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NEW-Call for Applications!
Core Lab Applications

We are soliciting applications for an Echocardiography core laboratory and a PET core laboratory (see links below for application requirements). Applications must be received by April 30, 2014. Applications may be submitted via email to Shelly.L.Sayre@uth.tmc.edu (you should receive a confirmation email upon receipt) or you may submit applications via US mail/FedEx at the address listed below. Applications will be reviewed by the CCTRN Executive Committee and an NHLBI‐appointed review group. Selected core labs will be notified via email from the DCC within 60 days of the close of the application period.

Network: We are a network of physicians, scientists, and support staff dedicated to studying stem cell therapy for treating heart disease. The goals of the Network are to complete research studies that will potentially lead to more effective treatments for patients with cardiovascular disease, and the sharing of knowledge quickly with the healthcare community.

Purpose: The mission of the CCTRN is to achieve public health advances for the treatment of cardiovascular disease using cell therapy, through the conduct and dissemination of collaborative research leading to evidence‐based treatment options and improved outcome for patients with heart disease.

Address for submitting via US mail

Shelly Sayre, M.P.H.
Project Manager
Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network
UT-Houston School of Public Health
1200 Pressler #E1013
Houston, TX 77030
Ph. 713-500-9529, Fax 713-486-0981

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET) Core Laboratory

The MGH CPET Core Laboratory is under the direction of Gregory Lewis, MD. Dr. Lewis and his team have over 80 years of collective experience in CPET performance and interpretation at MGH. The CPET Core Lab performs over 700 clinical and research CPETs per year, many of which are coupled with invasive hemodynamic monitoring, echocardiography and radionuclide ventriculography. The MGH CPET Lab is a national referral center for detailed physiologic evaluations of heart failure and other cardiopulmonary conditions in which precise physiologic measurements are required.

MGH has served as the CPET core lab for multiple trials and is currently also the core lab for the NHLBI Heart Failure Network (HFN), the NHLBI-sponsored Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Network (HCM♥NET) upcoming VANISH Trial, as well as several industry-sponsored studies. The core lab’s approach has been informed by direct experience in caring for patients with cardiovascular diseases and designing trials in heart failure. The core lab offers innovative approaches to remote CPET equipment calibration and certification, methods to achieve uniformity in gas-exchange analysis and harmonization of cycle ergometry and treadmill testing, and approaches to confront challenges associated with interpretation of exercise gas exchange data in heart failure patients.

To learn more about the CPET, please visit the MGH CPET Core Lab website.

The Biorepository Core (BRC) Lab at Texas Heart Institute

The BRC is under the co-direction of Doris A. Taylor, PhD, FAHA, FACC and Adrian P. Gee, PhD, MI Biol, who have more than 20 years’ experience in the field. Dr. Taylor, an innovator in regenerative medicine, brings specific experience-related insight into the requirements for cell therapy, cell profiling, and biospecimen storage. Recognized for his work in cellular therapy, Dr. Gee oversees all quality assurance (QA) aspects of the BRC at THI. Drs. Taylor and Gee lead a team of scientists and coordinators with expertise in flow cytometry, cell function analyses, and biochemical assays who conduct the phenotyping and functional analyses.

The overall purpose of a Biorepository Core is to support the mission of the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) by storing biologic specimens from patients enrolled in cell therapy trials and by conducting analyses to help advance the safe, efficacious use of cell therapy in treating cardiovascular diseases. The BRC is a 2000-square foot, state-of-the-art biosafety level (BSL)-2 facility that can provide biospecimen storage, processing, and testing on a fee-for-service basis to support the CCTRN. These services will enable the CCTRN to characterize cells used in therapeutic applications and the patient response to those cells as dictated by protocol.

To learn more about the BRC, please visit the Texas Heart Institute BRC website.

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Core Lab at Johns Hopkins University

The MRI Core lab is under the direction of Joao Lima, MD. Dr. Lima is widely credited as one of the pioneers in the field, developing mainstay methods by which myocardial infarct tissue is visualized and measured using the modality. His developmental role in the field has led to him spearheading the largest population studies done to date using MR studies: the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study (EDIC) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Study.

In addition to EDIC and MESA, the MRI Core Lab at Johns Hopkins University has conducted the analysis for the recently published SCIPIO trial and currently serves as the Core lab for the ALLSTAR stem cell clinical trial. The MRI Core has an experienced team of physicists, imaging technologists, and quality control experts to oversee MR studies with emphasis in both cardiac and vascular realms.

To learn more about the MRI Core lab at Johns Hopkins University, please email Erin Ricketts, Research Program Manager.

The CPC Clinical Research affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Many studies that employ symptomatic or functional endpoints experience problems with endpoint variability and excessive placebo response. Each of these issues results in inconclusive data that make it difficult or impossible to interpret the effectiveness of an intervention. The CPC team has pioneered a program coined the Endpoint Quality Intervention Program (EQuIP) to effectively minimize the variability that has historically plagued multicenter cardiovascular studies with functional or symptomatic endpoints. EQuIP has decreased the variance of the treadmill endpoint in several drug, gene and cell-based studies. Aimed at ensuring data integrity throughout a clinical study, this program works throughout the life of the trial to ensure that the right endpoints are chosen and appropriately described and collected in the study documents, that effective training tools are available, (e.g. on-line training videos, procedure reference tools, electronic endpoint criteria calculators), and stresses the importance of hands-on training at the sites to improve the likelihood of trial success.

The CPC is under the direction of William Hiatt, MD. Dr. Hiatt’s academic career has focused on the clinical, educational, and research issues in peripheral artery disease (PAD). He has contributed to over 63 PAD clinical investigations. To learn more about the CPC, please visit the CPC website.