We in Chapel Hill are blessed with the finest medical and research facilities in the nation.  The University of North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State University are magnets attracting governmental agencies and private institutions that pour millions of dollars into the economy and create high paying jobs. And we have two Nobel Prize winners in our midst.

You, too, can be a participant in the advancement of science. How, you might ask? Public and private institutions are crying for students and  citizens from ages 18 to 80 to participate in paid clinical studies, focus groups, drug trials, cognitive testing, sensory studies and environmental research.

I personally have participated in a couple of these studies—one at the UNC Psychology Department on short and long term memory, and another at the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the relationship between air pollution, smoking and lung capacity. It was an eye-opening experience.

So how can you find out about these research studies? Our local universities and public institutions have websites announcing opportunities. Flyers are posted at the Seymour Senior Center and other places.  Advertisement also appear in the local newspapers. No, you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner to help in the advancement of science and medicine. Be a research volunteer—not just a so-called guinea pig. It can be a rewarding experience.

— Walt Mack


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