Public Release: 

Tufts wins award to participate in new national emergency medicine clinical trials network

NIH-sponsored SIREN Network will conduct large-scale clinical trials to test new treatments in cardiology and neurology

Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC) joins an elite group of institutions selected to lead national clinical trials in the Strategies to Innovate EmeRgENcy Care Clinical Trials Network (SIREN) Network, a new initiative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance critical emergency medicine research. The SIREN Network is five-year NIH cooperative award that brings together 15 'Hub' institutions and their local 'spoke' sites to provide a national infrastructure for conducting large multi-site clinical trials.

The Tufts SIREN hub, led by Principal Investigator (PI) Harry Selker, MD, MSPH, Executive Director of the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts MC, Dean of Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and co-PI of the Johns Hopkins-Tufts Trial Innovation Center, joined with five other leading centers in emergency medicine research: Emory University (PI David Wright, MD), Brown University (PI Lisa Merck, MD, MPH), University of Arizona (PI Charles B. Cairns, MD), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (PI Elizabeth Jones, MD), and Orlando Regional Medical Center (PI Linda Papa, MD) to create the "superhub" CORE-EM (COalition for REsearch in Emergency Medicine) Hub Alliance, which covers a large swath of the east and southeast United States.

"SIREN is a national network of leading emergency medicine researchers that presents a unique resource for studying interventions in the often chaotic emergency environment. For many emergency interventions, treatment within the first few minutes is crucial, which is a challenge for rigorous research. Conducting trials in the emergency medicine setting, with expert clinical teams, is key to having real impact on emergency care" said Dr. Selker.

Investigators across Tufts are involved in the SIREN Hub. Tufts MC, together with partners from the Tufts CTSI Clinical Research Network (Maine Medical Center, Central Maine Medical Center, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Baystate Medical Center, and Lahey Hospital and Medical Center), form the Tufts SIREN Hub and Spokes and will act as a coordinated network to develop and execute emergency medicine trials. The Tufts CTSI Clinical Research Network encompasses an urban quaternary care academic health center and large community-based hospitals in urban, suburban and rural areas, a mix that reflects much of the range of the 5,000-plus hospitals in the US, allowing for greater generalizability of research findings to clinical practice.

Experts collaborating with Dr. Selker include:

  • Michael R. Baumann, MD, Co-PI for the Hub and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, and Professor of Emergency Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.
  • Brien Barnewolt, MD, Chairman and Emergency Physician-in-Chief of the Emergency Medicine Department at Tufts MC
  • Walter Chwals, MD, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts MC, and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics
  • Jonathan Davis, MD, Vice-Chair of Pediatrics for Research and Chief of the Division of Newborn Medicine at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts MC
  • Sophia Dyer, MD, Medical Director for Boston EMS
  • Carl B. Heilman, MD, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Tufts MC and Professor of Neurosurgery at Tufts University
  • Nicholas S. Hill, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Pulmonary and Critical Care and Sleep Division at Tufts MC
  • Daniel Levine, MD, cardiologist at Tufts MC
  • Ronald D. Perrone, MD, Scientific Director of the Tufts CTSI Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC), Associate Chief of the Tufts Division of Nephrology, and Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation at Tufts MC
  • Reuven Rabinovici, MD, Chief of the Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
  • John Adam Reich, MD, Vice Chair for Critical Care and Director of the Cardiothoracic Unit
  • Lauren Rice, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Tufts University
  • Deeb N. Salem, MD, Physician-in-Chief at Tufts MC, and the Sheldon M. Wolff Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Roman Schumann, MD, Vice-Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Vice-Chair of Tufts University Health Sciences Institutional Review Board
  • David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, Neurologist-in-Chief at Tufts MC and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Tufts University School of Medicine
  • James E. Udelson, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Tufts MC

The Tufts SIREN Investigators will begin running emergency medicine trials in 2017, with the first trial, BOOST-3 (Brain Oxygen Optimization in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Phase 3) beginning this fall.

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About Tufts Medical Center

Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. Floating Hospital for Children is the full-service children's hospital of Tufts Medical Center and the principal pediatric teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is affiliated with the New England Quality Care Alliance, a network of nearly 1,800 physicians throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

About the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies (ICRHPS)

The ICRHPS at Tufts Medical Center encompasses programs in clinical and health policy research, and provides a research culture and environment that facilitates cross-disciplinary studies. Its work spans the study of clinical features of disease; specific treatments and their optimal use; measurement of clinical, functional, and social outcomes of health care interventions; optimal use of clinical data and other evidence; comparative effectiveness; and the influence of socioeconomic, organizational, and policy factors on health and health care. The ICRHPS Center for Cardiovascular Health Services Research (CCHSR) has a 30 year history of running large, multi-center emergency cardiology, effectiveness trials that have demonstrated improved outcomes for patients with acute coronary syndromes and acute myocardial infarction. CCHSR's research focus is on the development of treatment strategies, clinical predictive instruments, methods, and systems aimed at improving medical care, especially emergency and cardiac care.

About Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

Tufts CTSI, a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported partnership among all the schools of Tufts University; Northeastern University, Brandeis University, RAND; Tufts CTSI-affiliated hospitals, and health care industry and community organizations, was established in August 2008. Its purpose is to accelerate the translation of laboratory and medical research into clinical use, widespread medical practice, and into improved health care delivery and health policy. It connects people to research resources, consultation, and education, and fosters collaboration with scholars of all disciplines and with community members, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of the public. Tufts CTSI is currently funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, award number UL1TR001064.

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