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ACTRI Collaboration Aims to Draw More Clinical Trial Participants through Blood Banks


San Diego Blood Bank's Bloodmobile

October 3, 2018

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) and partners are teaming up with local blood banks to create remote clinical trial sites as a way to increase trial participation. ACTRI, Stanford University and Medical College of Wisconsin, along with local blood donation centers for each partner, recently received a $477,000 one-year grant from the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to support the collaboration.

Howard Taras, MD

“We are thrilled to receive funding for this unique collaboration between academic medical centers and regionally located blood banks to address the issue of recruiting and retaining trial participants,” said Howard Taras, MD, director of the ACTRI Community Engagement unit. “The aim of this multi-site project is to increase research trial enrollment and diversity by enabling trial visits to happen closer to under-represented communities.”

Challenges in recruiting and retaining clinical trial participants are often due to the potential participants’ difficulty in traveling to a medical center that is not nearby. ACTRI is partnering with San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) to use its donor sites located throughout San Diego County. Research visits conducted at SDBB sites will be able to include a broad range of assessments beyond blood draws. Importantly, a clinical trial need not include phlebotomy nor use the traditional SDBB donor population to take part in the collaboration. Studies will be able to recruit and schedule their own subject participants.

The grant supports the collaboration among the NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program sites at UC San Diego, Stanford and Wisconsin, and their local blood donation centers, with the intention that the partnerships will become self-sustaining over time.

If your clinical trial may be a good match for the program, please contact Rodney von Jaeger at or by phone at 858-822-0734.

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.