The Longitudinal Networks Core is the research arm of RDAR and serves as a resource to researchers working with hidden or hard-to-reach populations. This core facility houses nationally known experts in statistics, survey methodology, population sampling, and survey technology development. In service to RDAR Center projects, the LNC recruits and retains a large longitudinal cohort of active, out-of-treatment drug users in the Midwest. Referred to as the Rural Health Cohort, this group of research participants provides regular updates and survey question responses to RDAR researchers. Targeted recruitment of sub-populations within the RHC can provide Project Leaders and Pilot Project Directors to tailor their research to specific issues or research questions, while still drawing on the long-term history of those involved. Researchers interested in LNC support for their own research can reach out to LNC Directors Bilal Khan and Kim Tyler. For questions about RHC data, access, and project planning contact Patrick Habecker or visit our website.
The LNC Team
Bilal Khan Co-Director
Dr. Bilal Khan is the Happold Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and chief architect of the Open Dynamic Interaction Network (ODIN) software platform development at the LNC. His work combines a background in network science and expertise in computational modeling, analysis, and simulation of dynamic networks. Dr. Khan’s primary role at the LNC will be to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the ODIN platform for the Rural Health Cohort, and the use of ODIN in other LNC cohort recruitment and retention projects.
Dr. Kimberly Tyler is the Willa Cather Professor of Sociology at UNL. She serves as co-Director for cohort development at LNC. Dr. Tyler has a Ph.D. in sociology with long term research interest in substance use, rural populations, hard-to-sample populations (e.g., homeless and street youth and young adults), and HIV risk behavior (i.e., sexual and drug use). Over the last deace, Dr. Tyler has successfully carried out three cohort-based NIH projects on hard to reach populations in the Great Plains region. Her primary responsibilities as LNC co-Director are to consult with Project Leaders, mentors, and the RDAR leadership team on the development, tracking, and retention of the RDAR Health Cohort andidnetifying new collaborative researchers across the Nebraska system and in the Central Plains region (such as Boystown Hospital, Creighton Medical School, the Veterans Administration Hospital of Western Iowa and Nebraska, and universities in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and the Great Plains).
Dr. Habecker will serve as the RHC Research Coordinator. Dr. Habecker has training in survey research and methodology and experience with training recruiters and interviewers in peer-referral projects, programming and utilizing remote survey software, developing and managing Respondent Driven Sampling techniques, and working with network data. His primary responsibilities as RHC Coordinator will be to coordinate research with the Cohort and ensure the long-term integrity of the data collected for all RDAR projects.
Emily ShultzField Director
As field manager for the RHC, Ms. Shultz supervises recruitment, retention field data collection procedures. This includes the administration of biomedical tests (such as drug use, HIV and hepatitis C screenings) and assists with all computer-related tasks.As the community representative of the project to study participants, she coordinates interview schedules/drop-in hours across project locations; performs interviews with people who use drugs in rural Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa; ensure systems backup and data coordination; and oversees project continuity and responsible conduct with a vulnerable population.