Establishment of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI)
To integrate clinical and translational research and training, the "Yale Center for Clinical Investigation" (YCCI) was established in 2006 under the direction of Dr. Sherwin with the recent funding of a CTSA (P.I. Dr. Sherwin) as well as University support.
YCCI offers a PhD degree in Health Sciences Research to a select group of physician scientists embarking on careers in translational or clinical research. It is likely that the program will have a significant impact on DRC research given that one half of the program's faculty mentors, selected based on their achievements and experience in translational research are DRC members.
Pilot and Feasibility Funding
YCCI will use CTSA funds ($700,000) to support a large number of pilot projects, providing the DRC with opportunities to partner with YCCI to support additional diabetes P&F grants that have a clinical translation goal.
Expanding Support of Human-based Metabolic/Diabetes Studies by Partnering with YCCI
An important goal of YCCI is to enhance the use of technological resources by encouraging and supporting collaboration among NIH-supported centers. An example of how the DRC and YCCI will collaborate is in the support of clinical and translational research. This will be accomplished in 2 ways.
There has been a substantial increase the number of complex metabolic studies performed in humans by DRC investigators both in the Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) and within the hospital at a variety of sites (e.g. the intensive care units). To facilitate this research the DRC will leverage funds from the CTSA and the JDRF Center for the Study of Hypoglycemia to create a YCCI/DRC Clinical Translation Core for diabetes research composed of trained nurses, research assistants, and blood-processing technologists. The unit will service a variety of projects conducted throughout the Hospital and Medical School.
Another the way the DRC will leverage the newly established YCCI will be through the availability of its Office of Research Services (ORS), headed by Drs. Tamborlane and Gulanski (both DERC members). ORS will offer DRC members and their trainees help for protocol development, IRB submissions, patient recruitment and scheduling, preparation of case report forms, data management and analysis, and cost-effective utilization of nurse coordinators, freeing investigators of many of the burdens of conducting clinical research. It is anticipated that this new CTSA-funded infrastructure created will greatly enhance the DRC's ability translate clinical research into practice. The DRC will partner with the YCCI to hire a recruiter for studies that are specifically diabetes related.
Clustering of YCCI Research Cores to Enhance DRC-Related Education
YCCI will help DRC members and trainees make optimal use of Yale's extensive core resources for diabetes research in areas such as: (1) imaging; (2) human specimen analysis; (3) cognition research; (4) drug development; and (5) cell and gene therapy.
Combining Genomics, Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Epidemiologic Resources
YCCI will have an integrated infrastructure combining Yale's existing strengths in genomics (Keck Biotechnology Laboratory), bioinformatics (Yale Center for Medical Informatics), and biostatistics and epidemiology (School of Public Health) to assist DRC members who hope to identify and characterize genes associated with pathogenesis and complications of diabetes, determine the profiles of gene expression in tissues, create databases, and study the prevalence and consequences of mutations in diabetes patient cohorts.