Volume 10, Issue 1
*c/w c G CRC NEWS
*I R siapOf *I
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
From the Director
Research Subject Advocate
GCRC Resource Focus
GCRC Core Facilty
Bionutrition & the
Science of Clnical
FROM THE DIRECTOR
The "dog days" of summer have brought not only vacations, but some unset-
tling news about congressional budget allocations for the NIH in general and
the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) that supports GCRCs.
The GCRC Program Directors' Association will be joining other biomedical
research societies to encourage Senators to vote next month for Dianne
Feinstein's (D-CA) 1.3 billion dollar add-on amendment to bolster NIH fund-
ing, but the outlook is problematic at best. If the amendment fails to garner the
requisite 60 votes, Plan B will be to work on members of the House and Senate
subcommittees who will be responsible for hammering out the final NIH
budget this fall.
Also this fall some of the leadership of the National GCRC Program Directors'
Association will be meeting with Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH, to
exchange ideas about re-engineering clinical research in the US and the role of
GCRCs in that process. A synopsis of that meeting will be a topic for a future
This current issue represents a departure from previous newsletters. Due
mostly to the combination of old age and writer's block, I have turned over
much of the task of highlighting the Center to those who actually are responsi-
ble for its resources and success. Information is provided by Barbara Frentzen,
our Research Subject Advocate, Doug Theriaque and Jon Shuster, who oversee
the Data Services Laboratory and biostatistical activities and George
Henderson, who directs the Core Laboratory. Our new Nurse Manager, Teresa
d'Angelo, puts in an important plug for doing industry sponsored trials in the
GCRC. Also in this newsletter is a synopsis of the upcoming eighth annual
Science of Clinical Research course run by the GCRC and open on a first-
come, first-serve basis to trainees and faculty at the Health Science Center who
are interested in careers in clinical investigation. This is also the first required
course (with graduate-level credit) for fellows of the Advanced Post-Graduate
Program in Clinical Investigation (APPCI), funded by the University's K-30
Future issues of the GCRC Newsletter will highlight both additional Center re-
sources and some of our many outstanding scientific protocols, including a
biosketch and friendly gossip about the investigators. Happy reading!
Page 2 Volume 10, Issue 1
The RSA for the
RESEARCH SUBJECT ADVOCATE
BY BARBARA FRENTZEN, ARNP (FRENTZEN@GCRC.UFL.EDU)
The NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) established the
new position of Research Subject Advocate (RSA) in the GCRCs in response
to troubling deaths of volunteers enrolled in research studies at some of Amer-
ica's prestigious research universities.
The Research Subject Advocate in the GCRC is available to help investigators
and research staff increase their knowledge about regulatory responsibilities,
and implement processes that will improve the safety of research subjects.
The job of the RSA, as with any new role, is flexible and differs somewhat at
the 82 GCRCs throughout the US. One principal goal, however, is to help
educate faculty, trainees and support staff about:
Current guidelines with respect to patient safety
Good Clinical Practice (GCP)
Adverse event reporting
Data and safety monitoring
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act
Conflict of Interest
Another goal of the RSA program is to help investigators develop a prospec-
tive plan to monitor the data and safety of the subjects enrolled in their studies.
This Data and Safety Monitoring Plan is required for conducting a study on
the GCRC. The RSA is also responsible for ensuring that the monitoring plan,
approved by both the IRB and the GCRC Advisory Committee (GAC), is fully
implemented and that the protocol carried out on the GCRC complies with the
IRB- and GAC-approved protocol.
The RSA helps investigators report adverse events promptly to the appropriate
agencies. The RSA can help research subjects directly by
Determining that they understand the study in which they are partici-
Providing education about clinical research in general
Serving as an objective witness to the consent process or an evaluator
of a subject's understanding of the study purpose, procedures, right to
Serving as an advocate in case of a misunderstanding
Receiving, discussing, and resolving questions, concerns or complaints
Resolving issues related to medical bills that a subject may have re-
ceived inappropriately. (Adapted from Kraybill and Zeldin, UNC.)
