The George Washington University (GW) Vaccine Research Unit (VRU) is a collaboration between the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine within the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), and the GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA). The GW VRU conducts clinical trials of experimental products that are being developed for the prevention of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, HIV, and neglected tropical diseases, particularly hookworm and schistosomiasis.
The GW VRU is committed to providing a full range of research services to facilitate the development, implementation, and successful completion of clinical trials. The GW VRU ensures compliance with federal, state, and institutional regulations, policies, and procedures to protect the interests of study participants.
Clinical Trials Capabilities
Our team consists of clinical investigators with specialty board certification and faculty appointments at the George Washington University, physician assistants, investigational pharmacists, research coordinators, and laboratory support. As a group, we have combined experience in translational, Phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials, and epidemiological studies.
GW VRU's administrative offices are headquartered in Ross Hall within GW SMHS's academic building, along with clinical space for an examination and phlebotomy room, study participant reception area, and secure document storage.
GW Medical Faculty Associates
The GW MFA, a multispecialty physician practice group in Washington, D.C., provides ample clinical
space and skilled staff to accommodate patients participating in clinical studies. The physicians
at the GW MFA are experienced PIs and sub-investigators for many clinical trials related to
treating, diagnosing, and preventing diseases or conditions.
Investigational Drug Pharmacy Services
The GW Investigational Drug Service (IDS), located in the GW MFA, is the primary pharmacy
serving the GW VRU. It is a fully operational investigational pharmacy that receives, stores,
monitors, prepares, and dispenses study agents for GW VRU clinical trials. The IDS pharmacy
currently has more than 70 active protocols for drug and vaccine clinical trials.
Clinical Immunology Lab
The Clinical Immunology Lab (CIL), directed by Jeffrey Bethony, PhD, boasts an extensive capacity for processing and storing samples from vaccine clinical trials for both short- and long-term storage. The CIL serves as the primary biorepository for several large-scale studies. Since 2020, the CIL has scored highly
on the Duke Quality and Performance Reports issued by the Immunology and Virology Quality Assessment Center, an indication of the lab’s ability to process, store, and produce viable
samples obtained for peripheral blood mononuclear cell and leukapheresis processing.