Eulogy for the clinical research center

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Abstract

The extramural General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) program has been funded for more than 50 years, first by the National Center for Research Resources, NIH, and more recently as part of the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) program through the newly formed National Center for Advancing Translation Sciences (NCATS). The GCRCs represent the federally funded laboratories that employ a highly trained cadre of research nurses, dietitians, and other support staff and in which generations of clinical investigators trained and performed groundbreaking human studies that advanced medical science and improved clinical care. Without the opportunity for adequate discussion, NCATS has now stopped funding these Research Centers. In this “eulogy,” we review the origins and history of the GCRCs, their contributions to the advancement of medicine, and the recent events that have essentially defunded them. We mourn their loss.

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