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Online hub links patients, researchers and physicians online hub


June 2014

Patients seeking treatments not yet available to the public have a new resource: the UT Health Science Centerís FindAStudy hub.

The online tool, vpr.uthscsa.edu/findastudy, also provides information for physicians and researchers who need human study participants, and allows investigators to find research collaborators.

In bold colors at the top of the webpage are numbers that show how many research studies are being conducted by Health Science Center researchers and a running tally of how many categories are currently being investigated. The numbers are updated regularly, said Joseph Schmelz, Ph.D., RN, CIP, FAAN, assistant vice president for research operations at the Health Science Center.

"Since FindAStudy is linked to our Institutional Review Board database, it automatically posts our new IRB-approved human studies and then removes them when they are closed, so it is always up to date," said Dr. Schmelz.

There are categories related to aging and geriatric research; menís, womenís and childrenís health; diabetes; eye and dental diseases; nutrition; and studies for which healthy subjects are needed.

Martin Javors, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology, conducts preclinical and human studies involving substance abuse. He found the new site helpful for finding subjects, he said.

"I received about 10 responses from healthy subjects for an ongoing study and a couple of inquiries for participating in a recently funded study to measure the level of a biological marker in the blood that reflects how much alcohol a person has consumed in the past few days," said Dr. Javors. "We hope to find some participants through FindAStudy."

The site also features links to clinicaltrials.gov, a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported human clinical studies, and researchmatch.org, a registry of human research studies offered by other academic institutions.

Mark Nijland, Ph.D., assistant vice president for research and associate professor in the Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was also the project leader of FindAStudy. The site will evolve over time, he said.

"We have a very robust search engine that will help users easily hone in on what they are seeking," said Dr. Nijland. "We are planning to continue improving the website over time."

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Updated 12/11/14