(Continued on page 3)
Volume 10, Issue 1
GCRC News Page 3
RESEARCH SUBJECT ADVOCATE (CONT)
The RSA for the University of Florida GCRC is Barbara Frentzen. She is a
nurse practitioner and has worked in clinical research for 18 years. She ad-
ministered the University of Florida Institutional Review Boards (Gainesville
Health Science Center, Jacksonville Health Science Center, and campus) from
1995 to 1998 and has expertise in the protection of human subjects.
Barbara is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Her office
is located in the GCRC, Room 3202. Her telephone number is 352-265-0680,
extension 4-3715. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a
question about research in general, about an issue related to your specific
study, or about research regulation, she will be happy to discuss it with you.
You can contact her whether or not you have a study currently ongoing in the
Safety of research subjects is a concern for all of us-both research personnel
and the public. While the responsibility for the safety of subjects ultimately
belongs to the Principal Investigator (PI) of a research study, independent
monitors and Data and Safety Monitoring Boards can assist the PI.
For more information about data and safety monitoring, contact Barbara.
GCRC RESOURCE FOCUS: DATA SERVICES
LABORATORY BY DOUG THERIAQUE, M.S.
The Data Services Laboratory resides within the GCRC (3rd floor of
STH, room 3207) and is supported by a total of 3.25 FTE. The GCRC Biosta-
tistician, Dr. Jon Shuster (0.75 FTE), works in conjunction with the DSL staff
in its statistical activities and is responsible for its overall direction. He is also
responsible for the review of all protocols submitted to the GCRC Advisory
Committee and for the GCRC's statistical education programs.
(Continued on page 4)
Barbara Frentzen, ARNP
GCRC, Room 3202
Page 4 Volume 10, Issue 1
GCRC RESOURCE FOCUS: DATA SERVICES
The Informatics Core Director, Douglas Theriaque (1.0 FTE), oversees the day-to-
day activities of the DSL, including user orientation and education, system security,
installation and administration of hardware and software, and the development of
Web-based data systems. Mrs. Cindy Wang, M.S. provides programming support as
a 1.0 FTE Coordinator of Computer Applications and Mr. Saurav Chandra rounds
out our staff by providing 0.50 FTE computer support.
The DSL is the central location for planning and implementing all biostatistical and
informatics research activities on the GCRC. Our mission is to ensure the statistical
quality and data integrity of all GCRC protocols and to provide complete computing
support for all GCRC investigators and staff. These undertakings are accomplished
Review of all protocols with outside statistical support prior to submis-
sion to the GCRC Advisory Committee
Consultation during planning and all other stages of a protocol execu-
tion. Areas typically addressed include study design, power analyses, ran-
domization plans and data analyses.
Data management consultation. Software recommendations and/or de-
velopment; facilitation of data entry, access, and storage; and addressing se-
curity issues are commonly discussed.
Computing support. Principal Investigators and their staff are allowed
access to and provided support for a wide range of computing resources in-
cluding Web and Email access, productivity (MS Office), statistical and
power (SAS, Prophet, nQuery), nutritional (Nutritional Data Systems, Pro-
Nutra), and database software (MySQL).
For a complete list of DSL resources, point your browser to: http://www.gcrc.ufl.
In summary, the DSL provides a wide variety of services to support your project
from its inception through completion. Before submitting your next GCRC protocol,
be sure to meet with Jon (email@example.com) and Doug (firstname.lastname@example.org)
to review your needs and develop a well-rounded plan that will ensure the success
of your project.
DSL on the Web!
Volume 10, Issue I
GCRC News Page 5
PO Box J200212
BIOSTATISTICAL CORNER 1.0
P-VALUES BY JONATHAN J. SHUSTER, PH.D.
