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The Department Spotlight Shines On Research

Urology Austin Research Team For this month’s Department Spotlight, we’re focusing on Urology Austin’s research team. Often, research can seem mysterious. That’s why we’re providing an overview of what clinical research is and why it’s so important.

Before we go any further, let’s answer a basic question: What is clinical research? It refers to studies that involve human patients. We call these clinical trials. These trials occur after the initial “bench” science in the lab, which was used to show that a treatment is safe before it is ever used for a patient.

Each clinical trial exists to determine if a treatment is not only effective but also optimal. Trials can also help identify any side effects of a new treatment and see how it compares to what’s currently available. We couldn’t make medical advances without clinical research. Nearly every product or medication we use today is the result of previous clinical research.

Once people learn what clinical research is, they often want to know if it’s safe. Many people and organizations work together to ensure participants in clinical trials receive the care and support they need to remain safe and healthy.

Big names involved in clinical research include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Both of these organizations review and oversee the studies that we conduct and provide their endorsement before Urology Austin ever treats a patient within a given trial.

At Urology Austin, our research department includes Dr. Brian Mazzarella, as well as many of our physicians and APPs who serve as sub-investigators. Rebecca Rodriguez, Tenea Johnson and Jennifer Penshorn all work on the rapidly growing research team in various critical roles. All these groups and people work together to perform safe and ethical research during each step of a clinical tri

Speaking of these steps, clinical research can be broken down into six basic steps:

  • Initial research in the lab
  • Study design
  • FDA and IRB review
  • Study initiation and enrollment at Urology Austin
  • Reporting and results analysis
  • Patient monitoring

Patients are involved in the last three steps of this process. At this point, you might be wondering why patients want to be involved in clinical trials. The biggest reason is often patients can access new, cutting-edge treatments that are not otherwise available. Additionally, they can contribute to medical knowledge that advances the field to help other patients like them while receiving close care and monitoring from our research team. It’s a win-win situation.

Clinical research couldn’t exist without the commitment and dedication of our patients.

For these reasons, Urology Austin has a passionate and active research department that is always looking for patients who would like to participate in clinical trials. If you’d like to learn more about getting involved, you can see if you qualify for any of our current trials.

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