Research Center Profile:
The Rockefeller University Hospital
Hepatology (Liver, Pancreatic, Gall Bladder)
Infections and Infectious Diseases
Nutrition and Weight Loss
In 1910, Rockefeller scientists founded the nation’s first
hospital devoted exclusively to experimental medicine. The
Rockefeller University Hospital’s only patients are participants in
clinical research studies building on basic research findings from
the Rockefeller University laboratories. Unburdened by constraints
of standard patient care, the hospital is a vital component of
Rockefeller’s commitment to accelerating basic research findings on
their route from bench to bedside for the diagnosis, treatment and
prevention of disease. Some of the conditions currently being
studied are: Addiction, Blood Disorders, Cancer, Hepatitis,
HIV/AIDS, Kidney Disease, Obesity and Psoriasis.
From 1963 until 2006, the Hospital was partially supported by
the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) Program of the National
Center for Research Resources (NCRR) branch of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH). The GCRC program supports a national
network of centers that provide the clinical research
infrastructure for investigators receiving primary research support
from the NIH.
In September 2006, the University was awarded a Clinical and
Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the NIH National Center for
Research Resources. The award, the successor to the GCRC Program,
led to the establishment of the Rockefeller University Center for
Clinical and Translational Science, and provided additional
resources to complement those coming from the University for the
support of the University's human subjects research.
Over the Hospital's history, interactions between clinical
and non-clinical scientists have taken many productive forms that
have greatly advanced the life sciences. Some major contributions
include the development of the oxygen chamber, influenza
immunization, treatment for African sleeping sickness, the Van
Slyke manometric apparatus, methods for blood transfusion and blood
storage, diagnostic tests for lead poisoning, and the detailed
characterization of numerous diseases including poliomyelitis,
Wilson's disease, and most recently, epidermolysis bullosa.
Rockefeller University Professor David Ho, Scientific Director of
the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, helped develop effective
multi-drug therapies for HIV infection and the prevention of
progression to AIDS.
Rockefeller University researchers achieved many of the last
century’s seminal advances in the biomedical sciences,
- Discovering that DNA is the basic material of heredity
- Determining that cancer can be caused by a virus (1911)
- Confirming the connection between cholesterol and heart disease
- Developing methadone maintenance for people addicted to heroin
- Developing the AIDS “cocktail” drug therapy (1990s)
The specialized personnel and other resources available at the
Rockefeller University Hospital facilitate clinical research for
both the investigator and the research participant. The
Hospital's 20 bed inpatient unit operates 24 hours a day, 365
days a year. All patient rooms are single-occupancy, private
Specialized facilities include: a four-room procedure suite,
suitable for endoscopy and biopsy procedures; 2 hardwired cardiac
monitored beds and 2 telemetry cardiac monitoring units; and a
broad-band/narrow-band ultraviolet light box for psoriasis
The Robert & Harriet Heilbrunn Outpatient Research Center
opened in January 2003 and includes 9 exam rooms, 2 consultation
rooms, and 2 phlebotomy rooms, as well as other patient and staff
facilities. The Outpatient Research Center is open weekdays from
7AM to 5PM.
A new, state-of-the-art digital radiology suite opened in spring
The Rockefeller University Hospital and Center for Clinical and
Translational Science is particularly suitable to conducting
studies involving moderate and low acuity patients, as well as
high-intensity, high-complexity protocols such as pharmacokinetics
and metabolic studies. The Hospital's strengths include: a
specialized Research Bionutrition Department, an on-site Research
Pharmacy, and facilities to support long-stay inpatient studies,
including an Art & Recreation Department, which offers
participants pleasant and rewarding craft, video and computer
activities in a safe and comfortable environment.
The Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and licensed by
the State of New York.
Arleen D. Auerbach, Ph. D. Area of Expertise:
Jan L. Breslow, M.D. Area of Expertise:
Jon D. Blumenfeld, M.D. Area of Experstise:
Polycystic Kidney Disease and Hypertension
Barry Coller, M.D. Area of Expertise: Molecular
interactions between blood cells and blood vessels.
Robert B. Darnell, M.D., Ph.D. Area of
Expertise: the paraneoplastic neurologic disorders (PND), a group
of rare brain diseases, which arise in conjunction with immune
responses to cancer.
