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Pediatric clinical trials: expanding the possibility for breakthroughs


Performing clinical research is a vital part of the practice of many physicians at Floating Hospital for Children. But finding time to keep up with the administrative work required by study sponsors isn’t easy for clinicians with busy patient panels. Over the past year, Floating Hospital has been able to expand the number of clinical trials available to patients by making trial participation easier on physicians.

Thanks to these changes, the number of trials open for enrollment at Floating Hospital is expanding. Pediatricians should call the Pediatric Clinical Trials [LINK to pediatric clinical trials office page] office at 617-636-0240 or email if they have a patient who they feel would benefit for enrollment in a trial to see if trials are available for a particular child.

“We started a support structure for infectious disease that worked so well we expanded it to the rest of our pediatric clinical trials, and the result is that more clinicians are able to offer more trials to their patients,” explains Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases H. Cody Meissner, MD.

Doing the administrative work, so doctors can do the research

Clinical Research Associate Karen Murray has played a key role in expanding Floating Hospital’s clinical trials portfolio.  Murray manages the pediatric clinical research staff of five full-time employees who are supported by the industry- and government-backed clinical trials that enroll pediatric patients.

“Our administrative work started with one trial, and now we are up to 30 active at one time,” Murray says, “We want to make it user-friendly to potential investigators and facilitate physicians doing the research that they really want to do.”

Murray and her team can look at a trial request from a sponsor or respond to a potential Tufts MC investigator and help determine whether the trial is a good fit for Floating Hospital’s patient population. Murray’s team also handles facility tours required by sponsors, completes regulatory documents, collects research data and submits it to sponsors, and assists in the recruitment of potential research subjects by talking to parents about the study.  They also shepherd the trials through the Institutional Review Board process.  The IRB reviews every clinical research study to ensure the study is safe, ethical and that the rights and well-being of participants in the study are protected in accordance with federal and study sponsor regulations.

“Research is much more successful with strong support,” she says. “Often we are the only pediatric hospital in New England that offers a particular study. Kids can get cutting-edge care here.”

To learn more about pediatric clinical trials at Floating Hospital for Children, call 617-636-0240 or email