;   Drs. Bindu Kalesan, Guanglan Zhang, Francesca Seta (2017)

Metabolic Clinical Research Collaborative; Drs. Jude Deeney, Markus Bachschmid, Barbara Corkey (2016)

Comparative Effectiveness: A focus on Processes of Care Among Critically Ill Patients; Dr. Allan Walkey (2013)

Stromal Biology and Cancer; Drs. Douglas Faller, Tien Hsu, Maria Trojanowska (2013)

Disease risk Assessment and risk prediction; Drs. Vasan Ramachandran, Michael Pencina, Vanessa Xanthakis (2012)

Immunobiology of Trauma; Dr. Daniel Remick (2010)

Vaccine Immunology and Development; Dr. Lee Wetzler (2009)

Biomechanics and Osteoarthritis; Dr. David Felson (2009)