The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) recently awarded five new Core Centers for Clinical Research (CCCR), one of them with a particular focus on scleroderma.
The goal of the CCCRs is to develop and apply methods that address current and emerging clinical research needs to make advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dermatologic, musculoskeletal, and rheumatologic diseases.
The five awarded centers are:
- Indiana Core Center for Clinical Research (ICCCR) in Musculoskeletal Health, focused on musculoskeletal diseases;
- VERITY: Value and Evidence in Rheumatology Using Bioinformatics, and Advanced Analytics, focused on multiple rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases;
- Core Center for Clinical Research at Northwestern University, focused on rehabilitative solutions for patients of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases;
- University of Washington Core Center for Clinical Research in Musculoskeletal Diseases; focused on musculoskeletal disorders;
- Improving Minority Health in Rheumatic Diseases (IMHRD), focused specifically on scleroderma and lupus.
Based at the Medical University of South Carolina, the IMHRD is led by Gary S. Gilkeson, MD, and will provide resources to enable and advance clinical research projects focused on scleroderma and lupus, two autoimmune connective tissue disorders.
African-American women are disproportionately affected by scleroderma and lupus. Since the core purpose of IMHRD is to improve minority health, researchers will place a major emphasis on implementing participatory and collaborative approaches with minority patient groups and communities, to encourage input in clinical research and health promotion activities.
The objective is to ultimately end health disparities for women with scleroderma or lupus and to improve the health of those at an increased risk for one of the two diseases.
This new NIAMS CCCR program is a revision of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Centers (MCRC), originally established in 2001 to promote clinical, epidemiological, and health-services research. The revision stems from an internal decision – which had external expert input – that the program needed to be updated.
Under the revised program, each CCCR award includes a minimum of strong methodology core and an administrative research core focused on supporting clinical research.
The program is meant to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate the changing needs of the NIAMS clinical research community.