The clinical trials program at UC San Diego Extension, one of the first and most widely recognized educational programs of its kind in the world, is now accepting international students for its new Clinical Trials Administration in Latin America Certificate.
Classes are taught by Spanish-speaking medical faculty with practical, international experience. Medica Sur, one of the most respected physician/research groups in Mexico, is sending the first cohort of students through the program.
"The demand for clinical trials in Latin America is expected to grow tenfold in the next five years," says Dr. Leonel Villa-Caballero, the director of the Latin America clinical trials program. "Our certificate helps clinicians and other health professionals meet this demand for specific expertise in the design and administration of trials that will meet high government standards in the region. We are happy to offer a high-quality program for the growing audience and pharmaceutical industry in need of clinical trial education in Latin America."
Three sections are needed to complete the Clinical Trials Administration in Latin America Certificate. Phase one can be taken online or in-person, which provides networking opportunities with UC San Diego faculty and San Diego industry leaders. Phase two and three are taught fully online. The certificate can be completed in as little as six months.
Pharmaceutical and medical device development has become one of the premier industries of the 21st Century, with Latin America taking an international role in biomedical research and biotechnical development. Critical to the industry are clinical trials, the experiments to evaluate new drugs, medical devices or other interventions on patients in strictly scientifically controlled settings that are required for regulatory authority approval of new therapies.
"Offering a clinical trials program totally in Spanish ensures we are reaching the important Latin America research market in addition to researchers and clinicians in Spain," says Dr. Villa-Caballero.
Today's clinical trials require careful planning and cooperation among a variety of professionals within the pharmaceutical and biotechnical industry, clinical practice, and governmental or industrial agencies who need both specialized expertise and general familiarity with a variety of procedures.
However, before the UC San Diego Extension clinical trials program was developed more than a decade ago, exposure to this knowledge was difficult to acquire and was frequently obtained only through on-the-job experience over a number of years. During the past ten years more than one-thousand professionals -- from such local and national companies as Amilyn, Pfizer, Novartis, Gen-Probe, Biogen Idec, Neurocrine, and Quintiles -- have received clinical trials certificates from UC San Diego Extension.