Contact Information

Department of Family Medicine


Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Family Medicine
4301 Jones Bridge Road, A1038
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799

Practice-Based Research Network

Pearl Network - Strength in Research

The "Primary care Evaluation And Research Learning" (PEARL) Network is Practice Based Research Network (PBRN). The goal of a PBRN is to combine the strengths of clinicians and researchers to answer clinically relevant questions. Our network is registered with the Agency for Health Care Quality (AHRQ) PBRN Resource Center and with the Inventory and Evaluation of Clinical Research Networks (IECRN). The administrative functions of the Network are located in the Department of Family Medicine at the Uniformed Services University (USU).

The primary objective of the PEARL staff at USU is to provide a centralized mechanism for ensuring the quality, integrity, and appropriate data management of all PEARL projects. This is accomplished through the achievement of five objectives, central to our network's scientific mission:

  • (1) Ensure the highest data quality possible.
  • (2) Provide end-to-end statistical and methodological support for Network projects.
  • (3) Facilitate the dissemination of research findings to the scientific community via publications, presentations and research conferences.
  • (4) Ensure that project data are secured according to HIPAA and FDA CFR 21 regulations.
  • (5) Investigate and promulgate best practices within the context of network research.

Network Membership has its Benefits

The PEARL network is dedicated to achieving the following specific functions for our members:

  1. Provide staff oversight and management of studies and laboratory data ranging in complexity from one time survey research to multi-site, randomized clinical trials
  2. Facilitate data collection procedures to help achieve each project's scientific aims
  3. Provide educational opportunities for Network physicians in the following domains: 1. Study Design and execution; 2. Navigating relevant IRB approval; 3. Data Management and Analysis; 4. Dissemination of findings.
  4. Ensure the prompt, accurate, flexible, and secure entry and access to all data
  5. Improve quality control of research projects
  6. Provide statistical consultation for all PEARL research projects as well as interim analyses for the Data Safety and Monitoring Board
  7. Facilitate the accurate and timely professional dissemination of research results
  8. Assist with recruiting participants.
  9. Help residents meet ACGME research requirements
  10. Monitor IRB compliance and ethical conduct using established best practices for Network research.

PBRN Research and GME

The PEARL staff wants to research easier for residents and interns. We will help you develop and implement your research ideas. We will help you with your IRB process. We will help you analyze your data. It is our goal to help program directors, clinical faculty and house officers:

  • Appreciate the critical need for relevant research in primary care
  • Develop skills in basic research design
  • Understand how to translate a general research question into a research hypothesis
  • Know where to go for statistical consultation-we can help!
  • Meet your program-specific ACGME medical research.
  • Know where and how to publish and present findings

For more information contact: CDR Mark Stephens (mstephens@usuhs.edu)