BMJ Features Study by CTSI Doris Duke Research Fellow

A series of articles published January 3, 2012, in the British Medical Journal reports on the effect missing clinical trial data has on both patients and costs, noting that missing data is a serious problem that distorts the scientific record and prevents clinical decisions from being based on the best evidence.

Beth Hart exemplifies exactly what this program is designed to achieve.
Joel Palefsky, MD

In one of the studies referenced, Effect of reporting bias on meta-analyses of drug trials: reanalysis of meta-analyses, researcher Beth Hart and her colleagues find that including unpublished data in published meta-analyses of drug trials often changed their results.

Hart, a 2010-2011 Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) Clinical Research Fellow and visiting medical student from Temple University, and her team argue that access to full trial data is needed to allow drugs to be independently assessed. They confirm that a large proportion of evidence from human trials is unreported, and much of what is reported is done so inadequately. A related podcast and editorial are available here.

The DDCF Clinical Research Fellowship Program is administered at UCSF in conjunction with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which manages the Clinical and Translational Research Fellowship (CTRF) program and the Clinical and Translation Research Pathway.  

“Beth Hart exemplifies exactly what this program is designed to achieve,” says Joel Palefsky, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the UCSF DDCF Clinical Research Fellowship Program. “Our goal is to start the next generation of clinical and translational researchers on their path to a rewarding and productive career of research and scholarly inquiry. She took a research question that she was passionate about, and with the excellent mentorship of Dr. Lisa Bero of the School of Pharmacy, and support from the DDCF/CTRF programs, she was able to make a significant contribution to the field.”

Hart’s work was also enabled by the strong inter-school professional relationships at UCSF, and the inter-professional focus of the CTRF program, Palefsky said.

CTSI is a member of the National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards network focusing on accelerating research to improve health. In addition to training opportunities, the Institute provides a wide range of services for researchers at every stage, and promotes online collaboration and networking through UCSF Profiles.