Clinical trials are key to advancing medicine, including COVID-19 vaccine

MIAMI – Registered clinical trials reached record levels in the past year, increasing the demand for people willing to participate, and Miami resident Marilyn Strauss Diaz was eager to join a COVID-19 vaccine trial underway at the University of Miami Health System.

“We can’t depend on a lab rat. We have to have human trials for there to be a successful vaccine, so we have to have humans come forward and be a part of trials,” she said.

“Before COVID, we usually would have a couple of hundred clinical trials here going at the same time at the University of Miami that are focused on a lot of different diseases. With COVID, there was a slowdown and now we’re ramping up again and starting a lot of these studies,” said Dr. Olveen Carassquillo, who is part of the research team.

“COVID has the most urgency. That’s a public health crisis so a lot of research is focused on that, but we have a lot of landmark cancer studies going on with different treatment regimens and prevention studies. We also have a lot of cardiovascular disease, a lot of other studies focused on stroke, on preventing dementia,” Carassquillo added.

And South Florida’s diverse population makes it a major focus of research efforts, something Strauss Diaz is proud to be a part of.

“At the end, it will be beneficial to so many,” she said.

To learn more about clinical trials at the University of Miami Health System go to: https://umiamihealth.org/clinical-trials

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