TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa General Hospital and the University of South Florida Health recently created a joint office of clinical research that officials said could ultimately help it rival some of the best academic medical centers in the nation.

What You Need To Know

  • TGH and USF recently created a joint office of clinical research

  • Officials say this effort could help it rival academic medical centers like Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts General Hospital

  • According to office's co-vice president of clinical trials and translational research, combining resources has already helped put the institutions at the forefront of COVID-19 research

“This is really an unprecedented era of cooperation between the two of us, and we do really see ourselves as being modeled now after some of the top partnerships between medical centers and private affiliate hospitals in the country," said Dr. Clifton Gooch, a co-vice president of Clinical Trials and Translational Research for the new office.

Gooch said the partnership will allow the research infrastructure at USF to combine with the hospital care being delivered at TGH.

“What it will mean for patients in Tampa and beyond is the opportunity to participate in world class clinical trials, which we already have going on  at USF in the outpatient setting. This will extend that to the inpatient setting. So, patients who are coming into the emergency room with emergent conditions, patients getting surgeries at Tampa General Hospital — research that requires hospital facilities will now be able to be carried out more efficiently," said Gooch.



According to Gooch, the region is already seeing benefits of this teamwork, particularly where the pandemic is involved. While the joint office was announced at the end of last month, he said the institutions began to combine resources months ago.

“What happened with COVID were numerous research opportunities nationwide that were being given to hospitals that were prepared to accept them and were leading candidates for performing the research in a very quick, efficient, and high-quality manner. This resulted in us receiving many COVID trials. In fact, we’re now up to 40 COVID trials," Gooch said. 

Gooch said this led to the opportunity for TGH to among the first in the nation to administer experimental monoclonal antibody therapies and be among the first to offer antibody treatments that received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

“We’re going to make Tampa General a world class destination so that companies will increasingly seek out Tampa General Hospital for cutting edge research across the board," Gooch said.

That work has already begun. Gooch said there are currently around 350 joint research studies taking place, and it's hoped that number will double or triple in the coming years.