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Clinical Trials Awareness Week 2022 Celebrates Those That Make Medical Breakthroughs Possible


Clinical Trials Awareness Week is a week-long celebration recognizing our research investigators, study team members and research participants and their commitment to advancing science and discovery in medicine. All of whom have contributed to University Hospitals’ rich 150-year history of medical innovation.

Clinical trials team in front of UHCMC

The University Hospitals Clinical Research Center celebrated May 16-20 with special event webinars. The webinars provided UH staff, patients, and community members with information about exciting new research studies, recent study findings, and how to get involved in research and become a research advocate by joining the Clinical Research Advisory Board.

Webinar Recaps

Discover with UH: Clinical Research Awareness and Social Justice

On Wednesday, May 18, we were joined by Drs. Lee Ponksy, Rebecca Flyckt and Nicole Fowler. They walked us through their research innovations and projects ranging from radiosurgery for kidney tumors to breakthroughs in uterine transplantation and immunotherapies to treat HPV-related cancers. Attendees saw a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the development process for cutting-edge treatments and medical technologies. Our panel also stressed the importance of diverse representation in research and access to care.

Physicians become heavily involved in research for many reasons. However, all of the panelists agreed they became involved in research because of their desire to answer patients’ questions, the hope of changing the status quo and the constant curiosity of whether they could do better for their patients with data to back it up.

When asked what they wanted patients to walk away knowing about research and clinical trials, they responded as follows:

Watch the entire Discover with UH: Clinical Research Awareness webinar here.

Learn about the UH Clinical Research Community Advisory Board

On Thursday, May 19, the UH Clinical Research Center held an informational webinar on the UH Clinical Research Advisory Board. This webinar informed attendees about how patients and community members could help shape the patient experience in research by engaging in conversations and providing feedback. Attendees interested in more information about how join the Board to lend their voice were encouraged to apply for membership.

COVID-19 Research at UH, What We’ve Learned

On Friday, May 20, we celebrated International Clinical Trials Day with a webinar focused on the results of COVID-19 research studies conducted at University Hospitals. Our panel included presentations from Drs. Sadeer Al-Kindi and David Canaday, with a keynote address by Dr. Grace McComsey, VP of Research at University Hospitals and Director of the UH Clinical Research Center. Our presenters shed a light on what we’ve learned about COVID-19 and what’s yet to come.

Dr. McComsey praised UH researchers for rising to the occasion and pushing forward with studies dedicated to preventing, treating and understanding COVID-19. She brought attendees back to the pandemic’s beginning with a graphic highlighting the timeline of COVID-19 research at UH, starting with Remdesivir in March 2020 and including the UH COVID-19 Biorepository, vaccine trials and the current Long COVID/PASC study. Dr. McComsey also presented data from a study stemming from the Biorepository investigating the role that Vitamins K and D deficiencies play in COVID-19 severity and outcomes. Dr. McComsey rounded out her keynote address by touching on ongoing research on COVID-19 Long-Haul syndrome and PASC.

Dr. Al-Kindi spoke on his COVID-19 work and research focusing on Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Al-Kindi highlighted a study investigating elevated red blood cell markers to determine the potential risk of adverse outcomes of COVID-19 infection and the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on cardiovascular outcomes, heart function and social vulnerability.

Dr. Canaday presented the importance of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in healthcare workers and nursing residents – those with the highest priority for initial vaccination and boosters. It was found that the COVID-19 vaccine booster doses were necessary to neutralize or build immunity against the Omicron variants more effectively. This finding led to further questioning for nursing home residents, particularly about whether this population should have a standard three-dose series. 

This session provided just a glimpse of the vast amounts of COVID-19 research occurring and a great reminder of the power and importance of research in helping people live healthier lives.

Watch the entire COVID-19 Research at UH, What We’ve Learned webinar here.

Clinical Research Resource Tables

Clinical trials resource table

UH Clinical Research Center staff also hosted Resource Tables across Northeast Ohio at Cleveland Medical Center, Ahuja Medical Center, Westlake Health Center, Portage Medical Center, Otis Moss Jr. Health Center and Rainbow Ahuja Center for Women & Children.

Over 300 patients and staff visited the tables and the UH Mobile Clinical Research Unit to learn how research studies and clinical trials paved the way for the treatments and therapies used today, how they will continue to do so in the future, and how they provide more options in care. In addition, visitors were provided with informational materials on various ways to get involved with clinical research and were treated to giveaways to commemorate the week. 

Passionate patients and staff from across the system were also kind enough to write a few words on why they care about research.

Clinical Trials shield

For highlights of the week’s events, follow the UH Clinical Research Center on social media:

LinkedInUniversity Hospitals Clinical Research Center

FacebookUH Clinical Research


Instagram icon@UHClinicalResearch

For more information about getting involved, or to find a study to participate in, visit www.UHhospitals.org/Research.