Welcome to the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) where we are closing out our tenth year building and refining research infrastructure across West Virginia to improve health outcomes.
The last two years have tested us all. The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges but also provided opportunities for WVCTSI to initiate and develop strategies, projects, and relationships to address public health needs in West Virginia. WVCTSI, with multiple partners across our state has risen to the occasion providing SARS-CoV-2 testing and viral, genomic sequencing, data analyses, and relevant clinical trial implementation. WVCTSI is proud to be a committed partner in this effort and has secured more than $14.7 million in external funding to support this effort.
While the pandemic has taken center-stage, many other initiatives are underway, changing the landscape of clinical and translational research across the Mountain State. The WVCTSI Clinical Trials Center of Excellence celebrated its two-year anniversary in October 2021, offering efficient and supportive infrastructure for clinical trials teams at West Virginia University. The Clinical Trials team also received funding to launch a mobile clinical trials unit which will hit the road in 2023 traveling to even the most rural corners of the state to make available cutting-edge clinical trials accessible to all West Virginians. The West Virginia Practice-Based Research Network now includes 108 sites, and WVCTSI Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) brings training to rural clinicians in eleven different areas including campus mental health, memory health, COVID-19 and chronic lung disease, just to name a few. The ECHO program is serving 1,120 providers in WV and 12 other states. The current class of WVCTSI Research Scholars is devoting their protected time to research in areas such as stroke, depression, immune system and brain disease, substance use disorder, and cerebrovascular disease. By participating in the Principal Investigators Academy, clinical trialists discuss contemporary issues while early-stage trialists are provided a specialized curriculum. Through collaboration with Marshall University, genomics resources have become more accessible to researchers across the state. There have been many accomplishments, yet there remains so much to be done.
WVCSTI offers a diverse menu of services to investigators engaging in biomedical research. From study design, pilot funding, academic training, data sources, grant writing guidance and beyond, there are numerous ways in which our team can be of service. We invite investigators and clinicians from rural medical practices to large academic institutions to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and learn more.
WVCTSI has continued to evolve and to grow meaningful relationships to drive real solutions for better health in West Virginia. Please join us as we continue this endeavor that is critical to a brighter and healthier future for our state.
Sally L. Hodder, MD, WVCTSI Director