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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / October 2021 / UR CTSI Helps Make Connection that Spurs $10M Grant to Study Concussion

UR CTSI Helps Make Connection that Spurs $10M Grant to Study Concussion

In 2017, Jeffrey Bazarian, M.D., M.P.H., a concussion researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center, wanted to pull together a national network of concussion clinics for clinical trials. He turned to the UR CTSI for help and ended up connecting with a group of researchers from across the U.S. who were working toward the same goal. Now, that group is starting work on a national clinical trial to study prolonged concussion symptoms in teens with $10 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disordes and Stroke.

Nearly 1.9 million kids under 18 suffer from concussions in the U.S. each year and about one-third of those kids end up with concussion symptoms that last more than three months, which is abnormally long. The clinical trial funded by this $10 million grant will develop a way to predict which kids will suffer prolonged concussion symptoms, so researchers can figure out how to help them recover faster.

Learn more about the clinical trial in the URMC Newsroom.

According to Bazarian, working with the UR CTSI to engage the newly minted Trial Innovation Network (TIN), a national network that fosters multi-site clinical trials, is the reason he is part of this new grant today.

“If I hadn’t applied to the TIN, I wouldn’t have found this group to become a part of this new network,” Bazarian said. “This grant will open doors for some of the country’s most brilliant concussion researchers to work together to advance concussion research and patient care.”

Bazarian submitted a proposal to TIN shortly after it was formed under the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program, a network of more than 60 of the nation’s top biomedical research institutions. He worked with clinical trial operations and recruitment experts in the TIN to refine his original study plan and get connected with key people who could help him carry out his vision.

That’s how he found the Four Corners Youth Consortium, a group of research, clinical, and education entities working to address the “four corners” of a child’s life: family, school, sports/recreation and health. Together, they are building an evidence base to promote active, healthy participation in youth sports and recreation, in part by studying youth concussion.

The consortium invited Bazarian to join their cause and together they drafted a proposal that just landed them $10 million.

Led by the University of California, Los Angeles, the consortium now includes URMC, University of Washington, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Children’s National, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, which are all members of the CTSA Program.

“Working with the TIN ended up being a lot of work, but it was very helpful,” said Bazarian. “It was worth the effort to land where I have.”

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If you are interested in starting or joining a multi-site clinical trial, reach out to the UR CTSI via our Research Request Dashboard. We can help you find an existing TIN trial to join as a participating site or submit a proposal to the TIN to start your own multi-site clinical trial. The TIN will help you refine your trial plan, connect you with resources (like single IRB, cohort assessment, etc.), and implement your trial through the CTSA Program.

Susanne Pritchard Pallo | 10/5/2021

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