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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Tools help research community communicate 

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
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 assist customers.
“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 trials.
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:
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
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 opportunities, etc.
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:
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 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

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.