Written by Linda Rice, RN, CCRC, director of clinical operations at the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science, which is dedicated to accelerating discoveries that improve health.
Health research changes lives. It’s how we learn more about health conditions and make discoveries to improve treatments, care and diagnostics. Every medicine or device we use – from aspirin to pacemakers – was developed through a process of research. But research needs people in order to move forward. All too often, studies are forced to end early or don’t enroll enough participants, which means that many important questions go unanswered.
At UK, doctors, nurses and researchers are working diligently to advance discoveries that improve health, and we invite you to join us. You can make a difference by participating in research – you could even be part of a study whose results will help people in the future. Participating is a way to help others by “giving forward,” and it’s also an opportunity to learn more about your own health.
Whether you are healthy or have a medical condition, there are opportunities for you to participate. Health research is more than clinical trials for rare diseases. Sometimes it’s as simple as a questionnaire, a screening or helping to test a type of exercise. Many studies compensate participants.
Health research also includes extensive protection for participants. The ethical and legal codes that govern medical care also apply to research, which is further regulated with safeguards for participants. UK, like every research institution, also has a review board that evaluates all research to ensure protection of participants’ rights and welfare. Every study follows a carefully controlled plan of what researchers will do and what is asked of participants, and this plan is explained in detail before you decide to join. Participants are free to leave a study at any time.
There are two ways to learn more and get involved in the process of discovery: You can view current research opportunities at UK, and you can also join ResearchMatch, which connects you with researchers nationwide.
Current Studies at UK: To explore opportunities to participate in ground-breaking research at UK, visit UKClinicalResearch.com and click on “Current Studies.” You can browse opportunities by topic, like Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer, healthy volunteers, women’s health, drug and alcohol use, and many others.
ResearchMatch: To join this national database of research opportunities, visit ResearchMatch.org/uky. ResearchMatch is an easy, secure, registry that unites people who are interested in research with active studies. Joining is free and fast. Simply register and wait to be contacted, or “matched,” to studies that might interest you. You can also browse studies, share ideas with researchers, and find patient organizations and health information. You always have the choice to participate or not, and you can leave ResearchMatch at any time. Individuals under the age of 19 must be enrolled by a parent or guardian.
If you’d like to learn more about health research, including frequently asked questions, please visit UKClinicalResearch.com. If you have questions about participating in research or current studies at UK, please contact us at UKClinicalResearch@uky.edu or by phone at 859-257-7856 or 859-323-8150.
- The UK Markey Cancer Center has more open clinical trials than any other cancer center in the region, giving patients across Kentucky access to some of the most advanced options available.
- A team of UK researchers are the first to offer innovative clinical trials aiming to improve stroke care and protect brain tissue.