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An Introduction to Clinical Research Studies
Choosing to participate in a clinical research study is an important personal decision for you and your family. The following frequently asked questions provide detailed information about clinical research studies. In addition, it is often helpful to talk to a physician or other healthcare provider, family members, or friends about deciding to volunteer for a clinical research study. After identifying some research study options, the next step is to contact the Miami Children's Hospital Clinical Research Center and ask questions about specific clinical research studies.

What is a clinical research study?
A clinical research study seeks answers to specific questions about vaccines, new drugs, new medical devices or new ways of using known treatments. Clinical research studies (also called medical research or clinical trials) are used to determine whether these potential new treatments are both safe and effective. Carefully conducted clinical research studies are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people.

Why participate in a clinical research study?
Participants in clinical research studies can play a more active role in their own healthcare, or their children's healthcare, gain access to new and innovative research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research.

Where do the ideas for research studies come from?
Ideas for clinical research studies usually come from researchers. After researchers test new therapies or procedures in the laboratory and in animal studies, the treatments with the most promising laboratory results are moved into clinical research studies. During a research study, more and more information is gained about a new treatment, its risks and how well it may or may not work.

Who sponsors clinical research studies?
Clinical research studies are sponsored or funded by a variety of organizations, industries or individuals such as physicians, medical institutions, foundations, voluntary groups, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies, in addition to federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Research studies can take place in a variety of locations, such as hospitals, universities, doctors' offices, or community clinics.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Miami Children's Hospital Clinical Research Center to improve the health of children by providing patients and health care professionals access to the newest innovations for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of pediatric diseases.

Please visit The Miami Children’s Hospital Research Institute clinical research center.