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URMC / Research / Health Research / Healthy Trials

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.

Aging and Information Processing

Lead Researcher: Robert Chapman

The purpose of our study is to better understand functional differences in brain activity between healthy aging and neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's Disease. To do this, our lab uses a noninvasive and inexpensive technique to collect brain measurements called electroencephalogram (EEG). By recording EEG while participants do certain memory and other cognitive tests, we can link specific brain signals by brain location and time to cognitive activities (such as trying to memorize a stimulus). We collect the EEG, as well as traditional pen-and-paper cognitive test results, from participants every year. Using these brain measurements, we aim to discover differences between the healthy aging brain and brains struck by age-related cognitive disorders. Combining different brain measures together may help us develop better tests for these disorders.

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An EEG Study of Auditory Perception in People with and without Schizophrenia

Lead Researcher: Judy Thompson

The purpose of our study is to better understand how the brain processes sounds, including speech. We are investigating this in people with and without psychiatric conditions. One of our primary aims is to determine how these processes may relate to specific experiences and symptoms in conditions such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophreniform disorder, with the goal of using this knowledge to develop more effective treatments. In order to study how the brain processes sounds, we use a technique called electroencephalography, or EEG. For EEG, a person wears a comfortable elastic cap with sensors attached to it that are able to record brain activity. In these sessions, subjects listen to short audio clips while EEG is recording; this allows us to measure brain responses to sounds. This study also includes interviews about current and past psychiatric symptoms and treatment, as well as a few short tasks, questionnaires, and a hearing test. The study typically involves 3-4 visits, with each about 2-3 hours long. Subjects are paid $30 an hour, as well as a $30 bonus if they complete all study activities. Transportation costs are also covered, and free snacks are provided.

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BEGIN - A Breastfeeding Study

Lead Researcher: Bridget Young

This study will enroll 120 breastfeeding mothers into a study that lasts between 1-4 months postpartum. Mothers will collect a small breast milk sample very single day and store it in their freezer for researchers. They will also collect samples from their infant including urine and stool from the diaper. All sample collections are done in the home.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Studies

Lead Researcher: Ann Falsey

URMC is studying several variations of a COVID-19 vaccine. Compensation: $500-$900. Participation Requirements: Age 18+; Have not been infected with COVID-19. To volunteer, take our survey to find out if you qualify: https://redcap.urmc.rochester.edu/redcap/surveys/?s=XHH9MC8RMK

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Ethnic Differences in Iron Absorption (FeGenes)

Lead Researcher: Eva Pressman

Iron is a very important nutrient in our diet. Many individuals do not have enough iron and can develop anemia, while other individuals are at an increased risk of accumulating excess iron in their bodies. This study aims to: (1) investigate population differences in iron absorption between East Asian and Northern European adults, (2) assess hormonal and biochemical determinants of iron absorption between East Asian and Northern European adults, and (3) investigate genetic contributions to iron absorption, iron status and iron regulatory hormones between East Asian and Northern European adults.

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FLIGHT - Family Dynamics

Lead Researcher: Melissa Sturge-apple

This study examines family dynamics and how they may impact childhood development. We are seeking participation from parents and their child (between the ages of 6-9 years old). Participants will complete computer games, have discussions with each other, and will be compensated for their time. For the first visit, a full-family (mom, dad, child) will be paid $250 and the child will be given a toy. For a family to qualify for this study, 1) parents need to have been living together as a couple with their child for at least one year; 2) parents need to be the biological parent of the child; 3) the child needs to be 6-8 years old at the first visit.

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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 with either normal hearing or hearing loss. All listeners will have their hearing tested at the beginning of the study.

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Nicotine Vapor Sensory Study

Lead Researcher: Deborah Ossip

This study aims to develop reliable and valid measures of sensory experiences that are unique to e-cigarette use. In particular, we are interested in the experience commonly described as a "throat hit," which is a function of the type/concentration of nicotine and the carrier liquid. Participants will vape e-liquids we provide and answer questionnaires - all over Zoom. To be included in this study, participants must meet the following criteria: 1) Age 21-55; 2) Current daily vapers of products containing nicotine; 3) Not using other tobacco products; 4) No taste or smell deficits including from allergies (specifically active, untreated, seasonal allergies that would interfere with smell or taste procedures); 5) Access to video-conference or telephone

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Roc Romantic Relationships Study

Lead Researcher: Bonnie Le

The study will look at how different types of communication and emotional expressions impact relationships dynamics in a four-part study including 1) an online starter survey, 2) an in-lab social interaction held on-campus at the University of Rochester, 3) a two-week daily experience survey, and 4) a follow-up survey three months later.

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Wisdom Tooth Study

Lead Researcher: Hans Malmstrom

If you take part in the research, you will be asked to complete several questionnaires, to take a pain medication that's provided, and you will be asked to wear an activity monitor for 72 hours. It will take about 15 minutes during your surgery visit and post-operative visit to complete questionnaires. During the post-operative period you will receive electronic messages (via text or email) in the morning and evening. The messages will ask you to complete an eDiary on your smartphone to record pain levels, which will take about 2-3 minutes for each entry. Participants must be age 18+, have at least one wisdom tooth impacted in the lower jaw, and be in generally good health and able to take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and hydrocodone.

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