Following the cutting of a ceremonial blue ribbon and an enthusiastic round of applause, the doors to the new MGH Translational and Clinical Research Center (TCRC) officially opened Nov. 30. Staff were treated to welcoming remarks from unit and senior leadership teams as well as tours of the 18-bed facility located in the White Building.
“This is a very exciting day for all of us,” said Mason W. Freeman, MD, director of the Translational Research Center. “I believe that the most exciting things in medicine are going to happen in this facility, in those beds, in the next 10 to 15 years.”
The unit was created to conduct early-stage clinical trials of new medicines, diagnostics and therapeutic devices to improve patient care. Freeman said the TCRC will work closely with investigators and academic and industry partners, with an end goal of improving therapies in a more cost-effective and timely manner. “We are setting the scene for a culture shift where medicine and academia are working together in a way that they’ve never done before,” Freeman said. “As a result, we are giving hope to patients with rare diseases – hope where it has not been before.”
During the ceremony, David M. Nathan, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center, praised the hospital, its leadership throughout the past several decades and the Department of Medicine for providing “absolutely unwavering support” to the group during all aspects of the planning and development phases. “It really has been extraordinary,” he said. “So many have worked tirelessly on this vision, and to see it come to fruition has been amazing.”
Maurizio Fava, MD, director of the Division of Clinical Research, said the hospital’s strategic plan was key to moving the project forward, thanks to the emphasis on addressing challenges like the shrinking and shifting of federal research funding, as well as the focus on pursuing deeper engagements with industry and strengthening support for these important research initiatives.
Throughout the ceremony, speakers noted the new unit would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of many departments, disciplines and staff throughout the hospital.
“We are so happy to have this unit after years of planning,” said Kathy Hall, NP, TCRC nurse director. “This was made possible by the time, energy and passion of the staff who really stepped up.We are very blessed and fortunate to work with such an incredible group of colleagues.”
Read more articles from the 12/09/16 Hotline issue.