Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School to join national clinical trials resource center

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Hospital and a research partnership out of Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School announced they are now part of a new clinical trials resource center focused on helping underserved communities across the U.S. have the chance to participate in clinical research.

Advance Rhode Island Clinical and Translational Research, or Advance RI-CTR, a National Institute of General Medical Sciences funded research partnership out of Warren Alpert, and Rhode Island Hospital are part of the IDeA State Consortium for Clinical Research Resource Center. The center launched in fall 2023 is funded by the National Institutes of Health and headquartered at West Virginia University.

Clinical research trials provide participants with access to the newest and most advanced treatments and offer hope for researchers to discover better treatments and cures for disease and the center plans to boost training and resources to increase the number of clinical trials in Institutional Development Award states, which are the 23 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that have traditionally held relatively low rates of NIH funding and limited numbers of NIH-funded clinical trials.

“We are very excited to participate in this key opportunity to enhance clinical trials at the institution and the state of R.I. and strengthen our clinical research workforce so that we can offer cutting-edge research to our patient population,” said John R. Fernandez, CEO and president of Lifespan Corp.

- Advertisement -

The five-year grant, with an estimated $2.85 million funding, was awarded to Dr. Sally Hodder, director of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute, according to a news release. Hodder is also associate vice president for clinical and translational science at WVU and chancellor’s preeminent scholar chair.

“This is an exciting opportunity to build clinical trial availability for underserved populations across the country,” Hodder said.

The resource center will provide several assets and establish two separate resources: a clinical research coordinator development program and a clinical trials service center.

The clinical research coordinator development program will train coordinators at sites throughout the country with self-paced online learning modules paired with mentorship and supervised hands-on training. The clinical trials service center will address common barriers with a multifaceted approach, including communication of upcoming clinical trial opportunities to IDeA investigators and marketing of IDeA states.

“Clinical trials are an important step in the cycle of bringing advances in medicine to the patients who need them most, and we have to ensure that underserved populations are not left out of the process. ISCORE-RC will help us provide cutting-edge care to all Rhode Islanders,” said Dr. Mukesh K. Jain, senior vice president for health affairs and dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown University.

The grant is led by Brown Advance RI-CTR principal investigator Dr. Sharon Rounds, professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical and translational research at Brown University, and Dr. Ghada Bourjeily, professor of medicine, health services, policy and practice at Brown University and Lifespan.

“We’ve been impressed with the organization at WVCTSI under Dr. Sally Hodder and are pleased to support this successful award,” Rounds said. “The training that will be given to clinical trial coordinators as part of ISCORE-RC dovetails perfectly with Advance RI-CTR’s mission to support clinical and translational research in Rhode Island.”

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Castellani@PBN.com.