This is the first in a series of biostatistics articles for the GCRC Newsletter.
Since all researchers must deal with "P-values", whether
in their own research, or in reading the work of others, it
would be a good idea to start here for our first article.
The following reference will begin our discussion. This
was a double blind, placebo controlled trial.
Robbins GK, Addo MM, Troung H, Rathod A,
Habeeb K, Davis B, Heller H, Basgoz N, Walker BD,
Rosenberg ES. Augmentation of HIV-l-specific
T helper cell responses in chronic HIV-1 infection by
therapeutic immunization. AIDS. 2003 May 23;17
"The augmentation of HIV-1-specific T helper cell responses was achieved in
five out of five vaccine recipients and none out of four controls (P = 0.008,
Fisher's exact test)."
The P-value asks the question: What is the probability of seeing results as ex-
treme or more extreme than that observed, under the presumption that the popu-
lations from which the data were obtained were equivalent? (i.e. in this case,
that the vaccine was useless.)
Note that a P-value applies to one specific experimental question.
Fisher's Exact Test works as follows: Suppose we have two players and nine
cards with five labeled "Response" and four labeled "No Response". Ran-
domly assign 5 cards to player "Vaccine" and the other 4 to Player "Placebo".
[If the vaccine is truly useless, then the fate of each patient can be viewed as
predestined, with the labels (vaccine or placebo) really assigned in exactly this
fashion.] What is the probability that we observe a result at least as extreme as
the actual (i.e. Vaccine gets all five "Response" cards.) You can try this at
home repeatedly dealing from a deck of 5 Spades (Response) and 4 Hearts (No
Response). But the mathematical answer to this is 0.0079 (i.e. P=0.008).
Healthy skeptic questions: (a) Was this the primary endpoint of the study, as
documented in the protocol? After the fact, there might be dozens of ways to
compare the treatments with respect to efficacy. The investigators need to hang
their hat on a specific outcome, declared in the protocol document. [They could,
(Continued on page 6)
BIOSTATISTICAL CORNER 1.0 P-VALUES (CONT)
using Multivariate Methods, declare a specific collection of outcomes in the
protocol document. Note that if they declare multiple endpoints, there is an increased
burden of proof on each one, over the evidence required by a single endpoint. ] (b)
They actually assigned 10 patients (5 vaccine and 5 placebo). One placebo patient was
unevaluable for a lack of baseline measures, rendering response assessment impossible.
Was this the planned number, or was this a result of an interim analysis on the way to a
larger sample size? The paper does not clarify this, but the authors should have docu-
mented the study design as to actual and target patient accrual.
Red Flag #1: If we flip a balanced coin 100 times, there is a 30% chance that at some
point in the sequence the proportion of heads will differ significantly from 0.5 at P<.05.
[There would be 100 P-values obtained along the way.] This certainly raises a concern
about the lack of documentation of the planned sample size in the above abstract.
Red Flag #2: If we had four truly equivalent treatments (A,B,C,D) and we randomly
assigned 50 patients to each (as planned) and did a single analysis of study at the end,
there is a 20% chance that at least one pair would be significantly different at P<.05
(two-sided), using as a yardstick, an absolute T-value of 1.96 or higher. To ensure pro-
tection against a spurious association, it would take a T-value of 2.57 (individual P-
value of 1.0%) to declare significance. The probability that the largest (in absolute
value) of the T-values associated with the six pairwise treatment comparisons exceeds
2.57 when indeed all treatments are truly equivalent, is 5%. In actuality, six tests are
being run (#1:A vs. B,#2: A vs. C, #3: A vs. D, #4: B vs. C, #5: B vs. D, and, #6: C
Because of this increased burden, a 4-treatment study seeking the best treatment (with
80% power at a studywise P=.05) needs about 50% more patients per treatment arm
(3 times as many total patients) as a 2-treatment study.
