New Program Will Engage Women, Minority Clinicians in Clinical Trial Research

American College of Cardiology grant from Bristol Myers Squibb will ensure sustainable pipeline into future

Contact: Nicole Napoli,, 202-375-6523

WASHINGTON (Jun 08, 2020) -

The lack of diversity in patient populations taking part in clinical trial research, coupled with the lack of diversity in those conducting the research, pose significant challenges to improving cardiovascular care and patient outcomes. A new American College of Cardiology program—Clinical Trials Research: Upping Your Game—will aim to help change this paradigm by exposing women and underrepresented minorities to careers in clinical trial research, laying the groundwork for a fully diverse and inclusive field of cardiology.

ACC is committed to working toward a more diverse specialty, which includes the diversity in the research that determines the future of cardiovascular disease treatment. Enrolling and retaining a diverse research population and workforce that better reflects the demographics of the US cardiovascular patient population is critical to developing evidence-based clinical guidelines intended for all patient populations.

“From patients to researchers, clinical trials should reflect the patient populations being served. Unfortunately, this is not happening today,” said Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, past president of the ACC and chair of the ACC Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. “Through the Clinical Trials Research: Upping Your Game program we have an opportunity to truly transform the cardiovascular workforce, while also having a major impact on patient care.”

Under the program, a select group of women and underrepresented cardiologists, surgeons and research scientists with proven leadership and research potential will receive access to focused mentoring and career development support, as well as in-person and online educational programming over a two-year period. Participants will gain insight into the science and operations of clinical therapeutics and device development, be exposed to leading experts in clinical trials research, and come away with an understanding of the spectrum of career pathways available.

The Clinical Trials Research program is possible through support from a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb and falls under the umbrella of ACC’s Campaign for the Future, an ongoing initiative to provide funding for ongoing leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and global health projects. The program will help to further the ACC’s strategic efforts to build a sustainable pipeline of researchers who can bring diversity in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, backgrounds and perspectives to this critical area.

“Diversity in clinical trials—from investigators to participants—is critical to generating data that is representative of real-world populations,” said Samit Hirawat, Chief Medical Officer, Global Drug Development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “More work is required in this area and we are proud to support the ACC’s Clinical Trials Research: Upping Your Game program as part of our shared commitment to identifying solutions to improve the quality of research through more diverse representation.”

Recruitment for the first of two Clinical Trial Research program cohorts of 45 participants has begun; the program will begin in fall 2020.

The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit


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