Clinical Research Program

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Meet our Research Doctor

David D. Suh, MD, FACC

Atlanta Heart Specialists is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading clinical trials research site. The group is able to offer patients in the Atlanta region access to some of the world most important clinical trials.

Life-saving therapies such as pacemakers, stents, ICDs, beta blockers, ACE inhibitores, statins, and antiplatelet agents have led the way in the fight against heart disease. While we take advantage of these therapies, many of which are now available for pennies a day, they would not have been possible without clinical trials.

Our research team consists of 14 physician sub-investigators, and 5 highly trained research nurse coordinators. AHS Research works closely with some of the world’s leading research centers such as TIMI (Harvard University), DCRI (Duke University), PHRI (McMaster University) and CTU (Oxford University).

What is a clinical trial?

  • A “clinical trial” is a research study to answer specific questions about investigational treatments, or new ways of using known treatments. It is a test to see if the investigational treatment is safe and effective.
  • Doctors run the tests according to strict rules set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • All our studies are approved and overseen by an Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Clinical trials are designed to test a hypothesis often comparing a new drug or device to the current standard of care.
  • AHS Research participates only in phase 3 and 4 studies which means that the new agent has already been tested in smaller trials and shown to be of some benefit
  • As a result any risks to our patient’s are less.
  • In general, individuals who participate in clinical trials do better than those outside of a trial, regardless of which arm they are randomized to, in part because of the added attention and supervision given to all research patients.

Why should I participate?

  • You can try an investigational treatment before it is widely available.
  • You can help in the development of medical treatments that may help others.
  • You may benefit from an alternative course of treatment that you or your physician might not have known about.
  • You can play a more active role in your own health care.
  • You can obtain expert medical care during the trial.
  • You will be seen more often and this may help identify any health concerns sooner.
  • You will not be required to pay for any investigational treatments or visits that are outside of standard care.
  • Participation in clinical trials is FREE if you meet certain eligibility criteria. We are provide a transportation stipend.
  • Currently our clinical trials are looking at new therapies designed to reduce heart disease by raising good cholesterol (HDL), lowering triglycerides, managing diabetes, relieving angina, identifying ischemia (blockages) and thinning the blood.

What are the risks of clinical trials?

  • Many studies require the use of a placebo (an inactive substance that has no treatment value). Using a placebo means some volunteers may be getting standard treatment only.
  • Some investigational treatments may have side effects that can be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening. The risks should be fully explained to you before any trial procedures are performed.
  • The investigational treatment may not be effective for you.
  • The trial may require more of your time and attention than would a standard treatment.

In each of our studies, your safety and health is always our top priority. Our research nurses and physicians are available to you through a dedicated line at all times –770-407-6369. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial and would like to know more, please email us at or call 770-407-6369.