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IU researchers gain access to new clinical research network

July 31, 2014

IU researchers conducting clinical research studies have a new way to access patients at academic medical centers across the Midwest.

Hudson and Shekhar

Brenda Hudson, center, and Dr. Shekhar, left, at a MARCH meeting Jan. 23-24 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Indiana CTSI, a collaboration among IU, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, is one of six NIH Clinical and Translational Sciences Award-funded institutions to join the Midwest Area Research Consortium for Health.

MARCH aims to promote efficient, effective and demographically-balanced research through multi-site research studies. MARCH provides infrastructure for these large-scale studies through coordination on topics such as operations, finances and regulatory compliance.

The lead member of MARCH is the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other members are:

"This partnership will give us access to patients from different backgrounds since we're representing many regions across the Midwest," said Brenda Hudson, program manager for the Indiana CTSI Office of Research Recruitment and Indiana CTSI representative for MARCH, who notes the ability to access patients from a wide range of backgrounds strengthens clinical research because environment and genetic factors impact reactions to new treatments and therapies.

MARCH advisory committee

Voting members of the MARCH advisory committee include, back row, Michael Joyner, M.D., Mayo Clinic; Marc Drezner, M.D., UW-Madison; and Bruce Blazar, M.D., University of Minnesota, and, front row, Rebecca Jackson, M.D., The Ohio State University, and Anantha Shekhar, Indiana University. Not Pictured: Reza Shaker, M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin.

"Urban populations, rural populations, different races and ethnicities, they're all receiving treatment at hospitals affiliated with these institutions," she said.

"This new consortium represents an amazing opportunity for cutting edge research to be performed across a wide range of different states, multi-cultural cities and rural areas," added Marc Drezner, M.D., executive director of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and chair of the MARCH Advisory Committee. "The research strengths of each institution offer the research efficiency and expertise needed in today's world to both investigator-initiated NIH studies and industry."

Voting members of MARCH include Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Indiana CTSI and associate vice president for university clinical affairs at IU.

To learn more about MARCH, or to find out if your study could benefit from MARCH, contact Brenda Hudson at brlhudso@iu.edu or 317-278-0913.

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