Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health

Core Groups

Clinical Research Support (CRS)

This core group promotes and supports efficient, safe and high-quality investigator-initiated clinical trials. Teams at two locations – one on the USC Health Sciences Campus and the other at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – assist research teams with protocol development, activation, conduct and close-out, leveraging extensive resources within the SC CTSI and across USC, CHLA and our clinical and community partners.

SC CTSI Clinical Research Support at USC

At present, the SC CTSI offers two main types of clinical research support at USC:

  • Clinical Trials Unit (CTU): The CTU is an ideal resource for the conduct of clinical trials and mechanistic studies aimed at unraveling complex physiologic processes. The CTU provides a well-equipped physical space, well-trained and dedicated clinical research staff, and a laboratory for specimen handling and processing. The resources are well-suited for early-phase clinical trials drug development studies that require serial blood draws for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic assessments and for mechanistic studies that may require a multidisciplinary approach and multiple evaluations of physiologic and hormonal changes. Intensive monitoring for patient safety can be provided as required by the specific clinical trial. The CTU is dedicated to providing excellence in clinical research conduct, compliance with all relevant regulations, and the highest degree of patient safety.
  • Biostatistics: Through training and direct consultation, this group provides high quality, easy-to-access biostatistics service and guidance to investigator-initiated clinical studies and trials from concept to close-out.

SC CTSI Clinical Research Support at CHLA

Currently available resources at the CHLA location include: Research Navigation; Clinical Research Coordinator Pool; Regulatory and IRB Support; Specimen Processing; Biostatistics; Clinical Trials Units; Research Nurses; Pediatric Neuropsychology. Read More

Clinical Research Informatics (CRI)

This core group provides expertise in data integration, data sharing, and data security to help drive the integration of clinical care and clinical research. CRI fosters efficient, secure and high-quality data access, management and interoperability. They are leading the implementation of our research data warehouse and facilitating the integration with the Clinical Trials Management System to compliment a full suite of electronic tools for research and the electronic IRB platform already shared by USC and CHLA.

Community Engagement (CE)

This core group engages a broad spectrum of communities across the continuum of clinical and translational research, with particular emphasis on diverse and underserved communities, including pediatrics. The group helps researchers understand the health needs and research barriers of special populations and then facilitates academic-community partnerships to ensure patient/community engagement in all stages of clinical and translational research. CE also evaluates and disseminates novel approaches for engaging diverse populations in clinical and translational research and eliminating barriers to research participation.

Digital Innovation and Communication (DIC)

This core group serves two related functions: First, it leverages unique strengths of USC and private sector innovators to develop, demonstrate and disseminate digital solutions for challenges in clinical and translational research and education. Some examples include digital tools to engage diverse communities in clinical research, to increase public awareness and understanding of clinical research, to enhance recruitment of participants into clinical studies, to help researchers find collaborators and resources, and to enhance the digital capabilities of clinical researchers.

Second, the DIC group helps the Institute directors and core groups develop and implement internal and external communications strategies in support of organizational goals and to amplify our message across campus, CHLA, our partner institutions, and at the national level.

Evaluation and Improvement (EI)

This core group develops innovative approaches to data collection and continuous quality improvement to enhance SC CTSI functions and improve quality and efficiency of clinical research. The group uses a metrics-driven planning, evaluation, and continuous improvement process to help the SC CTSI achieve its goals and the goals of the national CTSA program. EI supports rigorous evaluation of key SC CTSI initiatives, core group-level priority activities, and novel approaches to clinical and translational research developed by SC CTSI to enhance their meaningfulness.

Research Development

This core group serves as the research engine for the SC CTSI. They oversee the SC CTSI Pilot Grant Program, which has a strong track record of productive investments in early-stage clinical and translational research.

This group is also charged with assembling new interdisciplinary research teams, both in response to needs identified with our clinical and community partners, and in response to opportunities emanating from the CTSA network. They conduct team building seminars and workshops and provide direct support for collaborative cross-disciplinary teams and projects.

To keep top-quality researchers engaged in clinical research, RD also works with University leaders to assure that clinical and translational research is rewarded through promotion and academic evaluation.

Workforce Development

This core group provides expertise in education, training and career development with special focus on research in diverse populations. It has a broad target audience that includes not only career clinical researchers, but also clinicians, research staff, clinical and community partners, and patients.

Using multiple learning environments and approaches, WD’s educational offerings emphasize team science, community-engaged research, research in diverse populations, and use of digital tools in research. Activities include:

  • For career clinical researchers and trainees, provides a broad range of courses and workshops that build deep domain expertise in team-based clinical and translational research.
  • For clinical research staff members, provides training to advance core skills, to develop along a progressive career path, and to enhance their ability to participate as effective members of multidisciplinary research teams.
  • For career clinicians and clinical trainees, provides education to advance their understanding of clinical and translational research and the roles that they play in today’s research paradigm.
  • For patients and community members, provides education and training that fosters understanding of clinical research and prepares selected individuals to participate as effective research team members.

Organizational Chart

SC CTSI Success Stories

Asking the right questions can lead to great health impact. Search the research successes SC CTSI programs have enabled. Read more >>