Our Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) has an inpatient unit with private rooms, an outpatient clinic, an infusion bay, a phlebotomy area, a metabolic kitchen, facilities for the measurement of body composition and energy expenditure, and a core laboratory. Staffed by experienced research professionals and located in the Hatfield Research Center on the 10th floor, the CTRC provides nursing, bionutrition, study coordination, and laboratory services and support. Learn more below.
Holistic, specialized nursing care
We are committed to facilitating interdisciplinary clinical investigation and provision of holistic, specialized nursing care within an environment that patients, families and investigators recognize as exceptional. The information here is intended for study coordinators, investigators and research staff who are utilizing our nursing services for a clinical research protocol.
IV starts and intensive blood sampling
Our research nurses are highly experienced in providing intravenous access, administering medications and gathering clinical samples or study specimens through an IV while giving careful attention to a participant's comfort and the protocol's data collection requirements. Our inpatient and outpatient units are equipped with syringe infusion pumps and Alaris™ multichannel infusion pumps for medication administration and fluid infusion.
Administration of experimental medications and therapeutics
Members of the nursing staff are experienced in intensive blood drawing and pharmacokinetic monitoring. We can accommodate pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies. Research nurses on the inpatient unit are also able to access Groshong, Port-a-Cath, PICC and Hickman catheters for both medication administration and specimen collection in both adult and pediatric participants (please ask for more information about age limitations of participants).
OCTRI research nurses are trained to conduct point-of-care tests and provide immediate interpretation based on the results. Nurses can conduct HCG (Urine Pregnancy), CBG (Blood Glucose), Urine Dip and Hemoglobin tests.
OCTRI research nurses are experienced in conducting cardiac monitoring with a 3-Lead Propaq electrocardiograph (ECG) monitor. The Clinical and Translational Research Center is equipped with the necessary ECG equipment and has extensive experience using the monitors and consulting with medical staff regarding results.
Insulin and glucose clamps, intravenous glucose tolerance tests and meal tolerance tests require an IV and multiple sample collection. Oral glucose tolerance tests require multiple sample collection. OCTRI research nurses are uniquely qualified to perform these tests using best practices for participant safety and comfort. Research nurses are able to handle specimens that require special attention for data integrity. This is coordinated by our research staff for the best outcomes. We can provide other specialized services per protocol needs.
For studies that require outpatient blood draws, we have an outpatient research clinic staff with research assistants trained in phlebotomy.
To help you get the most out of our nursing services through every phase of your research project, we’ve prepared a detailed guide, which covers these areas:
Setting up a study prior to scheduling participants
Scheduling participants and preparing study visits
During the conduct of your study
We utilize Epic and separate document processes to conduct CTRC studies.
Any health information that is created or received by OHSU is considered Protected Health Information and is stored electronically in a secure environment by OHSU Health Information Services.
Bionutrition: Where diet meets research
The Bionutrition Unit at the Clinical and Translational Research Center provides nutrition, body composition and energy expenditure services and consultation, using several methodologies and a range of specialized equipment. Learn more here about the Bionutrition Unit’s full range of services, as well as services we can help you find.
Registered dietitian bionutritionists are trained to assess food and supplement intake, usually for the purpose of estimating intake of one or more nutrients. Bionutritionists can help investigators select the best methodology for the participant population and study goals. When a food recall is needed, the bionutritionist gathers information about what foods (and in what amounts) the participant has consumed over a defined period, usually 24 hours. The overall nutritional intake is then determined using specialized software.
Registered dietitian bionutritionists are available to provide education and counseling to study participants individually or in a group setting. They can provide education and guidance on diet modification or diet intervention to meet study goals. They can also develop protocol-specific materials to assist with the study intervention and compliance.
The Bionutrition Research Kitchen is specially equipped and the staff is highly trained to prepare and serve meals and to document their consumption. Test meals of specific nutrient composition can be served on a timed schedule. Research meals can be served at any CTRC unit or can be packed and sent home with a participant. We are especially skilled at the long-term provision of research meals to participants, also known as feeding studies.
Body composition can be measured on the CTRC by skinfold measurements, bioimpedance analysis, DEXA or air displacement plethysmography (BODPOD).
Indirect calorimetry is conducted in the resting state to measure resting energy expenditure or basal metabolic rate. It utilizes specialized equipment and software to measure oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production, and calculates REE as an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour to complete. BMR can be measured using this technique following an overnight admission to the CTRC. Thermic effect of food can be determined using this technique following a standardized meal for an additional six hours.
Bionutrition staff are trained to measure height, recumbent length, weight, body circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and skinfold thickness in the adult and pediatric populations. Special length measurements when height is not appropriate can also be performed.
Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry uses a small dose of radiation to determine body composition and bone mineral density. The CTRC now has a state-of-the-art GE Lunar iDXA machine and trained, licensed staff available to scan both adult and pediatric study participants.
The BOD PODTM uses air displacement plethysmography to measure body density. Results include body fat and fat-free mass as a percent and total kg of body weight. This test is optimal for obese populations with a body weight maximum of 440 lbs.
Bioelectrical impedance analysis
In bioelectrical impedance analysis, electrodes are attached to the hand and foot to send a small electrical current. Results include body fat, fat-free mass and total body water. The measurement takes only about 30 seconds to complete.
Study coordination from beginning to end
OCTRI can provide study coordinators who are trained in all aspects of adult and pediatric clinical trial conduct. From recruiting participants to administering surveys to handling regulatory documentation, we’ve got you covered. Learn more below.
