Research at UW Medicine | Valley Medical Center


UW Medicine | Valley Medical Center is pleased to support a clinical research program in order to provide access to clinical trials and research studies in our community. There are research opportunities in a variety of areas of study, including, but not limited to cancer, epilepsy, stroke, COVID-19. Please contact with any questions or concerns.


What does the Clinical Research Department do?
The Clinical Research Department at Valley is dedicated to promoting and creating opportunity for medical advancements through its diverse range of services. Our primary goal is to offer the community a chance to participate in cutting-edge clinical trials and research studies. We specialize in multiple areas of study, such as Oncology, Neurology, Pulmonary, and biospecimen research. Our clinical studies aim to grow medical knowledge and help make patient care better. These studies fall into two main categories: clinical trials, which involve interventions, and observational studies, which focus on gathering data without intervention.

How can I benefit from Clinical Research Participation?
Each research study will provide an informed consent document that outlines every potential advantages associated with the study. In general, participating in a clinical trial can offer a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Receiving exceptional, high-quality care
  • Gaining access to new treatments or medications
  • Expanding your care team with additional experienced staff
  • Undergoing thorough and attentive monitoring of your health to find and address any potential side effects
  • Helping to improve medical knowledge, which can lead to the improvement of treatment options
  • Possibility of financial coverage for certain aspects of treatment, as outlined in each research informed consent document.

We understand the significance of these benefits and strive to ensure that our participants are well-informed, empowered, and provided with the utmost care throughout their involvement in our clinical trials.

Our Research Department at Valley Medical Center's Clinical Research Division is dedicated to advancing cancer care, contributing to medical knowledge, and enhancing patient outcomes through careful attention to detail. Our researchers work closely with healthcare professionals from various disciplines to conduct comprehensive studies addressing the complexity of cancer.

We explore novel therapeutic interventions like targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and precision medicine approaches that have the potential to revolutionize cancer care by offering personalized and more effective treatment options. Additionally, we investigate predictive biomarkers and genetic signatures to enhance early detection, prognosis, and individualized treatment strategies.

Our research efforts extend to supportive care interventions, symptom management strategies, and survivorship programs, recognizing the multifaceted challenges faced by cancer patients and aiming to improve overall well-being and quality of life. Ultimately, our goal is to translate scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for patients, providing them with advanced and compassionate care. By pushing the boundaries of cancer research, we strive to improve outcomes, enhance survivorship, and work towards a future where cancer is effectively prevented, diagnosed, and treated. Through meticulous attention to detail and interdisciplinary collaboration, our Research Department strives to drive the frontiers of cancer care, contribute to medical knowledge, and enhance patient outcomes.

Oncology Studies
In the field of oncology, we place significant emphasis on advancing the cancer program and offering a wide array of clinical trials suitable for institutions of varying sizes. Our research team collaborates closely with attending physicians to explore potential inclusion in clinical trials.

Neurology Studies
In the field of neurology, we conduct research to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of specialized neurological conditions. This includes investigating new anti-seizure medications, surgical interventions, non-invasive techniques for managing seizures, and advancing stroke prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and imaging techniques.

Pulmonology Studies
Pulmonary clinical research is a multidisciplinary endeavor aimed at enhancing our understanding of pulmonary diseases, improving diagnostic tools, developing effective treatments, and optimizing management strategies. We work closely with various departments within Valley Medical Center to ensure seamless integration and collect data throughout the study to monitor patient progress and potential side effects.

The UW Medicine | Valley Medical Center Research Oversight Committee (ROC) protects the safety of patients participating in investigational, clinical research or observational research trials by ensuring that these activities are adequately controlled and supported in its purview. All studies that will occur at VMC or utilize VMC patients are required to be reviewed and approved by the Committee prior to any research occurring at VMC or utilizing VMC patients. 

Please note that the ROC is not an institutional review board (IRB). If your study requires IRB approval, please submit it to the appropriate entity and have the IRB determination available prior to your ROC submission. 

If you are unsure if your study needs ROC review or have any questions, contact the ROC Coordinator at:

The Research Oversight Committee does not charge fees associated with any submission or review. 

ROC review and approval is required for all research activities in which VMC is engaged. Review is required before beginning a research project at VMC (new study submission). Quality improvement projects to improve clinic processes and are not research in nature do not need ROC review. There are two separate processes, depending on where the research originates.

  1.  Valley Medical Center: PI is a Valley Medical Center employee or has Valley Medical Center privileges.

  2.  Outside Valley Medical Center: PI does not have privileges at Valley Medical Center. A complete submission is required for all external research, which includes a current submission form, final protocol, IRB approval or documentation of exemption, documentation that VMC is an IRB-approved site, all consents, HIPAA forms, patient-facing documents, etc.

