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Clinical Trials & Research

Research has the power to transform and save lives.

Our clinical trials & research team is committed to offering national and international cancer and Alzheimer's disease research studies to patients throughout the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. We are proud to be one of the only medical practices in the North Bay to offer patients local access to cancer and Alzheimer's disease studies that may change a course of treatment, offer a patient more options, provide relief from side effects or even contribute to the cure of a disease.

View Currently Enrolling Clinical Trials

Frequent Clinical Trials & Research Questions

What are the benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial?

Benefits to participants:

  • Play an active role in their own health care.
  • Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
  • Help others by contributing to medical research.

Risks to participants:

  • There may be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects to experimental treatment- these will be described in the informed consent document.
  • There is no guarantee that the experimental treatment may be effective for the participant.
  • The protocol may require more of their time and attention than would a non-protocol treatment, including trips to the study site, more treatments, hospital stays or complex dosage requirements.

What are side effects and adverse reactions?

  • Side effects are any undesired actions or effects of the experimental drug or treatment. Negative or adverse effects may include a variety of physical problems such as headache or nausea. Experimental treatments must be evaluated for both immediate and long-term side effects.

What should people consider before participating in a trial?

People should feel well informed about the clinical trial. The following questions might be helpful for the participant to discuss with the health care team. Some of the answers to these questions are found in the informed consent document.

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Who is going to be in the study?
  • Why do researchers believe the experimental treatment being tested may be effective?
  • Has it been tested before?
  • What kinds of tests and experimental treatments are involved?
  • How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits in the study compare with my current treatment?
  • How might this trial affect my daily life?
  • How long will the trial last?
  • Will hospitalization be required?
  • Who will pay for the experimental treatment?
  • Will I be reimbursed for other expenses?
  • What type of long-term follow up care is part of this study?
  • How will I know that the experimental treatment is working?
  • Will results of the trials be provided to me?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?

What kind of preparation should a potential participant make for the meeting with the research coordinator or doctor?

  • Plan ahead and write down any questions you wish to ask. Ask a friend or relative to come along for support and to hear the responses to the questions. Bring a tape recorder to record the discussion to replay later. Every clinical trial in the United States must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure the risks are as low as possible and are worth any potential benefits. An IRB is an independent committee of physicians, statisticians, community advocates, and others that ensures that a clinical trial is ethical and the rights of study participants are protected. All institutions that conduct or support biomedical research involving people must, by federal regulation, have an IRB that initially approves and periodically reviews the research.

Can a participant leave a clinical trial after it has begun?

  • Yes. A participant can leave a clinical trial at any time, for any reason.

What is a placebo?

  • A placebo is an inactive pill, liquid or powder that has no treatment value. In clinical trials, experimental treatments are often compared with placebos to assess the experimental treatment's effectiveness. In some studies, the participants in the control group will receive a placebo instead of an active drug or experimental treatment. Many oncology studies do not have placebo arms to the study as this would be unethical.

Meet Our Research Team

Meet Our Research Team

Our dedicated research team is experienced and committed to research. We compassionately work with patients to ensure they are educated about their treatment options

Thomas Stanton, MD
Medical Director of Clinical Research

Peg Jennings-Shaw, PhD
Regulatory Coordinator

Kayla DenBeste
Research Assistant

Tracy Foster, CRC
Clinical Research Coordinator

Diego Martinez
Clinical Research Coordinator

Catherine Hollister
Clinical Research Coordinator

Jennafer Carlin, MPH
Clinical Research Coordinator

Teresa Lund, CCRC
Clinical Research Coordinator

Jan Nielsen

Anthony Blackburn
Clinical Research Coordinator

Kimberly Young, RN, CCRC
Research Director

Information for Patients

Information for Patients

Why participate in a Clinical Trial?

There are a variety of reasons for why participants get involved in a clinical trial or research study. For example, some patients volunteer to receive new treatments that are not yet available to the general population because of the potential benefits. Others choose to participate because they want to contribute to the advancement of medicine in order to benefit others with similar illnesses. Whatever the reason, volunteers participating in clinical research are the driving force behind the medical advances that improve the lives of millions of people.

Each clinical trial has specific criteria or guidelines that are used to identify appropriate participants-and ensure their safety. These criteria are based on factors such as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions.

What else do I need to know about clinical trials?

It's important that you have enough information to make a well-informed decision before participating in a clinical trial. To do this, we provide what's called an informed consent document that outlines all the information you need to know about the study. We'll go over the details of the study with you and want you to ask questions. You should only join a clinical trial if you feel you have enough information about the possible risks and benefits involved.

Joining a clinical trial is always voluntary and you may leave a study at any time.

How do I join a clinical trial?

If you are interested in learning how you might benefit from participating in a clinical trial, ask your doctor for more information or contact one of our certified clinical research coordinators at (707) 521-3830.

