The Massachusetts General Hospital Translational and Clinical Research Center (TCRC), part of the Harvard Catalyst Clinical Research Center, supports federally and privately-funded research projects for investigators conducting patient-oriented research.
The goal of the Massachusetts General Hospital Translational and Clinical Research Center (TCRC), part of the Harvard Clinical Translation Science Center, is to provide a research infrastructure for clinical investigators who conduct patient-oriented research.
The TCRC can be used by investigators who are supported by the National Institutes of Health, other federal, state and local agencies, foundations, individual departments or by the private sector. The TCRC also supports pilot studies that may lead to future NIH or other support.
The clinical research support provided by the TCRC includes inpatient and outpatient facilities, and the necessary support personnel, such as research nurses, nurse practitioners, research nutritionists, administrative personnel and others.
In addition, the core laboratories perform routine, and specialized analyses and procedures and are available for approved studies. Metabolism & Nutrition Research support includes prepared research meals, nutritional and metabolic measurements, DXA scans for assessment of bone density and body composition, bioimpedance analysis, anthropometry and exercise testing.
Specialized nursing services include sampling of biologic fluids, frequent sampling protocols with maintenance of intravenous and intra-arterial lines, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies, physiologic measurements, sleep studies, administration of research questionnaires, administration of research drugs, and assistance in the collection of a variety of other research data.
The nursing staff also ensures subject safety, including routine and specialized surveillance during all research protocols. Research studies that are conducted in locations outside of the TCRC, so called “off-site”, can also be supported with TCRC resources and staffing.
The investigations carried out by the TCRC can include studies of normal and abnormal human physiology and studies of the cause, prevention, progression, treatment and cure of diseases that afflict individuals from all backgrounds. Resources are provided to translate basic scientific discoveries into novel diagnostic and therapeutic methods that improve health care. Collaborations between basic and clinical scientists are encouraged. Protocol applications to the TCRC must adhere to NIH guidelines regarding inclusion of children, women and minority populations.
The TCRC provides a unique environment for mentored training of health professionals in clinical research. The TCRC is funded by a grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NCATS provides a comprehensive range of human, technological, and other resources to enable biomedical research advances at approximately 60 sites around the country.
In order to promote the mission of the NIH, NCATS seeks scientific knowledge that will promote health and reduce illness and disability in our nation.
TCRC resources are not intended to replace the usual mechanism of grant funding of investigators in aid of biomedical research or to substitute for departmental facilities which serve individual research needs. The TCRC is also not intended to fund clinical research studies fully. Funding for non-clinical aspects of the research studies should be provided by other sources.
In the process of achieving its primary objective, the TCRC serves as a resource for teaching and training medical students, residents, fellows, and other health care professionals in the skills of clinical investigation. The TCRC funds research fellowships to train potential future clinical investigators.