NIH Clinical Center

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2  Training the next generation

Clinical research training. Developed in 2000, this course addresses the NIH Training and Education Standard for conducting clinical research in the intramural research program. All NIH clinical investigators must take the course and pass an exam before receiving approval to conduct new clinical protocols. All clinical principal investigators with a protocol approved through the Clinical Center have done so. To date, 3,302 people from the United States and elsewhere have successfully completed the course, through live classroom sessions and via the Internet. The course was made available via the World Wide Web in January 2001 and has been accessed from sites in the United States, Europe, Central America, Asia, and the Caribbean. The curriculum in clinical research also includes a computer-based training course for NIH Institutional Review Board (IRB) members and an IRB experience.

Two masters programs in clinical research The Clinical Center’s training portfolio has grown to include local and long-distance partnerships. Two different collaborative programs lead to graduate degrees in clinical research.

NIH–Duke masters program. Under this program, introduced in 1998, a master of health sciences degree in clinical research is awarded to physicians and dentists who successfully complete a distance-learning partnership program between the Clinical Center and the Duke University School of Medicine. This program, offered by videoconference, provides formal courses in research design, research management, and statistical analysis. Sixteen new NIH students enrolled in the 2004-2005 program. A total of 105 students, representing a cross-section of NIH institutes and centers have been admitted to the program; 34 have received their degrees.

NIH–University of Pittsburgh. A master’s degree in clinical research is available to those successfully fulfilling the requirements in a Clinical Center–University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine program. Initiated in 2001, this program expands training options for PhDs and allied health professionals. Students who matriculate can receive a Master of Science in Clinical Research or a Certificate in Clinical Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The curriculum, available by videoconference, includes courses in biostatistics, clinical research methods, measurement, clinical trials, ethics, and grantsmanship. Julie Hvizda, a research nurse specialist in the Clinical Center’s diagnostic radiology department, graduated from the program in 2004.

Areas for informal gatherings and meetings are found throughout the Hatfield Center.
Areas for informal gatherings and meetings are found throughout the Hatfield Center. Photograph:
Alan Karchmer©

Clinical Investigator Student Trainee Forum. This academic forum was launched to emphasize the importance of translational and clinical research and to encourage the training of the next generation of clinician-scientists to conduct that research. Established investigators from the NIH and other academic medical centers comprise the forum faculty, and in lectures, workshops, and interactive panels the student attendees learn about contemporary biomedical advances as well as academic careers in clinical research. Participants include Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholars (Cloister) and fellows (non-Cloister); Doris Duke Clinical Research Program medical students; National Center for Research Resources/GRC students in year-long research programs; Sarnoff Endowment for Cardiovascular Science fellows; and NIH Clinical Research Training Program for Medical and Dental Students fellows. The first forum was held in October 2003; the second, November 2004. The November 2004 forum attracted over 250 medical students to the Clinical Center for a two-day event, which featured lectures on recent biomedical advances, a career development panel, a panel devoted to bioethical controversies in medicine, tours of the new Clinical Research Center, and keynote addresses by Dr. Elias Zerhouni (director, NIH) and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci (director, NIAID). This forum is supported with public and private funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Sarnoff Endowment for Cardiovascular Science, and the National Institutes of Health.

Students in the Clinical Investigator Student Trainee (CIST) Forum program.
Students in the Clinical
Investigator Student Trainee (CIST) Forum program, taking a break. Left to right: Julie Rosenthal, Samer Jaber, Arash Koochek, Robert
Allison, Sinae Park, Chris Keh, and Rebecca Hommer visit with Dr. Frederick Ognibene (far right), director of the CC’s Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education. The November forum drew over 250 students.
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