CRSO Works to Make Investigators’ Lives Easier


In a move designed to facilitate investigations across the organization, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute recently created a new office that consolidates clinical trial support, IND/IDE assistance, and general research support in one office. CHOP Research’s Clinical Research Support Office (CRSO) provides leadership, guidance, and support services to researchers conducting both investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored research projects.

Leading the CRSO is Mathew Hodgson, who joined Children’s Hospital in February. Before he came to CHOP, Hodgson most recently directed the Dartmouth Clinical Trials Office at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and has more than a decade of healthcare experience. Prior to working at Dartmouth, Hodgson held a number of clinical research leadership roles at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The position at CHOP attracted Hodgson because “it had some of the pieces I already have in my bucket — like contracting, IND/IDE support — but also the opportunity for clinical engagement,” as well as “the reputation of CHOP and its pediatric mission,” he said.

Currently, the CRSO is comprised of approximately 40 clinical research professionals, including research coordinators, nurses, project managers, regulatory associates, marketing and recruitment specialists, and administrative support professionals. The CRSO’s services include clinical research support, an IND/IDE and support function, recruitment support, and research navigation assistance. The CRSO is also working to add a clinical trial contract office, Hodgson said. Alongside Hodgson, longtime CHOP and Penn clinical research expert Jennifer Goldfarb acts as the associate director of the CRSO.

The CRSO supports a wide array of clinical research projects. In fiscal 2013, for example, the offices that are now under the CRSO umbrella coordinated 534 study visits, and supported 39 investigators and studies across 16 departments and divisions, or 6 percent of active clinical research projects at CHOP.

The CRSO supports “all aspects of clinical research,” and not just clinical trials, Hodgson pointed out. “We support non-industry studies as well as industry-funded studies and clinical research projects,” he said. And in cases when the CRSO may not have a resource in-house — such as highly specialized study-design personnel — they can either recruit to fill that role or partner with other departments, Hodgson said.

Another feature the CRSO is in the process of implementing is its “research navigator” service. Rather than being associated with one person, the navigator is an email and phone service the CRSO will use to route inquiries “to the right office,” Hodgson said.

“I think this is central to what the mission is of the CRSO: the CRSO is the place to come when you need a service to support clinical research, and then we will either support it or direct you to the appropriate people,” Hodgson said.

To learn more about the CRSO, see the Office’s website.

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