Newswise — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has joined more than 51 research institutions around the United States in making information about its clinical research trials available on ResearchMatch, the country’s first registry for recruiting research participants.
ResearchMatch.org, which is a not-for-profit Web site, is designed to provide people who are interested in participating in research the opportunity to be matched with studies that may be appropriate for them. The secure site offers a free and safe way for volunteers to connect with thousands of scientists who are conducting research on a wide range of diseases.
The site is a collaborative effort of the national network of medical research institutions affiliated with the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). The CTSA program, which is led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health, is focused on expanding local and national efforts to enhance the translation of laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients. The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute is the academic home of the CTSA at UNC and was established in 2006.
“ResearchMatch.org promises to be an important tool in our ongoing efforts to improve recruitment to clinical trials,” says Etta Pisano, M.D., director of the NC TraCS Institute. “If successful, ResearchMatch will make a difference in how we conduct research. It offers a new and innovative tool for us to use in transforming the research environment at UNC and in the state of North Carolina to improve the health of our citizens through faster and better implementation of research findings.”
Although other Web sites list available clinical trials, ResearchMatch places the burden of connecting the right volunteers with the right study on the researchers. Clinicaltrials.gov, in contrast, asks volunteers to identify the trials that could work for them.
“Participant recruitment continues to be a significant barrier to the completion of research studies nationwide. Recent NIH data indicates that just four percent of the U.S. population has participated in clinical trials,” said NCRR director Barbara Alving. “ResearchMatch is a tool that can improve the connection and communication between potential participants and researchers providing opportunities for the public to contribute to advancing new treatments.”
Currently 53 institutions representing 41 of the 46 CTSAs are listed as participating sites through ResearchMatch, including the NC TraCS Institute. A complete list of these institutions may be viewed at http://www.researchmatch.org/partners/.
ResearchMatch is accessible at: www.researchmatch.org.