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Left to right: Meghan Buck, Tina Vita, Daniel Unikel, Barbara Early-Young, Peter Adams, Ashley Ryman, Stacy Stull, Victoria Bianco, Mary Stefanick, Pam Singh, Megan Buhay, Caroline Gacka, Zach Harvey, Erin Gilchrist, Mary Kruth, Kathleen Kelly, Denise Scholl


Multidisciplinary Acute Care Research Organization (MACRO)




Committed to facilitating clinical research led by dedicated investigators in an ethical, regulatory compliant, and fiscally sound manner.



Recent News

New Trials Begin

Led by Hyung Kim (PI) with overall coordination in Denmark, SEPSIS-ACT (Selepressin Evaluation Programme for Sepsis-Induced Shock - Adaptive    Clinical Trial) is a multicenter Phase IIb/III adaptive trial to investigate whether selepressin increases vasopressor and ventilator-free days compared with placebo in septic shock. Selepressin is vasopressin analogue with selective V1a receptor agonist activity, and mitigates vascular leak. In animal studies and early clinical trials, selepressin was associated with less lung edema and lower cumulative fluid balance than vasopressin. We anticipate going live by Mid-January. Denise Scholl and Tina Vita are the lead coordinators.

Linking Investigation in Trauma & Emergency Services Clinical Research Network

MACRO to Provide Clinical Coordination Center Service to Pitt-led, Department of Defense Trauma Research Network

The complete article available here.

The trial of tamsulosin for urolithiasis in the emergency department (STONE), recently completed enrollment in the emergency departments of Presbyterian and Mercy  Hospitals. Allan Wolfson is the local Principal Investigator and the Co-Investigator is Stephen Jackman.  Of the 350 study enrollments, MACRO Research Associates helped to enroll 101 subjects into the study with our emergency medicine physicians.

STONE is a placebo-controlled, two-armed trial to determine the effectiveness of tamsulosin on patients passing a kidney stone. Currently, there is no RCT evidence showing that Flomax speeds the passage of stones. Participating patients were randomly assigned to take Flomax or a placebo for thirty days, complete several study phone calls and return to the ED for a follow up CT scan. Check future newsletters for updates on study findings as the data analysis is undergoing.


Meet Our New CRC - Caroline Gaka

Caroline, a native of Pittsburgh, grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. She attended Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV, and obtained her BSN. Upon passing the boards, Caroline moved to Morgantown to work at Ruby Memorial Hospital as a nurse on a neurosurgery unit. From there she worked at UPMC Passavant on their neurosurgery post-op floor. Caroline is now starting her career with MACRO as a Clinical Research Coordinator. Some of her many interests include, reading, playing soccer, snowboarding, travelling, and doing many different types of crafts. When she is not at home with her two cats, she is travelling with her family throughout the country and abroad.

Meet Our New Regulatory Coordinator - Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen was born and raised in NE, Ohio but spent most of her adulthood in Manhattan, as well as a few years in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest.  She began her career as a Professional Organizer, Event Planner and Bookkeeper.  Currently, she is working in MACRO as a temporary project and financial assistant.  Kathleen has a BS in Behavioral Science and a certificate in Bookkeeping from NYU.  An avid traveler, she has visited every state but Alaska and a total of nine countries.  Kathleen has volunteered for many animal rescues and shelters; her largest foster experience was caring for  nine -  6 week-old terrier mix puppies for several weeks.  She enjoys yoga, meditation, cooking, knitting and scratching as many items off her bucket list as she can.

Student RA Turned Full-Time - Megan Buhay

Megan started working for the Multi-Disciplinary Acute Care Research Organization (MACRO) as a student research assistant in the Fall of 2012. While earning her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and  Bachelor of Arts in Physical Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, she worked for MACRO and is very excited at the opportunity to continue to contribute to the organization as a full-time staff member.  She currently co-manages our Research Associate Intern program and our Research Specialist program, while providing oversight to MACRO’s division at UPMC Mercy, carrying out various research protocols, as well as executing and maintaining medical data abstraction  projects.  She is a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). When she is not working, Megan loves finding ways to stay active, such as bike riding and rock climbing.  Her most recent adventure was a 330 mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.!


MACRO Research Associate Interns

MACRO’s Research Associate Intern’s (RAI), a team of dedicated Pitt undergraduates, screen the UPMC Presbyterian ED 24/7/365 for  approximately ten studies at any given time. Among the ED based studies, four focus on trauma: PAMPer, STAAMP, Mathematical Modeling, and TTMR. The RAIs carry a trauma pager and meet every trauma in the trauma bay simultaneously with the trauma team to assess the patient’s eligibility for study enrollment. In the case of PAMPer and STAAMP, patients are enrolled by STAT MedEvac and receive the study intervention while en route to UPMC Presbyterian.

Thanks to the RAIs and our close collaboration with STAT MedEvac. Pitt is the #1 enrolling site for both PAMPer and STAAMP. The RAIs successfully enrolled or facilitated the enrollment of over 340 trauma patients since 5/1/2016.


A Fond Farewell

Mitch Moyer

Mitch is now working within the Lab of Neuropsychology (LN) at NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) as an  IRTA (Intramural    Research Training Award) Post-baccalaureate. His main project is examining behavioral effects from lesioning different fornix and fornix target regions focusing on monkey learning ability and memory. He will be a surgical assistant during surgeries and will be running    monkeys through their behavioral tests.  He potentially will assist with any neuroanatomical work that needs done post-mortem (histology, microscopy, etc.) on monkeys across all their projects.



Enrollment Update 

Apr. 29, 2015 - MACRO Coordinators/Clinical Research Interns have enrolled patients in 6 of our studies over the last week and a half.  Studies included ATACH II, GRAIL, Progress, Silver AMI, ProACT and PAMPer (see Actively Recruiting Studies for a brief description on each study).

MACRO enrolls 24/7, even on weekends! Clinician referrals always appreciated!