Research Story Tip: George Mason University Joins Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network
George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services has joined the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network (JHCRN). Developed by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), JHCRN is designed to bring together academic- and community-based clinical researchers to provide new opportunities for research collaborations and accelerate the transfer of new diagnostic, treatment and disease-prevention advances from the research arena to patient care.
George Mason is the first university to join the JHCRN, which was established by Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2009 and includes the clinical health systems of Luminis Health in southern Maryland, TidalHealth in eastern Maryland and Reading Hospital, an affiliate of Tower Health, in Pennsylvania.
The network creates a bridge for research between Johns Hopkins and community-based medical centers by linking physician-scientists and staff members from Johns Hopkins Medicine with various centers in the region. It serves several purposes, the most important of which is making clinical trials available to patients who may not otherwise have access to them.
“The JHCRN is a unique research resource that increases patient access to innovative therapies and outcomes research in their own local communities. It also empowers physicians to design and conduct a broad array of research projects relevant to their communities,” says Adrian Dobs, M.D., JHCRN director and professor of medicine and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “It is a premier network of affiliated medical institutions which can carry out efficient, collaborative clinical research to achieve high-quality innovative patient care. I am very impressed with the depth and excellence of research being done within the GMU enterprise, and believe our overall network will benefit from this great work.”
George Mason is the one of the fastest-growing Research I institutions in the country, and its College of Health and Human Services has more than 1,900 undergraduate students and 1,370 graduate students.
“We are proud to join this highly-respected network of health care delivery organizations to bring research discoveries into clinical practice in a timely manner to improve the health of those we serve,” says Germaine Louis, Ph.D., dean of the college. “It is only through partnerships such as these that we can improve health equity and make health visible and accessible for all people.”
The JHCRN directly addresses the many complexities of conducting multisite and multi-institutional studies by providing investigators with a larger patient pool and a seamless platform that uses common research protocols. The goal of the network is to speed the approval of new protocols while ensuring careful oversight of patient safety. Rapid startup and timely completion of research studies, aided by widespread access to clinical trials, will make promising therapies available for patient use more quickly.
Initially, the JHCRN focused on expanding cancer-related clinical trials (including medical, surgical and radiation-therapy aspects of cancer treatment), as well as diabetes and surgical studies. Collaborations have facilitated expanded work, including a wide range of research areas, such as pediatrics and intensive care; COVID-19 studies; neuropsychiatric, brain and spine diseases; and radiology and nuclear medicine studies. Present sponsors include federal and industry sources, along with private foundations.
The JHCRN is a program within ICTR, which is a part of a national consortium dedicated to transforming how clinical and translational research is conducted at academic health centers around the country.
For more information about the JHCRN, visit http://ictr.johnshopkins.edu/JHCRN.
Dobs is available for interviews.