Tools help research community communicate
by Cindy Abole
Bringing promising new discoveries and treatments from bench to bedside
quickly is the goal of a national network of dedicated clinical
scientists and their research teams from across the country. For many
clinicians, researchers and educators, just providing the proper level
of programs, support tools and services required by investigators
remains a tough challenge.
At MUSC’s Success (Support Center for Clinical and Translational
Science) Center, investigators, research coordinators, research
assistants and others can utilize free online tools, receive guidance
and obtain training from experienced research professionals within a
one-stop, research support shop. Located on the first floor of the
Roper Medical Office Building, the center launched a user-friendly,
redesigned Web site in July.
Under the category of research tools, researcher investigators can
connect directly to South Carolina Clinical & Translational
Research (SCTR) services and choose from an array of available tools
and programs to help teams link to institutional research services,
organize data, recruit study participants, navigate through the
research process, request regulatory consultations and connect to
collaborators regarding their research. The center also is staffed by a
team of experienced research coordinators and other specialists to
“Most of the tools we’ve developed, with the exception of one, are
geared to help MUSC’s research community on campus and others with
their specific research,” said Stephanie Gentilin, Success Center
associate director. “Other tools like the Clinical Trials Registry and
MUSC Medical Heroes campaign focuses on reaching patients in the
community and helping others be aware of the many research
opportunities available at MUSC.”
For the next five years, MUSC and its affiliate partners that compose
SCTR, are committed to working alongside a total 60 National Institutes
of Health (NIH)-funded National Clinical Translational Science Award
(CTSA) institutions to support research and direct patients to clinical
This secured tool is an algorithm-driven program that helps users
identify those regulatory and institutional approvals,
applications and forms required to begin a research study. The MAP-R
provides a comprehensive list of applications and links tailored for a
specific study. It compiles data into a concise chart and generates a
customized approval plan. This collaborative project was created by
SCTR, the Office of the Associate Provost for Research and the Office
of the Chief Information Officer.
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture: http://project-redcap.org)
Initiated by Vanderbilt University, a co-CTSA institution as part of a
collaborative international consortium. This secure, Web-based data
management system supports data capture and management for research
studies. It features a customizable, modifiable survey tool that allows
users to create and manage surveys from a template spreadsheet for
investigators to survey participants. A REDCap data administrator
provides users with a Microsoft Excel file and data dictionary template.
SCTR Online Request Form for Services (via the SCTR Web site http://www.sctr.musc.edu)
This service request form is the mechanism for accessing SCTR programs
such as the Center for Clinical and Translational Research
(formerly the General Clinical Research Center) and requesting
SCTR services including regulatory assistance, recruitment
consultations, grant/budget development assistance, database
development, biostatistical consultation, SCTR educational
Research Tool Kit
Specific to MUSC researchers, this instructional guide offers
information related to the research process. It was derived from a
collaboration of input from all MUSC research offices and the Office of
the Associate Provost for Research. Currently in beta testing and
available in October.
Research organizational tool that follows key terms cited from PubMed
articles and categorizes by name and other identifiers to connect
researchers and students to mentors, collaborators and people involved
in similar research and interests.
Clinical Trials Registry (Medical and MUSC Hero Campaign: http://www.muschero.org)
This program allows people in the community to search MUSC’s Clinical
Trails Registry for enrollment in active Institutional Review
Board-approved studies. This program is used to promote human subject
recruitment for clinical studies. Investigators are encouraged to add
their own research studies in preparation for the MUSC Hero Campaign
that begins Oct. 5.
Visit http://sctr.musc.edu or call 792-8300.
Research managers achieve with Success Center tools
Erica Ellington is a research program manager in the Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology. She works with a team managing all research
in the department and serves as administrator and research coordinator
of the department’s own research service center. In July, Ellington
participated in beta testing for MUSC’s Approval Plan for Research or
MAP-R. Ellington found that MAP-R served as a complement to services
they provide to each clinician and physician. “We’re ecstatic about it
because it’s a tool that works and is practical for new clinicians just
starting in the research process,” said Ellington.
When Division of Rheumatology and Immunology study coordinator Lori
Ueberroth was tasked to build a new data dictionary using first-year
data for a study led by investigator James C. Oates, M.D., she cringed.
Ueberroth is helping to manage a five-year, longitudinal study focused
on understanding the effects of cardiovascular disease and lupus.
Ueberroth was intrigued to try a new data management system offered to
research teams as the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap)
program. Cautious and not entirely computer savvy, Ueberroth worked
closely with John Clark, SCTR biomedical informatics user analyst and
resource consultant, to set things up and walk her through the process.
Friday, Sept. 25, 2009