Red Flag #3: If we are correlating one collection of variables (say 5) against another
set of variables (say 10), we would be conducting 50 correlation analyses (10 of the
second variable for each of five of the first). You would be most unlucky, if you did
not find at least one significant at the P<.05 level. This kind of exploratory analysis can
be reported, as long as we fully disclose what was analyzed. If one looks at the data,
even in an informal way, and selects out what appear to be significant associations, and
then asks the statistician to confirm these impressions, selection bias will result.
In summary, either in your own research or in evaluating the research of others, ask this
truth in advertising question: "Is the P-value telling you what it claims?"
Volume 10, Issue 1
GCRC News Page 7
GCRC CORE LABORATORIES BY GEORGE N. HENDERSON, PHD,
GCRC Core Laboratories include Sample Processing Laboratory (contact Dorothy
Macharaga, 4-4970, email@example.com), Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory
(contact Minghong Jia, Ph.D., 392-4529, firstname.lastname@example.org) and DNA Bank (contact
Tomy Mathew, 4-4970, email@example.com). The Sample Processing Lab processes,
barcodes, provides short-term storage of samples, and performs routine laboratory analy-
ses for glucose, lactate, P-HCG and urinalysis. The DNA bank is currently being set up
and will be operational in about two months. It will store serum, plasma and DNA from
patients and will become a unique repository for genetic investigations. In this Newsletter
we highlight the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory.
Biomedical Mass Spectrometry (BMS) Laboratory
Overall direction of this and other core laboratory facilities is provided by George
Henderson. Day-to-day management of the Lab is provided by Minghong Jia, an expert
biological mass spectrometrist who was recruited from Case Western Reserve University
about 18 months ago. Last December, we hired Azeem Hasan, an expert protein mass
spectrometrist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
The BMS laboratory is equipped with state-of-the art MS instruments, including
LC-MS/MS (2 instruments with electro- and nano-spray and APCI interfaces), CE-MS/
MS, GC-MS/MS (2 each), 2D-nano HPLC and 2D proteomic systems, capable of per-
forming both identification and quantification analyses involving large and small bio-
molecules. Request for additional instrumentation is pending. The major analytical ser-
vices and technical expertise that the Lab can provide include:
1. Method development and structural determination with modern mass spec-
trometry in conjunction with chromatographic and other separation technolo-
gies for analysis of xenobiotics (drugs, metabolites) and natural occurring
small molecules (neuro and other peptides, biomarkers, nucleic acids, lipids,
aminoacids and large biomolecules, such as proteins, in complex biological flu-
ids and tissues.
2. Proteomics, including 2D gel, 2D HPLC and nanospray LC/MS for probing
and mapping protein molecules, including determining sequence, posttransla-
tional modification, quantitative and functional proteomics.
3. Separation and purification of trace level target analytes, including uses of gel
chromatography and electrophoresis.
(Continued on page 8)
GCRC CORE LABORATORIES (CONT)
S4. Educational and training opportunities involving basic and applied analytical
technologies, with emphases on mass spectrometry and chromatography methodologies
i -_f i for biomedical studies.
In summary, the BMS Laboratory provides project-based biomedical mass spec-
trometry method development and analysis, and technical support for GCRC and other
Courtesy of the Rockefeller biomedical research. We would be happy to assist you in the development of your project.
Archive Center Our Laboratory has the capability to analyze virtually any molecule of biological or bio-
medical significance. The organic BMS laboratory is located in room M2-236, Medical
Sciences Building. Please contact Dr. George N. Henderson (392-6193; 392-2321,
firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Minghong Jia (392-4529, email@example.com) for MS ana-
lytical support, project development or technical consultation.
BIONUTRITION & THE GCRC BY MEENA SHANKAR MS, RD
The GCRC Bionutrition Core is staffed by a Research Dietitian and five Metabolic
Cooks trained to measure and prepare specialized diets. The Research Dietitian and
Metabolic Kitchen staff provide a number of services to investigators. The Research
Dietitian can assist in developing or reviewing nutrition protocols. This includes assess-
ment of each protocol's nutritional needs, completion of a literature review and develop-
ment of appropriate diet methodology.
