July 23, 2020

Rice named to new leadership role for VICTR operations

Todd Rice, MD, MSc, has been appointed vice president for Clinical Trial Innovation and Operations in the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR).


by Bill Snyder

Todd Rice, MD, MSc, has been appointed vice president for Clinical Trial Innovation and Operations in the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR).

Todd Rice, MD, MSc

In this new role, Rice will oversee the Vanderbilt Coordinating Center (VCC), which provides comprehensive, central support for a diverse platform of clinical and translational research projects, including multi-site clinical trials.

Staffed by 40 full-time employees, the VCC currently supports about 70 active projects. In the past year, the center screened about 4,500 potential research subjects and enrolled about 2,000 patients into various studies.

Rice is associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He directs the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and the Medical ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Program, and leads VUMC’s MICU strategy for the care of COVID-19 patients.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Rice is taking on this new role,” said Gordon Bernard, MD, VICTR director and Executive Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research at VUMC. “Dr. Rice brings a wealth of clinical trial experience to VICTR, and specifically to the VCC to support its growing operations.

“Our researchers are at the forefront of discovering innovative solutions to some of the most challenging questions facing health care today, with the support of leadership, like that of Dr. Rice, who intimately understands the challenges researchers face and is committed to identifying solutions to make clinical trial conduct more approachable to all investigators,” Bernard added.

“Bringing resource accessibility to all investigators — to conduct rigorously designed and high-quality clinical trials efficiently — is my overarching goal in this new role,” Rice said.

As a physician-scientist, Rice cares for critically ill patients and also conducts clinical research in the ICU, specifically in patients with sepsis, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and acute respiratory failure.

He is a founding member of the Pragmatic Critical Care Trials Research Group and since 2011 has conducted large, pragmatic comparative effectiveness trials in critically ill patients. Currently he is co-director of the Learning Healthcare System Platform within VUMC’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).

Rice also serves as the critical care principal investigator for the Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung injury (PETAL) clinical center at VUMC, which is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

As part of the PETAL Clinical Trials Network, VUMC recently participated in the ORCHID (Outcomes Related to COVID-19 Treated with Hydroxychloroquine among In-patients with Symptomatic Disease) trial, which stopped enrolling patients last month after preliminary results suggested hydroxychloroquine was neither beneficial nor harmful for patients with COVID-19.

In addition to leading the VCC, Rice will provide Science Core leadership in VICTR’s new Administrative Coordinating Center funded by the NHLBI to support the organization of clinical trials and help streamline the national research response to life-threatening lung and heart problems caused by COVID-19.

He also will continue to serve as medical director of VUMC’s Human Research Protections Program.