The jobs that focus on preventing and curing diseases are not lonely ones. While the drive for an individual to go into clinical research may stem from a personal experience, teamwork and collaboration are critical to achieving breakthroughs.

Marshfield Clinic Research Institute recognized Clinical Trials Day Monday, May 20. MCRI staff recently took a few minutes to share #ClinicalTrialsDay photos and selfies on why clinical trials are important to them. Check out the photos on Facebook.

Brooke Olson, a project manager in MCRI's Integrated Research & Development Laboratory (IRDL), manages the collaborative efforts between MCRI and Marshfield Labs supporting industry leaders in bringing new infectious disease-related diagnostic devices to market and contributing to antimicrobial resistance surveillance studies. A dedicated team within IRDL contributes clinical trial site expertise to a number of antimicrobial susceptibility, respiratory and Lyme disease studies evaluating the performance, safety, and effectiveness of new technologies.

“This transitional research improves patient care by bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic device technology to providers for optimal management and treatment," Olson said. “I take great pride in positively representing MCRI to our expanding research connections and collaborators within the international scientific community." 

Teamwork and collaboration extend not only internally, but partners across the globe. Connie Folz is one of two pharmacists in MCRI's Investigational Drug Pharmacy (IDP) that facilitates the safe use of investigational medications throughout most of Marshfield Clinic Health System's service area. The IDP currently supports more than 100 clinical trials involving the use of 138 different investigational medications in over 160 patients.

IDP collaborates with pharmaceutical company- and government-funded clinical trials involving various areas of patient care such as oncology, cardiology, nephrology and vaccines. The research at MCRI is on the cutting edge of medicine to help determine if new treatment options will potentially improve the quantity and quality of a patient's life.

“Being involved in research is important to ensure clinical trials are available locally to our patients, to avoid traveling hours away to be a participant in a clinical trial that could potentially improve their health," Folz said. “It is vital to find the best treatment options for patients; however, to do that, we need to compare the current standard of care medications against new potential treatment options to ensure the new options are safe and effective." 

Trials lead to treatment options

Essential Tremor (ET) is one of the more common neurological disorders affecting more than 2% of the U.S. population, but it only has one medication that has been recognized as an effective treatment. Other medications have a limited success rate and surgical options are invasive procedures that come with other risks. Many people with ET would benefit from more treatment options.

Anthony Mosely, M.D., a neurologist at Marshfield Medical Center, recently participated in a nation-wide clinical trial for botulinum toxin injections to manage ET. The goal of the study was to provide the botulinum toxin treatment in a very standardized way, and to measure both its effectiveness as well as look for any side effects.

“It is important to continuously push knowledge forward, and improve the standard of neurologic care," Dr. Mosely said. “It would truly be disheartening if I was caring for every neurologic disease exactly the same now as what I learned in medical school over two decades ago. Research is the way that we advance the standard of care."

MCRI is performing more than 100 clinical trials across Marshfield Clinic Health System at any given time ranging from vaccine effectiveness, new treatments for our patients with cancer or research to help a family whose young child was diagnosed with a rare disease. To find a clinical trial offered at MCRI, visit Providers interested in participating in clinical research should contact​