 There are separate forms for each process. Please contact the ROC coordinator for the appropriate form.

The Research Oversight Committee meets every two months. Agenda space is very limited. Four slots are reserved for internal Valley Medical Center research. Only up to two slots are expected for any external research. Please contact the ROC coordinator as soon as possible to get your study on the wait list. 

A renewal or closure ROC submission is required annually. The ROC coordinator will email the applicable submission forms to the identified study team. 

Shannon H.
Clinical Research Manager

What does research mean to you?
I love research because it uses things we’ve learned in the past to affect the present and the future. Research is like a pebble dropped in a pond. The ripples go out farther and farther, allowing more and more patients to benefit from the knowledge gained in each study. I also love working with our research patients. They are so amazing and so giving! If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to move medicine forward.

Why Valley?
Valley Medical Center has been very supportive of our research program, as have all of our wonderful colleagues in so many different departments and specialties. Valley feels like a family that has been cheering on our department as it grows!

Fun Fact
Something fun about me is that I love doing crafts – especially costumes and props for our local comic-cons. You’re never too old to play dress up!

Dione F.
Clinical Research Coordinator

What does research mean to you?
Hope. A research study provides hope and new opportunities to our patients. We are learning more all the time and our patients help make new therapies future standard of care treatments.

Why Valley?
I was born at VMC and this has always been my family hospital. Our community is truly family! Offering research to patients in our community makes me incredibly proud.

Fun Fact
My 2007 wedding was featured in Seattle Bride!

Annie P.
Clinical Research Nurse

What does research mean to you?
Research is the future – it’s our collective contribution to healing and curative practices. Through curiosity and innovation, research drives new knowledge promoting evidence-based practices directly benefiting disease sufferers. All patients deserve the best care possible, and research lends itself to just that.

Why Valley?
VMC is a community, a family, a home. It represents inclusion, diversity, acceptance, safety, and high-quality care that is attractive and unique. I am humbled to serve my patients and co-workers and am fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to work with a community I deeply love.

Fun Fact
I have visited all but 9 states in the United States! And most of them were experienced with my cats.

Shirley Q.
Clinical Research Coordinator

What does research mean to you?
Research to me means connectivity, innovation, and new possibilities. It means a group of individuals with unique experiences and perspectives coming together to solve a problem, answer a question, and produce new possibilities that were not possible before.

Why Valley?
I chose Valley because I wanted to be a part of a community that truly cares. I want to offer compassionate care to patients and build meaningful relationships. VMC offers a welcoming, safe environment to staff and encourages staff to provide care with genuine respect and compassion for our patients.

Fun Fact
The top item on my bucket list this year is going skydiving for my first time.

Renee Asence
Clinical Research Coordinator

What does research mean to you?
Research is about continuous learning and remaining curious and innovative. I am a lifetime learner and love the research process of developing a well-framed question to pursue new knowledge to define health and healthcare. Clinical Research is an especially exciting niche to me as we get the added benefit of witnessing positive impacts of new treatments through the lived experiences of our patients.  

Why Valley?
I am drawn to Valley because of the Mission and my own personal experiences here as a patient when delivering my two children at the hospital I certainly felt like a family member and that has remained in my memory, and I am excited to be a part of an organization that values their patients in this way. I am looking forward to making an impact on my local community.

Fun Fact 
I’m a highly creative individual and love painting and cooking.  | A service of the US National Institutes of Health  | National Cancer Institute | This site provides timely, comprehensive, oncologist-approved information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), with support from the Conquer Cancer Foundation. brings the expertise and resources of ASCO to people living with cancer and those who care for and about them to help patients and families make informed health care decisions. 

NCORP | NCI Clinical Trials Network


You are always welcome to contact the UW Medicine | Valley Medical Center Research Department directly at or 425.690.3503.

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P Research

From Patient to Pioneer: A Journey Through Clinical Research

In this video, our clinical research patient answers the following questions:

0:05 Tell us about your diagnosis | 0:38 How did it make you feel when you were diagnosed? |0:52 Did you seek treatment right away? | 1:07 How was it for you when you sought out care? | 1:28 What types of people did you meet along the way? | 1:53 Did you feel supported on your journey? | 2:49 Did you seek out any community resources for support? | 3:37 Can you tell us about when Clinical Research first reached out to you to be in a trial? | 4:19 Did you experience any advantages or disadvantages to participating in research? | 5:34 What would you say to someone that might be considering participating in a clinical research trial at Valley? | 6:29 | Is there anything you want the South King County community to know?