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Ascension Via Christi is one of the Midwest's leading sites for advanced clinical research, conducting clinical trials through Via Christi Research, National Cancer Institute trials through Cancer Research of Kansas and preclinical studies through its Orthopaedic Research Institute.

Via Christi Research, since 1988, has conducted hundreds of drug and device trials for dozens of global clients, providing Kansans access to otherwise unavailable medical options. Its 12-bed Clinical Research Unit is dedicated to inpatient and Phase I trials. In 2004 it became one of the nation's few clinical research institutes to achieve ISO 9001-2000 certification – a prestigious, internationally recognized standard of consistent quality.

Based at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, Cancer Research of Kansas recruits participants for investigational studies designed to determine new ways to treat, prevent, detect, diagnose and control cancer. Patients also are offered opportunities to join other studies looking at the psychological impact of cancer and ways to improve quality of life for cancer patients. 

The Orthopaedic Research Institute conducts applied research and development for orthopaedics and other medical specialties, with a strong emphasis on the design, development and testing of orthopedic implants, surgical instruments, and related hardware/software systems.