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Director’s Message, Summer-Fall 2016

Dr. FiresteinI’m very pleased to announce the opening of our expanded Center for Clinical Research (CCR) at our new home, the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute. This fully staffed clinic includes 18,000 square feet of the first floor and supports a wide range of translational research studies. The CCR opened following a brief gap in operations during the move. The clinic staff did an outstanding job preparing the clinic space for clinical trials and clinical trial participants. Since opening its doors in June, 276 participants have used the space.

We anticipate significant growth in the number of clinical trials during the next six months to a year. Presently we support about 190 clinical trials annually, but our new clinic can support hundreds of trials each year. It includes facilities for phase I clinical trials and sleep studies, and a fully functioning metabolic kitchen to support studies about nutrition and health. Additional features of our new clinic include the following:

  • Windows in participant care rooms, bringing in natural light and enhancing clinical trial participation experience.
  • An increase in overnight rooms, from two to five with space for up to nine participants.
  • A state-of-the-art, 1,000-square-foot investigational pharmacy, which will open at ACTRI this fall.
  • Two negative-pressure rooms for viral vector, infectious disease and cannabis studies.
  • An expanded laboratory for processing samples.
  • Four infusion rooms, doubling the number from our previous clinic.
  • A minor procedure room, which enables trial participants to undergo a procedure without moving to an operating room. Minor procedures require moderate sedation, and examples of these procedures range from liver biopsies to removing small implanted devices.
  • Expanded ultrasound services, with a full range of sonography, including cardiac, vascular, general, gynecologic and small parts (i.e. thyroid, breast) ultrasound for clinical trials and a registered diagnostic medical sonographer on staff.
  • Exercise physiology and bone mineral density (DEXA) rooms.
  • A participant drop-off and pick-up area in front of the ACTRI building, which will be completed in August, easing access to the clinic for clinical trial participants with limited mobility. We also provide parking vouchers for trial participants at the hospital garage next to ACTRI.

The Center for Clinical Research is dedicated solely to supporting clinical research, which truly advances our vision and mission. This amazing space can accommodate a wide range of clinical trials and trial participants, and support investigators in all disciplines. We support sponsored trials as well as investigator-initiated and NIH-funded trials, and continue to initiate new services that have potential use by multiple investigators. We offer “hotel space” at the clinic to investigators and coordinators during their studies. Space can be reserved through clinical conductor. The clinic is supported by recharges.

I’m especially excited about our new project management and support services for investigators, created to increase the speed and efficiency of clinical research protocols. Under these services we have launched a new project management team to integrate contracting, IRB and coverage analysis, and help with early study development and launch and management of studies.

CTRI clinical coordinators are available to help support investigators with tasks ranging from site selection and regulatory approval to subject recruitment and study completion. Our clinical coordinators can also help by communicating with sponsors, scheduling subject visits, and managing databases. This service is available on a recharge basis.

We invite investigators to tour our new clinic and find out more about how we can support your studies. To arrange a visit, please contact the clinic nurse manager, Maeve Taaffe, at

Gary S. Firestein, MD, Director of CTRI
Professor of Medicine
Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine
Phone: (858) 822-3824