Frequently Asked Questions


Who are we?

As a premier clinical research organization, we have conducted more than 1,000 clinical trials over 20 years and have worldwide recognition for providing patients access to cutting edge medical research. If you have a medical issue and want a research solution, or if you are a healthy volunteer, come visit our center and learn more. One of our experts will be happy to evaluate you.



What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are controlled research studies that monitor the safety and effectiveness of medications or devices for human use. Clinical trials involve many different aspects of research. Some trials test new, cutting edge medications, while others test new combinations or applications of medications that have not been previously approved. All trials, however, require the participation of volunteers in order to advance medicine as a whole. The volunteers are medical heroes!



How do Patients Benefit from Participating in Clinical Trials?

There are numerous benefits from participating in a clinical trial. Many of our volunteers appreciate the access to cutting edge treatments. Others participate to receive potentially expensive study medications and treatments at no cost, as well as compensation for their time and travel. Lastly, our patients love the sense of community and civic service they feel knowing that their participation contributed to advancement of medicine. The Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) found that 95% of participants who completed a clinical trial were interested in participating in another!



Are Clinical Trials Safe?

Many people who have not previously participated in a clinical trial are concerned about the safety of participating. The safety of our volunteers is our number one concern! Unline most situations in life, while participating in a clinical trial you have constant access to medical care and qualified staff who monitor your wellbeing with meticulous attention to detail. Our doctors, nurses, and study coordinators will support you throughout the clinical trial process.

All pharmaceutical research goes through an extensive preclinical testing process before it ever reaches human patients to make sure it is as safe and effective as possible. Every clinical trial in the US must pass rigorous regulations and be monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure the risks of the trial are as minimal as possible and worthy of any possible benefits to the participant.



The Guinea Pig Myth

A common misconception about clinical trials is that participants are research "guinea pigs." This statement could not be further from the truth. Historically guinea pigs were used in research because of similarities they share with humans. However, guinea pigs do not have the ability to understand what a clinical trial involves and sign an informed consent. An informed consent form is a document that describes the goal of the study, what risk is involved, the possible benefits to the patient, and potential patient compensation. As mentioned above, all clinical trials are monitored by IRBs that ensure the tirals are ethical and as safe as possible for human participation. Research volunteers are not guinea pigs. However, participants are just as important to future medical breakthroughs as guinea pigs were to the discoveries of vitamin C and the tuberculosis vaccine!



The Phases of a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are divided into different states called phases. The earlies phase trials look at whether a drug is safe or the side effects it causes. Later phase trials aim to test whether the new treatment is better than existing treatments.

  • Phase I involves the testing of IP's (investigational products) for safety in humans for the first time. Phase I trials typically involve a small number of either healthy volunteers or people with the disease/condition.
  • Phase II trials continue to monitor the safety of the IP and determine its effective dose. These trials involve several hundred volunteers.
  • Phase III trials measure the effectiveness of the IP to treat a designated condition. These trials are large scale and involve hundreds to thousands of volunteers.
  • Phase IV trials are often required by the FDA and are designed to measure long term safety and efficacy of IP's after they are approved.


Who pays for this research?

Sponsors such as pharmaceutical companies, governments and foundations fund medical research through study grants. The grant provides the funding to conduct the study at local research sites, so you don't pay a thing. In fact, we don't even ask for your insurance information.



How long do the programs last?

Depending on the type of research, studies can last from a few weeks to several years. Each program is designed to collect specific information, but volunteers will know before enrollment how long the study is expected to last and exactly how many visits to the research site will be required.



How do I know if I am qualified?

Because each research program is unique and has specific enrollment criteria, the best way to find out if you qualify for a clinical research study is to either call us or come in for a free evaluation. Whether you have a medical issue and want to explore research solutions, or you are a healthy volunteer, come visit one of our research sites and find out more. There is never an obligation, and one of our experts will be happy serve you.



Pfizer - Before it Became a Medicine


Our Volunteers Love Us


Watch what they have to say about their research experience!



