"Anytime I sit with a patient, or any doctor sits with a patient, and they explain the benefits of the different treatment options or suggest a standard therapy, it’s because somebody, somewhere, participated in a clinical trial; a patient was brave enough and dedicated enough – and optimistic enough – to go on a clinical trial to answer that question and hopefully helped themselves and other people. I love treating the patients that are in front of me, but I also want to help the patients that I’ll never meet and never see. I think that’s a key part of an academic institution – to have a much broader impact beyond our walls – and clinical trials are one significant way to do that."
Clinical trials are the principal mechanism by which new information is brought to the clinic in order to improve patient care. When a physician or other health care provider meets with a patient and their family to review treatment options and plan out a management strategy, the discussion is guided by data generated from clinical research studies. Advancing clinical research is essential to the missions of Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) and NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP).
In 2013, WCM and NYP launched a Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO) to foster and advance clinical research programs. This collaboration was established in recognition of the need to provide support to investigators in these endeavors. We aim to provide a coordinated effort to facilitate high impact projects that are synergistic with other institutional goals while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.
The JCTO “umbrella” encompasses a wide array of initiatives that contribute to the multidisciplinary components of clinical research. Our research integrity programs include the Institutional Review Boards (IRB), Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), Conflicts of Interest relating to clinical trials, and other areas relating to regulatory compliance and research subject safety. The clinical trial operations unit, comprised of general medicine and cancer, focuses on investigator support and training, study design and feasibility and facilitating access to resources that streamline the conduct of clinical trials.
We collaborate in these efforts with the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC). Information technology programs and access to translational laboratory facilities are important components of this support.
The business operations team assists with financial management and budgeting, study tracking, research subject recruitment, contracting with research sponsors and other administrative areas. The JCTO seeks to partner with investigators and other WCM/NYP departments and divisions in order to facilitate our clinical research enterprise, as well as to synergize with our patient care, educational, and laboratory research programs.
We invite WCM/NYP faculty and staff, external collaborators (from other academic institutions, industry and government), and members of the community that are interested in our programs to contact us for more information. Working together, we look forward to advancing our knowledge in important medical and scientific areas and improving outcomes for people living with diseases and finding cures.
John P. Leonard, M.D.
Director, WCM/NYP Joint Clinical Trials Office
Associate Dean of Clinical Research