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Clinical Trials – Where are they? How do I get involved?

Have you ever wondered how those clinical trials come to be? Where they are? How you can get involved?

Ya, me neither. But now that you are wondering, I have found the man that has the answer to these questions.

Mr. Sarkis Dallakian is the father of two and has come up with a way to give you these answers on an on going basis. What he has built is nothing short of genius, merging Google’s Maps technology with the clinicaltrials database giving you a visual and searchable dynamic map of your area with information on who is doing it, why they’re doing it and how you can be involved.


ClisMap is not just the best tool, but the only tool that I know of on the net to get detailed, easy to understand information on clinical trials anywhere in the world. Not only is it feature rich (allowing you search by many categories), it is easy to add it to your own site allowing you and your visitors access to this information as well.

Yesterday, I had pleasure of talking to Mr. Dallakian, I thought I’d share some of that with you here. Below the interview is an example of the ClisMap integrated right into this site, specifically targeting Autism trials!


1. Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a research programmer and web developer. I work at The Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla, California, which is one of the world’s largest, private, non-profit research biomedical research institution. http://www.scripps.edu

2. Do you have children with special needs? Can you tell us about them?

We have two kids, my son is 5 years old and my daughter is 7. We had no special problem with our daughter. However, with our son, we noticed that he was having problems with speech when he turned 2. We were very afraid that he might have Autism spectrum disorders and that our worst nightmares might realize. We were fortunate enough to meet another couple who went through the same troubles. Long story short, my son is now doing good after we spend countless hours paying special attention to him. Now he goes to kindergarten and he is doing fine. 

3. How did you come up with the idea for ClisMap?

In 2008 Google introduced Google App Engine (http://code.google.com/appengine) and I started experimenting with that. I started building websites and learned web development skills. I was also watching many NIH webcasts (http://videocast.nih.gov/PastEvents.asp), in my spare time, and learning about different Clinical Trials. I also visited http://clinicaltrials.gov to see what kind of information is available there. This website is a great resource that many clinicians are using to find information about Clinical Trials. It has advanced search options including location based search. However, there was no options to search for clinical trials near specific location, similar to the one we use on Google maps. In general, clinicaltrials.gov is oriented more towards clinical investigators rather than patients. I started searching for a site that would let me find Clinical Trials based on my location. I wasn’t able to find one after searching hours on Google. That’s why I decided to create ClisMap as it’s useful for both me and the community. 

4. How often is ClisMap updated? Where does it get it’s information?

ClisMap updates its database daily. It takes this information from http://clinicaltrials.gov RSS feed and stores it on Google App Engine. 

5. How can people best use ClisMap? How do you get the most out of it?

People can best use ClisMap for searching for clinical trials nearby. For instance, one can search for smoking or obesity related clinical trials to see if there is one available nearby. You can also browse for clinical trials by conditions, interventions or sponsors to see who are conducting these clinical trials and why. 

6. What other projects do you have?

I also run a website called Food Prints (http://food-prints.appspot.com). This was my first Google App Engine project and it has been one of the top 5 projects featured in Google App Engine Gallery for 3 years in a row.

7. Do you have anything else that you’re working on?

I’m now spending most of my free time (besides family and G+) working on Heritage Health Prize Competition which offers a US $3 million Grand Prize. I’m not expecting to win this prize but rather learn new things from best data mining and machine learning specialists around the world.

Once again, thank you Mr. Dallakian… and now, here is an example of his ClisMap in action:
(If it doesn’t show up the first time, just reload the page. This isn’t a Clismap issue, it’s a wordpress+iframe issue.)

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