Phase 1 Research Joe's Experience
Phase I Research Terry's Experience
Phase I Research Doug's Experience

I'm interested in... (Scroll to select multiple)







Our Specialists


Cindy Buda

"I do my part by managing the Fleming Island Office of Encore Research." On a daily basis I work as a Research Nurse Manager of our Fleming Island site supporting the Physician Investigators and staff in conducting clinical trials being carried out in our office. I am an original "Cheese Head" born in Green Bay Wisconsin and transplanted to Central Florida at the age of 10. I moved to Jacksonville for college and made Jacksonville my home. My greatest accomplishment is my four children. I enjoy family, cycling, travel and fishing.

Karen Schuran

“I LOVE to shop!  I would shop all the time if I could!” says Karen Schuran, who earns her shopping money by being the Research Assistant and Lab Processor at Fleming Island Center for Clinical Research. Karen has been a member of our research family for 10 years and continues to be a valuable asset to the company.
She and her husband are celebrating their 25th Anniversary of marriage this month. They have two children, a daughter and a son. Karen is also “Grandma” to a cute, fuzzy bunny named Snoopy.
Karen’s favorite sport is football, which she has been learning more about so she can keep up with the men in the house. She also likes to watch game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, but Karen admits her real guilty pleasure is horror movies. “I absolutely LOVE horror movies, the scarier the better!”

Lisa Moore

Do you know Lisa Moore at Fleming Island Center for Clinical Research?  She has been a member of our research family for fourteen years, and surprisingly in addition to being an accomplished research coordinator, she is a home project expert.  She can often be seen gardening and renovating her old house! 

Lisa is the mother of two children and a French bulldog mix. She enjoys health and fitness, and is currently a CrossFit devotee who also likes to compete in 5k runs.  This allows her to burn off her favorite foods which include cheese fondue with veggies and Renna’s pizza.

During those rare, quieter moments, you might find her at home baking, crafting or crocheting with her dog Sparkles by her side. 

Candy O’Neill

If you haven’t met Candy O’Neill, you’ve probably at least spoken with her over the phone! Candy has been with the Encore Research Group since 2004. She does a fantastic job working at the Fleming Island office as a Recruitment Specialist. In the past, she also worked from the Jacksonville office as a Recruitment Specialist and as a Patient Coordinator.

Candy’s passion is crafting; anything from paper crafts to clay pots and even gardening. She loves to watch HGTV and often turns to it for inspiration. If you haven’t heard some of Candy’s stories, just stick around because she always has an interesting story to tell.

William Davila, MD

Dr. William Davila is the Medical Director and Principal Investigator at ENCORE Research Group’s Fleming Island Center for Clinical Research.

Dr. Davila received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Ponce School of Medicine, Puerto Rico after completing his undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico. Serving in the United States Navy until 2008, he completed his internship at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas and his residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Dr. Davila is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is licensed by the state of Florida. He has been a primary care physician at Gatien and Associates since 2008. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Fun Facts about Dr. Davila:

Hobbies:               RC Cars

Favorite Food:    Pizza

Favorite Sport:   Basketball

Favorite Movie: Gladiator

Dr. Mitchell Rothstein

Dr. Mitchell Rothstein is a Clinical Research Investigator at our Fleming Island research site and he has been with us for 5 years now. In February 2017, we are happy to say that Dr. Rothstein also became our new Phase 1 Medical Director at our Jacksonville University research site. We consider him an all-star at ENCORE Research Group, not only did he perform the first endobronchial stent in Jacksonville, but he also lettered in gymnastics in college. Which is probably why he handles working at two locations with ease.

In his free time, he collects animation art, especially the work of Chuck Jones, the famous Looney Tunes animator. Dr. Rothstein is a major sports fan. He loves watching mixed martial arts and is an Olympics sports addict. He is also a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Mets and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, our minor-league baseball team in Jacksonville.

While Dr. Rothstein has some downtime, he enjoys eating, he calls himself a ‘happy carnivore’! Some of his favorite TV shows to watch are: Fargo, Billions, Jeopardy, and Snapped. All in all, we’re glad we have Dr. Rothstein as part of our ENCORE Research team and we’re excited to see what he accomplishes with us in the years to come. 

MyDoc - Research done by doctors from your community!

Our company is made up of local physicians. Doctors from your community, and maybe even your own personal doctor, have helped advance medical knowledge and treatments. Follow the button below to browse a list of the physicians involved in our company. If you decide to sign up, we'll show you a video message from the doctor you select explaining exactly why (s)he loves contributing to clinical research.



Go to MyDoc