|The Cincinnati VA CRU is an institutionally supported center for clinical research studies in adult subjects. This joint endeavor of the Cincinnati VAMC and the University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has been in operation since 2003. The unit was initially started to provide a satellite research center for studies of adult subjects with complex medical or psychiatric problems that were not suitable for the NIH funded Clinical Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The VA CRU was included in the successful renewal of the CCHMC CRC grant in 2005 and incorporated into the CCHMC/UC Clinical Translation Science Award proposal of 2008. With the funding of the CTSA in 2009, and ongoing support from the Cincinnati VAMC, the VA CRU is now anchored as a formal component of the research infrastructure next to the Academic Medical Center campus.
Since inception the CRU has supported studies by investigators from Cardiology, Endocrinology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Pharmacology, Psychiatry, Pulmonary Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Surgery. These projects have been funded by the NIH, Veterans Administration, foundations and industry. The institutional support of the VA CRU allows federally funded grants access to research support at competitive rates. There is a fixed cost structure for industry grants that is readily incorporated into budgets; over the operation of the CRU the costs for industry studies have been very competitive with rates charged at other sites on campus.
The VA CRU consists of 3,000 square feet of dedicated research space located on the 4th floor of the Cincinnati VAMC. Included in this space are two monitored rooms; a fully equipped cardio–pulmonary physiology laboratory with radiographic capability and equipment for noninvasive cardiac assessments; an exercise laboratory with a stationary bicycle and metabolic cart; a sleep laboratory; a phlebotomy and sample processing laboratory with refrigerated centrifuge; a nurses station; and 5 outpatient rooms fitted with computers that link to CPRS (computerized patient records system). The unit is supported by an investigational drug pharmacy and includes additional space for temporary sample storage with –20º and –80º freezers.
The VA CRU is staffed five days a week by two research nurses and two research assistants. The CRU staff has been with the unit since inception. There is expertise in a wide range of clinical research methods, patient care, and regulatory compliance. The staff is trained to meet all relevant guidelines and regulations of the government and the University of Cincinnati IRB with respect to the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.
The VA CRU is affiliated with the Research Service at the Cincinnati VAMC, and contracts studies through the Cincinnati Foundation for Biomedical Research and Education (CFBRE). The Research Office at the VA is dedicated to assist researchers with grant submission and preparation, budgets, regulatory issues, scheduling and managing of research visits. Clinical trials administration is also available through the VA Research Service. Studies conducted at the VA CRU must have the approval of the University of Cincinnati IRB, VA R&D, and the SRS committees.
For information on the VA CRU (usage costs, submission dates, services) or to schedule a tour please contact the CRU Administrator, Mary Colleen Rogge, BSN, RN, CCRC at 513.475.6478 or MaryColleen.Rogge@va.gov.
If you are an investigator who wishes to use the CRU, please: