What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials, also known as research studies or patient studies, are essential in the fight against disease. They determine if new treatments are safe and effective and work better than current treatments.

What about a nephrology (kidney) trial?

In nephrology, clinical trials help us find new ways to prevent and treat kidney disease. They are a vital tool in improving the quality of life for people during and after treatment.

When you take part in a nephrology clinical trial, you add to our knowledge about kidney disease and help improve care for future patients.

How am I protected?

  • The research team will explain all the study details, including potential benefits
    and risks. Each study is monitored to make sure it is as safe as possible, and your
    study records are kept private and confidential. Only the research team and your
    doctor or nurse will have access to your records.
  • You can leave a study at any time for any reason.

How can I find a nephrology clinical trial?

What questions should I ask about the clinical trial?

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What do I have to do?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What are the risks and side effects?
  • Will it cost me anything?
  • Will I receive money?
  • Can I withdraw at any time?
  • Will the study help me now?

What is a principal investigator?

  • The principal investigator is the doctor in charge of the clinical trial. He or she
    prepares a plan–or protocol–for the trial. The protocol explains what will be done
    during the trial, including:
    • The reason for doing the study
    • Who is eligible for the study
    • How drugs or treatments will be given, what dose and how often
    • What medical tests will be done and how often
    • What types of information will be collected

Meet our clinical trials staff

Personal stories

Alyssa, Annette and Dewayne are volunteers sharing their clinical trial experiences (National Institute of Health. A number of our clinical trials and other research at Washington University School of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, is funded through grants from the National Institute of Health).

Clinical trial informational resources

There are clinical trials throughout the United States. Find more information about general clinical trials at the following resources:

Interested? Call 314-362-8232 or email

Washington University nephrology trials

There are a number of current nephrology-related clinical trials at Washington University. For more information and whether or not you qualify for a trial, email us.