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Clinical Studies Core Advances VTH Research

Continued development of the clinical investigations program within the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research (CCMTR) is being supported by a $625,000 gift from Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. and the recent addition of Dr. Kim Chappell who has joined the CCMTR to lead the Clinical Studies Core.

The role of the Clinical Studies Core (CSC) is to support investigations involving veterinary patients through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, support interactions between clinical and basic research groups within NC State University, and to expand collaborative relationships beyond the university’s Centennial Biomedical Campus.

The CSC provides both organizational and technical support for clinical studies, and serves as a liaison between clinical investigators, referring veterinarians, pet owners, and industry partners to promote clinical studies and help ensure their success.

“Effective clinical studies are integral to the advancement of veterinary medicine,” says Dr. Gregg Dean, director of the CCMTR. “This research is used to investigate risk factors for disease, as well as methods to prevent, treat, or cure disease. The addition of Dr. Chappell to lead the CSC will help expand available core services and offer faculty and corporate partners with a full-spectrum of assistance in clinical investigations.”

A clinical assistant professor, Dr. Chappell received her degrees—Bachelor of Science in 1992 and DVM in 1997—from NC State University before spending nine years in clinical development with the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, where she led large, multi-site companion animal effectiveness studies. She has experience with study design and protocol development, planning, budgeting, contracting, investigator recruitment, study initiation, study personnel training, data analysis and reporting, and Food and Drug Administration relations.

A recently initiated Phase 2 trial by Dr. Thierry Olivry in the CCMTR Allergy Research Core is one example of the collaborative efforts the CSC supports. Dr. Olivry enlisted the CSC to provide expertise and infrastructure to carry out the current trial.

“In recent years, the time constraints of running a large trial while maintaining our regular Veterinary Teaching Hospital clinical schedule became increasingly challenging,” says Dr. Olivry. “The creation of the Clinical Studies Core helps alleviate this burden and Dr. Chappell’s leadership and expertise should improve the productivity of our expanding clinical trial program.”

The CSC offers support through the following services:

“The mission of the CCMTR is to promote scientific discovery and facilitate its clinical application to achieve the goal of improving the health of animals and humans,” says Dr. Chappell. “The CSC supports this mission by serving as a bridge between clinical and basic research scientists within the CCMTR and with our numerous external research partners. The program provides investigators and research sponsors the tools and support necessary to evaluate novel therapies and deliver innovative solutions that enhance animal and human health.”

The CCMTR’s research cores supported by the CSC are: Allergic Diseases, Biostatistics, Clinical Genomics, Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Mucosal Pathophysiology, and Oncology. In addition, the CCMTR executive committee recently approved the establishment of Stem Cell Research Core.

Posted July 13, 2009