Bringing researchers, volunteers and legislators together to advance science
The Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at Michigan State University has joined forces with ResearchMatch, a national registry that is designed to bring volunteers together with researchers who are working toward advancing new health treatments.
Across the country, and the world, scientists are conducting countless health-related studies every day, all in search of answers to perplexing health questions related to many of today’s deadliest diseases. Unfortunately, many are forced to end before completion because not enough people know about them or can be recruited. That’s where ResearchMatch steps in.
The online resource allows people of any age, race and ethnicity to participate and volunteers do not have to have a medical condition to join. Often times, healthy volunteers are critical to the success of many research studies and can be involved in simple activities such as filling out a questionnaire, maintaining a diary, changing behaviors, or taking new medications. No matter what type of study, individuals have the choice to connect with research projects that are of interest to them.
Currently, the university has hundreds of studies taking place involving health issues such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and autism, in addition to drug-related research for conditions including Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and depression.
In an effort to increase awareness of these studies, and many others across the state, MSU participated in the second annual Clinical Trial Awareness Day at the State Capitol on June 4, 2014. Sponsored by State Representative Gail Haines, the event was an opportunity for the public to learn about research projects that are happening in Michigan and the impact they have in not only treating disease more effectively, but also predicting and preventing diseases. Event participants included representatives from hospitals and universities across the state that showcased recent, ongoing and future trials.
“I hope that demonstrating the depth and breadth of clinical research in our state will encourage our lawmakers to stay on their path toward creating a research-friendly environment in Michigan,” Haines said.
Andrea Amalfitano, director of the Clinical and Transitional Sciences Institute, was a featured speaker at the event who has led studies in several areas including vaccine development, genetics, autoimmune disease, and gene therapy.
"Clinical trials are an important and necessary way to test the safety and potential benefits of the latest medical discoveries,” Amalfitano said. “Increasing the number of clinical trials being performed in the state will only provide citizens a greater opportunity to have access and participate in these promising projects.”