Museum Exhibit

Medical Heroes: A Traveling Museum Exhibit

CISCRP is developing a museum exhibit designed to teach elementary through high school age children about the clinical research process and the role that clinical trials play in advancing public health. The science museum exhibit will occupy a 1,000 square foot area with 10 stations offering interactivity, problem solving and experiential learning.  It will travel to 12 cities over the course of three years beginning in 2015. In each city, the exhibit will be customized to feature local companies and centers involved in drug development and clinical research. During the tour, the science museum exhibit will receive local and national media attention, and support from the local clinical research community.

The Medical Heroes exhibition will present authentic stories and voices of clinical research volunteers who have participated in—or are currently enrolled in–clinical trials spanning pharmaceuticals, gene therapy, medical devices and procedures, behavioral intervention, and observation studies. These encounters will give the exhibition authenticity, credibility, and emotional resonance as museum visitors connect with medical volunteers describing of the ups and downs and day-to-day aspects of clinical trials.

  • Meet the volunteers: Visitors will meet real medical research volunteers through photos, quotes, videos, and social media dialogue, and occasionally in person. In addition, hearing from volunteers participating a wide range of clinical trials will help visitors to see clinical trials as more than treatments of last resort.
  • Be the volunteer: Opportunities to “be the volunteer” will engage families in gathering data about their own bodies, for example, using a blood pressure cuff to record their heart rate before and after doing jumping jacks. Multimedia exhibits will enable visitors to play the role of friend and advisor to volunteers who are figuring out what questions to ask and making decisions about participation.
  • Discover the impact: A variety of presentations will bring home the impact of participation in medical research, whether by reporting on study results of brain research in infants or connecting the dots between a clinical trials participant and someone who directly benefited from the result.


Based on statistics from the American Alliance of Museums, CISCRP estimates that the 12-city tour has the potential to attract up to 1.1 million visitors. And through local media coverage and coordination with local research centers, health officials, and with health and science curricula in the school systems, an estimated 20 million people will be reached.

This past April, CISCRP met with representatives from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the National Health Council; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturer’s Association (PhRMA); the National Medical Association (NMA); the Society of Women’s Health Research; and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to unveil and discuss the draft design elements.

The project is now entering the final stage of development and requires substantial funding to complete production and launch in each major city. With the support of sponsors including Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, INC Research, ACRP and ACRO, CISCRP hopes to raise a million dollars.

Email if you are interested in sponsoring our traveling museum exhibit.

Investing in this project will lay the foundation for an extensive and effective communication effort. Research participants and professionals in the field of clinical trials will have an unusual opportunity to see their contributions showcased and appreciated, and families, teens, and adults will take away a newfound awareness of the clinical trials process and an increased respect for the contributions of medical volunteers.