The Section of Colorectal Surgery is dedicated to researching medical diseases and treatments to ultimately improve the delivery of care to patients. Physicians conduct clinical research to investigate the nature of a disorder or the effectiveness of a type of therapy such as a medical device or drug. In order to learn more about a specific condition, a clinical trial must be conducted. A clinical trial is a research study involving human participants that is carefully developed to evaluate and test a specific treatment strategy. The focus of a trial may be on quality of life, effectiveness of therapy or long-term effects of surgery. All clinical research studies are approved and monitored by the UCSF Committee on Human Research.
A key role in a research study is the Principal Investigator (PI). The PI conducts the clinical research and usually works with a larger group of researchers. This research team is responsible for recruiting eligible patients and for analyzing the necessary results and information. Another important aspect to the success of a research study is the sponsor. The sponsor provides the primary source of funding and is often a federal agency, private industry or other organization that may have a role in the design of the study.
Participation in a clinical research trial is completely voluntary, and if you choose not to take part in the study, there will be no penalty to you. If you are interested in joining a clinical study, we suggest you read our primer on Participating in Clinical Trials.