By Lu-Ann Kozlowski
As one of the premier research institutions in New York, Stony Brook University conducts clinical studies to advance our understanding of the prevention, diagnosis and possible roads to cures of all types of diseases. Every day, researchers at Stony Brook are going far beyond in their efforts to find answers to questions that face not only our own community but those around the globe.
At Stony Brook, major discoveries have been made that change the landscape of medicine thanks to the dedication of researchers willing to embark on new endeavors for the betterment of humankind. However, progress cannot be accomplished by a study team alone. Our research needs volunteers to help us answer the questions that advance medicine.
One of the leading reasons for the failure of a study is the lack of volunteer participation. There simply is no substitute for people willing to step up and get involved as research participants. Stony Brook understands this and has made great strides in reaching out and educating our community about this very important issue.
To educate the community about opportunities available in research and the importance of getting involved, we post on social media, attend health and wellness fairs and head a weekly informational kiosk in the lobby of our University Hospital. Stony Brook also maintains a website that assists individuals who would like to take the next step and volunteer and lists studies that are currently available.
Further, the university has hired a research subject advocate, an expert in research volunteer rights who is able to facilitate communication between patients and researchers, discuss questions or concerns with a volunteer and assist researchers in understanding and complying with the rules that ensure safe and ethical research.
In addition, Stony Brook has aligned with ResearchMatch, a national volunteer registry that connects people who want to participate in clinical studies with researchers who are seeking volunteers. This free Web-based service has one mission: to help to ensure the success of clinical research today, so that we can make a difference in the health of the future.
Deciding to participate in research is an important and personal decision. If you would like to learn more about participating or want to sign up for the ResearchMatch Registry, visit Stony Brook’s Volunteering in Research website at www.research.stonybrook.edu/volunteer or contact our research subject advocate at 631-632-9036. Medical breakthroughs cannot happen without you. Together, discovery is possible.
Lu-Ann Kozlowski is a Human Research Protection Program administrator and research participant advocate at Stony Brook University.