Research Participant Recruitment


Protection of Human Subjects

The Center adheres strictly to all regulations governing the protection of human subjects (45 CFR part 46), as well as all Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Good Clinical Practice guidelines. All study personnel has completed local and federal required education programs related to the protection of human research participants. The training includes basic courses in the Protection of Human Research Subjects, Good Clinical Practice, Health Information Privacy and Security, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Bio-Safety and Bio-Security.

The welfare of study participants is safeguarded by systematically controlled procedures for the collection of information for both clinical and research purposes. Center investigators, Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), Institutional Review Boards (IRB), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have access to the research files. Participant agreement is required for release of information requests to and from other agencies. Recorded information for research purposes, including computer input data, are identified by code number (i.e. not by name), and published or presented material related to the project is not traceable to specific individuals.

  • Project #3: Non-invasive brain imaging research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center located at Catonsville. Helping scientists to understand how the brain functions in normal and disease states. Volunteers need to have no major physical illness, and are able to commit 5 - 10 hours. Eligible volunteers will be paid for participation. If you are interested in learning more, please call our study coordinator at (410) 402-6124.
  • Project #4: Neuroimaging of Tryptophan Challenge in People with Schizophrenia and Healthy Controls 

What is the purpose of the research study?

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of the dietary supplement tryptophan on attention, memory, and mood. This information may aid in creating new treatments for people with schizophrenia and other illnesses. Who can participate in this study?

This study is accepting men and women who:

  • Are 18 to 55 years of age
  • Have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective, or schizophreniform disorder; or do not have a current psychiatric illness
  • Are in generally good physical health
  • Are non-smokers
  • Able to complete magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning

What will participants be asked to do?

This study consists of 3 visits spread out over the course of 4 or more weeks:

The first visit will include screening for study eligibility. Participants will:

  • Learn about the study details
  • Sign a consent form if interested in participating
  • Fill out questionnaires
  • Answer questions about psychological and physical health
  • Have a brief physical examination
  • Have an EKG and blood samples taken

The final 2 visits will be for testing. Participants will:

  • Receive tryptophan or placebo by mouth
  • Complete tests of memory, attention, and motor skills
  • Have blood drawn
  • Complete an MRI

Where is the study taking place?

The Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, which is located on the grounds of the Spring Grove Hospital Center Campus in Catonsville, MD.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for participation.

Will I receive payment of some kind?

All study participants will be paid for their time.

How can I find out if Iā€™m eligible?

Call 410-402-6411 for a confidential screening.