UC BRAID: Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Posted by Rachael Sak, Director, UCBRAID. UC BRAID is a joint effort of the five UC Health campuses that integrates resources and talent across the University of California to accelerate research that improves health. It strives to create an environment that reduces barriers, and leverages and combines resources.

UC BRAID started in 2010 as a grassroots organization and has built a network of campus leaders, faculty, administrators, and UC Office of the President partners that is a powerful driver to advance research infrastructure. In practice, it’s pretty impressive and inspiring to see such smart, dynamic, and busy individuals get out of their siloes and work collaboratively toward solving difficult problems.

Our network identifies and tackles problems innovatively to combine previously siloed information, expertise, and resources. One example of this is UC TrialQuest, the first UC wide clinical trials search tool. It allows groups involved in the research process to search clinical trials across the five UC Health campuses in real time using a simple web-based search. We built UC TrialQuest in conjunction with UC San Francisco’s CTSI Virtual Home team, the UC Institutional Review Board (IRB) Directors, and the UC Office of the President. Benefits include:

  • IRB staff can find trials to be opened at multiple sites using a single IRB review, reducing redundant effort between the campuses and accelerating trial activation.
  • Contract negotiators can identify common studies or sponsors, then share the clinical trial agreement (CTA) terms, budgets, and contractual language.
  • Researchers can discover collaboration opportunities or multicenter clinical trials in which to participate, and/or rely upon existing IRB approvals.

Another and much larger example of combining siloed information was the launch of the UC ReX Data Explorer developed by the UC Research eXchange (UC ReX) program. Submitted for a Larry L. Sautter Award for Innovation in Information Technology, Data Explorer is a secure, web-based system that enables UC investigators to search across 13.9 million patient records to identify potential cohorts at the five UC biomedical centers. The UC ReX team’s combined expertise and shared governance is an example of systemwide collaboration that has laid the foundation for a larger big data initiative across UC Health.

What’s next for UC BRAID? We like to envision a well-integrated UC clinical and translational research system. We see value in creating a package of streamlined services that enables investigators to answer really important questions about health, brings sponsor partnerships to UC, and provides novel therapies to our patients. Contact us or learn more at the UC BRAID website.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.