The Bionutrition staff can meet protocol requirements with specialized diets, nutrient
intake data collection and anthropometrics. The Research Dietitian can develop and
implement tools for assessment of dietary intake including the use of food frequency
questionnaires, diet history forms and food records. Nutrient controlled meals can be
prepared for inpatient and outpatient research studies involving adult and pediatric
Other services include: patient assessment, education, utilization of two nutrient data
analysis software programs and reassessment to ensure compliance to research protocols.
The staff has also developed methods to maximize palatability of nutrient controlled
study formulas. Currently, several nutrition protocols are in progress or have recently
(Continued on page 9)
Volume 10, Issue I
GCRC News Page 9
BIONUTRITION & THE GCRC (CONT)
Studies in progress include an outpatient study that is evaluating the effects of a
regular diet vs. gluten free casein free diet on severity of symptoms in autistic patients.
This study has required pre-packed outpatient meals prepared by the Metabolic
Kitchen staff and extensive review of diet records.
The GCRC also has two investigators examining differences in learning impairment,
biochemical/hormonal parameters and functional MRIs in patients with early
onset morbid obesity and Prader-Willi syndrome. Other nutrition related studies
include medication studies involving patients with cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis,
congenital lactic acidosis and kinetic studies in healthy controls.
A recently completed outpatient study assessed the impact of vitamin B6 deficiency on
homocysteine metabolism. This study required five weeks of low vitamin B6 meals
for each subject.
The GCRC will soon have a metabolic cart that will be available for use in GCRC
sponsored protocols. GCRC staff members will be trained to perform indirect calo-
rimetry measurements. By utilizing the GCRC Research Dietitian and Research
Nurses, investigators will be able to study energy expenditure in nutritionally at risk
populations in an inpatient and outpatient setting.
For more information, please contact Meena Shankar MS, RD at 265-0680 ext 43713.
PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY SPONSORED TRIALS
BY TERESA D'ANGELO, RN, B S N (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Did you know that the resources of the GCRC are available to investigators
conducting Phase 1-4 clinical trials sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry? The
GCRC has 6 inpatient beds and 4 inpatient/outpatient beds along with 4 outpatient
visit rooms. Capabilities available in the GCRC include administration of investiga-
tional drugs, specimen collection and processing, pharmacokinetic sampling, monitor-
ing of vital signs and obtaining EKGs. A metabolic cart and a fully stocked procedure
room are available for use by investigators. In addition, a metabolic kitchen with a
full dietary staff, including a Registered Dietician, is on site. An Investigational Phar-
macist works with the GCRC to ensure compliance with investigational drug storage
requirements. The Research Patient Advocate and the GCRC administrative and
nursing staff are available to investigators to help navigate regulatory and administra-
tive issues. The GCRC is THE place to conduct your next pharmaceutical industry
sponsored trial! Please contact Ann Coutu at 265-8909 to discuss how the GCRC can
Parvo TrueOne 2400
Volume 10, Issue 1
GCRC SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
BY PETER STACPOOLE, PH.D., MD, DIRECTOR, GCRC
L I 1 .C' 1.i' ._'I t.l.'IC l.'". I.,lll j In T _.' lmIIC .-AI .IIU.'\\ nF ll .I.1,'111111,'1 ._1 1.'
Jennifer Rehm, Michelle McGarry, Nina Singh, Randall Martin
Not Pictured-Jewel Greywoode
Each summer several students undertake a 10-week elective rotation on the GCRC to engage in
clinical investigations with faculty mentors. Students choose from among ongoing inpatient,
outpatient and scattered protocols that provide a high level of patient and mentor contact during
the summer months. As part of their elective, students round on the GCRC inpatient service and
attend a weekly luncheon meeting interacting with GCRC investigators, review their individual
progress and present synopses of their projects. At the completion of their rotation, they submit
a written review of the scientific basis of their project and of their own contributions to it.
