Patient Care

The Path from "Bench to Bedside"

Researchers at the McGowan Institute are involved in the development of new therapies at all stages, from experiments at the laboratory bench to administering treatments at a patient's bedside.

Before a new medical treatment is made available to patients in doctors' offices and hospitals, it must undergo a process of development and testing that can take several years — or even multiple decades. Development of a new therapy usually begins on a small scale in test tubes and Petri dishes at the laboratory bench. As researchers gather evidence and refine techniques, they typically will translate their work to larger and larger scales.

Once a new therapy has proven safe and effective in preclinical studies, small-scale testing in human volunteers can begin. If these initial tests, known as clinical trials, are promising, they are then expanded to include larger and larger numbers of people. Finally, when a new treatment has proven safe and effective, it can be introduced into clinical practice.

At the McGowan Institute we passionately perform the most rigorous research to make sure that this necessarily long process of verification and approval from scientific, hospital, and government regulators is not slowed in any way. We also work diligently to prove our treatments to companies that can produce and market them so they can benefit patients as quickly as possible.

Additional Resources

How Do I Get Treatment?
Regenerative medicine is a new approach. As such, many treatments are still in development. But some already are in use by physicians. Visit this page to find out more about specific conditions.

How Can I Participate in a Clinical Research Study?
The University of Pittsburgh Office of Clinical Research has a searchable database of studies.

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