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Who Volunteers for Research?

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Have you ever wondered “who volunteers for research?”

As a research volunteer, your participation is confidential.  We are not going to bump into you at the grocery store and say “Hey, Janie, how’s the birth control study going?”    We will tell you, however, that we have volunteers in our research studies from all walks of life!

Who volunteers for research?  

Let us tell you!

Research volunteers are selfless.

Many volunteers participate in research because they want to help others.  Becoming a research volunteer is a wonderful way to give back and to help advance medicine.

Research volunteers are well informed.

Some research volunteers are investigating health care options, while others are looking at new treatments for conditions.

Research volunteers come from all walks of life. 

Those who have participated in our studies here in New London include nurses, doctors, bus drivers, administrative assistants, writers, artists, designers, engineers, mechanics, stay-at-home moms, business owners, teachers, retirees, and many others.  We’ve had individuals from all walks of life serve as research volunteers.

How can I get involved?

Research begins with a conversation.  Let us know what studies interest you.  Call us at (860) 443-4567 or email

Taking the Sting Out of Lyme Disease

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Coastal Connecticut Research has an occasional column in “The Times” newspaper in Southeastern Connecticut.  Our most recent column discusses Lyme disease.  This was published in “The Times” on 9/11/2017.

There’s a lot we can boast about living in Southeastern Connecticut. Residents have access to Long Island Sound and lovely beaches, great recreation, beautiful vistas and some wonderful tourist attractions.  We also have the distinction of being the “birthplace” of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease has likely been around longer than the first time it was officially recognized in the Lyme, Connecticut area in 1975.  How did our realization that a small tick could wreak such havoc in regards to people’s health come about?  (And let’s not forget our pets affected as well!)

According to the Center for Disease Control, Lyme disease infects 300,000 people per year and is among the fastest growing vector-borne infectious diseases in the U.S.  Lyme disease was initially regarded as an East Coast occurrence, but has now spread throughout US. Abroad, a British rugby player, Matt Dawson,  recently made headlines for chronicling his battle with Lyme. He contracted the disease in England and has become a proponent of educating the public about his ordeal.
The genesis of officially recognizing what we now know today as Lyme disease harkens back to the early 1970’s.  At that time, children and adults in the Lyme area were living with some troubling health issues such as swollen knees, rashes on the skin, headaches, chronic fatigue and in some cases, paralysis.  Many of these individuals had no diagnosis as a result of their symptoms and no treatment.  Apparently, some of the women in this group, including mothers of suffering children, fought hard and advocated to be taken more seriously.  Their tenacity, and the work of researchers, eventually led to the recognition of Lyme disease.

Researchers ultimately learned Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Today, Lyme disease is diagnosed by a combination of signs, symptoms and lab testing.  The diagnosis of Lyme can be complicated by the fact there is no “gold standard” test for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease.  The bullseye rash, known medically as an Erythema Migrans (EM) rash, has been generally accepted as the marker of early Lyme infection.  However, the rash does not appear in all cases.  That rash can also be confused with other rashes.  What are people to do?

Today, researchers continue to study Lyme disease.  A current study underway in New London is aiming to develop a method of detecting Lyme disease earlier.  By establishing a series of tests to detect Lyme, perhaps we can diagnose the disease sooner in individuals who have been bitten by a tick.  Those participating in the study have either the appearance of a bullseye rash due to a tick bite or were recently bitten by a tick and are in the early stages of Lyme.  Those individuals have not yet taken an antibiotic for treatment.

What we do know is Lyme disease can be debilitating.  Through the persistence of people suffering from Lyme disease and going undiagnosed, we ultimately found out just how damaging a tick bite could be.  Through people who have been bitten by a tick coming forward to participate in research, someday we may be able to diagnose the disease sooner, thus treating individuals for the disease sooner.

Those who are interested in learning about Lyme research are welcome to speak with a member of the CCRstudies team by calling (860) 443-4567 or visit

MaryLou Gannotti is the Director of Public Relations and Communications at Coastal Connecticut Research in New London. She can be reached by phone at (860) 443-4567 and by email at

Fall Into Volunteering!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Labor Day for many marks the “unofficial” end of summer. (Those of us who love the season will cling to every beach day we can get here!)

Some moms might find their days more free thanks to children returning to school.  Are you a woman aged 35 of younger?  Participants are needed for a birth control study testing a non-hormonal vaginal gel.  The gel can be used up to one hour before intercourse.  We encourage you to speak to our study nurse Kelley or another member of the CCRstudies team if you wish to learn more about this study.  Call us at (860) 443-4567.  There is no cost to participate, no cost for the study product, and reimbursement for time and travel up to $100 per completed office visit.


Nationwide Birth Control Study

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Evofem Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of women’s health products, announced the enrollment of the first patient in a Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating AMPHORA for the prevention of pregnancy.  Coastal Connecticut Research was selected by Evofem Biosciences as research site for the study. Dr. Robert M. Spitz is serving as the Primary Investigator in the study which is being conducted throughout the United States.  Research nurses include Kelley Sanok RN, Jeannine Elliott RN and Diane Palmer RN.

AMPHORA is an investigational compound being studied as a vaginal contraceptive and for the prevention of certain vaginal infections.  The local study is focusing on pregnancy prevention.  Women ages 18-35 throughout the country are participating in the study.

Coastal Connecticut Research has conducted a number of research trials pertaining to women’s healthcare and is announcing upcoming studies on stress urinary incontinence, hot flashes, and decreased sexual desire.

Those interested in learning more can contact the site at (860) 443-4567 or visit  Coastal Connecticut Research is located on Montauk Avenue in New London, CT.

