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Resources for Community Members

UC San Diego Health is a hub for clinical and translational medicine. That means we are taking the discoveries we learn in the lab and transforming them into new medicines, therapies and ways to improve health care. Each year we enroll people in hundreds of clinical studies. Topics of research range from health behavior and disease prevention to clinical trials of promising investigational drugs, treatments and devices. Whether you have a health condition or are healthy, there are many ways to get involved and make a difference. Currently we have more than 400 active studies.

Get Involved with ACTRI Research!

Clinical Trial Glossary

Adverse event: any unexpected change in health or any side effect that occurs in a person while they are still under the effect of a treatment in a clinical trial.  All adverse events must be reported to an institutional review board, whether they are serious or minor.

Assent: a child’s consent to participate in a clinical trial.

Blinded study: a study done in such a way that the study participants do not know whether they are getting a placebo (an inactive substance) or a drug, but the study team does know.  If the study is comparing two different doses or two different medications, then the human participants do not know which they are getting.  In a “double-blinded study”, neither the study participant nor the investigator know which treatment any one study participant is getting. That information is revealed only once the treatment is over.

Clinical investigation or ‘clinical research’ or ‘clinical study’ or ‘clinical trial’: research that either directly involves human participants or uses materials of human origin (for example, blood) to test the safety and/or effectiveness of drugs, medical devices, procedures, or preventions.

Confidentiality: the assurance that a participant’s information will be kept secret and that access to that information is limited to authorized persons.

Control group: the group of participants who resemble the experimental group, (for example, they are in the same age range) but who do not receive the experimental treatment.  Changes are measured in both the treatment group and this group, to compare the effect of the new drug, medical device, procedure, or prevention.

Data: series of recorded observations, measurements, or facts (about the participant).

Effectiveness/efficacy: whether a new drug or treatment works. An effective drug or prevention will improve health or successfully prevent a disease.

Experimental drug or device:  see Investigational drug or device.

Experimental group: the group of subjects exposed to the new, researched treatment.  This group is often compared to a ‘control group’, the subjects who are are not exposed to that treatment.

FDA (Food and Drug Administration): an agency of the United States federal government that approves or disapproves new drugs and devices.

Human subject: a participant who volunteers to be in a clinical study.

Informed consent: a patient’s written consent to participate in a clinical study after fully discussing with the researchers all the relevant health-related facts and the risks involved.

Institutional Review Board, “IRB”: a committee that has been formally designated to protect the people involved in research.  This board must review and approve each clinical study that involves humans subjects, with the aim to protect each person’s safety, rights, privacy and welfare.

Investigation: see Clinical investigation

Investigational drug/device: a new medical drug and/or device that has been tested in a laboratory but has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be legally sold and used by health care providers and/or patients.

Investigators: These are researchers.  They are scientists who manage clinical studies. The lead investigator of a study is also called the “Principal Investigator.”

Participant: also known as a "human subject", a person who volunteers to be in a research experiment.

Placebo: a substance that has no therapeutic effect but is given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it could be a medicine. Other names for placebos include ‘dummy pill’ or ‘sugar pill’.

Procedure:  In health care, this can be a test (such as taking blood to measure cholesterol) or a treatment (like surgery or an injection of a drug). In research, a trial's protocol describes the procedures (tests and/or treatments) carried out on or by the participants and/or investigators.

Protected health information (PHI): any information about a participant’s health history or status. By law, this is required to be kept confidential.

Protocol: a written plan for carrying out a clinical study. A protocol includes what will be done, when, and how.

Randomization: Mixing up the types of participants in enrolled into an experimental group or a control group, so that it will be fair to compare the two groups. For example, if the experimental group had a lot more elderly people than the control group, and the test drug didn't work in the experimental group, it wouldn't be fair to conclude that the drug didn't work, because there might be something in elderly people's metabolism to prevent the drug from working well. So a mix of people should go into the group that gets the drug, and a mix of people should go into the control group.

Randomized controlled trial (RCT):  a scientific experiment that tests a new treatment or device by randomly dividing participants to receive either the treatment under investigation, or a control condition that does not receive the investigated treatment.

Research: gathering of information to help increase our knowledge. Clinical research involves human volunteers. Sometimes clinical research tests drugs or devices or procedures in human participants; but research always involves measuring something--for example, whether blood pressure went down in participants receiving a new drug, and whether it stayed the same in the participants (controls) who didn't receive the drug.

Researcher: a person who carries out an investigation (another word that can be used for “investigator”).

Sponsor: a person, organization, company, institution, or government agency that provides funds (money) or other resources for a clinical study.

Study: see Clinical investigation

Study Coordinator: a key member of the research team who works for the principal investigator, or lead researcher. He/she is the person who is usually responsible for the daily activities of the clinical study.

Subject:  subject or ‘human subject’ is a term describing the person who volunteers to be in a research experiment.  Also called a research participant.

Trial: see ‘clinical investigation’

Volunteer: a person who willingly participates in a clinical study.

Educational Videos


Find a Study!

