Our research mission is to provide outstanding clinical care through excellence in research and discovery, while mentoring future generations of clinician scientists.

The Research Mission within the Department of Emergency Medicine is composed of collaborative scientists dedicated to providing emergency care 24/7/365. Clinical research in Emergency Medicine extends from the field and emergency medical services through the front-door of the hospital, the intensive care units, operating rooms, and into outpatient rehabilitation. Faculty in the department hold a diverse range of research expertise in pediatric and adult emergency medicine, toxicology, EMS, clinical trials, education, ethics, critical care, engineering, public service, and biomarker development. Our faculty serve as leaders in clinical and translational research in traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest, and infectious disease, working to design and execute research that will improve clinical care through evidence based outcomes assessment. Our mission supports the education of all learners ~ undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, and professional are welcome to contact the team about opportunities for collaboration.

Clinical Trials Collaborative

VCU/VCU Health - The Clinical Trials Collaborative (CTC) is a research core that facilitates study execution for inpatient and acute-care clinical trials 24/7/365. The collaborative is composed of physicians, nurses, research administrators, and staff across multiple departments. Research is facilitated from the field, through the emergency department, operating rooms, ICUs, and into outpatient rehabilitation.


VCU has joined the NIH’s SIREN clinical trial network as a Hub within the CORE-EM Hub Alliance (Emory, U Arizona, U Texas, Orlando Health, Tufts, and VCU). CORE-EM provides access to clinical trials across a combined population composed of over 72 million ethnically and racially diverse people across the US.

VCU will participate in clinical trials to study novel therapies for time-critical acute conditions such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, cardiac arrest, and sepsis. VCU will build upon the outstanding established clinical research programs across the hospital system.

SIREN | CORE-EM Hub Alliance

Network for Emergency Care Clinical Trials: Strategies to Innovate EmeRgENcy Care Clinical Trials Network 

NIH 1 U24 NS100673-01 (MPI: Merck, Wright, Papa, Selker, Cairns, Jones) 


07/15/2017 – 05/31/2022

Active Studies & Grants

Lisa H. Merck MD, MPH, MA, FACEP

Lisa H. Merck MD, MPH, MA, FACEP

Professor & Vice Chair of Research

Lisa H. Merck MD, MPH, MA, FACEP

Lisa H. Merck MD, MPH, MA, FACEP

Professor & Vice Chair of Research

Emergency Medicine

Assistant Dean for Acute Care Research & Clinical Trials
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Medical Director for Acute Clinical Research
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System

Email: Lisa.Merck@vcuhealth.org