Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute: Leading a collaborative effort to facilitate COVID-19 research and education for researchers and community stakeholders
The COVID-19 pandemic, while a significant disruptive event for research, resulted in a novel focus area for clinical and translational (C/T) researchers. Miami CTSI rapidly responded to this critical need by leading a collaborative effort to facilitate COVID-19 research and education initiatives for researchers and community stakeholders, while implementing innovative solutions to continue other research activities. Anticipating the influx of proposals and clinical studies related to coronavirus and COVID-19 research, Miami CTSI developed key infrastructure projects that enabled clinical research to be conducted remotely, ensured rapid feasibility assessment and activation of research studies, and leveraged the use of Electronic Health Records to facilitate real-time tracking, study feasibility assessment, and recruitment of patients into COVID-19 research studies. Early in the pandemic, three COVID-19 research proposals were funded through CTSI’s Emerging Diseases funding mechanism. CTSI also launched a new online educational seminar series to disseminate scientific information on coronavirus and COVID-19 research being conducted by University of Miami (UM) researchers to the broader university community and created a dedicated page on its website showcasing a roundup of all COVID-19 related research at UM. Finally, supporting UM as the lead awardee institution in Florida for the NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities Program, CTSI is providing key expertise in educating minority populations on COVID-19 to address misinformation and mistrust, and facilitating the inclusion of diverse racial and ethnic populations into clinical trials. All of the above initiatives are aligned with the Miami CTSI’s strategic focus areas of supporting C/T research infrastructure, education and training, and culturalized community engagement.