University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine opens clinical research center

Increased investment in clinical research to improve local health and expand research opportunities for health professionals in training, scientists

The UNR Med clinical research center.

An open house to mark the grand opening of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) new clinical research center on campus was held on April 24. UNR Med photo by Brin Reynolds.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) has opened a new clinical research center on campus that will enhance the quality of care in northern Nevada. Clinical practice will be changed and improved through innovative research conducted in the center. Northern Nevadans will have opportunities to volunteer and participate in clinical trials conducted by scientists carrying out independent clinical, translational and educational research locally at the School of Medicine.

The UNR Med Clinical Research Center aims to provide a resource for patient volunteers while fostering the development of clinical scientists, biomedical researchers and health professional students and trainees. The center will also further collaboration between University of Nevada, Reno scientists and UNR Med medical students, residents, faculty physicians and basic scientists - bridging "bench to bedside," as the results of biomedical research influence actual clinical practice.  

"The clinical research center will support an entirely new portfolio of clinical research. It will facilitate investigator-initiated clinical research that will produce innovative discoveries and serve the community's health care needs through clinical trials and other research studies. This is just one more important demonstration of our commitment to improving the health of our community and the entire state," said UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.  

UNR Med's Clinical Research Center offers biomedical researchers a one-stop shop approach to clinical research, including expertise and resources to conduct clinical research trials founded in Good Clinical Practice and under FDA regulated requirements and guidance. Investigators will have the support of funding, infrastructure, laboratory and meeting space, personnel, partnerships with area hospitals and more than 1,000 UNR Med community faculty physicians. Additionally, the center will focus on addressing health disparities in northern Nevada through active community engagement, including the study of important medical issues like obesity, and access to health care.  

The clinical research center team will include a soon-to-be-announced associate dean of clinical research. Other personnel include:  

Danielle Eaton, senior director and research manager, who consults with researchers and provides expertise in project design, logistics and resources;

Valerie Smith, clinical research manager, who assists researchers with regulatory compliance and the Institutional Review Board to protect the rights of human research subjects participating in research activities, as well as enforcing ethical and regulatory human research protection training requirements;

Nancy Pulliam, grants and project analyst, who identifies funding opportunities tailored to the needs of researchers and bio-statistical experts from the University of Nevada, Reno's School of Public Health for study design support;

A chief medical officer is anticipated to come on board in fall 2019.  

"The clinical research center supports investigators at all stages who are working to discover new knowledge and treatments for diseases and improve health," said Eaton. "Our investigators will thrive as they benefit from the synergy and team-based approach available through the center. It is essential that we provide career pathways that bring the expertise of well-trained clinicians to the research arena. Patients - and our community - will benefit from future medical breakthroughs made by these researchers. Patients deserve access to continually improving medical care."  

UNR Med's Clinical Research Center is a centralized 1,500-square foot research space located in the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM). The center is located next to the school's basic scientists and graduate student programs further enhancing translational research to produce new medical discoveries and treatment options for patients. The center features two private outpatient rooms for clinical research visits, two blood draw stations, and a physician consultation area.  

The center for clinical research is conveniently located near major research core centers in northern Nevada and coordinates with each of the groups for integrated and seamless support of clinical research throughout lifecycle of a project:  

Free patient parking is available in the CMM Silver 10 parking lot. UNR Med is accessible via public transportation on the RTC bus route 7 to North Virginia Street, or the Sierra Spirit bus.  

UNR Med's Clinical Research Center comes as the School of Medicine celebrates its 50th Anniversary as Nevada's first public medical school. UNR Med has trained 3,500 physicians as either medical students and/or residents, with approximately 40 percent practicing in Nevada, since the school was established in 1969. The School of Medicine has undergone significant growth to increase the number of health care professionals in Nevada by educating more physician assistants, medical students, residents, fellows, speech pathologists, audiologists and researchers. In 2018 alone, UNR Med launched several new departments in Reno, including departments of surgery and obstetrics/gynecology and a Physician Assistant Studies Program. 

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Released: Wednesday April 24, 2019 @ 7:30 PM