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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

U of Tennessee Health Science Center launches statewide clinical trials network

By David Schwartz
Published: April 10th, 2018

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has launched the Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee, with a goal of partnering with more pharma companies and getting more of the state’s research into the hands of patients. The network, dubbed CTN2 for short, is set up as a separate not-for-profit subsidiary of the university’s research foundation.

Member institutions in the network will not only conduct trials, but also contribute to a data warehouse where researchers can retrieve more patient data for use in their studies. 

Steven Goodman, vice chancellor for research at UTHSC, says the network serves two major goals. “The most exciting part of this is that the reason we do research — basic research and translational research at UTHSC — is that the end results are products, whether they’re better drugs or better devices, that can be used to improve the health of Tennesseans. For me, that is the fundamental, most exciting part about this,” he comments. “The other exciting part is that we’re trying to grow research at UTHSC, which means growing grants and contracts. And CTN2 is going to be a major mechanism for growing grants and contracts at the university.”

The network is being managed as a separate subsidiary, according to UTHSC officials, to help cut down on administrative functions and provide a more streamlined budgeting and contracting process for what will be a multi-institution initiative.

Work has already begun on the data warehousing effort, according to Robert Davis, Governor’s Chair in the UTHSC-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center in Biomedical Informatics and professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Davis serves as lead curator for research for the Enterprise Data Warehouse.

With the combined data it will provide, he says, “UT researchers will have access to more patient data than ever before, allowing for project collaboration and the development of products and solutions for patients and our community, no matter their physical location.”


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