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Q&A with Dr. Mario Gaudino, Newly Appointed Director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office

For Dr. Mario Gaudino, being an excellent cardiothoracic surgeon and conducting clinical research to find new ways to improve patients’ outcomes have been two sides of the same coin since he was a medical student in Rome. Today, he is a renowned surgeon treating patients with heart and cardiovascular disease, and at the same time, serves as the primary investigator of the ROMA Trial, an international, randomized controlled trial that aims to determine the best strategy for coronary artery bypass surgery.

As the newly appointed director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office (JCTO) at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, Dr. Gaudino will oversee ongoing clinical trials and lead strategic planning efforts. He will focus on increasing the number of active clinical trials available to Weill Cornell Medicine patients, which currently stands at about 400, with just over 200 studies for patients with cancer and just under 200 for patients with other diseases. Dr. Gaudino, who is also the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and a cardiothoracic surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, will also encourage more physicians to get involved in clinical research and strengthen the JCTO’s existing infrastructure and services that support investigators across the two institutions.

How did you become interested in working on clinical research?

At my alma mater in Rome, I learned that clinical research is part of a clinician’s essential activities. My mentors said many times that something relevant to clinical research happens every day in a busy clinical practice and that if you don’t think that’s true, you’re not paying close enough attention. Physicians who also conduct research can improve knowledge, advance the field and provide benefits to more patients than is possible through clinical care alone.

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