BETHESDA, MD -- Just one percent of clinical trial participants are people of color and that’s something Carol Winston, with the Black Women’s Health Imperative is trying to change.
‘We have to be at the table. We have to be in the conversation. We have to be involved," said Winston.
Winston helped organize an event on Wednesday to help spread the word about "All of Us," a National Institutes of Health study with 1.5 Billion in funding over ten years.
The study will be large in size and scope. It needs one million volunteers to take part, and it wants those participants to reflect the diversity of the country as a whole.
That’s a difficult proposition, according to Winston, because of the low number of minorities represented in clinical research trials.
“Most of the research is done on white males, so that doesn’t help me and it doesn’t help my brothers," said Winston.
A big reason for the lack of representation in medical research is lack of trust, according to Black Women’s Health Imperative CEO Linda Goler Blount.
“There is historic lack of trust in the practice of medicine, which is warranted in history. Henrietta Lacks is an example...but we can go back to forced sterilizations of women in institutions," said Goler Blount.
But Goler Blount said impact is certainly real. She gives the HPV vaccine as one example, where it proved to be ineffective for certain strains among black girls. The vaccine was mainly tested on white girls before its release.
The "All of Us" study will be putting together a massive research database to advance medical research that’s tailored to individuals and their specific condition. Some of the areas of study will include cancer, diabetes, and dementia.
For more information about "All of Us," click here.