COVID Related ConduITS/ORS Response

Jul 22, 2020 | Conduits News

The ConduITS Institute for Translational Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) is the Clinical & Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program for the Mount Sinai Health System established in 2009 with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NCATS.

ConduITS has worked hand in hand with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) and health system leadership to foster foundational cultural changes facilitating transformative clinical and translational research and training.

The ConduITS Office of Research Services (ORS) has evolved into a unifying entity for research infrastructure for the MSHS, functioning as the point of integration among the CTSA Cores, other ISMMS Offices of Research Administration (ORA), the MSHS research and education communities, and the network of CTSA hubs.

During the COVID-19 emergency, the Office of Research Services’ Research 411 portal and The Research Roadmap (RRM) has become a central repository for the reporting of research-related issues, resource needs, and regulatory guidance and support. ORS triages incoming tickets via this single portal to the appropriate research leadership, coordinating communication and facilitating rapid responses and the standing up of COVID-related research initiatives. Together these tools provide information that is addressed/resolved and disseminated in a standardized and sustainable platform via the Roadmap.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic exemplified the importance of a centralized information portal. The RRM has become the designated gateway for researchers and faculty across the MSHS to get near-real-time updated information on research (e.g., obtaining IRB approval for study modifications, new COVID-related research, guidance on orderly pause/close-out of non-essential studies, research IT infrastructure updates) during a “stay at home” order.

The ORS has also become the first point of contact for The Covid-19 Protocol Committee, funneling interventional & correlative studies through the review process, working with PI’s and reviewers to expedite COVID related studies and avoid duplication of research efforts.

The ORS bridged the Convalescent Plasma study’s initial phase – developed & managed a centralized, expedited process for submitting, documenting, and finalizing individual e-IND requests to FDA for multiple MSHS sites consenting patients (early phase of the CP study) and established a database to enable IRB review and approval.

Additional initiatives included:

  1. The funding of 2 COVID pilot studies:
  • Early non-invasive ventilation in COVID-19 infected patients with mild respiratory distress.
  • Novel Materials, Sterilization Strategies, and Testing Methods to Rapidly Increase Supply of PPE Masks and Face Protection During the COVID-19 Crisis.
  1. The central building of all COVID related interventional studies into OnCore.
  2. The rapid translation of research findings into routine clinical practice including converting BiPAP machines into ventilators which was disseminated nationally via the roadmap platform.
  3. Central dissemination of COVID research announcements via Research Listserv.
  4. Provided dedicated site for COVID related funding opportunities.
  5. The providing of consultations for potential multi-site COVID related studies and use of TIN.
  6. The launch of The Conduit Newsletter, a dedicated source for all CTSA related news, events, and funding.

ConduITS is supported by NCATS of the NIH’s CTSA Program. Any use of CTSA-supported resources requires citation of grant number UL1TR001433 awarded to ISMMS in the acknowledgment section of every publication resulting from this support. Adherence to the NIH Public Access Policy is also required.


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