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Clinical and Translational Science Center

Clinical and Translational Science Center


New clinical research facility opens at UCDMC

Clinical research became easier for health-care investigators at UC Davis Medical Center in March. That is when the Clinical and Translational Science Center’s new clinical research facility opened in the Cypress Building, a location convenient for investigators as well as the participants in studies. The new facility is generating excitement not only because of its prime location, state-of-the art equipment, and comprehensive resources and services, but also for the specialized nursing staff who can be deployed for “just-in-time” research protocols at the patient bedside in the hospital.

The new facility has 3,500 square feet of clinic space with equipment and an experienced 16-member staff who focus on conducting protocol-specific clinical research. With four infusion chairs, a procedure room, two phlebotomy stations, two examination rooms, two interview rooms, and a room with a hospital bed, this clinic is designed to meet a variety of outpatient research needs. Additionally, there is a laboratory processing room with a centrifuge and -80o C freezer, and an exercise laboratory with a DEXA machine, EKG stress treadmill and bike system, and metabolic cart. Plenty of workspace is available for investigators and coordinators to use during their patients’ appointments. The new clinic space consolidates the CTSC Clinical Research Center (CCRC) presence at the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Ticon building locations.

“The convenient location in the Cypress facility will strengthen integration of clinical and translational research with the institution’s teaching and clinical missions, as it will allow all research team members to directly interact with patients and study subjects,” observed CCRC director Ted Wun, associate dean for research and chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology. Nicole Hansen, CCRC associate director, noted that the location adjacent to the hospital enables CCRC staff to immediately respond to requests for clinical trials support when opportunities present themselves.

“The new location serves as the hub for the Research Action Nurses, who are available to respond to ‘just-in-time’ protocols that are typically initiated in the emergency room, with research activity continuing during a patient’s inpatient stay. The program gives investigators immediate access to qualified clinical research personnel to implement research protocols without affecting hospital operations and clinical care,” Hansen said. “Our expanded services, staff and space allow us to assist more investigators across disciplines and at all levels of their careers, from M.D.s, Ph.D.s and R.N.s, to medical and nursing students and scholars.”

Flexibility to meet the various needs of investigators and accommodate the many requirements for research subjects remains a hallmark of the CCRC, since all CCRC staff members are trained in human subjects’ protection, good clinical practices, protocol implementation, and compliance. CCRC staff members also are available to see subjects at locations outside of the CCRC, including all UC Davis Health System clinics, other local community sites and research participants’ homes.

“We offer off-site and home visits to help encourage subject recruitment and retention,” Hansen explained. “When investigators contact me, we determine the feasibility and the budget for services to fulfill the clinical requirements of their protocols,” she added. “We are an investigator- and patient-centered resource that will enhance research within UC Davis Health System.”

CCRC Research Action Services

Staff members are trained and qualified to obtain informed consent and collect specimens and data without compromising inpatient clinical care and operations. Available services include:

    Clinical Research Nurses: Protocol-specific procedures and direct nursing care for subjects enrolled in Institutional Review Board-approved studies; certified in chemotherapy administration, moderate sedation, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)/Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

    Research Dietitian: Nutritional status assessments; food record processing and analysis; nutritional counseling to optimize research protocol adherence; metabolic and calorie-controlled meal planning and preparation.

    Clinical Research Coordinators: Regulatory support; subject recruitment and visits; budget development.

    Exercise Physiologist: Measure body composition, bone density, total body water, energy metabolism and expenditure, and resting metabolic rate; administer cardio-respiratory fitness and exercise stress tests; analyze data.

    Laboratory Staff: Sample collection and processing; DNA/RNA isolation; prepare samples for proteomics and flow cytometry; multiplex cytokine, chemokine and metabolic analyses.

    Research Subject Advocate: Available for consultation with medical or 
nursing staff members, patients and family members.