The Clinical Research Center (CRC) provides a clinical research infrastructure for investigators who want to conduct patient-oriented clinical research at Texas Children's Hospital.
The facility includes:
- outpatient clinic research space
- 3 inpatient/swing research rooms
- room for patient interviews and consultations
- sample preparation laboratory
- blood draw room
- waiting area
Staffed by 10 specially trained research nurses, the CRC supports more than 100 investigators and about 340 active research protocols.A research dietitian and dietary technicians provide specialized diets for research protocols that require these services.
The CRC conducts innovative research studies that cut across all disciplines. Many of the studies evaluate the effects of new therapies in children and are intensive in terms of obtaining blood and other biologic samples to learn as much as possible about these therapies.
The CRC admits adults as well as children and is staffed 24 hours a day. For specialized neonatal research studies, the CRC provides research nursing support in Texas Children's Newborn Center. In addition, the CRC provides biostatistical review of all protocols and furnishes additional biostatistical support for active projects when requested.
To ensure that this highly regarded resource is optimally used, a scientific advisory committee meets monthly to review protocols, assess their scientific merit and allocate resources. Priority is given to NIH-funded studies, although investigators funded by other sources also are eligible to use the facilities. All studies receiving support from the CRC first must be approved by the Baylor College of Medicine Internal Review Board (IRB) and the CRC Scientific Advisory Committee.
In its 50-year history CRC has played host to a number of notable studies and breakthroughs, including:
- Significant improvements in HIV care, including the long-term monitoring of anti-retroviral side effects and prevention of mother to infant HIV transmission
- Characterization and treatment of numerous inherited diseases and the development of molecular genetic tools to diagnose these diseases
- Development of vaccines for Norwalk virus and other viral infections
- Understanding the nutritional needs of preterm and newborn infants
- Characterization of metabolic alterations due to chronic disease
- Use of sophisticated MRI techniques to study mother/infant attachment
- Determining the best antibiotic regimen post appendectomy
- Novel cell and gene therapy treatments for adult and pediatric cancers
- Development of many new drugs for the treatment of pediatric cancer
- The largest study of its kind to look at the impact of cytomegalovirus (CMV) from infancy to adulthood