Information for Physicians

Interested in being a Clinical Trial Investigator within St. Joseph Health Medical Group?


Clinical investigators play an important role in the development of drugs, therapies and medical devices to combat disease, treat chronic and degenerative diseases, and improve the health of people throughout the world. The research department is excited to offer St. Joseph Health Medical Group physicians the tools and resources to become Clinical Trial Investigators. By conducting clinical trials, physicians:

  • Are at the forefront of cutting edge treatments in a variety of therapeutic areas
  • Are thought-leader within the professional community
  • Open option for additional revenue besides RVUs
  • Offer patients new treatments that may only be available through participation in clinical trials
  • Support the evolution of medicine

St Joseph Health has a well-established clinical trial research department in Sonoma County. Physicians can gain a thorough understanding of the various regulations related to clinical trials by partnering with the research department. In the United States, physicians conducting clinical trials should be familiar with parts 50, 54, 56 and 312 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 21. These regulations define what is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Knowledge of good clinical practice (GCP) is also expected. This ensures the rights, well-being and confidentiality of the research patients is maintained. It also ensures reliable and accurate information is obtained for submission to the regulatory agencies.

Self-paced learning modules with associated CEUs are available on-line. The established infrastructure for clinical research is already in place and the research department is happy to provide experienced clinical research coordinators (CRCs) to manage the studies. The research department will assist with identifying studies of interest and facilitate regulatory and recruitment as well as scheduling within protocol windows, the study management and documentation.

For more information or to schedule an informal meeting contact or at (707) 521-3814.

Information for Sponsors

Information for Sponsors Regarding Our Clinical Trials Program

St Joseph Heritage Healthcare and St. Joseph Health Medical Group offer a complete and integrated approach to cancer care. We have a dedicated research department, staffed with 6 clinical research coordinators (4 certified, one is an RN), a research/lab assistant, a data regulatory coordinator and fulltime support staff. We are experienced in a wide assortment of oncology and hematology indications and have enrolled over 900 patients in clinical trials since 2000.

Our imaging department, located 5 miles from the research location, at 121 Sotoyome Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, offers leading edge diagnostic equipment including ultrasound, digital mammography, and stereotactic breast biopsy, X-ray, DEXA, PET, MRI and CT (including a 128 slice CT).

Our main oncology site hosts an infusion center with 16 chairs, 12 exam rooms (2 dedicated to research) and 5 medical oncologists (profiles below). Our sister sites provide 5 additional Sub Is and increased patient pool for recruitment.

Interests & Experience of our 6 primary medical oncologist PIs (click on their names to read their full bios):

  • Wes Lee, MD: Board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology; Dr. Lee received his MD and PhD from UCLA then completed his oncology fellowship at Stanford. He is very active in our clinical research programs, currently serving as director of the research department. His academic research background began in 1985 and he has been conducting clinical research since 2003, serving as PI for prostate, melanoma and GU cancer studies.
  • Ian Anderson, MD: Board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology; Dr. Anderson completed his fellowship at Dana- Farber Cancer Institute. He has been conducting industrial and NIH research since 1995 with a particular interest in treatment of patients with lung cancer.
  • Jarrod Holmes, MD: A graduate of Duke University school of Medicine, Dr. Holmes is Board certified in internal medicine and subspecialties of medical oncology and hematology. A member of the American Association of Cancer Researchers, Dr. Holmes has been conducting clinical research as PI since 2006 and has multiple publications. His interests are in hematology, breast cancer and cancer vaccines.
  • L. Wayne Keiser, MD: A graduate of Stanford Medical School, Dr. Keiser completed his oncology fellowship at Yale. Board certified in medical oncology with interests in hematology, colon, GI and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he has been a PI since 1996.
  • Sara Keck, MD: Board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology; Dr. Keck completed her oncology fellowship at UCSF. She has served as a clinical research coordinator and Sub I on several oncology studies. Her interests are in breast and gynecological cancers.
  • Thomas Stanton, MD: Dr. Stanton is a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He has been in private practice in Petaluma since 1991 and has been Chariman of the Oncology Committee at Petaluma Valley Hospital during that time. In that capacity he has led the hospital to certification by the American College of Surgeons as a Community Cancer Program. As of 2017, he has become Medical Director of Clinical Research providing expertise and oversight to a myriad of clinical trials.

If you are a sponsor or CRO and would like more information St. Joseph Health Medical Group's clinical trials and research programs, please call us at (707) 521-3830.

Contact Information

How Can I Join A Trial?

If you are interested in joining a clinical trial, talk to your doctor or contact our Clinical Trials & Research department. Thank you for your interest in clinical research!

Connect with us:

St. Joseph Health
Clinical Trials & Research
3555 Round Barn Circle
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: (707) 521-3830

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