Studies Recruiting Volunteers

There are many clinical research studies being conducted at UC San Diego that are seeking volunteers. All studies have guidelines for INCLUSION/EXCLUSION CRITERIA which must be followed. When a research study is designed, it is necessary to control all factors that might influence the results. Guidelines are established to determine who should and should not be included in the research study. These might include age, gender, weight, race, existing diseases, medications, allergies, just to list a few. If you volunteer to participate in a study and are not selected to be a full participant once you are screened, it is not uncommon. Please do not be discouraged. There are many studies looking at a large variety of wellness and disease issues, so if one isn't a good match, there are others that might be. We encourage you to volunteer!

This UC San Diego Health ClinicalTrials website enables investigators and volunteers to find all active clinical trials across the UC San Diego medical site. Once you enter the site, type in a study area such as Depression, Lung Cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease to explore more than 900 trials at UC San Diego Health.

UC San Diego Clinical Trials
Learn more about Clinical trials

All of Us Research Program
A precision medicine initiative seeking to develop a data-driven and revolutionary approach to disease prevention and treatment, taking into account individual variability in environment, lifestyle and genes, with the ultimate goal to extend precision medicine to all people. For more information, please email or call (858) 265-1711.

Rady Children's Hospital San Diego: Dermatology
Conducts pediatric dermatology clinical trials

Rady Children's Hospital San Diego: Allergy/Immunology
Conducts pediatric food allergy trials

UC San Diego B.R.A.I.N. Lab: Biopsychological Research on Aging, Inflammation, and Neuropsychiatry
Conducting research on Bipolar and Aging

UC San Diego Center for Pain Medicine
Current Clinical Research Studies at UC San Diego Center for Pain Medicine

Algae Nutritional Research Study

UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research
Studies to better understand the neurobiological factors that contribute to eating disorders and test how directly targeting these factors may improve treatments

UC San Diego Liver Center
Clinical trials of innovative therapies designed to halt the progression of and reverse liver injury are currently underway at UC San Diego Health

UC San Diego Medical Services: AIDS/HIV+
Research institute supporting a number of clinical and research programs for people living with AIDS or HIV

UC San Diego Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine
Studies to better understand human sleep and sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. Currently seeking healthy controls, individuals with COPD, HIV, and/or sleep apnea.

UC San Diego Stein Institute for Research on Aging: Center for Health Aging
Current Research Studies conducted at the UC San Diego Stein Institute.

UC San Diego Very Shy: Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders
On-going research studies actively recruiting participants with and without depression and anxiety disorders

Integrative Health Studies

UC San Diego Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Studies designed to discover ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately eradicate Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study

Cognitive Dynamics Lab
Conducts studies that focus on mobile cognitive interventions for people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Chronic Pain and Meditation Study
The purpose of this research study is to see if and how mindfulness meditation affects pain. Specifically, we are interested in assessing if mindfulness is associated with the release of naturally occurring opiates in the body, in response to intravenous (IV) administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone during a chronic low back pain provoking procedure.


How to get involved in medical research studies?

There are several ways to find a research study, even if you do not have any specific condition in mind. Remember that is important to find studies that have been reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board(IRB).

Our doctors and researchers are looking for new ways to prevent and treat diseases. To do this, our scientists use a type of research called clinical trials. A clinical trial is used to see if a treatment works and is safe for people. This site gives you information about the clinical trials happening at the University of California, San Diego and our research partner sites. Patient safety our number one priority. Our researchers follow strict rules from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You may want to check out more information about clinical trials from the NIH to see if these studies are right for you or a loved one.

Register for ResearchMatch

ResearchMatch is a volunteer online registry funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that brings together researchers and willing volunteers who would like to be involved in research studies. Anyone can join ResearchMatch. Many studies are looking for healthy people of all ages, while some are looking for people with specific health conditions. ResearchMatch can help ‘match’ you with any type of research study, ranging from surveys to clinical trials. ResearchMatch will not release any of your personal information to third parties, participating organizations or other institutions. Your information will only be available to researchers after you indicate interest in being contacted about a particular study. Learn more at

Search for a study using is the largest listing of clinical trials and includes interventional and observational studies conducted around the world. The site, a service of the NIH, allows you to search by many criteria


Considera ser voluntario para un estudio de investigación  

Para acceso a un entrenamiento sobre estudios de investigación para promotores, siga este enlace

Cada estudio clínico tiene como objetivo, de alguna manera, el cumplir con la promesa de la innovación científica. Pero ninguno de estos estudios puede tener éxito sin la participación de voluntarios dedicados. No hay ningún Departamento o Secretaría de Curas. Somos nosotros.

-Michael J. Fox
San Diego Union-Tribune, Julio 2011

UC San Diego Health es un centro de la medicina traslacional. Esto significa que estamos transformando lo que descubrimos en el laboratorio hacia nuevas medicaciones, terapias y maneras para mejorar el cuidado de la salud. Cada año, inscribimos a participantes en cientos de ensayos clínicos sobre nuevas medicinas, tratamientos y tecnologías sanitarias. La mayoría de estos estudios médicos buscan diversos participantes, y muchos acomodan a participantes que prefieren asistencia en español. Hoy en día, tenemos más de 400 ensayos clínicos.

