Clinical Trials: What’s In It For Me?

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We are thrilled to announce that our JDRF Pacific Northwest Chapter & Seattle Guild is welcoming two new Clinical Trial Education Volunteers (CTEV), Jude Restis and Laura Tremblay, MD.  The goal of the CTEV program is to provide the members of each chapter with knowledge about important clinical trials enrolling locally.  Jude and Laura will serve as the volunteer leads for questions about clinical trials in general and information specific to the trials in our region.

Jude is based in Seattle and was diagnosed with T1D 48 years ago and has been involved with JDRF for the past 15 years. He served on the JDRF Board of Directors in Seattle, has been a Research Information Volunteer (RIV) since the beginning of the program in 2010, serves on the RIV National Steering Committee, is a member of the JDRF Speakers Bureau, and serves on the JDRF Research Committee for the artificial pancreas project.  An advocate for clinical trials on a global and personal level, he completed a year-long human clinical trial in 2018 of a hybrid closed loop “artificial pancreas”, and is currently using a DIY closed loop system.

Laura is based in Portland.  She is an Internal Medicine physician with additional prior experience in the pharmaceutical/research realm as a Medical Safety Officer, monitoring drugs both on the market, as well as those still in development in clinical trials.  She has been involved with JDRF since 2018, when her youngest daughter was diagnosed with T1D at age 9.  Currently, she is the parent lead for the Youth Ambassador Program for our chapter, participates with the Advocacy Team, and, along with Jude, is a Research Information Volunteer (RIV).

Each month Jude and Laura will highlight a particular trial in our 5-state region (WA, OR, ID, MT and AK) on the JDRF blog.  Please also feel free to reach out to them with questions!  Jude can be reached at and Laura can be reached at


What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a research study involving human volunteers that tries to answer a specific health question. Clinical trials closely monitor people’s progress as they take part in the study of an investigational drug or device.  Today, carefully conducted clinical trials are the safest and fastest way to find treatments that work.

Why are clinical trials important?

JDRF is proud that the number of trials we support has grown from a small handful ten years ago to over 70 today.  This indicates our research strategy is paying off, with more potential drugs and devices than ever being tested. But up to 80% of the trials are delayed due to slow patient recruitment, resulting in delays getting answers, increased costs and disincentive to sponsors to test potential therapies. Bottom line: Slow patient recruitment is slowing our progress toward introducing new therapies to people with diabetes and our mission to find cures, treatments and prevention tools for T1D.

But why should I consider participating in a clinical trial?

You may receive some—or all—of the following benefits:

  • Access to new treatments and technologies not available to the wider public
  • Access to health care not yet covered by your insurance
  • Personalized, quality care from top doctors as part of the study
  • The empowering knowledge that your contribution to clinical research will help advance the development of medical treatments and technologies

Who is eligible for a clinical trial?

All clinical trials have guidelines, called eligibility criteria, about who can participate. The criteria are based on such factors as age, sex, stage of disease, previous treatment history and other medical conditions. This helps to reduce the variation within the study and to ensure the researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study. Therefore, not everyone who applies for a particular clinical trial will be accepted.

Are clinical trials safe?

The FDA works to protect participants in clinical trials to ensure people have reliable information before deciding whether to join a clinical trial. Before joining a particular study, you will be given an informed consent form that describes your rights as a participant, as well as details about the study, including potential risks. Signing it indicates you understand the trial is research and you may leave at any time. The informed consent is part of the process that makes sure you understand the known risks associated with the study.

Where can I find clinical trials?

JDRF has an easy-to-use tool called the Clinical Trials Connection, which asks users simple questions—about where they live, the distance they can travel and other characteristics—to match them with trials for which they may be eligible. Currently, there are more than 300 clinical trials for people living with T1D and T1D-related complications underway.

In addition, you can search on, a repository of more than 300,000 trials in at least 200 countries addressing a vast array of diseases.

We encourage you to take advantage of the Clinical Trials Connection tool and also welcome you to contact Jude and Laura directly.