Clinical Research

Clinical Research Department

The Northwest Houston Clinical Research team conducts clinical trials in Cardiovascular Diseases at Northwest Houston Heart Center. We are committed to improve the health and quality of life of our patients by participating in development of new drugs and finding more about current ones through research studies. We offer a select group of patients who are interested in clinical trials the opportunity to participate in ongoing studies at our facility. Our Principal Investigators and Sub Investigators are the primary cardiovascular care providers for most of our research patients in the ambulatory and hospital settings. In the course of the trial experienced cardiologists and nursing staff help walk patients through each step of the trial process.

We have collaborated with highly respected Academic Research Organizations in the United States such as Harvard Clinical Research Institute, Duke Clinical Research Institute, C5 Research with Cleveland Clinic and the Canadian Vigour Centre just to name a few. We have been selected as a research site by numerous reputable industry sponsors such as Novartis, Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly, Orexigen, Johnson and Johnson, Esperion, Forest Pharmaceuticals, Medtronic, Biotronik, Boehringer Ingelheim, Lantheus and Amgen and the list continues to grow. We have also worked with government agencies such as National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in conducting clinical research. We are experienced in working with Clinical Research Organizations including Icon, Quintiles, Covance, PPD, Partners Healthcare and Parexel.

Our research team includes six Cardiologists, two Nurse Practitioners, a full-time physician as a Research Director, a registered nurse as a Lead Coordinator and three additional Research Coordinators. We have participated in Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4 studies ranging from several weeks to several years. Our staff is well trained and experienced in conducting clinical trials from screening, enrollment, retention and follow up to end of study in an efficient and effective manner. Thanks to the efforts of this team we have been one of the top ten enrollers in several clinical trials in the United States and our team has been commended for generating quality data.

For more information on clinical research or ongoing clinical trials at Northwest Houston Heart Center please call 281-351-4911.


Shamaila Aslam, MD

Dr. Shamaila Aslam, the Director for Clinical Research at Northwest Houston Heart Center, is a board certified Internal Medicine physician with a special interest in clinical trials in cardiovascular diseases. She has been selected as the Principal Investigator and Sub Investigator in numerous national and international clinical trials partnering with leading academic institutions, sponsors and clinical research organizations. Above all, she regards her patients as the most important partners in clinical research, whose participation in clinical studies helps improve human health and quality of life. The results of these studies benefit patients worldwide and for generations to come. By participating in the development of new and novel therapies for cardiovascular diseases, these altruistic volunteers help translate scientific dreams into clinical realities.

Dr. Aslam’s strong academic background has helped her navigate the complexities of clinical research. She has won numerous awards for her high academic performance including National Talent Scholarship in college and Best Graduate Gold Medal for ranking first in her medical school. After completing residency training at University of Illinois she ranked top decile in the American Board of Internal Medicine certification examination. She also served as a Member of the Scientific Review Board for the residency scientific publication and a Member of the Curriculum Committee during her Internal Medicine residency. Dr. Aslam brings a wealth of clinical experience to the research program at Northwest Houston Heart Center. Before dedicating herself to full time research Dr. Aslam practiced clinical Internal Medicine for over ten years in the Northwest Houston area. She works closely on-site with the Cardiology team to deliver high quality care to her research patients in the kind and compassionate environment of Northwest Houston Heart Center.


Joan Morrison, RN

Joan Morrison serves as the Lead Coordinator of Clinical Research at Northwest Houston Heart Center. Joan is a highly skilled and trained Registered Nurse with over a decade of clinical research experience reinforced by her past years of experience as a Cardiac Cath Lab nurse. Her commitment to excellence, coupled with a special approach to efficiency has made Northwest Houston Heart Center a leading clinical research facility in numerous cardiac trials in the United States. Joan is devoted to helping patients receive new and innovative treatments which improve their present and future quality of life.

Joan supervises a team of research coordinators, keeping study activities streamlined and efficient. Her expertise runs the full spectrum from study startup to study closeout. Skillful at patient screening, enrollment, retention, and follow-up, Joan is a strong believer of patient education and open communication. Her proficiency in electronic data capture systems as well as safety reporting systems helps the team gather and use high quality clinical data for clinical research purposes. Joan is constantly contributing to the growth and development of the research department by sifting through electronic medical records, working with referring physicians, communicating with hospitals and collaborating with sponsors and clinical research organizations. Working closely with the on-site Cardiology team Joan makes sure the care of research patients is coordinated in an effective and compassionate manner.