BU CTSI Research Navigator Team (RNT)
Members of the BU CTSI Research Navigator Team (RNT) can provide guidance, linkages, resources, and concierge services to all investigators and their research teams for every stage of their translational research from planning to dissemination of findings. The RNT also helps to educate research teams about the many CTSI resources which include tools and services for clinical investigators to maximize the impact of discoveries and speed the translation of research into improved patient care and population health. Departments, sections and research forums can request a presentation from the RNT to provide an overview of the many CTSI services.
The RNT works collaboratively across all CTSI Programs and BU/BMC regulatory and compliance offices, such as the OHRA, CRRO, CTO, and IRB, to ensure that tailored consultations for translational researchers and their teams are provided from professional development opportunities to research planning; assistance with recruitment; study implementation and dissemination of results. Examples of services provided by the BU CTSI’s RNT include:
General Clinical Research Unit (GCRU) provides assistance with protocol implementation and as part of the RNT, the GCRU provides experienced research staff (RNs, research assistants, phlebotomists) to conduct research activities in clinical settings within and outside of GCRU
- Assistance with IRB applications and submissions
- Biostatistics and data management & study design
- Recruitment retention assistance to include consultation to optimize recruitment plans, staff training to enhance recruitment success and assist with identifying potential eligible study participants. Provide expertise in studying special populations
- Identification of experienced research staff to facilitate rapid study start-up, drawing on GCRU staff, the RNT and the Research Job Connection
- Guidance with mandatory regulatory requirements for clinical studies such as:
- gov registration, updating and results reporting; compliance with Common Rule requirements and obtaining the required MDPH MCSR research license for all drug studies
- Data Safety Monitoring
- FDA Interactions and submissions
- Research Laboratory testing
- Advocate for researchers and study coordinators
- Identify resources for the timely and successful completion of research projects
- Refer investigators to appropriate clinical research services/cores and tools
- Promote institutional polices and best practices
As the RNT works with researchers and their teams, additional CTSI resources will be created including FAQs, short videos, and new collaborative opportunities within the BU CTSI and also with other CTSI hubs in the Boston area and throughout the nation.
Meet the BU CTSI Research Navigator Team (RNT)
The RNT is led by Karla Damus, PhD, MSPH, MN, BSN, RN, FAAN, an experienced clinical research professional who provides direction and mentorship to the Research Navigator Team. The team specializes in the needs of Investigators and their teams conducting translational research at BU/BMC and who use the services of the General and Clinical Research Unit (GCRU).
Leadership and Administration
Karla Damus, PhD, MSPH, MN, BSN, RN, FAAN
Senior Research Navigator (SRN):
The first point of contact who will respond to your queries about BU CTSI services, resources or consultations is the SRN. The SRN functions as a comprehensive source of regulatory, administrative and project management information and assistance. She identifies resources for the successful completion of research projects, refers investigators to appropriate clinical research services/cores, and aims to develop collaborative relationships. In addition, the SRN advocates for researchers and study coordinators, provides guidance to investigators throughout a protocol life cycle and assists them in navigating complex administrative regulatory requirements. Brief Bio for Karla Damus.
Ridiane Denis, BS, RN, MD
Director of Clinical Research and Operations, General Clinical Research Unit (GCRU)
Works collaboratively with the RNT and offers guidance regarding services provided by the GCRU and the CTSI Research Job Connection (RJC). In her role as the Director of Clinical Research and Operations, Ridiane will work closely with the SRN to review requests received from Investigators and study teams interested in using the GCRU. She along with the SRN will determine when a request will need to be referred to regulatory or compliance office; or another CTSI program, such as Community Engagement, Recruitment or Special Populations. She will make suggestions for matching research staff to study teams through the RJC and will provide guidance during the hiring process. The SRN will help to assess the specific needs and the viability of the “match” and make suggestions for training and required certifications. Brief Bio For Ridiane Denis.
Alex Fischbach, BA, BS
Research Navigator (RN)
As Research Navigator (RN), Alex provides clinical research support for BU’s Department of Medicine (DOM) and the CTSI. Recently, she assumed the roles of Lead Study Coordinator and Operations Study Coordinator working with study teams at BUSM and BMC COVID-19 specific projects. Alex assists in connecting with experts and understanding processes and best practices for conducting research at BMC/BU. She provides operational support to these studies to include, EPIC screening; data entry; and assists in the development of SOP’s, INSPIR submissions and all other aspects of clinical studies. The RN is deployed to work with clinical studies based on request and the needs of the BU/BMC research community.
Research Navigator Assistant (RNA)
The RNA reviews requests received through CTSI Services from BU/BMC for Regulatory, Study Design & Feasibility, and Statistical consults, and inquiries about Pilot awards and the availability of other funding. Working closely with and guided by the Sr. Research Navigator to prioritize requests, the RNA will appropriately channel and monitor requests to ensure timely responses.
Request a CTSI Service or Information
The RNT is looking forward to hearing from you. To receive a CTSI service or consult or to just ask a question, please click on the Contact the CTSI box below. Within 2 business days the RNT will review the request and get back to you.
Contact the CTSI
Click below to request CTSI Services in support of your research or career development, and/or to ask your question.