Pediatric Clinical Research Unit
The Pediatric Clinical Research Unit (PCRU) at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is a member of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical Translational Research (ICTU). Highly specialized, the PCRU cares for Johns Hopkins’ young patients — from infants to young adults — who are participating in physician- and nurse-initiated patient-oriented research.
This general and intermediate medical/surgical and clinical research inpatient unit and outpatient care unit is one of 60 medical research institutions working together to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country.
Many cutting-edge clinical trials are conducted here, including sleep studies and the pediatric food allergy studies of noted expert Robert Wood, whose recent discoveries hold promise for eventual cures. Many children with complex genetic conditions, too, are cared for, with lifesaving, cutting-edge therapies.
PCRU patients range in age from infancy to 21 years of age. They may be general and intermediate pediatric oncology, cardiology, transplant and medical/surgical patients. Their medical diagnoses may be related to trauma, pneumonia, asthma, sickle-cell crisis, seizure disorders and cancer, or to surgical diagnoses.
Studies currently underway in the PCRU include those on asthma, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, HIV and sickle-cell, renal, genetic and metabolic diseases.
Lead by Robert Wood, M.D. the PRCU is staffed by R.N.s. The nurse/patient ratio is 1:3.
The PCRU, which joined Hopkins’ ICTR in 2007, was created in 1961 to assist its pediatric clinicians in the discovery of better treatments and cures for the children in their care. The PCRU’s first home was in Johns Hopkins’ Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children, considered the founder of American research-based, academic medicine. Our PCRU’s first director was pediatrician Barton Childs, considered the father of modern pediatric genetics.
Leadership and Funding
Directed today by Robert Wood, M.D., the PCRU is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded site designed to facilitate clinical research, defined as “all research that involves patients or PHI, or clinical testing or procedures, or drug/device diagnostic testing in humans or any planning/lab/clinical service in support of such clinical research.”
As a member of the ICTU, our PCRU is supported by numerous general clinical research centers across Johns Hopkins. Their goals are to help investigators write the soundest research protocol and to provide the infrastructure that makes conducting research as streamlined and easy as possible.
How to Use PCRU Services
To use the PCRU, clinicians/scientists must submit a protocol application. All applications much be approved by both the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the CRU Protocol Review Committee after internal scientific review. Once a protocol application goes through the review process and is approved, clinicians/scientists can begin using the exclusive resources available to them in the PCRU and other ICTR clinical research units at Johns Hopkins.