FROM THE EXECUTIVE VICE CHANCELLOR
KUMC's New Clinical Research Building Opens in Fairway, Kan.
On January 31, KUMC researchers joined leaders from the university, Johnson County and the state to celebrate the grand opening of the new University of Kansas Clinical Research Center (CRC) in Fairway, Kan. It was a time to not only mark the opening of a unique state-of-the-art clinical research facility, but also to thank those who played a major role in passing the Johnson County Education Research Triangle (JCERT) tax.
The Clinical Research Center is the northern point of the JCERT initiative, funded by a one-eighth-cent sales tax approved by county voters in 2008. It is located in a renovated building that was part of an $18 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation to The University of Kansas Cancer Center.
One floor of the new center is dedicated to early phase clinical trials of cancer drugs – the trial phase where potential drugs are first tested in humans. By participating in these trials, cancer patients will have access to promising new therapies.
Later-phase clinical trials for a range of promising new treatments will be offered through Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, our multi-institutional effort that is part of the national Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) network to speed laboratory discoveries into treatments and cures. The CRC is also the home of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center, which earned designation in 2011 as one of 29 national Alzheimer’s Disease Centers.
The building will also be the new headquarters for the Midwest Cancer Alliance, our network of 15 hospitals and universities that brings clinical trials, screening tools and educational opportunities to the region.
At the ceremony, we heard from many of the key players in Johnson County about what it meant to them to finally see the CRC become a reality. There is not a research facility like this one in the entire country – because it is funded by the generosity of voters who approved a tax that will lead to new cures for a number of diseases, will create new jobs and will enhance the quality of life for citizens.
At the event, we viewed a new video that traces the history of the JCERT initiative and its importance to the region. I encourage you to take a few moments to watch it.
A special thanks to Raymond Perez, MD, the CRC's new medical director, and Maxine Stoltz, the CRC's senior executive director, for getting the center off to a great start.
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