Clinical Research: Who Me? I'm healthy!

Clinical Research: Who Me? I'm healthy!

Have you ever thought “I am healthy; clinical research is for people who are ill” – not true! Healthy people are a very important part of research and contribute to medical advances by providing information to researchers about the “normal” state of health. In clinical research, healthy individuals participate as controls or “the norm” to compare with a chronic condition (high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, etc.) under investigation. And healthy aging itself has become a national focus of research.

Research into health and disease has been going on for nearly 2,700 years producing results to improve human health and wellbeing. As early as 634 B.C. Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar conducted a ten-day study to find out if a meat & wine diet vs legumes & water would keep soldiers more fit. The legumes & water diet proved best.

Between the years 2000 and 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that about 250,000 registered clinical trials have been conducted. Medical breakthroughs affect every aspect of our health – from vaccines that keep us healthy to important refinements in pediatric care, brain health, cardiac care, preventive care and fitness.

Healthy volunteers from all backgrounds are critical in research. This type of research only happens because people participate – researchers provide the know-how and participants provide the means – there is a place in research for everyone to make a difference. The NIH has useful information for individuals considering whether or not to participate in clinical research as a healthy volunteer:

Emory is one of the nation's leading research universities, building on a combination of world-class resources and global partnerships. For more information about clinical research opportunities here at Emory, visit