Chattanooga Medical Research expands scope
Yvonne Chester has been working in the medical research field for nearly three decades, but in no way has she lost the zeal and passion for being instrumental in developing new medications. She currently holds the position of director of business development at Chattanooga Medical Research, after helping found the company five years ago along with Drs. Kirk Brody and D. Scott Harnsberger.
Chattanooga Medical Research is privately owned and is most known for its work in testing and developing new medicines for major pharmaceutical companies, according to Chester. Although specializing in women’s clinical trials, the facility has branched out in the last four years to include trials in internal medicine, except for oncology.
“Chattanooga is growing in the field of medical research and clinical trials and more hospitals are becoming involved and instrumental in bringing new drugs to the market,” Chester said.
Since founding Chattanooga Medical Research, she has had the pleasure of being on the cutting edge of such research and development. But the excitement for her doesn’t end there. At the end of the day, she knows she is ultimately helping people.
“All of the studies are big because they’re important to me. I’m dumping all of my energies and resources into these studies,” said Harnsberger.
Most of the clinical trials in which Chattanooga Medical Research participates can take anywhere from 12 weeks to seven years to complete, depending on the type of the study as mandated by the Food and Drug Administration, Chester said. The trials are all performed at the local facility at no cost to the participants, who are often compensated for their time and travel expenditures, she added.
However, she also noted that Chattanooga Medical Research is continually looking for volunteers to participate in various clinical trials.
To become a participant, one must first contact Chattanooga Medical Research over the phone, where a prescreening will be conducted to determine if the individual meets certain criteria. Eligible volunteers are then asked to come into the office for more screenings involving physical exams and blood work. All trials are conducted as outpatient studies; there is no need for the volunteer to stay overnight at the facility.
“If you or a family member have ever been sick and have been in need of a certain medication, then there is a chance participating in these studies will benefit,” Brody said.
Since the women’s studies and internal medicine fields are so broad, Chattanooga Medical Research does not plan on branching out into another field of medicine just yet, she noted.
The relatively small practice employs four board-certifi ed physicians, Drs. Harnsberger, Barker, Crump and Brody — who has won the Chattanooga Times Free Press “Best of the Best” people’s choice award for the last four years — who also have their own practices. Despite its small size, the group boasts a combined 32 years in the medical research field among its physicians.
The facility also employs one physician’s assistant and five other employees.
Chattanooga Medical Research is located at 2341 McCallie Ave. and can be contacted at 423-648-7794 or online at chattmedresearch.com.