In this video, NHLBI grantee Dr. Edwin Silverman of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston talks about COPD Gene, which he runs with Dr. James Crapo of National Jewish Health in Denver, and about the importance of participation in clinical studies.
COPD Gene is a study of more than 10,000 volunteers across the country who are undergoing genetic assessment, state-of-the-art CAT scan imaging, breathing tests and other measurements in order to better understand why some people get COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and others don't. The goal is to identify the genes that play a role in the development of COPD and to ultimately improve the prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease.
"This research would not have been possible without the incredible support from the general population," said Dr. Silverman. "If we hadn't had enthusiastic support from our volunteers who gave up their own time to come in, get a CAT scan, go through an extensive array of tests with breathing tests and walk tests and a long list of questionnaires, if they hadn't been willing to do that, we just couldn't do the work.
"So I think that people need to understand that medical research isn't something that happens out there by other people. If they want new medical discoveries, they should really consider getting involved. They should consider being part of clinical trials, consider being part of these observational epidemiologic and genetic studies, because that's the only way we'll really learn things and we'll advance medical knowledge."