Self named VP for Clinical Research Networks and StrategyOct. 29, 2020, 8:56 AM
by Jill Scott
Wesley Self, MD, MPH, has been appointed Vice President for Clinical Research Networks and Strategy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The new title recognizes the increasing leadership roles Self is playing in several important institutional initiatives, including the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and the Trial Innovation Center (TIC). He is also principal investigator of the IVY Network funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study viral respiratory infections in critical illness, co-principal Investigator for the PassItOn trial of convalescent plasma funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and a leader in the Administrative Coordinating Center for COVID-19 trials funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Self’s involvement in determining how to provide services and study design advice to investigators across the country for the efficient conduct of National Institutes of Health (NIH) multi-site trials will benefit VUMC’s Trial Innovational Network (TIN), one of only three in the United States (partnered with Duke University) along with its key component, the Recruitment Innovation Network (RIC) at VUMC, the only RIC in the country.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Self is taking on this new role,” said Gordon Bernard, MD, Executive Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research at VUMC and director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR). “He has a wealth of experience in multi-site clinical trials networks and surveillance studies, as well as conducting large, pragmatic comparative effectiveness trials.
“His training and experience as a physician scientist, focusing on improving the treatment of patients with infectious diseases and critical illness in the emergency department, while also maintaining a robust emergency department-based clinical research program, will serve him well in the role of VP for Clinical Research Networks and Strategy,” Bernard said.
“I am incredibly excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to working with researchers at Vanderbilt and across the world on advancing research methodologies and conducting rigorous trials,” Self said. “Vanderbilt is an amazing place for developing and implementing innovative research and I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
Currently, Self, alongside Todd Rice, MD, MSc, is co-leading the nationwide convalescent plasma study as a treatment for COVID-19. The study, called Passive Immunity Trial for Our Nation (PassItOn), is funded by a $34 million award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the NIH, and was launched thanks to support from the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund.
The study, which will recruit 1,000 participants in approximately 51 sites across the country, will test whether infusions of plasma donated from people who have recovered from COVID-19 can help others with acute COVID-19 recover.
This “convalescent plasma” contains antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Self is also vice chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VUMC. His research involves disease entities such as pneumonia, sepsis, influenza, and COVID-19.