Jennler Kenm, ur. uesmona !cnatz, liicnene micuJarry
Margaret Francis, ARNPand Randall Martin
Dr. Terry Spencer, Jenniter Srygley, Quenton Rance
Dr. Ammon Peck and Michelle McGarry
EIGHTH ANNUAL SCIENCE OF CLINICAL RESEARCH (SCR)
COURSE (ROOM C1-3, COMMUNICORE BUILDING, 2:00- 5:00 PM)
Course Introduction Challenges and Opportunities for the
for the Physician-Scientist (Peter W. Stacpoole)
* Goals and Overview of Course Peter Stacpoole
* Integration with UF's Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical
* GCRC-based Research and Awards Mark Brantly
* GCRC Advisory Committee Larry Edwards
* Perspective of a College Dean C. Craig Tisher
* Perspective of a Junior Investigator Terry Spencer
* Description of Student Project Ron Marks
Grants and Grantsmanship, Part I Where the Money Is
and How to Keep It (Frederick Southwick)
* Structure and Function ofNIH Kirsten Madsen
* Writing a Competitive Grant Fred Southwick
* Understanding the Grant Review Process Fred Southwick
Epidemiology Methods, Part I (Nabih Asal)
* Overview of Study Designs
* Cross-sectional and Ecological Studies
* Case-control Studies
* Cohort Studies
Epidemiology Methods, Part II (Nabih Asal)
* Diagnostic Accuracy
Study Design and Analysis in Patient-oriented Research,
Part I Clinical Trials (Jon Shuster)
* Types of Trials and Protocol Development Jon Shuster
* Blinding and Placebos Jon Shuster
* Study Design Jon Shuster
* Randomization Jon Shuster
* Sample Size/Power Jon Shuster
(Continued on page 11)
Session Topic (Discussion Leader)
EIGHTH ANNUAL SCIENCE OF CLINICAL RESEARCH (SCR)
COURSE (ROOM C1-3, COMMUNICORE BUILDING, 2:00 5:00 PM) (CONT)
Topic (Discussion Leader)
6 Statistical Methods in Data Analysis in Patient-Oriented
Research (POR) (Ron Marks)
Overview of Statistical Methods -Ron Marks
Intention to Treat vs. Per Protocol -Ron Marks
Multiple Significance Testing Ron Marks
Introduction of Web-based Research Approach to Clinical Trials-Ron Marks
Meta Analysis -Ron Marks
7 Grants and Grantsmanship, Part II (Peter Stacpoole)
Alternatives to NIH Nancy Schaefer
Finding Private Funding Jennifer Binegar
Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Richard Melker
Conflicts of Interest and Ethics in Medical Research Richard Melker
8 Federal Guidelines and Scientific Integrity in POR -
Rules to Know Up Front (Peter lafrate)
IRBs and Informed Consent Peter lafrate
Data and Safety Monitoring for Clinical Trials Barbara Frentzen
"Ownership" of Human Tissues and Fluids Barbara Frentzen
HIPAA Barbara Frentzen
FDA Governance of New Product Development Susan Beltz
9 Special Topics in POR -
Biotechnology and Student POR Proposals (Peter Stacpoole)
Biotechnology William Farmerie
Pharmacogenetics Julie Johnson
Critique of Student POR Proposals Nabih Asal, Mark Brantly,
Ron Marks, and Peter Stacpoole
10 Grants and Grantsmanship Redux Student POR
Proposals (Peter Stacpoole)
Critique of Student POR Proposals Peter Stacpoole, Ron Marks,
Nabih Asal, and Mark Brantly
NOTE: For Jacksonville staff, the teleconference will be held in the Deal Board Room.
Volume 10, Issue 1