The University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore has been awarded a five year, $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). Located in the University of Maryland Medical Center, the GCRC will provide state-of-the-art resources and expertise to help faculty members conduct safe, efficient and cost-effective clinical trials in a patient-friendly environment.
A ribbon cutting ceremony and tour will officially open the GCRC on Tuesday April 16th at 10 a.m. on the 10th floor of the University of Maryland Medical Center at 22 South Greene Street.
The University of Maryland is one of the few institutions to receive a full five-year funding commitment from the NIH with its first GCRC grant application. Institutions are usually funded for three years initially. "The personnel and resources provided by the GCRC will enable us to expand basic science research to develop life saving drugs, devices and therapies," says Donald E. Wilson, M.D., M.A.C.P., Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Wilson is the principal investigator for the GCRC grant.
The GCRC will help investigators by facilitating the day-to-day research process and by supporting and assisting patients and volunteers. The GCRC staff of physicians, nurses, dietitians, biostaticians, technicians and administrators will provide resources and services to patients and researchers in a central location. "The GCRC allows faculty researchers to share personnel, expertise, technology and space they would have had to acquire separately in the past," says GCRC program director, Carol O. Tacket, M.D., professor of medicine.
Occupying two wings on the 10th floor of the Medical Center, the GCRC provides both inpatient and outpatient rooms. One wing houses four exam rooms, a spacious patient care area, a clinical laboratory, and a body composition facility to measure bone density and body fat. The other wing includes 11 inpatient beds and will be used for studies by the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development. The unit can accommodate more than 4,800 outpatient research volunteers annually.
"The University of Maryland Medical Center is committed to developing excellent clinical programs that are based upon sound research. Our partnership with the School of Medicine in the development of the GCRC will help us provide the best care to our patients by offering them a full range of treatment options, augmented by the latest research findings," says Stephen C. Schimpff, M.D., CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
During the first year, more than 40 NIH-funded studies will be conducted with GCRC support, and that total is expected to increase over time. "As we build our staff, we expect to blossom in terms of the services we can offer to faculty researchers," says Dr. Tacket.
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.