Clinical Research Center Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

How can I initiate my study with the Clinical Research Center (CRC)?

To schedule your protocol discussion meeting, email Maryann Holtcamp or Charity Ball, or call (312) 996- 2937.

What documents will the CRC need from me?

The CRC team will need a copy of your most recent IRB approval letter and research protocol when available. If not yet available, a protocol summary or synopsis is helpful in our planning. If applicable, the CRC will also request laboratory instructions and case report forms specific to your project.

How do I schedule an appointment for my research participants in the CRC?

After your application to utilize CRC services is complete, CRC staff will help the investigator and his/her team members set up with our web-based scheduling system, CROSSPAD.  During the course of a study, any scheduling questions can be addressed by emailing the Clinical Research Center or calling (312) 996-2937.

How will the CRC record the data collected?

In most cases, the data collected will be recorded in an electronic REDCap database. CRC staff will work with the investigator to set up this database to fulfill all required data points. The investigator will have 24/7 access to his/her data. In some circumstances, paper source documentation will be utilized. CRC staff will again work with the investigator to set up these paper source documents in our standardized CRC format ensuring to capture all required data points.


What services does the CRC Laboratory offer?

The following services are available: sample processing, short-term storage and specimen shipping. It houses a -80°C freezer for temporary storage of biological samples drawn as part of CRC investigators' studies.

Shipping biological specimens is subject to an extensive set of rules. Will the CRC staff do the shipping? What does the investigator need to provide?

The CRC staff can ship samples for you. CRC staff has the required IATA certification to ship biological specimens. We observe the following guidelines:

  • The investigator must provide all packing material (e.g. styrofoam and cardboard boxes). You may order them from Fisher Scientific (general number: 1-800-766-7000, UIC on-campus extension 3-0324) or from your preferred supplier.
  • The investigator must also provide the CRC staff with a courier service account. This includes courier airbills (filled with the recipient address and the account number to be billed). Federal Express (1-800-GOFEDEX) is the preferred courier for biological specimens. Please contact them directly to set up an account. If the specimens to be shipped are known to present an increased risk to the carrier (i.e. blood containing HIV), we suggest you call the above numbers and talk to the hazardous material manager to assess your particular needs.
  • The CRC lab provides wet and/or dry ice for shipping of samples that are temperature-sensitive.
  • The CRC lab will pack the specimens in the provided material, arrange for pick up by the courier service, and -upon request- track the package delivery.


What types of services can pharmacy provide for my study?

The Investigational Drug Service offers a range of research activities to help ensure the delivery of high quality healthcare, while minimizing the risks associated with participation in a research study. Examples of services include ensuring drug storage is appropriate, dispensing of appropriate protocol-specified doses, randomization of research subjects, study medication counseling, and maintaining accurate drug accountability logs.

Will the pharmacy provide the medications needed for my study?

Pharmacy can obtain and provide the medications needed for studies, however, the investigator is responsible for all costs of these medications, as well as any preparation costs (i.e. labels, IV bags, and syringes).

Can I dispense medications to the patient or is this the responsibility of the pharmacist?

For research subject visits with CRC involvement, it is a requirement that the investigational pharmacy handles and dispenses all drugs, herbal supplements, and controlled substances. Arrangements can be made for the investigational pharmacy to dispense medications on an outpatient basis.