Can the Community Help Overcome Barriers to Medical Research?

Date & Time

Wed, 06/06/2012
5:30-7 pm


“It takes several decades to take something from the lab bench to the clinic.”

Dr. Howard Taras delivered this sobering perspective in the Ethics Center’s June 6 program titled “Can the community help overcome barriers to medical research?” Taras is particularly qualified to answer this question given his roles as physician, researcher, and Director of the Community Engagement Unit of UC San Diego’s Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

While there are many barriers to introducing new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, an essential step is clinical research. And it isn’t possible to conduct that research without recruiting enough people to participate. In light of this need, Taras asked, “Why do a majority of studies never hit their target for recruitment?” He suggested that people might simply not know about the research studies, that they might be skeptical of participating in something that may be risky, and that because of low scientific literacy, people may simply not understand either the science or the need for participation.

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To view a recording of this event, please click here.


Howard Taras
UC San Diego

Dr. Taras is a professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego, and director of the Community Engagement Unit of UCSD’s Clinical & Translational Research Institue (CTRI). Dr Taras is a health consultant / medical director for several large school districts. He is contracted by the public health department to foster oral health promotion among professionals who serve children in San Diego county. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in and contributions to the areas of school health and children with special needs. He has experience bridging community agencies with academics and with managing multidisciplinary projects.