The Pierone Research Institute: A Whole Family Health Center Initiative is the research arm of Whole Family Health Center. It was founded in 1995 as the AIDS Research and Treatment Center of the Treasure Coast (ARTCTC) by Dr. Gerald Pierone, Jr., in Fort Pierce, Florida. Dr. Pierone’s vision was to provide quality medical care for people living with HIV infection and to prevent transmission through testing, counseling, and education.

The Pierone Research Institute (TPRI) provides our patients with the opportunity to participate in important clinical trials, along with Dr. Pierone inspired protocols, that he designed and submitted to the FDA. Our team is committed to supporting ongoing research designed to aid in improving HIV treatment and ultimately discovering a cure. Some of the clinical trials we work with are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of new medications for the treatment of HIV infection. Other clinical trials are focused on treatments for some of the complications of HIV and previous treatments.

When COVID-19 first appeared as a national pandemic, TPRI received grants from both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of Health to conduct research on Monoclonal Antibody treatments, which ultimately led to the FDA granting many of these therapeutic treatments with Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs).


What is a clinical trial?

  • Trials vary from one visit to several visits to years of follow-up
  • Most require periodic laboratory tests, questionnaires, and/or other tests
  • No cost to the volunteer
  • Some study sponsors offer financial compensation

Clinical trials are research studies performed on individuals that are aimed at evaluating a medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention. Participants receive specific interventions according to the research plan or protocol created by the pharmaceutical sponsor or by Dr. Pierone as the research director or site investigator. Clinical trials are the primary way that researchers find out if a new treatment, like a new drug or diet, or medical device is safe and effective for people. Often a clinical trial is used to learn if a new treatment is more effective and/or has less harmful side effects than the standard treatment. The clinical trial sponsors and site investigators try to determine the safety and efficacy of the intervention by measuring certain outcomes in the participants. For example, investigators may give a drug or treatment to participants with high blood pressure to see whether their blood pressure decreases. 

If you wish to find out more about our current research programs, please speak to your provider or call the research department at (772) 978-9556.

We also have summer research opportunities for pre-medical and medical students to gain experience with medical research in a meaningful way.

For more information about Clinical Trials: https://clinicaltrials.gov and https://nia.nih.gov

Trials completed with sponsors:  HIV, HIV Facial lipoatrophy, HIV neuropathy, Herpes Simplex, Influenza, Hepatitis C, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, Cardiovascular- Hypertension, A-Fib, Hyperlipidemia, COVID-19

Dr. Pierone designed protocols: HIV trials: Heart study, Kaletra salvage trial, Zerit Phase IV open-label switch trial, Bellafill (Artefill) Facial Lipoatrophy for HIV patients

Poster submissions:

  1. Genotypic and Phenotypic Resistance observations among patients with viremia while on Lopinavir/Ritonavir “Monotherapy”. HIV DART 2002, ICAAC October 30-November 2004
  2. Improvement in Lipid levels in patients after a change from Stavudine to Tenofovir-HIV DART-Naples 2002
  3. Epidemic-CROI 2003 update
  4. Successful use of dual therapy with Etravirine and Raltegravir in patients with HIV infection- HIV DART 2008
  5. Cardiovascular Surrogate Markers in HIV-infected patients on long term treatment-Bangkok 2004
  6. Injectable Poly-L-Lactic Acid for HIV-related facial lipoatrophy 1 year interim 5-year study results. Summer AAD Boston 2009
  7. Prevalence of Nocturnal Oxygen Desaturation in patients with HIV infection 2014 International AIDS Conference- Melbourne Australia
  8. Polymethylmethacrylate for the Treatment of HIV-Associated Facial Lipoatrophy. HIV DART 2014- Miami Fl 

To schedule an appointment call:
1-877-345-WFHC (9342)

To make an appointment please call 1-877-345-WFHC (9342)

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