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DHRHealth Institute for Research and Development

Core Facilities

Clinical Trial Unit

Within the OCR is the Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) that is dedicated to enhancing the clinical trial experience for both our patients and investigators.

CTU provides a convenient site for community investigators and scientists to successfully conduct research studies.

CTU provides a wealth of research services including (but not limited to):
A dedicated team of highly skilled clinical research coordinators
In-house phlebotomy services to include sample processing
Multiple full-service exam rooms
Spacious waiting and reception area
Ample parking

We strongly encourage you to visit our CTU and learn about how we are committed to bringing current diagnostic and therapeutic research options to the residents of the Rio Grande Valley.

Contact us at 956-362-2387
Email: [email protected]


The DHR Health Institute for Research & Development Biobank was established in 2019 to create an extensive and robust biospecimen and clinical data repository that provides scientists, physicians and research investigators with reliable, high quality biospecimens for cutting-edge research projects.

Medical experts will use these annotated specimens for a wide range of projects including, discovery of new genetic mutations; discovery of new biomarkers that may help in early diagnosis and prognosis; and new targets for treatment. A variety of biospecimens are needed to help make these discoveries possible.


What is a biospecimen?

Biospecimens are tissues, blood, and body fluids collected for diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of diseases. Human biospecimens are defined as any biological material taken from an individual for diagnostic or research purposes. Examples of biospecimens are:

  • Solid tissues and organs (i.e. skin, bone, muscle, liver, heart, kidney, etc.)
  • Normal and diseased tissues and organs (i.e. tumours, immunological and inflammatory disorders, etc.)
  • Fluids (i.e. whole blood, serum, plasma, urine, feces, sputum, lavage fluids, nasal secretions, bile, vitreous humour, cerebral spinal fluid
Who can participate?
Anyone can participate! Your participation is 100% voluntary. We will not collect any data or specimens without your consent.
What if I decide not to participate?
Since your participation is voluntary, you can always decline to participate. This will not affect the quality of care you receive at DHR Health or any of its affiliated entities.
What is the process?
If you are asked by someone from the DHR Health Institute for Research & Development to participate in the biobank, you will be given a consent form and the process will be explained to you in person. Once you agree to participate, you will need to sign the consent form. All specimens will be collected at routine medical visits. No additional medical procedures will be performed.
How are my samples and health information stored in the Biobank?
Staff at the DHR Health Institute for Research & Development Biobank will assign a code to your samples and health information. Your name, medical record number, or other information that easily identifies you will not be stored with your samples or health information. The key to the code will be stored securely in a separate file.
Why should I participate? Will any of the research directly benefit me?
Participation in a biobank study may or may not directly benefit you. While there is a chance that evaluation of your biobank sample could yield new information that may help your physician to manage your disease, the study may also be to identify new treatments in the future once a large enough collection of samples is obtained. Additionally, your participation could help us better understand how to diagnose, treat, and even prevent diseases that affect your family and community for generation to come.
DHR Health Institute for Research & Development will not be able to provide any financial benefit(s) for your participation in any biobank study. Your participation in finding a better way to manage your health/disease; service to humanity; and help in shaping the future of quality and advanced health care to the community is a motivating factor for your participation.

Research Pharmacy

The DHR Health Institute for Research & Development has partnered with DHR Health Pharmacy to create a state-of-the-art Research Pharmacy that caters to our growing needs in clinical research.

In addition to our role in the safe use of investigational medications in subjects, we serve as a resource for investigators and their staff.  Pharmacy staff serves as collaborators in the planning of research protocols to ensure the feasibility of implementation.

Our research pharmacy manages research medications for a wide variety of research protocols in many medical fields and specialties including (but not limited to) oncology, women’s health, metabolic and genetic disorders, pediatrics, neurological disorders, and many others. 

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is germane to the success of any clinical research endeavor. Our DHR Health Information Technology team provides the support we need across all aspects of clinical research. This includes study start up, cohort discovery, study feasibility, study maintenance, closeout and thorough annotation of biospecimens stored in the tissue repository. Our IT team helps researchers extract data from our DHR Health Data Warehouse and CERNER together with all system data repositories that will help facilitate study creation and success.

Our IT team helps support and maintain the following applications in our research program:

REDCap is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases; can be used to collect virtually any type of data (including 21 CFR Part 11, FISMA, and HIPAA-compliant environments), it is specifically geared to support online or offline data capture for research studies and operations.

TriNetX is a global health research network that optimizes clinical research; provides real-time access to longitudinal clinical data with state-of-the-art analytics.

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