William F. McKeon is the president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center.
William F. McKeon is president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center (photo: Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle)
President’s Perspective

The TMC Clinical Research Institute Debuts in 2018

The TMC Clinical Research Institute Debuts in 2018

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William F. McKeon is the president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center.

Every aspect of the best clinical care that exists today starts with the same process: Clinical research that ensures medical advances are ethically sound, safe and effective.

More clinical research takes place at the Texas Medical Center than at any other campus in the world. We take pride in the clinical research that has been a bedrock of this medical city for 70 years, and it’s the reason we attract the world’s top scientists and clinicians. The best clinical care is found adjacent to the leading research programs, as scientists and clinicians are constantly searching for the best solutions for their patients. Often, the most advanced therapy may only be available as part of a clinical trial, so it is important to patients and their families to have access to all treatment alternatives.

But clinical research here has a big challenge: It can be exhausting, expensive work managing the bureaucracy and legalities involved. Today, if industry has a promising new medical device or therapy and wants all 10 million patients at the Texas Medical Center to have access to it, it would take upwards of two years to sign all the necessary paperwork at each of the 29 institutions here that conduct clinical research.

Our new TMC Clinical Research Institute, which debuts in 2018, will change all of that.

The institute will create a unified, streamlined interface to industry. Companies can sign one set of documents that will be supported by all of our research institutions. Once we establish our unified processes, the Texas Medical Center will immediately become the largest, most efficient multi-institutional clinical research platform in the world. The new institute will not only complement individual research programs, but will also provide researchers and patients access to multi- institution trials, further elevating all programs.

Back in 2014, when all of the CEOs and leaders of the Texas Medical Center formulated the TMC Strategic Plan, clinical research emerged as a leading opportunity. After working doggedly to refine the concept, we finally have the infrastructure to bring it to reality.

Major industry leaders are already lining up in anticipation of the TMC Clinical Research Institute launch. It’s yet another example of the way collaboration allows us to transcend our individual capabilities and advance the care of our patients.

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