New-look research center offers increased efficiency

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In 1996, when the Clinical Research Center was first created, LuAnn Larson would wheel a Craftsman tool chest with items needed for studies from place to place, seeking out rooms where her investigators could perform their research.

These days, Larson - nurse manager of the Clinical Research Center, which just held a grand opening for its redesigned space - has a room of her own. Several, in fact.

The Clinical Research Center has been transformed from a large, sectioned-off space formerly used as a dining room, into a clinical research space that includes a treadmill room, a dental room, two procedure rooms, five exam rooms and a processing lab - and not a bright red toolbox to be seen.

"The old space was never an obstacle to producing solid research," Larson said. "But this looks more like clinical space - it's so much nicer to welcome patients and researchers into this space."

The Center for Clinical and Translational Research and the Clinical Research Center provide:

  • A controlled environment for the conduct of research protocols;
  • Mechanisms for translation of basic research into patient care; and
  • A training environment for health care professionals in multiple aspects of clinical research.

Work on the 3,300-square-foot center began in August 2012 and was completed in February, Larson said. Renovation costs of $740,000 were funded by the chancellor's capital and program reserve funds.

The result is a more efficient, more versatile center with an improved work flow.

"Our mission is to facilitate good research on campus," Larson said.

At any given time, there are as many as 50 studies on going through the research center, which is supported by The Nebraska Medical Center. The unit is located on the third floor of University Tower. In addition to being able to conduct outpatient clinical research, skilled nurses are also able to assist with inpatient protocols.

"The new CRC space has really transformed our capacity in terms of conducting high quality clinical research at UNMC," said Ted Mikuls, M.D., who is currently conducting research at the center. "In addition to being quite state-of-the-art, the location has really put clinical research front and center on the UNMC campus. It's been a real positive for both our trial participants and research personnel."

Larson invites researchers to "schedule a time to come visit.

"I would love to show you our new space and visit with you about your study."


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