Engaging Special Populations


The CTSI Integrating Special Populations (ISP) Core supports a group of Special Populations Liaisons, research staff with unique expertise in engagement of special or underrepresented populations in biomedical research (UBR) across the lifespan. 

These groups, who characteristically have been hard to reach or excluded from research, include pregnant women, newborns, children, older adults, individuals with physical disabilities, African Americans and other ethnic minorities, people living in rural areas, and the LGBTQ communities. The ISP Special Population Liaisons are supported by a “Mind Bank” of faculty with expertise in research across the lifespan or in UBR populations. The “Mind Bank” interaction pipeline helps investigators and liaisons develop strategies to integrate special populations into their studies to engage new research with an emphasis on UBR population.

Engaging Special Populations Core Services

  • Advise researcher on the special population dimensions of cohorts included in their research. 
  • Help formulate hypotheses relevant to or inclusive of special populations.
  • Identify research gaps, opportunities, and collaborators that facilitate a more inclusive approach to the recruitment of special populations. 
  • Provide guidance on best practices for recruitment, specimen collection, and research methodologies. 
  • Help identify resources that may facilitate outreach to special populations. 
  • Minimize any perceived or real barriers that may impact the recruitment of special populations. 
  • Foster relationships between UBR communities and the research community in partnership with the CTSI Community PARTners program.

Team & Contact Info

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Dr. Yoel Sadovsky
Core Co-director, Integrating Special Populations
Phone: 412-641-2675
E-mail: ysadovsky@mwri.magee.edu
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Dr. Mylynda Massart
Core Co-director, Integrating Special Populations
Phone: 412-648-4243
E-mail: massartmb@upmc.edu
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Denise Smalley
Core Administrator, Integrating Special Populations
Phone: 412-648-4243
E-mail: smalleyd@pitt.edu