Inside Tulane Med: Quarterly News from the Tulane University School of Medicine

Tulane to double clinical trials

Tulane has almost tripled the size of patient treatment areas in a newly renovated Clinical Research Office within the Tidewater Building. The new Clinical Translational Unit is expected to more than double the capacity for clinical trials within the School of Medicine.

Roberta McDuffie and Dr. Delafontaine
Roberta McDuffie, faculty instructor,
and Dr. Patrice Delafontaine

The 17th-floor Clinical Translational Unit (CTU) has grown from three treatment areas to eight, including an infusion room, a multi-bed blood-draw area, a pediatric treatment room and space for minimally invasive procedures.

Funding for the project came from Tulane's portion of a $20 million National Institutes of Health grant supporting biomedical research in the state through the newly created Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center.

"We are easily going to double our clinical trial portfolio over the next year or two and that is all because of this infrastructure," says Tulane cardiologist Dr. Patrice Delafontaine, co-principal investigator for the LA CaTS grant. "I think it increases our visibility nationally in a major way, frankly. We are getting more requests to do NIH-sponsored trials."

CTU pediatric treatment room
CTU pediatric treatment room

The facility also allows Tulane researchers to better coordinate and collaborate with other partners in the LA CaTS program, including the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Louisiana State University, Delafontaine says.

There are roughly 50 trials underway with several more expected to begin this summer, says Roberta McDuffie, LA CaTS facilitator and director of clinical research for Endocrine and Cardiology

To expand recruitment, McDuffie recently spearheaded an online registry for clinical trials. This summer she is launching a new outreach effort with area community organizations and clinics to increase awareness about the clinical trial program at Tulane.

For more, see this issue's department spotlight >>

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