OCTRI study coordinators are prepared to assist with study activities such as recruitment, consenting, and data and specimen collection. Study coordinators are experienced in standard and novel recruitment methods, and they have a track record of successfully recruiting participants for studies, including child health protocols, with very stringent exclusion criteria. Coordinators can also manage the entire participant scheduling and consenting process and can conduct study visits.
OCTRI study coordinators are trained to administer a wide variety of written, oral and computer based surveys, questionnaires and tests. Coordinators are also prepared to learn how to administer and score new instruments based on specific protocols. Coordinators are also trained and efficient in accurate data entry in Excel and REDCap — a secure online database with a survey function similar to SurveyMonkey.
The CTRC maintains a registry of healthy people who have volunteered to participate in research studies. The registry includes contact, demographic, and medical information. Investigators can receive lists of volunteers screened for age, gender, and other variables, who have agreed to be contacted about research studies. CTRC study coordinators can also access the registry to schedule volunteers for sample collection on the CTRC (blood, urine, saliva, stool) without a separate IRB protocol or consent form. Finally the registry includes biospecimens (serum, plasma, urine, saliva) that have already been collected and are available on short notice.
As part of study setup, OCTRI study coordinators prepare regulatory binders, source documentation, participant visit packets and additional documentation based on the protocol’s unique needs. Study coordinators can also train non-OCTRI study staff, conduct in-services for partnering departments (most often the Research Pharmacy and labs) and coordinate site visits for industry-sponsored studies.
Conducting research involving human subjects requires ongoing review and approval in a process governed by federal, state and institutional policies. OCTRI study coordinators are experienced in submitting ongoing documentation to the Institutional Review Board. This documentation includes protocol modifications, adverse events and the Continuing Review Questionnaire.
Laboratory services and equipment
The OCTRI Core Laboratory is specifically designed and equipped to perform both basic and specialized research assays and sample processing in support of translational research studies and trials. Laboratory staff have extensive experience in the performance of a wide variety of analytical and genetic based assays and procedures.
Laboratory staff can give advice on many aspects of project development from initial experimental design, sample requirements, assay options and QC parameters through data collection, analysis and data interpretation. When standard types of analyses are not adequate or unavailable, development of new assays and procedures can often be customized to fit the needs of the investigator.
DNA can be purified from sources including whole blood, lymphocytes, Guthrie card blood spots, tissues and saliva using various extraction and purification methodologies. RNA can be isolated from whole blood, lymphocytes and numerous tissue sources. Various methods such as the use of Paxgene blood collection tubes and RNA stabilization solutions such as RNA-later can be used to protect RNA prior to purification and quantification.
The OCTRI Core Laboratory staff have extensive experience in a wide range of processing procedures including:
Routine serum and plasma separations
PBMC purifications via Ficoll or CPT tubes
RBC and platelet Isolation procedures
Nuclear extract preparations
Blood smear preparations
Addition of additives such as antioxidants and protease inhibitors
Stabilization of RNA in tissues and blood
Guthrie card spotting
Samples are shipped on a daily basis to other OHSU laboratories and to external testing laboratories, collaborating institutions and sponsor laboratories. Samples can be shipped at ambient temperature, 5°C and on dry ice. High volume storage facilities are available for short- and long-term storage of clinical samples under various storage conditions. All storage facilities are protected by high/low temperature alarms.
The OCTRI Core Laboratory can complete a wide range of assays and analyses and can also conduct new analyses based on a protocol's unique needs. To inquire about an assay that doesn't appear on our list, contact the OCTRI Core Laboratory.
The OCTRI Core Laboratory can perform a variety of genetic type analyses and procedures, including:
DNA sequencing, low to medium throughput using our ABI 3130xl Genetic Analyzer
Fragment analysis and AFLP analysis (DNA profiler) using GeneMapper software
Traditional genotyping and RFLP analysis by electrophoresis (e.g. ApoE genotyping)
SNP and STR analysis
Cell Immortalization with EBV
RNA and DNA isolation
OCTRI also collaborates with the OHSU Gene Profiling Shared Resource, which provides access to microarray studies attractive to clinical researchers. OCTRI nursing staff can help collect clinical samples and the Core Lab can prepare RNA for microarray analysis. Data analysis support is also available.
Do you or your department need a professional location to hold cooking classes or demonstrations? The OCTRI kitchen is available to rent! Amenities include a gas stove, speedy commercial dishwasher, high quality kitchen scales, food processor, blender, professional mixer, walk-in refrigerator and freezer, coffee maker and all standard cooking equipment. Assistance with any portion of class, including set-up and clean-up, is available for an extra fee. The Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center and OHSU's Food and Nutrition Services are among the departments that have found the OCTRI kitchen invaluable for their projects and events. Contact Julia Jordan for information, availability and cost.
This email address is routinely monitored by CTRC research assistants during business hours (M-F, 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.). This is the best single point of access to CTRC nursing services.
CTRC Standard Operating Hours
OCTRI Lab: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Outpatient Clinic: 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Inpatient Clinic: 24 hours/ 7 days a week
Please discuss any scheduling needs that are outside of these standard hours to see if they can be accommodated.
Clinical Research Nursing Practice Committee
Promote clinical research quality, standardize practices, and facilitate the professional development of nurses working in clinical research.
For more information, please contact Sue Downs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you an investigator with a career development award?
Learn more about OCTRI pilot awards that fund CTRC work.