In staying true to our mission of providing comprehensive medical care, Urology Austin established a Clinical Research Department in the spring of 2020. Our vision is to stay at the forefront of urological healthcare advancement by contributing our expertise to current, applicable research studies.
What is clinical research?
Clinical research refers to all research carried out on humans. It is how we can assess new treatments, methodologies, or technologies to better understand and treat patient health.
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a carefully designed research study that investigates a better way to prevent, screen for, diagnose, and/or treat disease. These trials seek to answer a specific question and follow a strict protocol to produce reliable results. Study participants are closely monitored by experienced providers (investigators) and health care professionals (clinical research team) who are dedicated to patient care and safety.
Every clinical trial has a protocol or study plan that describes how the study will be conducted. Clinical trials are approved by an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) to determine whether these methodologies are safe and effective under controlled environments. During a trial, more and more information is gathered about the potential treatment, its risks, along with aspects related to quality of life.
Why Urology Austin established a clinical research department?
We have a large patient database along with extremely knowledgeable and experienced providers. Patients have access to advanced technology and therapies before they are readily available to the public. We are excited to be able to offer this option to eligible patients seeking to improve their quality of life and help contribute to science.
Meet our Clinical Research Team
Dr. Mazzarella, Urologist and VP of Research
In addition to running our Department of Clinical Research, Dr. Mazzarella is a practicing urologist and surgeon. In his daily practice, Dr. Mazzarella treats urology patients of all types and is an experienced surgeon. As the Vp of Research, Dr. Mazzarella serves as the Principal Investigator for many of our clinical trials. The Principal Investigator is responsible for the conduct of studies, and Dr. Mazzarella oversees all of our Clinical Research Team. He has participated in urology trials in nearly all specialties including prostate cancer, bladder cancer, BPH, incontinence, stones and many others. Dr. Mazzarella achieved certification by the Academy of Clinical Research Professionals as a Certified Principal Investigator. This certification demonstrates his expertise and commitment to conducting the highest standards of clinical trial both from a scientific and patient safety perspective. Less than 2% of physicians who serve as investigators have earned this certification.
Rebecca Rodriguez, Clinical Research Director
Rebecca Rodriguez is the Clinical Research Director at Urology Austin. She has 20-plus years experience in clinical research at independent, multi-site, and CRO levels. Prior to joining Urology Austin, Rebecca served as the Director of Clinical Operations at DermResearch, Inc., a local research site focused on dermatology trials. Rebecca attended St. Edward’s University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Biological Sciences and Professional Communication.
Rebecca is passionate about the impact clinical research has on the advancement of health treatments and has been involved in many investigational drug studies that have resulted in FDA approvals.
Jennifer Penshorn, Clinical Research Nurse
Jennifer Penshorn is a Clinical Research Nurse at Urology Austin. Jenny received her Bachelor of Science in Biology at San Jose State University. While completing her Bachelor degree, she worked part time as a Medical Assistant in Mt. View, California. After graduating, she started her research career as a Clinical Research Coordinator working on cardiovascular catheterization lab devices/procedures and drug studies.
Liz Ayala, Clinical Research Coordinator
Liz Ayala is a Clinical Research Coordinator at Urology Austin. Liz received her medical assistant certification from Everest Institute in San Antonio in 2010. Liz recently joined the research department in January 2023, but she has been a fixture at Urology Austin for almost 13 years including working as a medical assistant, team lead, and most recently as a patient navigator streamlining communication needs. She loves working with patients and is passionate about communicating the availability of trials to help them as well as future patients.
What studies we’re currently doing?
Urology Austin will be participating in multitude of trials involving new surgical procedures or devices, new drugs or new combinations of drugs, or new ways to use existing treatments. If you are interested, see below for trials that we are our currently enrolling patients. Also, please talk to your doctor if you would be eligible for any of our currently enrolling trials.
What is the phone number to call for more information?
To contact the research team, please email: UA-Research@urologyaustin.com or call 512-410-3773.
Enrolling in clinical trials
We are now enrolling patients in several clinical trials. Click here to view our current trials and participant criteria.