Madhav Dhodapkar, M.D. Area of Expertise: The
interactions between tumor and immune system in patients with
Jeffrey M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. Area of
Expertise: The genes and neural circuits that control food intake
and body weight, and leptin’s mechanism of action and its relevance
to the development of obesity.
Charles D. Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D. Area of
Expertise: The mechanisms underlying visual perception
David Ho, M.D. Area of Expertise: The
pathogenesis of HIV.
Peter Holt, M.D. Area of Expertise: Colon
Lisa Cooper Hudgins, M.D. Area of Expertise:
Mary Jeanne Kreek, M.D. Area of Expertise: The
biological basis of addictive diseases.
James Krueger, M.D., Ph.D. Area of Expertise:
The study of cutaneous inflammation and autoimmune mechanisms in
Martin M. Markowitz, M.D. Area of Expertise:
Acute HIV Infection.
Christian Münz, Ph.D. Area of Expertise: the
immune control of persistent viral infections, with a focus on the
immunobiology of the - Herpesvirus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
Lisa M. Neff, M.D. Area of Expertise: The
metabolic effects of different weight loss diets in individuals
with the metabolic syndrome and the biologic, environmental, and
behavioral predictors of long-term success with conventional weight
Manish Ponda, M.D. Area of Expertise: Chronic
Charles M. Rice, Ph.D. Area of Expertise:
Ralph M. Steinman, M.D. Area of Expertise:
Specialized antigen-presenting cells,
Markus Stoffel, M.D, Ph.D./Allegra Grossman,
M.D. Area of Expertise: Genetics of Type II Diabetes and
Leslie B. Vosshall, Ph.D. Area of Expertise:
The Department of Nursing and Patient Care Services provides
best practice for research participants enrolled in the multiple
research studies at the Rockefeller University Hospital. The care
of research participants is served by the diversity of clinical
skills and support services of:
- Social Work
- Arts and Recreation
An environment of community is fostered with protection of human
subjects and adherence to protocol as prime concerns.
The research setting is an environment that brings the health
care team and the research design together in an attempt to
understand the novel relationships that will ultimately benefit
mankind. The process is both provocative and exciting, supporting
the philosophy that the knowledge that bridges science and medicine
is built on objectively sound data.
Clinical Research nurses provide specialized support to clinical
investigators. They are members of an interdisciplinary research
team dedicated to conducting clinical translational research. They
are expert at performing on-going informed consent assessments and
provide assurance to the entire research team that protection of
human subject participants is being adhered to throughout the
implementation of the study, and develop and implement cutting edge
techniques in data and specimen collection. They are also expert at
processing and storing data and specimens.1
A staff of Clinical Research Nurses and skilled nursing
assistants provides expert care. Unit secretaries, messengers and
various contracted services provide supportive services. Education
includes research training and clinical reviews. All professional
staff is Advance Cardiac Life Support certified. Nursing Assistants
are Basic Life Support certified.
1. McClary, K. & Offenhartz, M. Clinical research
nurses give new meaning to "protect and serve". NY/NJ
Nursing Spectrum (April 24, 2006). 22-23.
The Bionutrition Department, under the direction of two
Registered Dietitians and a dietetic technician, handles the
calculations, preparation, and serving of all meals for Hospital
patients, including scientifically designed therapeutic, metabolic
and formula diets. A metabolic or research diet is used for studies
by several Hospital laboratory groups. In essence, a metabolic diet
is a controlled natural dietary regime that is designed to meet
exact specifications for such macronutrients as protein, fat,
carbohydrate, cholesterol and fiber.
A Certified Social Worker assists research volunteers with their
concerns, locates resources as needed and does discharge
The Recreation Coordinator contributes to the environment for
inpatients by providing diversion through pleasant and rewarding
activities in a safe and comfortable atmosphere.
The Rockefeller University Hospital is located in New York City.
Most research volunteers come from the New York metropolitan area.
The racial and cultural background of the patients is diverse.
If you are interested in contacting this center to discuss placing a clinical
trial there, please complete and send the email form below. A representative from
the research center will then follow up with you.