May 19, 2020

Advancing treatments through clinical trials

Kaiser Permanente’s clinical trials help advance treatment for health conditions and diseases ranging from heart disease and cancer to AIDS and COVID-19.

Drs. William Towner and Jim H. Nomura.

William Towner, MD, has seen firsthand how clinical trials can contribute to the development of more effective and safer medical treatments. He began working in clinical trials at Kaiser Permanente at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

“AIDS was often a fatal disease with few treatment options,” he recalled. “Through clinical trials, more and more effective disease therapies were developed. We are now able to treat HIV with one pill taken once a day, and patients usually do very well. It’s been amazing to have been a part of such a big transformation of care.”

Since those early days, Dr. Towner has served as principal investigator for more than 150 clinical trials in his role as physician director for clinical trials at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. He is currently leading clinical trials for treatment of COVID-19.

“Clinical trials really have driven medicine forward,” he said. “I'm proud that Kaiser Permanente could be a part of that.”