Clinical Translational Core
The Clinical Translational Core provides critical resources for advancing IDD research from basic discovery to clinical trials of new treatments. The CTC will provide the following services to KIDDRC scientists and projects:
Participant identification and recruitment
A primary objective of the CTC is to provide high-quality, cost-effective support to KIDDRC researchers in the recruitment of well-characterized participants with IDD and appropriate comparison samples. To support recruitment, the CTC provides KIDDRC investigators with direct access to repositories and search mechanisms of potential research participants, and also provides ongoing support with advanced tools for recruiting and retaining individuals with IDD for their studies, including support in working with local schools and community providers. The CTC emphasizes pediatric samples but also provides capacity to recruit adults with IDD; for example, we are integrating our repositories with existing KU/KUMC resources related to research on aging populations.
Biobehavioral outcome assessment consultation
To increase the rigor, reproducibility and translational potential of KIDDRC projects, the CTC provides expert guidance on state-of-the-art measurement strategies for quantifying clinical, behavioral, and brain markers in individuals with IDD. This service is motivated by the challenge of identifying objective, quantitative outcome assessments useful for clinical trial testing and scaling, replicating clinical results that often have relied on subjective measurement approaches, and back-translating clinical findings to preclinical studies aimed at drug discovery or understanding of basic mechanisms. To address these needs, we provide expertise in clinical and behavioral assessment and neuroimaging strategies for biomarker development and testing in IDD, and, in collaboration with our RDAC, we will advance more rigorous approaches for quantifying and analyzing key outcomes in IDD studies.
Objective research diagnostic and assessment support
Multiple KIDDRC projects focus on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The CTC will provide direct support for ASD diagnosis and characterization including a team member who will work with investigators to conduct and interpret diagnostic assessments while also consulting on developmental evaluation approaches for studies of ASD or other IDDs, including guidance on best practice behavioral and cognitive assessment strategies for individual protocols. This resource also serves the critical purpose of assisting investigators in making objective determinations of inclusion/exclusion criteria for their ASD and IDD studies that may otherwise be confounded by measurement limitations or other biases.
Support of translational capacity
Fostering translational research and accelerating the advancement of basic science to new therapies are key goals of the KIDDRC. To support these goals, the CTC, RDAC, and PMC have collaboratively developed the strategies to facilitate cross-talk between preclinical and clinical scientists, provide new and unique opportunities to translate preclinical findings of rare IDDs to clinical populations, increase engagement of both preclinical and clinical scientists with community stakeholders, and guide collaborative, cross-species, rigorous research across our Center.