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Researchers, Community Get Matchmaker
Published February 2010
Making that first connection is often the barrier for community members interested in participating in research studies—and for researchers looking for study participants. But a new development called ResearchMatch will make it easier for the community and those conducting research to connect.
ResearchMatch (found online at researchmatch.org) is a nonprofit, Web-based tool produced in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium.
The secure site allows users to self-register to become study volunteers. They do so by entering contact information, interests and a variety of health-related details that can then be used to match them with an appropriate study.
Electronic notifications are then used to alert volunteers to potential study opportunities, and only at that point do they make decisions authorizing the release of their contact information.
Brett Kissela, MD, of neurology, and Mike Spigarelli, MD, PhD, of pediatrics, serve as contacts for ResearchMatch at UC. The Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST), housed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is the institution’s ResearchMatch liaison.
Formed in 2005 as a collaborative effort among UC, Cincinnati Children’s, UC Health University Hospital and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the CCTST is a research resource and “academic home” for clinical and translational scientists and programs.
Directed by James Heubi, MD, and Joel Tsevat, MD, the CCTST gained support last year through a $23 million CTSA award.
“ResearchMatch offers an excellent opportunity to link translational researchers with research participants across the nation,” says Heubi.
“This program should be particularly helpful in the study of rare diseases, an area which is sometimes neglected.”
For its first year, ResearchMatch is only open to researchers affiliated with a participating CTSA. That means researchers at UC and Cincinnati Children’s can take advantage of this new tool for their study recruitment. Interested researchers should complete a researcher interest form at researchmatch.org.
For more information, contact the CCTST at (513) 803-1041 or visit cctst.uc.edu.