Clinical Research Unit, North Carolina
Research Triangle Park
The Clinical Research Unit is a 14,000 square foot facility on the NIEHS Research Triangle Park, North Carolina campus.
Previously, NIEHS research involving humans could not be performed on the main campus; therefore, a separate building was needed. The new CRU facility is situated adjacent to the main NIEHS laboratories and permits scientists to conduct studies that involve on-site human sample collection, analysis and functional assessment. The CRU is designed to provide infrastructure and staffing for the on-site NIEHS Clinical Research Branch (CRB), but it also assumes a core laboratory function in support of multiple NIEHS investigators. The CRU staff provides support in the development of translational research protocols, research staff, and assists with patient recruitment and reimbursement. Basic sample processing is also performed in specialized laboratories located on-site.
Scientists who utilize the new facility are conducting a diverse array of research studies, which involve pulmonary diseases, medical genetics, cardiovascular diseases and reproductive health. The CRU accommodates outpatient research only and offers routine patient evaluation, as well as specialized diagnostic and analytical capabilities, such as pulmonary function testing and ultrasound imaging. The Clinical Research Unit also allows for advanced training opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows whose research interests require access to clinical samples and patients.
The opening of the new CRU reflects a widening of the NIEHS research portfolio to include translational research. In the CRU, NIEHS scientists and grantees are encouraged to develop protocols that promote translational and interdisciplinary research at various levels.
The NIEHS scientific leadership has devised a thorough scientific, human subjects protection and resource utilization review process to ensure that only the highest quality research is conducted at the CRU, that patient safety is ensured and that resources are appropriately allocated.