UI Health Care hosts national neurology clinical trial training program

From Aug. 7 to 11, University of Iowa is hosting the NINDS Clinical Trials Methodology Course (CTMC). Now in its fourth year, the CTMC is a national program that trains junior neurology faculty and fellows from academic medical centers to develop scientifically rigorous yet practical clinical trial protocols.

The program is funded by NINDS—the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke—and is organized by the University of Michigan, University of Iowa, and Los Angeles BioMed.

Each year, between 35 and 40 participants from across the country are selected through a competitive application process. As part of their application, participants submit an idea for a clinical trial protocol. During the course, which includes a series of webinars and the one-week residential course, the students receive didactic training, mentorship advice, and advice on various aspects of their protocol. The goal of the CTMC is for each participant to have a fully developed protocol, at the conclusion of the study, that is ready to submit to an IRB and/or a funding agency.

The course is taught by expert faculty who are considered leaders in the fields of neurological clinical trials, including specialists from the UI College of Public Health and UI Health Care. This year, studies are being developed for conditions including ALS, stroke, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome, dementia, muscle disease, and migraine.

“This is a world-class course that trains the next generation of neurological clinical trialists,” says Laurie Gutmann, MD, UI professor of neurology, who is one of four co-principal investigators of the CTMC.

Chris Coffey, PhD, UI professor of biostatistics, William Meurer, MD, MS, at the University of Michigan, and Roger Lewis, MD, PhD, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, also are co-principal investigators of the CTMC.

“We are very proud of our leadership role in this prestigious program, which reflects our expertise and growing prominence in this field,” Coffey adds.