MGH Research Scholars Program
The MGH Research Scholars Program was established to support early career researchers with innovative yet unproven ideas that have the potential to transform the future of medicine. Funded 100% through philanthropy, this program gives researchers the freedom and flexibility they need to follow the science wherever it leads. History has shown that brilliant scientists who are given free rein to explore new frontiers make the greatest, often unexpected, advances.
MGH Research Scholar Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, former chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mass General, is using microsimulation models to inform the development of large-scale clinical trials.
Novel Approaches to Clinical Trial Design and Development
In a national landscape of constrained research funding, the need to conduct large-scale clinical trials clearly outstrips the available resources.
With extensive mathematical modeling and policy experience, Dr. Walensky proposes to use novel microsimulation methods to inform the prioritization, development, and policy value of randomized controlled trials.
She will leverage a unique partnership between the Mass General Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications (CEPAC) modeling group, of which she is a senior member, and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) to improve and prioritize studies related to domestic and international HIV prevention and treatment.
Further, in collaboration with senior Mass General research faculty, she will extend and expand this methodology to other research areas where the hospital is a national leader, specifically amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and diabetes. Dr. Walensky’s goal is to maximize the return on investment for clinical trials, which will improve care for patients affected by these detrimental diseases.