UC BRAID Weaves Network of Successful Strategies with Goal of Improving Health

October 5, 2017

To coincide with its annual retreat this month, the University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration and Development (UC BRAID) reported its accomplishments over the past year. A consortium of five UC medical campuses with Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), UC BRAID streamlines administrative processes to accelerate research to improve health.

“UC BRAID continues to build on our successful collaboration, which is critical to creating networks and developing resources for enhancing clinical and translational research,” said Gary S. Firestein, MD, UC BRAID leader and director of UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI).

2016-17 accomplishments include:

  • A partnership with Stanford University, which will contribute to efforts to build tools to help researchers recruit study participants, improve interactions with the health care industry and speed regulatory approvals.
  • Three administrative supplements, awarded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to:
    • Leslie Yuan of UCSF for a UC-wide clinical trial finder and a UC-wide PI finder at the five UC campuses.
    • Dr. Arash Naeim of UCLA to validate and pilot a three-tiered consenting process, allowing for a universal approach across the UC campuses for biobanking of remnant tissue.
    • Dr. Douglas Bell of UCLA to assess the tradeoffs in effort, data completeness and accuracy when data for translational research is obtained from a multi-institutional warehouse as compared with obtaining data from each institution individually.
  • A $2.2 million award from the UC system to BRAID’s Drug, Device, Discovery and Development workgroup to aid researchers with promising ideas to advance drug discovery or development.
  • A participant recruitment workgroup made up of representatives from the five UC CTSA hubs, plus UC Riverside and Stanford, to collaborate on the development of tools, services, and strategies for increasing clinical trial participation.
  • The University of California Center for Accelerated Innovation, which advances early-stage treatments for patients through funding, training and mentorship, brought its total of funded drug, device or diagnostic projects to 24.

In addition, all UC BRAID institutions – UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco – joined SMART IRB, an NCATS-supported initiative to harmonize and streamline the IRB review process for multisite studies. Nate Buscher and Rachael Sak, BRAID program manager and director, respectively, are among 18 ambassadors nationally who are available to assist institutions in joining and implementing SMART IRB.

UC BRAID also published research that assessed the performance of master contracts and the performance drivers of institutional review boards (IRBs).

“As these accomplishments demonstrate, UC BRAID, through productive multi-campus collaborations, is advancing clinical and translational science throughout California, to the ultimate benefit of our patients,” said Steven Dubinett, MD, chair of UC BRAID and director of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute.