COVID-19 impacts on CTSI operations

Published by CTSI on March 18, 2020

Updated March 27, 2020

CTSI continues to serve the research community, but has temporarily transitioned to virtual research support. We are doing this to adhere to University of Minnesota guidance surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

CTSI services and resources continue to be available, and you can still reach us via phone (612-625-2874) or email at ctsi@umn.edu. CTSI employees are working remotely. 

However, we have made some changes to how we operate. The environment is changing rapidly, but following are the impacts to-date: 

  • Biostatistical support: You can continue to request support from the Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center (BDAC) via the CTR Portal, but please note this requires a VPN connection if you are off campus. How to install and use VPN.

  • Clinical Research Support Center: Has transitioned to virtual research support. You can connect with the CRSC via phone (612-625-4000) and email (crsc@umn.edu), including to coordinate access to virtual office hours. Business hours have shifted slightly, to 8am-4pm.

  • Clinical trial monitoring: Has transitioned to remote monitoring only. Monitors will review all study materials that they are able to access remotely. They will complete their in-person review of non-electronic documents and finish visits when normal University operations resume. Monitors will be contacting study teams that have visits scheduled during this time to discuss logistics. For questions, please contact Kelly McCormick at mcco0194@umn.edu or your assigned monitor.

  • CTR PortalYou can continue to use the CTR Portal off-campus, but please note this requires a VPN connection (please see: how to install and use VPN). If you have issues using the VPN, please contact the Technology Help Desk

  • Informatics and data accessProviding virtual support only. Consultations with the Best Practices Integrated Informatics Core (BPIC) will be held via Zoom, and the team continues to be reachable via its usual channels. To connect with the team, you can submit a request, schedule an appointment, or email bpic@umn.edu.

  • Specimen support: As of March 27, BioNet specimen procurement services will be temporarily unavailable and procurement staff will not be on campus. This change will be in place until further notice. In addition, the Biorepository and Laboratory Services (BLS) repository and histology lab are in minimal operations mode, with staff only coming to campus for critical functions (e.g., if an alarm goes off). Please direct any questions to Joe Menth, interim BLS Program Director, menth001@umn.edu.

  • Training for clinical research professionals: Translational Workforce Development is transitioning its programs, including the Clinical Research Professional Development Series and Foundations for Research Professionals, to online/virtual.

We will continue to monitor, assess, and communicate any changes to our operations. You may also find it helpful to refer to this COVID-19 guidance for the research community from OVPR.

Thank you for your support as we work to keep our community safe.

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