MU Celebrates Opening of New Clinical Research Center

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri celebrated the opening of its new Clinical Research Center at University Hospital Thursday.

The new research center includes an advanced inpatient phase 1 clinical trials unit, five inpatient beds, three outpatient examination rooms, a metabolic kitchen for nutrition studies, an exercise facility and a variety of information technology resources.

MU Director of Clinical Research Bill Steinmann told KOMU 8 News this new center is just what the hospital needed to improve communication between researchers and patients.

"We realized we didn't have a place where our physicians at the hospital could see patients in a research setting, and didn't have a place for our patient scientists to come together," Steinmann said.

Steinmann also said he sees this center as a way to show off the latest and greatest technology MU has developed and put into place.

"It allows us to do research at the phase 1, early-on investigational level, but also research when products are ready to go to the public. We haven't had that in a center before," Steinmann said.

The center is designed to help scientists across MU advance drug and device development by supporting each phase of clinical trials processes, which help to answer questions about the safety and effectiveness of medical treatments.

Hospital officials also said this center can benefit nutrition students studying diets using the kitchen, or exercise and physiology majors can utilize the exercise facility to study personal fitness.

The opening of the research center is said to be one stage of an approximately $5 million dollar renovation project. The project will also include renovation of a genomics processing facility and other support facilities for clinical research in the near future.