Washington Center for Weight Management & Research, Inc.

Center Information

Michelle Vaughan
Practice Administrator
Washington Center for Weight Management & Research, Inc.
2800 S. Shirlington Road, Suite 505
Arlington, VA 22206

Currently Enrolling Trials

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Therapeutic Areas

Healthy Volunteers
Nutrition and Weight Loss
Obstetrics/Gynecology (Women’s Health)

Performance Metrics

Number of Studies Conducted: 32
Number of Studies Actually Completed: 32
Regulatory Submission Turn-Around Time: 10 Business Day(s)
Average Percent of Total Patients Randomized: 95%
Average Percent of ‘Completed’ Studies that met Enrollment Goals: 100%
EDC Capabilities: Yes

Staff Certifications
Number of Certified CRCs: 1


The staff at the Washington Center design, implement and evaluate weight management/obesity protocols with the goal of increased understanding of obesity as a disease and its related co-morbid conditions. Currently we are conducting several clinical drug trials examining the effects of different drugs on weight loss, and on improving metabolic conditions. In addition, we are working on a project with National Institutes of Health (NIH) examining the relationships between cortisol, body weight and stress.

  • Independently functioning facility that uses an independent IRB.
  • The research team works quickly and effectively to meet enrollment expectations and excels in subject retention.


We have participated in research collaborations with the following Institutes: NIH, GW University Division of Exercise Science, Georgetown University, University of MD, USUHS, MUSC. As an investigative team for the development of pharmaceuticals for the treatment and management of obesity, we have worked with the following companies: Abbott, Amgen, Arena Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck & Co., Orexigen Therapeutics, R.W. Johnson, Sanofi-Synthelabo, Schering-Plough, Medtronic, Eisai, Elcelyx, Nazura, Weight Watchers International,Vivus and Novo Nordisk.


  • On site capabilities to perform technical procedures such as EKG and laboratory procedures, and access to the resources available at Virginia Hospital Center and George Washington University (resting metabolic rates, exercise testing, body impedance analysis, echocardiogram and DEXA)
  • Modern, comfortable suite of offices (4,000 sq ft): includes a phlebotomy room, two exam rooms, an office for study monitors. Enough space to support the careful handling of pharmaceuticals in locked areas, blood drawing/shipping facilities, refrigerated centrifuge, locked drug refrigerator and -20 degree freezer.


Domenica Rubino, MD is the Director and Founder of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research in Arlington, Virginia. She is board-certified in Obesity Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism as well as Internal Medicine, and has extensive experience in the care of the overweight patient as well as clinical research for the development of pharmaco-therapeutic agents in the management of obesity. Her approach for weight management combines a sound scientific understanding of obesity as a disease with a keen understanding of the psychological and physiologic issues involved in weight loss and weight maintenance. Clinically, Dr. Rubino believes that chronic conditions such as obesity are ideally treated with a team-based approach.

Dr. Rubino received her medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. She received training in both clinical and molecular biological research at the National Institutes of Health during her endocrinology fellowship.

Dr. Rubino worked for three years at the Uniformed University of the Health Sciences as an independently funded research assistant professor. She has been the recipient of several investigator awards, has written articles in several peer-reviewed publications (including Obesity, European Journal of Endocrinology, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Oncogene, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and abstracts and was an invited speaker to the Endocrine Society. She is also the recipient of an NIH grant designed to examine the potential role of cortisol and stress on weight. She continues to work closely with her colleagues at the NIH.

Dr. Rubino currently has staff privileges at the Virginia Hospital Center and George Washington University Medical Center. She is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, Endocrine Society, Obesity Society, American Diabetes Association and the Obesity Action Coalition. She is currently serving as a clinical expert on the treatment of obesity for several professional committees and has served as a representative to Congress and outside organizations for the Obesity Society. She often speaks as an advocate for the person struggling with obesity and has a strong interest in the psychological impact and societal stigma of this medical condition. She frequently lectures on the latest breakthroughs in weight management.


  • Multidisciplinary group of health care professionals dedicated to research and clinical treatment in obesity and its related medical conditions.
  • Domenica Rubino, MD, the Director, is a board certified endocrinologist, internist and obesity medicine specialist.
    • Primary investigator in pharmaceutical-sponsored drug research as well as an independent investigator.
  • Our research team is comprised of a physician, study coordinators, registered dietitian, regulatory/contracts specialist, data base manager and several medical/nursing assistants.
  • All professionals have received specialized training in obesity and eating disorders.


  • Currently treats a stable population of active obesity patients each week, using a comprehensive interdisciplinary treatment model. We maintain an active data base with more than 2000 individuals interested in being part of a research trial.
  • Access to a stable population of overweight individuals is an asset for the ready and accessible recruitment and retention of research subjects.


  • Specialized expertise in the psychological, behavioral and nutritional treatment of obesity.
  • We have developed our own model of group treatment and we have used standardized treatment protocols such as LEARN, Pathways to Change, Choose to Lose, etc.
  • Clinical strengths include cognitive behavioral intervention, motivational interviewing, binge eating treatment, and various nutritional interventions (food and formula based).

Contact Center

If you are interested in contacting this center to discuss clinical trials, please complete and send the email form below. A representative from the research center will then follow up with you.