Lisa Bragaw, PharmD Joins Team

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Lisa Bragaw PharmD

We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Bragaw, PharmD to the CCRstudies team.  Lisa is a clinical pharmacist, yogi, and also works in medication management services.

Lisa will lend her vast knowledge of pharmaceuticals, skills and expertise to the studies we conduct here.  She is a familiar face to many in the region as the owner of Zen and Now Wellness Studio in Niantic where she also teaches.  She also works as a Clinical Pharmacist at Simply Pharmacy in Waterford.  Lisa is highly motivated and is involved in the community through a variety of endeavors.  We are truly excited to collaborate with Lisa on her highly popular “Ask a Pharmacist” events.  Welcome Lisa! Namaste.

Non-Hormonal Birth Control

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Are you a woman who is looking for a different birth control option?

Coastal Connecticut Research has been involved in a variety of birth control studies over the years.  We are currently conducting the AMPOWER Clinical Research study which is testing the safety and effectiveness of a new, investigational, non-hormonal form of birth control that is to be used up to 1 hour before intercourse takes place.  The gel is believed to work by maintaining the pH of the vagina in order to prevent sperm mobility in addition to preventing sperm from reaching an egg.

Some women opt for non-hormonal contraceptive methods because they may be sensitive to the potential side effects of hormones, or perhaps they have a health history precluding their use or hormones.  Some women seeking birth control also may like the flexibility of a method such as a contraceptive gel to be used before intercourse, rather than committing to a more long term form of birth control such as an IUD or contraceptive implant.


Birth Control Research

Monday, July 10th, 2017

There are a myriad of options for women in the United States regarding contraceptive choices.  There are birth control pills, birth control implants, hormonal IUD’s, non-hormonal IUD’s, vaginal rings, contraceptive foams, condoms, barrier methods, and for some, natural family planning, often called “the rhythm method.”

We’ve come a long way since crocodile dung was used as a barrier method to block sperm during Cleopatra’s time!

At Coastal Connecticut Research in New London some of our research studies have tested investigational products for birth control.  Sponsors of these studies understand some women are looking for choices in regards to family planning.   Just as every woman in different, choices in pregnancy prevention will differ as well.

If you are a woman of child bearing age who is not interested in currently starting a family, and you would like to learn more about birth control clinical research studies, contact our team today at (860) 443-4567 or email

Welcome Kelley!

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

We would like to warmly welcome Kelley Sanok RN to the!

In her new role,  Kelley will serve our site as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Financial Coordinator.  Prior to becoming an RN, Kelley worked as a Study Director and Scientist for Pfizer.  Her role at Pfizer involved performing preclinical laboratory testing, protocol and standard operating procedures development and quality assurance audits.  Her nursing roles have involved serving as a home care nurse case manager,  and primary care nurse, playing an important role in the treatment of patients. She holds two Bachelor of Science Degrees from the University of Connecticut with majors in Nursing and Allied Health.

Kelley is a Ledyard, Connecticut native and resides with her family in Stonington.

What’s New at CCRstudies

Monday, June 26th, 2017

It’s summertime!  It’s an exciting time for Coastal Connecticut Research in New London.  We have a variety of new studies we will be launching, and we continue to seek volunteers for our current studies including Migraine Prevention, Mild Memory Loss, and Overactive Bladder.

In addition to launching some new studies this summer, we’re also welcoming a new member to our staff.  Kelley Sanok RN has joined the CCRstudies team as a Research Nurse and Study Coordinator.  We are delighted to welcome Kelley, who is a Ledyard native and Stonington resident.  Kelley holds dual degrees from the University of Connecticut including a BS in Nursing and a BS in Allied Health.

We are also wishing the very best of luck to Jessie Hatfield LPN and Sarah Ballard LPN who are moving on to new adventures in their life.

Jessie had been with our site since 2011 and has been accepted into the RN program at Three Rivers Community College. She is going to be devoting herself to her studies this fall and we wish her the best of luck! Jessie had a tremendous rapport with her patients and kept things very lively at our site with her sense of humor and zest for life.   Sarah Ballard LPN, who worked as our Financial Coordinator has landed a full-time position in her chosen field, accounting, and we wish her well in her new endeavor.  Sarah worked part-time at our site since 2015 while balancing her life responsibilities and full time school work.  After earning her Associates in Accounting this past May she set a goal of working full time in her field and landed a new job doing what she lives.   Again, best of luck to Sarah and Jessie.

If you are interested in learning more about our current and upcoming studies, or if you want to learn more about our no cost memory screenings, contact us today at (860) 443-4567.  We look forward to telling you what’s new at CCRstudies!



No Cost Memory Screenings

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Coastal Connecticut Research in New London is offering no cost, confidential memory screenings as a service to the community for memory loss or suspected early signs of Alzheimer’s.

If you are concerned about memory loss, have a family history of memory loss, or live with someone experiencing suspected memory loss call Coastal Connecticut Research at (860) 443-4567 to book a screening appointment.  Evaluations take around 30 minutes and results can be forwarded to health care providers with consent.

Since the inception of the Alzheimer’s national memory screening program over 2.5 million people have been screened worldwide.  Locally, Coastal Connecticut Research has conducted over 100 free memory screenings as part of this Alzheimer’s initiative. Memory screenings are a significant first step towards identifying memory problems.   The screenings are conducted by medical staff trained as Qualified Dementia Care Specialists, the highest level of certification awarded by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Coastal Connecticut Research is located at 342 Montauk Avenue in New London.  Visit to learn more about the research site.