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Healthy Volunteer Studies

If you would like to participate in health research as the healthy volunteer, below is a list of studies accepting healthy volunteers.

Brain Training to Promote Health in Family Dementia Caregivers

Lead Researcher: Kathi Heffner

The purpose of the study is to determine whether two types of in-home “brain-training” programs may have beneficial health effects, including reduced stress and improved immune health, for individuals caring for a loved one (spouse, parent, friend, etc) who has dementia. Participation involves completing one of our brain training programs with the use of a computer at home a few times a week (when convenient for you), over eight weeks. Experience or skill with computers is not necessary. If you do not own a computer, one may be provided for you to use during the program period.

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Chronic Pain Study

Lead Researcher: Paul Geha

This study will use subjective rating methods, computer-based games, and brain imaging to study the characteristics of chronic pain and brain processes that cause them. By so doing we hope to obtain new information and understanding of chronic pain across multiple conditions. Eligibility: Ages 18-65; in generally stable health; diagnosed with a pain condition: Chronic back pain (CBP), Osteoarthritis of the knee (OAk), Temporomandibular joint disorder(TMJ), Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), or Pelvic Pain (PP).

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Future Contact Database/Repository for Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology Research

Lead Researcher: Jennifer Anolik

Autoimmune diseases affect the immune system and are typically chronic conditions in which the immune system has an overactive response against substances and tissues that are normally present in the body. How autoimmunity develops, progresses, induces immunological abnormalities and leads to disease remains largely unknown, producing the need for further research. However, because the necessary samples are unique and somewhat rare, the ability to do research can at times be hindered. One purpose of this protocol is to establish a database that will serve as both a contact and research database. Subjects who are currently participating in one of our studies as well as those who are interested in participating in future research at the University of Rochester will be consented so that we may store their personal information in a division database. We will also store data collected during the conduct of IRB approved studies which reference this protocol. Healthy controls and individuals with diseases affecting the immune system may be consented and enrolled into this protocol.

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Hearing Study: Sensitivity to Features of Speech Sounds

Lead Researcher: Laurel Carney

The purpose of this study is to better understand the sensitivity of listeners to the fast changes in frequency or amplitude of sounds that occur in speech. The investigators are studying ways to manipulate these aspects of sounds in an effort to make speech sounds more clear. We are recruiting listeners age 18 to 80, with either normal hearing or hearing loss. Listeners with hearing loss must similar hearing loss in both ears that is sensorineural in nature and mild or moderate in severity. All listeners will have their hearing tested at the beginning of the study.

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HOPE-Helping Older People Engage

Lead Researcher: Kimberly Van orden

The purpose of this study is to compare two activities — reflecting on one’s past (called “life review”) and volunteering in the community (“volunteering”). We are interested in learning how these activities may improve social connectedness and well-being among adults age 60 and older. Additionally, we may ask questions about social distancing, so to that end this study is relevant to managing the psychosocial implications of COVID-19. Volunteering involves participate weekly in a flexible volunteer program with Lifespan that involves a menu of options including helping at senior centers, co-leading classes, mentoring/tutoring and many other options. Life review involves participating in a one-year reminiscence program that is self-guided and involves completing monthly exercises such as writing about one’s memories.

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Improving Well-Being for Older Adult Family Dementia Caregivers

Lead Researcher: Kathi Heffner

The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program and the Living Well (LW) for Dementia Caregivers program, compared to any usual care, to see if the programs might be associated with better immune function, physical and emotional health, and well-being. This study is looking for individuals age 55 and up who are caring for a loved one (such as a spouse, parent, close friend) who has dementia. Participation includes attending a weekly small group meeting over eight weeks for one of two study programs (determined randomly). Both programs address ways of improving physical and emotional well-being in the context of dementia caregiving. These 8-week programs typically begin in late August at Monroe Community Hospital.

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Infant Allergy Study

Lead Researcher: Kirsi Jarvinen-seppo

The purpose of this study is to provide new knowledge about the development of infant immunity, and set the groundwork for future studies in the prevention of allergic diseases in childhood. We can study the difference between populations with allergic diseases and those without allergic diseases by comparing breast milk, saliva, blood, skin swab, nasal swab, urine, and stool samples. Eligibility: You need to be 18 years or older, healthy, and pregnant. If you have allergies, such as hay fever, asthma, eczema, or food allergies in the family (you, your partner, or another child), then you may qualify for this study.

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Observational Study of ICU Patients with Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)

Lead Researcher: Anthony Pietropaoli

An observational research study of subjects admitted to the ICU with severe SIRS (and/or sepsis). For ICU subjects enrolled, the study involves blood and urine testing and research measurements of blood flow using ultrasound. At selected time points, healthy subjects will also be recruited as needed for collection of healthy blood samples for comparison studies.

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Saltwater Tasting Study

Lead Researcher: Paul Geha

This research study includes 2 study sessions. During both sessions, participants will taste and rate different solutions of salt and water. The first session is to train participants on how to report subjective taste experience and to ensure comfort with having a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scan. The second session will take place on a separate day, and participants will be asked to report subjective taste experience - this time in the MRI scanner. Eligibility: Ages 18-45, non-smoker, healthy

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Studying Infant Nutrition and Blood Sugar in Breastfed Infants

Lead Researcher: Bridget Young

This study is for pregnant women who plan on breastfeeding their baby for at least 5 months. You and your baby will have two study visits over the first 6 months of your baby's life at the University of Rochester Medical Center. We will ask for some blood and some breast milk from you. We will ask for some urine and stool, and a heel prick from your baby.

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The LGBTQI parental experience with newborn nutrition

Lead Researcher: Rita Dadiz

Eligible participants include parents of a newborn child born within the past 1 year from time of recruitment. Parents must have identified as LGBTQI during the birthing and initial newborn hospitalization period. Adopted parents are eligible if they were involved in the birthing process. Parents must be at least 18 years old. The study includes two brief surveys which can be done online or on paper and a 60-90 minute interview done either in person or through video conferencing. A $50 prepaid Visa gift card will be provided for taking part in this study (one per family).

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