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Jonathan Bernstein, MD, is a leading researcher in asthma and allergies.
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Publish Date: 11/23/11
Media Contact: Angela Koenig, 513-558-4625
Patient Info: For more information on how to participate in a clinical trial, call 513-558-0924 or 513-558-5414.
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Allergy Clinical Trials Center Helps Patients, Advances Medical Science

A new center for clinical trials research related to allergy, immunology and/or rheumatology is now up and running under the leadership of allergy specialist Jonathan Bernstein, MD. The center’s offices are located in the Health Professions Building, 3255 Eden Avenue, Suite 250 and 350.

"I always tell people when they participate in a clinical trial that they are investing in their future and that of future generations. Where would people be if there weren’t clinical trials? If you take medication for anything, those medicines required participation in a clinical trial to get approved by the Food Drug Administration,” says Bernstein, a professor in the division of immunology/allergy section in the UC College of Medicine’s department of internal medicine. 

Bernstein and his research staff, which includes registered nurses and fellows specializing in allergy, are now looking to reach out to the Academic Health Center community and beyond to assist with enrollment in the many clinical trials—new and ongoing—at the center which include clinical trials in respiratory illnesses such as Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

"We want people to know that there are many ways to participate in a clinical trial that you don’t necessarily have to alter or try new medications and that sometimes trials are just observational. You may have to just get on a treadmill or fill out a diary,” says Sarah Holmes, one of two clinical research coordinators at the center.

Clinical trials, she says, can also range from just a few weeks participation to a year, depending on the nature of the study.
 
"They get paid to be participants, they get education about their disease, and it’s providing them and the public a useful service,” adds Bernstein, explaining that people also often don’t realize how long it takes to get a drug or treatment method from discovery to the shelves.

"Most studies are abandoned before they ever make it to clinical trials because the approval process is long, expensive and arduous because the studies are so highly scrutinized,” he says. 
    
Holmes adds studies are far more difficult now to perform  than ever before, as the government is far more demanding on the data and how the studies are conducted.

"I personally participate in clinical trials whenever I can,” says clinical research coordinator Jillian Picard. "I feel I have to support the same notion that I am trying to convey to the general public: We have a responsibility to invest in the future of medical science,” she says.

Another aspect of participation, Holmes explains, is the amount of one-on-one time participants often have with the nurses and physicians conducting the study, which can sometimes lead to health care improvement that may have gone unnoticed otherwise. 

"We really want to focus on quality care. We want people to realize that by taking an active role in your health care through clinical trials you are advancing the health care of your future as well,” she says.

To contact Holmes or Picard or for more information on how to participate in a clinical trial, call 513-558-0924 or 513-558-5414.


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