Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Participate in a Clinical Study at NIA

By participating in a clinical study, you can help researchers better understand the nature of aging and how to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) conducts a range of clinical trials related to aging in Baltimore.

Studies Actively Recruiting

If you are ages 18 or older and live in the Baltimore area you may be eligible to participate in a clinical study at NIA. Each study has specific requirements for participants, called inclusion and exclusion criteria. Check the qualifications to see if you may be eligible to participate.

The studies below are actively seeking participants in the Baltimore area.

A Clinical Observational Study of SARS-CoV-2 Specific CD8 T-Cell Responses to COVID-19 Vaccines in Humans

Smiling older woman in a light gray top

The immune response is how the body recognizes and defends itself against foreign and harmful substances. Researchers want to compare the immune responses between young and older healthy adults after they receive vaccine doses for COVID-19. This research may help to determine whether age impacts cell response to COVID-19 vaccines.

Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA)

A group of older adults walking on a path outside

The BLSA is a clinical research program on human aging that began in 1958. Volunteers of different ages join the study when they are healthy and have follow-up visits for life. Visits last for multiple days. Participants are evaluated for many physical elements as well as for brain function. Physical tests are given. Information on mood, personality, and social aspects of life is also collected. This program has contributed more than any other research project to our understanding of aging.

Collection of Bone Marrow Aspirate From Normal Volunteers

African American medical professional talking to an older female patient.

Bone marrow is the soft material found inside most large bones of the body. Bone marrow produces red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets that are released into the blood stream. Inside the marrow, these cells start off as young, immature cells called progenitor cells. Researchers want to study these cells in healthy people.

Cytapheresis of Volunteer Donors

Female medical professional showing records to an older female patient

Researchers are looking at studies that require large numbers of white blood cells for lab use. Standard blood samples do not provide enough white blood cells for these studies. Researchers want to use cytapheresis to collect white blood cells from volunteer donors. This procedure can collect larger amounts of white blood cells and reduce the amount of fluid and other cells that are lost.

Development of 3T Magnetic Resonance Research Methods for NIA Studies

Researcher looking at brain scan images on a screen

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies provide important information on the structure and function of various body systems, including the brain, muscles, joints, heart, and blood vessels. Scientific applications of MRI scans often use techniques that need to be modified or refined before they are used in clinical studies. To develop and modify these techniques for the new Philips 3T Achieva whole-body MRI scanner, researchers are interested in conducting trial MRI scans on healthy individuals and individuals with conditions that require imaging studies.

Genetic and Epigenetic Signatures of Translational Aging Laboratory Testing (GESTALT)

A medical professional talking to an older female patient

Biomarkers are substances in your blood and tissues. They help researchers understand diseases and signs of aging. Scientists want to do more research on biomarkers to find ways to improve quality of life in old age.

Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity Across the Life Span (HANDLS)

A group of three older adults outdoors with an African American man shaking hands with a white man.

The HANDLS study is an interdisciplinary, community-based, prospective longitudinal epidemiologic study examining the influences of race and socioeconomic status (SES) on the development of age-related health disparities among socioeconomically diverse African Americans and whites in Baltimore. This study investigates whether health disparities develop or persist due to differences in SES, differences in race, or their interaction.

Identification and Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 Specific CD8 T Cells in Humans

Female medical professional and older woman looking at something together

The higher death rate from COVID-19 in the older population is associated with low CD8 T cell counts in the blood. Researchers want to learn the status of CD8 T cells specific to SARS-CoV-2 and their changes with aging and in COVID-19. This may help to identify why COVID-19 is particularly lethal in the elderly and help to create an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in the elderly.

Taste Bud-Derived Stem Cells in Humans

Female medical professional showing a tablet to an older adult women

Stem cells are found in body tissues. They can regenerate into more of the same cells or become other types of cell. Researchers want to use stem cells from taste buds to try to make cells that secrete insulin. Taste buds are found mostly on the tip and sides of the tongue. Researchers also want to study if the number of taste buds and stem cells decrease as people age. They will remove small pieces of tongue tissue (about the size of a pen tip). The taste buds will grow back. It is hoped that studying taste bud stem cells can lead to new diabetes treatments.

Tissue Procurement for Biomedical Research

A woman and a man jogging

The need to obtain human tissue for methods development and disease correlation is frequent in Biomedical Research Center laboratories. This protocol is designed to create the opportunity to obtain such tissue samples.

Related Resources

Learn more about clinical research and the benefits of participating.

An official website of the National Institutes of Health