Health Research


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Q. Is clinical research safe?
All clinical research at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) have important ethical and legal safeguards in place to ensure your safety.
  • Extensive professional review. All clinical research at URMC is reviewed by panels of doctors, researchers, and community members to help protect the health and safety of participants. If, for any reason at any time, the doctor or researcher feels a study is not in a participant's best interest they will withdraw that person from the study. Remember, in the four phases of a clinical trial, the first phase is dedicated entirely to evaluating safety-related concerns for a new study.
  • Widespread community considerations. We also work with Community Advisory Boards to help us understand priorities regarding research and how it impacts the community.
  • Strict federal regulations. In addition to the above listed safeguards, most clinical research is federally regulated. Numerous laws and guidelines help protect the safety and privacy of participants in clinical research. For example, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), made up of an independent committee, must approve and monitor every clinical trial in the U.S. The IRB is highly concerned with protecting the rights of study participants and ethics. Researchers have to do a lot of reporting so their findings can be monitored but volunteer names are not mentioned in these reports; your identity remains secret and protected.
Even with these safeguards, some people have understandable concerns about the safety of trials and studies. Fortunately, the precautions and regulations we have in place today make a poorly conducted study inconceivable. In fact, URMC has been a proud leader in protecting the health and safety of study volunteers.
Even so, there are benefits and risks involved in any medical research, and it is important for you to understand them thoroughly. Be sure to talk about any risks, discomfort, or possible side effects with your doctor and the researchers involved. We've provided a list of questions to help you with this conversation.

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Q. What about confidentiality?
We take your confidentiality and privacy very seriously. As a study participant, your confidentiality will be protected and remain secret. Your name - and any other information that identifies you - will not be sent out side of URMC unless we have your written permission, unless we have your written permission, or unless the law allows it. If you have any concerns, please contact us at (585) 275-1020.

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Find an open trial or study

In Their Own Words:
Volunteer Stories

Reporting Safety Concerns

If you need to report a current safety concern, please contact the Research Subject Review Board.