The Yale School of Medicine was founded in 1810 at a time when a physician’s tools for treating illnesses were few. Today, with a full-time faculty of more than 2,000, including more than 500 research scientists, the school is one of the world’s leading institutions for biomedical research, education, and advanced clinical care.
Yale’s historical contributions to medicine include the first successful use of penicillin in America, the development and first use of cancer chemotherapy by the Department of Surgery, and the introduction of continuous electronic fetal heart monitoring. Yale doctors designed the prototype of the first artificial heart pump and the first insulin pump for diabetes. Yale researchers established how the polio virus is transmitted, paving the way for the Salk vaccine and in 1975, Lyme disease was identified by two Yale physicians. Recent milestones include the first genetically modified mouse; the discovery of a mechanism of protein folding, which is key to understanding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease; and the discovery of the mechanism of innate immunity, the body’s natural defense, which plays an important role in infectious disease and cancer. Yale scientists have also identified the genes associated with high blood pressure, macular degeneration, dyslexia, Crohn’s disease, polycystic kidney disease, and Tourette syndrome.
There are currently hundreds of clinical research studies underway at Yale for a wide variety of conditions. There are also many trials that need healthy volunteers. Participants who are healthy are often needed to provide information that can be compared with people who have a specific illness or condition and to help establish the safety, dosage, and side effects of a new drug or treatment. All of these research studies are an important and necessary step in the process of making sure new treatments are safe and effective. They are also an opportunity for the volunteers who participate in them to try new experimental treatment options, help bring new medicine to patients who need it, and make a valuable contribution to the advancement of medical knowledge.
If you’re interested in learning more, experts are available to help you find a clinical trial that’s best suited to you, explain what’s involved, and guide you through the process of enrolling and participating in a research study.