December 2, 2009 — (BRONX, NY) — New York City area residents who want to participate in medical research studies can now access a new online registry to connect to researchers nationwide. By joining the not-for-profit website ResearchMatch.org, interested parties can obtain detailed information about ongoing research studies and connect with researchers in a secure and convenient manner. Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the 51 institutions participating in this first disease-neutral, national volunteer recruitment registry.
"Studies are sometimes not completed because researchers can't find enough people to participate... ResearchMatch.org is an easy-to-use tool that will help to alleviate this problem."
-- Harry Shamoon, M.D., Associate Dean for Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and MontefioreResearchMatch is the product of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium, which is led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The CTSA is a national network of 46 medical research institutions working together to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country.
To carry out research as formulated by the CTSA grant, the Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and Montefiore (ICTR) was created, under the direction of Harry Shamoon, M.D., associate dean for Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and Montefiore. The mission of the ICTR is to promote multidisciplinary collaboration, addressing translational 'blocks' in research, providing infrastructure and collaborative support, and enhancing training, education, and career development, as part of the CTSA consortium. The ICTR will re-engineer clinical and translational research, reorganize research facilities, transform training and educational programs, and expand the cadre of young investigators.
"The creation of ResearchMatch is a great opportunity to create a national pool of volunteers for research," said Dr. Shamoon. "Studies are sometimes not completed because researchers can't find enough people to participate. This creates a barrier to delivering new treatments to the people who need them now and in the future. ResearchMatch.org is an easy-to-use tool that will help to alleviate this problem."
ResearchMatch will 'match' any interested individual residing in the United States with researchers who are approved to recruit potential research volunteers through the system. After an individual has self-registered to become a volunteer, ResearchMatch's security features ensure that personal information is protected until volunteers authorize the release of their contact information to a specific study that may be of interest to them. Volunteers are simply notified electronically that they are a possible match and then make the decision regarding the release of their contact information.
For the first year of the project, only researchers affiliated with participating CTSA institutions may be eligible to utilize the recruitment tool, but plans exist to ensure the recruitment tool will be available beyond the CTSA by 2011.
Currently 51 institutions representing 39 of the 46 CTSAs are listed as participating sites through ResearchMatch, including Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A complete list of these institutions may be viewed here.