Spit CampDouglas Granger, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, is taking his now-famous “Spit Camp” to the University of California Irvine, April 2-3.

“Saliva analytics is an emerging frontier, with potential to add considerable value when incorporated into behavioral, social, and prevention science,” Granger notes. “We’ve hosted several successful spit camps at JHUSON, and we are taking that momentum out west.”

The camps, which are scheduled three times a year, are cooperative events between the JHUSON and UC Irvine School of Medicine. Granger will attend each of the camps of 10-15 attendees each. “Our hope is to establish a base spit camp on the west coast,” Granger adds.

Starting in 2011, Granger and CISBR staff began hosting bimonthly two-day workshops where  participants learn theoretical perspectives and practical aspects of saliva as a biological specimen, saliva collection, the basics of saliva assay, and tips for writing grant proposals, designing studies, and analyzing data. They also are able to collect and analyze saliva samples. The workshop is designed for graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and fellows, and faculty without biology training.

Behaviorally-trained researchers often don’t have the opportunity for formal lab training needed to fully take advantage of the benefits of salivary analysis in their studies, says Granger, who held “spit camps” while on faculty at Penn State University. “’Spit campers’ get right to it. Under careful supervision, they put on lab coats, collect specimens, and learn the assay procedures, and practice the interpretation of saliva results,” he says. 

Granger is a leading expert in the discovery, measurement, and application of analytes in saliva, such as hormones, antibodies, and environmental chemicals. Using inexpensive, minimally-invasive techniques, salivary research explores the components of biological systems detectable in oral fluids, which can hold information on stress, chemical and infectious disease exposure, and oral health.

For more information about the workshops and pre-registration, contact the CISBR at 443-287-6545 or cisbr@son.jhmi.edu.

Explore Further: Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research