Information on Research and Clinical Trials

Learn How You Can Contribute

Help us help others

Volunteering for medical research or clinical trials is an excellent way to help doctors and other health care professionals investigate the safety and effectiveness of new treatments or prescription medications. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and potentially improve health.

A research participant talking with a research Physician

Phases of Clinical Research

Clinical research is usually designed to evaluate a drug, biologic or device in human subjects with the intent to discover potential beneficial effects and/or determine its safety and efficacy. Volunteers for drug trials are likely to get involved in one of four types of clinical trials:

Phase 1

Phase 1 trials are primarily designed to determine a drug's toxicity, and are limited to a small group of volunteers (typically less than 50).

Phase 2

Phase 2 trials are designed to test efficacy and safety of a drug in a larger but limited number of volunteers (100's) that have a particular disease or condition.

Phase 3

Phase 3 is for clinical drug trials designed to compare or determine additional evidence of efficacy in a larger group of people. It is usually the final phase of testing prior to FDA approval of an investigational drug.

Phase 4

Phase 4 trials are a post-marketing study of an FDA-approved drug focusing on the incidence of specific adverse reactions or long-term effects of the drug on morbidity and mortality.

How to Participate

The following three steps can help guide you towards clinical trials of interest:

Step 1: Understand Clinical Trials

It is often helpful to talk to your doctor, family members or friends about your decision to join a trial. To learn more about becoming a research volunteer, click "Learn More" below.

Step 2: Identify Trial Options

Find out if you are eligible to participate by reviewing options in our active clinical trial listings.

Step 3: Contact Research Staff

Once you have identified a clinical trial that you are interested in, contact the corresponding staff member on the active trial listing or contact the General Research Department.