About The Portrait Project

The Portrait Project is an authentic open platform that highlights the lives intersecting clinical research. Patients, caregivers, and health professionals share unfiltered accounts of their personal health journeys and provide insight into the clinical trial experience. This project was born from our core belief that patient stories paint the bigger picture around clinical research.

Our mission

To educate: Clinical trials are not well-understood by the general public and the people who participate are often stereotyped unfairly. We hope to reduce our everyday reliance on stereotypes by connecting readers with the deeply personal stories of their neighbors.

To empower: We’ll amplify the voices of patients and caregivers, and help others recognize their invaluable contributions to science.

What to expect

Through these first-person narratives, you’ll become familiar with the impossible challenges that patients and caregivers must overcome to participate. You’ll read uplifting stories of lives saved and others changed for the better. You’ll smile at some and possibly shed tears at others.

The Portrait Project is an unapologetically authentic platform that brings all of its stories to the surface, regardless of content. We are not crafting the narrative, but rather providing a platform for storytellers to do so in their own words. With that said, we will not hesitate to share stories that may be critical of clinical research, public policy, or corporate companies in this industry. Of course the stories of triumph will be inspiring and encouraging, but we believe the moments of discomfort drive important conversations and growth.

Representation Matters

There is a significant lack of diversity in clinical trial participation:

In 2020, 75% of clinical trial participants were White (FDA)

In 2022, less than 1% of clinical trial results reported participation of transgender and nonbinary patients (Parexel)

Members of low income households are 27% less likely to participate in research (JAMA Oncol)

Increasing diversity in clinical trials builds trust, promotes health equity, and leads to more effective treatments and better outcomes (NEJM). But there is much work to be done - and barriers to break - to improve awareness and access for all people. 

Do you know someone who is a member of a marginalized community who has participated in a clinical trial? If so, we’d love to meet them and share their story. We hope to represent the many faces of clinical trials through this project, and inspire others by shining a light on their experience.

They can contact us here.