Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD, to lead Madison VA’s participation in national clinical research network

Nasia Safdar

Thanks to leadership from Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD, professor, Infectious Disease, and colleagues, the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital will join a national network of VA medical centers dedicated to strengthening clinical research at those centers.

The Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES) currently consists of 10 VA medical centers with teams that have the knowledge and experience to efficiently conduct large multicenter clinical trials and epidemiological studies in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

NODES centers are selected through competitive scientific review. They share best practices on study management, performance and compliance with each other and with VA central administration—and create a stronger local community of clinical research.

Dr. Safdar, who is also the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health associate dean for clinical trials and the research director of the Wisconsin Medicine Institute for Clinical Trials, led the application for NODES site approval. She will serve as the Madison VA site director, and Timothy Juergens, MD, assistant clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry, will serve as co-director.

Timothy Juergens, MD

Left: Dr. Juergens will serve as co-director of the Madison VA NODES site along with Dr. Safdar.

Alan Bridges, MD, professor, Rheumatology, senior vice chair in the Department of Medicine, and chief of staff at the Madison VA Hospital, was instrumental in the effort, as was UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert N. Golden, MD.

The cooperative studies program that runs the NODES program is one of the largest and established trial networks in the country. Participation in the NODES program means greater opportunity to participate in VA clinical trials, mentoring in clinical trials, and startup funding to build research infrastructure.

“We were able to become a NODES site because of engaged senior leaders at the highest level at the VA and SMPH, resourceful and enthusiastic PIs, the VA’s close partnership with the SMPH and dedicated support staff,” Dr. Safdar said.

“Being a NODES site—and receiving the start-up funds it comes with—will catalyze our clinical trial efforts at the VA and synergize really well with activities in the Department of Medicine and the SMPH.”

Banner: Dr. Safdar will lead the Madison VA’s participation in a consortium of VA medical centers dedicated to enhancing clinical research. Credit: Clint Thayer/Department of Medicine.