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UC San Diego Organizations Host First Human Research Training Symposium

HRS 2016 Key organziers

Symposium key organizers are (from left) Jennifer Ford, Machelle Burtless, Han Nguyen, and Anthony Magit.

September 19, 2016  |  Patti Wieser

Navigating through the clinical trials process can be arduous. To help steer clinical trial researchers and study coordinators through the necessary steps, four UC San Diego groups hosted the first Human Research Training Symposium on September 6. The event, which took place at the Price Center, drew about 60 participants and included 15 exhibitors, five presentations, and introductory remarks by UC San Diego leaders.

“This symposium is an important event to connect with the research community, share ideas, and improve collaboration. It is the first of a new series of opportunities and initiatives to ensure world class clinical research occurs on this campus,” said assistant dean for clinical and translational research Eric Mah, MPH.

The event organizing groups included the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI), Human Research Protections Program (HRPP), Office of Coverage Analysis Administration (OCAA), and Office of Clinical Trials Administration (OCTA).

“Starting a study is a complex process,” said Jennifer Ford, MBA, director of OCTA. “By sharing knowledge and forging partnerships with the study teams, we can ease this process and increase the activation of clinical trials.”

The symposium focused on clinical research with an emphasis on industry sponsor-initiated clinical trials, and provided a venue for informing study teams about the services of HRPP, OCTA, OCAA, and CTRI and the central offices. “Education is the key driver,” Ford added.

Presenter Han Nguyen, director of OCAA, compared using her group’s services to planning a vacation. “When you consider places to visit, you develop a roadmap by checking travel and government services to see where you can and can’t go on vacation,” Nguyen said. “Coverage Analysis provides a roadmap to compliant clinical research billing, and helps you understand what you can bill to insurance and what you can’t bill to insurance.”

ACTRI Center for Clinical Research program manager Todd May, MS, discussed ACTRI’s project management and clinical trial support services to increase the speed and efficiency of clinical research protocols. Services range, he said, from conducting feasibility assessments and organizing a start-up team to initiating and tracking regulatory, and assessing and mitigating approval delays before transitioning to an operations team.

Presenters and exhibitors fielded questions about their services from a host of interested participants. HRPP director Anthony Magit, MD, said he was pleased the first symposium was a success, noting that attendees expressed enthusiasm about the event and said they looked forward to opportunities for the entire UC San Diego research community to participate in future symposia and educational events. “The symposium provided a unique opportunity for the offices supporting clinical research at UC San Diego to share knowledge and make significant strides in helping our investigators conduct clinical trials,” he said.

ACTRI clinical coordinator Lorraine Daly gave the day a thumbs up. “The symposium gave an excellent overview of the various departments that support clinical research and how they integrate with each other. In addition, we were able to put faces to people with whom we regularly speak or email, allowing us to build stronger relationships,” Daly said.

Exhibitors provide information about their services to clinical coordinators.

Miroslav Krstic, PhD, associate vice chancellor for research in the UC San Diego Office of Research Affairs, delivers introductory remarks.

HRPP staff welcome symposium attendees.

CTRI clinical coordinator Lorraine Daly (right) talks to exhibitors.

Below are the lists of presenters and exhibitors, and the presentations.

Introductory remarks:

  • Miroslav Krstic, PhD, associate vice chancellor for research in the UC San Diego Office of Research Affairs
  • Eric Mah, MPH, assistant dean for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Jennifer Ford, MBA, director of OCTA


  • Anthony Magit, MD, HRPP
  • Jennifer Ford, MBA, OCTA
  • Han Nguyen, MPH, OCAA
  • Todd May, MS, ACTRI Project Management



About UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute:

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is part of a national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium, led by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Science. Established in 2010, ACTRI provides infrastructure and support for basic, translational and clinical research throughout the San Diego region to bring discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside, and facilitates training and education of the next generation of researchers. ACTRI carries out its activities in collaboration with institutional and corporate partners and currently has more than 1,500 members.