JOHNSON CITY (June 2, 2022) – The Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity (CIIDI) at East Tennessee State University expanded operations in 2021 by creating a Clinical Research Office on the Quillen College of Medicine campus. The office functions as a facilitator for interprofessional and cross-disciplinary investigators as it pertains to basic, preclinical, clinical, and epidemiologic research.
“With CIIDI’s influx of recruitment rates, sample acquisition, and additional large-scale collaborative efforts, it was imperative to create a formal Clinical Research Office,” said James Adkins, director. “We have secured a physical space where the biomedical community can access our resources on a fee-for-service basis to conduct quality experiments.”
Upon its fruition, Adkins sought guidance from the College of Business and Technology at ETSU and its Masters of Business Administration (MBA) strategic experience capstone program. The course professor, Dr. William Heise, believed in the project’s potential and assigned the endeavor to team leader, Dr. Leon Dumas, and the strategic experience team, including Lorrie Larkins, Rachel Hudson and Justin McFarland.
“The project team evaluated the potential business opportunities for CIIDI and assessed several strategic options,” Heise said. “This project was particularly special to me personally as Mr. Adkins is an ETSU MBA alumnus. It’s a great testament when our alumni bring project ideas back to our program.”
“The recent developments at the CIIDI present exciting growth possibilities with the opportunity to incorporate certain aspects of private business in the operations of the center,” Dumas said. “Due to the diverse nature of current projects and the excellent foundation already in place, progress in several different directions will not be difficult. The center truly has tremendous, untapped potential.”
During the project, the team used the professional knowledge and expertise its members had garnered during the MBA program to understand the business opportunity for the CIIDI to provide medical research support and lab services.
To accomplish the primary goal of the project, they conducted an initial meeting with Adkins to review the current status and to obtain information to identify the services that could potentially be provided such as The Research Support component and the Lab Services component.
They performed SWOT, benchmarking, and Porter’s Five Forces analyses, reviewed and critiqued website and social media management, created a marketing plan, made general recommendations for future services and novel products and generated an official blueprint to activate the suggestions at the appropriate time.
“Already since the project’s conclusion, the CIIDI Clinical Research Office has doubled its efforts on its branding, began updating the website and increased its sustainability by engaging with outside funding opportunities,” Adkins said. “With the successful completion of this project comes real potential for future collaborative endeavors.”