Research

Ethical Clinical Research

Primum non nocere, meaning “first do no harm” are words that Dr. St. Surin-Lord and the Visage Clinical Research Staff live by and practice every day. As a board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. St. Surin Lord also upholds her Hippocratic Oath to “follow that method of treatment which, according my ability and judgement, I consider for the benefit of my patients.

Clinical Research with Integrity and Compassion

At Visage Clinical Research, we are selective of the studies that we choose to conduct. We conduct studies with YOU in mind. We are not simply a research center. Visage Clinical Research is operated by Dr. Sharleen St. Surin-Lord, who is a Board-Certified Dermatologist, practicing Dermatology for over 15 years. Being a Physician and Woman of Color, Dr. St. Surin-Lord understands the need for People of Color to be represented in clinical trials.

Visage Clinical Research staff ensure that patients are comfortable, feel safe, and understand the purpose of each study and what participation in a research study at Visage Clinical Research entails. Because clinical research has had a dark past with how it has treated vulnerable populations in the Tuskegee Study and in the case of Henrietta Lacks, clinical trials are now closely monitored by study sponsors and the FDA to safeguard against such violations. At Visage Clinical Research, we follow strict FDA protocols and requirements set forth to ensure the safety of all our study participants – young and older. We provide full transparency so that every population, regardless of race, gender, age, religion, pronoun, or ethnicity, may fully understand and feel comfortable contributing to medical research at our research center.

Respect for People & Clinical Research

Conducting clinical research trials plays a vital role in the advancement of medicine. The participation of People of Color, especially Black people, in clinical research is important so that we may be represented in the study data. Skin of color has special needs and behaves differently after rashes or break outs with dyspigmentation. This is why minority populations must have equal representation in clinical research trials. This will improve their health and that of their community as whole. At Visage Clinical Research, we serve a diverse population of people. We are proud that our patient population reflects that of the United States of America – diverse in every way. Our standards are high because we take your care and your trust seriously. We look forward to seeing you at our research site, so click on the button to see our current studies.

Experience Matters

Dr. St. Surin-Lord’s interest in research began before medical school, while she was still and undergraduate student at Howard University, as Clinical Laboratory Science major. She conducted research at the Irving Center for Clinical Research at Columbia University and then graduated and became Associate Scientist in Vaccine Technology and Engineering at Merck & Co, Inc., where Dr. St. Surin was charged with monitoring the vaccine manufacturing process and ensuring the integrity of vaccines. In medical school, Dr. St. Surin became a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Summer Research Fellow, which then led to her taking a year off from medical school to conduct research within the NIH as a Howard Highes Medical Institute Research Scholar. Research on the Cutaneous Manifestations of HIV. During her residency, she conducted research in the Cutaneous Manifestations of HIV.

Dr. St. Surin-Lord is also an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Howard University Department of Dermatology. Things have now come full circle as Dr. St. Surin-Lord has taken her corporate experience and merged it with her medical education and benchside lab research experience to best serve you in clinical research as she continues to see patients and teach.

Why You Should Participate in Clinical Research Trials

Every medication that you are taking right now, was studied in a clinical research trial.  Your participation matters.  Patients with skin of color are underrepresented in clinical research trials, so participation by this group is even more important. Clinical research trials are very closely monitored by the sponsor of the study (the pharmaceutical company seeking drug approval) and by regulatory agencies. Since patients in a clinical trial are seen regularly, the patients are monitored closely with physical exams, labs, etc.
In order to participate in a clinical research trial, you must first have a screening visit.  appointment to determine if you are eligible to participate.  There will be an informed consent form to read about the study, that gives you all the details about the drug being studied, what labwork may be required, and what to expect at future visits.  It is at this appointment that you will find out of you meet the criteria required to participate, and if you are eligible to participate.
Your participation in a clinical research trial is completely voluntary. If you decide at any time that you no longer wish to participate, you discontinue. There is no cost to a research trial participant for any visits or for the drug being investigated. In addition, research participants are re-imbursed for the cost of their travel. Many times, after the research trial, there is a longer, open-label safety trial where ALL participants receive the actual medication – at no cost