What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are an extremely important step in the research process. The goal of a clinical trial is to answer a specific health question aided by the participation of human volunteers. These health questions range from measuring the effectiveness of a new drug to discovering and understanding the best ways to provide health care. Clinical trials allow researchers to test the safety and efficacy of the discoveries they make in the lab. This is especially important in translational science which aims to create practical applications for scientific research through the entire research process.

Many centers and organizations define clinical trials in different ways. For UCLA CTSI, clinical trials are not simply a way for our partnered institutions to transition science, to knowledge, to practice—they are a way to include and enrich the local community of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. UCLA CTSI understands and honors the importance of patients and community members volunteering to participate in clinical trials and recognizes that without them, research would lose much of its purpose.