What is clinical research or clinical trials and why would you want to participate? - High Point Clinical Trials Center

What is clinical research or clinical trials and why would you want to participate?


My name is Jonathan Austin and I am a principal investigator at High Point Clinical Trials Center.  My background is in emergency medicine but I am now fully involved in clinical research here in High Point, North Carolina.

What is clinical research or clinical trials and why would you want to participate?

Clinical trials are part of and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of a clinical trial is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses.

The idea for a clinical research study — also known as a clinical trial — often originates in the laboratory. After researchers test new therapies or procedures in the laboratory and in animal studies, the most promising experimental treatments are moved into clinical trials, which are conducted in phases. During a trial, more information is gained about an experimental treatment, its risks, and its effectiveness.  A clinical study is led by a principal investigator like me.  My number one priority is the safety of our subjects and running a study takes many skill sets, but I aim to manage all studies with the highest ethical and quality standards.  Also, principal investigators lead the other members of the research team who regularly monitor the participants’ health to determine the study’s safety and effectiveness.
Being involved in clinical research allows me to have a greater awareness of cutting edge therapies and the ability to access new treatments or medial alternatives that may only be available through clinical trials..  Here at  High Point Clinical Trials Center, we all play a role in bringing potentially new treatments to the public  that may ultimately impact the healthcare of many patients in the future–it has been said that  today’s standard treatments were yesterday’s clinical trials.

People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff. Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

Clinical research is medical research that involves people like you.  People volunteer to participate in carefully conducted investigations that ultimately uncover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose, and understand human disease. Clinical research includes trials that test new treatments and therapies as well as long–term natural history studies, which provide valuable information about how disease and health progress.

Clinical research trials are a key component of the the drug development process.  More than 1400 medications and therapies have been approved through this process that helps treat or prevent serious disease or illness.  The importance of subject participation cannot be understated and will make a difference in the lives of many.  There is some personal satisfaction in knowing that I can offer this to the pubic as well, and it’s encouraging to know that we are increasing the community’s options for new treatments by bringing state of the art science to where we live (here in the Triad).