Parks Named Associate Director of MU Clinical Research Center

Elizabeth J. Parks, Ph.D., has recently been named associate director of the University of Missouri Clinical Research Center, a part of the MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

Parks joined the MU School of Medicine in October 2013 as a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, and a professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Prior to her arrival at MU, she served as an associate professor and researcher at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Her clinical and research areas of interest include the impact of low-fat diets, alcohol use, diabetes, obesity and heart disease on liver function.

Parks also has held multiple leadership positions in the American Society for Nutrition and is a standing member of the National Institutes of Health’s review committee on clinical and integrative diabetes and obesity.

As associate director of the MU Clinical Research Center, Parks works with William Steinmann, M.D., director of clinical research for the MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and the MU School of Medicine, to implement the strategic direction and management of the center.

“The purpose of our research center is not only to develop new ideas into actual patient treatment protocols, but to give patients access to potentially lifesaving treatments before they are widely available, including treatments that might not be available anywhere else,” said Jamal Ibdah, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Gastroenterology and senior associate dean for research at the MU School of Medicine. “We are very pleased to have Dr. Parks as a leader in our center. In her new role, she will assist researchers from across campus and beyond to transform discoveries into new products and services for patients everywhere.”

The MU Clinical Research Center brings translational scientific discoveries directly to the bedside by supporting patients, volunteers and researchers who participate in clinical trials and other forms of clinical research. The center contains an advanced inpatient Phase 1 clinical trials unit, five inpatient beds, three outpatient exam rooms, a metabolic kitchen to support nutrition studies and an exercise facility.

The center also contains work areas specifically for researchers, including meeting rooms, a general laboratory and information technology facilities. The environment is designed to support clinical and translational scientists, as well as training programs for physicians who want to contribute to clinical research.

Located on the fifth floor of the MU School of Medicine, the center serves as a bridge between clinical medicine and biomedical science. The location is accessible by patients and volunteers, as well as scientists and clinicians throughout MU’s schools, centers and network of hospitals and clinics.

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