Cómo informarse sobre estudios médicos

Hay varias maneras de que usted se puede ofrecer como voluntario en un estudio de investigación, hasta si está de buena salud o no sabe en cual estudio desea participar. Aquí hay algunos enlaces para buscar estudios de investigación. Hoy en día, estos sitios están disponibles solamente en inglés.

Research Match

Registrarse en ResearchMatch

ResearchMatch es un registro de voluntarios que se encuentra en el internet. Tiene apoyo financiero por los Institutos Nacionales de Salud (NIH), y enlaza investigadores con los voluntarios que desean participar en estudios de investigación. Todos pueden registrarse en ResearchMatch. Muchos estudios buscan a voluntarios de todas edades que están en buena salud, mientras algunos estudios necesitan participantes con ciertas condiciones médicas. ResearchMatch le puede conectar con cualquier tipo de estudio de investigación, desde encuestas simples hasta ensayos clínicos. ResearchMatch no compartirá nada de su información personal con otros voluntarios, organizaciones, o instituciones. Su información solamente se compartirá con investigadores después de que usted indica que le interesa algún estudio específico. Infórmese más en

Póngase en contacto con estudios que buscan participantes que hablan español

Estudio para Mujeres que Tuvieron Cáncer del Seno
Llame al (858) 822-3311
Estudios del Programa para Madres, Niños y Adolescentes con VIH

Buscar un Estudio con UC San Diego Health – Búsqueda para Ensayos Clínicos

Cientos de estudios de salud se llevan a cabo en UC San Diego Health durante el año. Busque ensayos clínicos que necesitan participantes en

Buscar un Estudio con UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Los estudios clínicos relacionados al cáncer se hacen en UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. La mayoría de estos estudios son para las personas que tienen o que están recuperándose del cáncer. Sin embargo, hay muchos estudios, como estudios sobre la prevención, que necesitan voluntarios de buena salud. Infórmese en

Buscar un Estudio con el UC San Diego Memory Disorders Clinic

Memory Disorders Clinic (clínica de trastornos de la memoria) en UC San Diego Health es una puerta para acceso a dos entidades importantes para la investigación de la enfermedad de Alzheimer. El Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study es una colaboración de centros de medicina académica en los Estados Unidos que están desarrollando tratamientos para la enfermedad de Alzheimer. El Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center conduce investigaciones para mejor entender las causas, síntomas, y tratamientos para la enfermedad de Alzheimer y otros trastornos de la memoria. Infórmese más en

Buscar un Estudio con es el listado de ensayos clínicos más grande e incluye estudios de intervención y de observación por todo el mundo. En este sitio, un servicio de los Institutos Nacionales de Salud (NIH), se puede buscar estudios usando diferentes criterios.

¿Todavía no encuentra ningún estudio de investigación en el que califique?

No falte información sobre las investigaciones, ensayos clínicos, y publicaciones de los doctores e investigadores de UC San Diego. Visite nuestro sitio de servicios clínicos

Encuéntrenos en Facebook o Twitter para las últimas noticias en inglés sobre estudios de investigación, e información sobre estudios que buscan participantes.

Partnerships with Community Organizations

ACTRI Community Advisory Board

CAB Goals and Objectives:

ACTRI's goal for the CAB is to foster relationships and strong partnerships among community members and health researchers, be involved in the full translational research process (e.g., identify research priorities, identify research questions, study design, study implementation, results interpretation, dissemination, sustainability) and
advise on community priorities for discovery.

Communication: Support communication between ACTRI researchers and the community by discussing and addressing community issues, health needs and concerns related to research, while working to increase awareness of ACTRI within the community.

  • Provide input and feedback to the Population Science units on community health and related needs and priorities

  • Meet regularly with Population Science and Executive Committee to discuss strategic plans, policy changes, resource allocation and unmet needs

  • Provide on-going input to research personnel how community members think and feel about health research

  • Facilitate communication and collaboration between community-based organization and UCSD Health Science in general and CTRI programs

Partnerships: Foster relationships and partnerships with community members to build a sense of respect and trust, while working collaboratively with community partners.

  • Provide input on priorities and research issues in support of emerging health needs

  • Support Population Science activities, including workshops, webinars, trainings, events, etc.

  • Manages interactions with community partners and help to incorporate community ideas and priorities into ACTRI resource allocations and decisions

  • Develop a shared sense of trust by and between ACTRI and community members

  • Building partnerships with community agencies that are mutually beneficial

CAB Members play a key role in the success of translational research by promoting translational education and research projects and sharing information with their communities. They serve as a bi-directional link between the community and the ACTRI. They work to identify and advocate for the health issues and concerns of San Diego, Imperial Valley, and the regional communities, particularly those with diverse populations and populations typically at higher risk of poor health outcomes. Additionally, they are in the unique position to provide community perspectives on the entire translational process.

 If you are interested in learning more about the ACTRI CAB, becoming a CAB member or know of someone who might be interested in being a CAB member, please reach out to us!

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