UT Health Science Center is part of national volunteer recruitment registry
SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 11, 2009)—People within the San Antonio community who want to participate in research studies can now connect online with researchers nationwide by joining ResearchMatch.org. ResearchMatch is a not-for-profit Web site that brings together researchers and people who are willing to learn more about research studies in a secure and convenient manner. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the 51 institutions participating in this first national, disease-neutral, volunteer recruitment registry.
ResearchMatch is the product of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium, which is led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The CTSA Consortium is a national network of 46 medical research institutions working together to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country.
The UT Health Science Center and nine South Texas consortium partners announced a $26 million CTSA in May 2008. The Health Science Center established the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science to coordinate clinical and translational research and career development across all Health Science Center schools and among the South Texas consortium partners.
Robert A. Clark, M.D., assistant vice president for clinical research at the Health Science Center and the principal investigator of the South Texas CTSA, said regarding ResearchMatch, “It is a greatly needed resource for volunteers and researchers nationwide, including those in Texas. One historic problem of clinical research programs has been recruiting enough study participants. This is a step in the right direction.”
How does ResearchMatch work?
ResearchMatch will match any interested individual residing in the United States with researchers who are approved to recruit potential research volunteers through the system. After an individual has self-registered to become a volunteer, ResearchMatch’s security features ensure that personal information is protected until volunteers authorize the release of their contact information to a specific study that may be of interest to them. Volunteers are simply notified electronically that they are a possible match and then make the decision regarding the release of their contact information.
For the first year of the project, only researchers affiliated with participating CTSA institutions may be eligible to utilize the recruitment tool, but plans exist to ensure the recruitment tool will be available beyond the CTSA by 2011.
Currently 51 institutions representing 40 of the 46 CTSAs are listed as participating sites through ResearchMatch, including the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. A complete list of these institutions may be viewed here.
ResearchMatch is accessible at: http://iims.uthscsa.edu/ under Community Links
(bottom left of page) or click here: Research Study Information.
Please visit the NCRR press release regarding ResearchMatch.
Supported by the South Texas CTSA grant, the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS) oversees education and training programs, pediatric and adult clinical research studies, novel clinical and translational research methods, biostatistics and study design, clinical research ethics, research regulatory consultation, biomedical informatics and community engagement. A single point of contact enables investigators from all consortium partners to have access to all IIMS programs and resources.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.