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New Center Enhances Clinical Research, Care and Education

The University of Missouri’s new Clinical Research Center gives scientists across campus more resources for developing experimental treatments for patients. The center, which officially opened Sept. 27, is particularly equipped to support clinical trials that test new drugs, devices and other therapies.

Clinical trials are research studies that are carefully designed to answer questions about the safety and effectiveness of new medical treatments. In addition to drugs and devices, these treatments could involve types of exercise, nutritional regimens or mental health therapies.

“MU’s new Clinical Research Center will give patients access to potentially lifesaving treatments before they are widely available, including treatments that might not be available anywhere else,” said Jamal Ibdah, MD, PhD, director of MU’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and senior associate dean for research at MU’s medical school. “MU now has all the facilities it needs to transform discoveries made across campus into new products and services for patients.”

MU’s new Clinical Research Center includes an advanced inpatient Phase 1 clinical trials unit, five inpatient beds, three outpatient examination rooms, a metabolic kitchen for nutrition studies, exercise facility, and a variety of information technology resources. Part of a $5 million multistage renovation project, the center is located in a building that connects MU’s School of Medicine and University Hospital.

“The new center is ideally positioned to bring scientific discovery to the realm of patient care by supporting patients, volunteers and researchers who participate in clinical trials and other forms of clinical research,” said William Steinmann, MD, director of MU’s Clinical Research Center. “The environment is especially designed to support translational scientists, as well as training programs for faculty members and students who want to become more involved in bench-to-bedside research.”

MU engineers could test new orthopaedic devices in the center’s exercise facilities. The university’s agricultural scientists could study new diets using the metabolic kitchen. Investigators involved in successful animal studies across MU could make the leap to human testing by using the center’s new Phase 1 clinical trials facilities.

“The new Clinical Research Center will allow MU to become an even stronger partner to government agencies like the National Institutes of Health, as well as private foundations and industry,” said Robert Churchill, MD, Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean of the MU School of Medicine. “In other words, MU will be more competitive for grants, contracts and commercialization efforts that bring significant resources and recognition to our campus and the communities it serves.”

The new Clinical Research Center expands on the University of Missouri’s many existing resources for translational research. MU is one of the few universities in the nation with schools and colleges of medicine, engineering, nursing, health professions, veterinary medicine, agriculture and business, as well as a nuclear research reactor and comprehensive academic medical center on the same campus. MU’s Biodesign and Innovation Program has helped patent new medical technologies by creating teams of students in medicine, engineering and business, and MU is one of only 15 institutions in the country selected for a Coulter Translational Partnership Program. Mizzou Advantage and its One Health, One Medicine initiative, as well as the MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, also invest in turning discoveries into new methods for treating, preventing and managing disease.