The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

ACRP honors Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of the AAPI community in clinical research.

Thank you for all you do to promote excellence in clinical research.

ACRP spoke with Dr. Kimberly Seu Gin Chang, MD, MPH, Asian Health Services, and a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders about the importance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Photograph of Simona Kwon

“The Asian American community is underrepresented in clinical trials. There are large areas of limited English proficiency, especially among Asian subgroups. Recruitment and patient outreach need to be done in language to effectively reach these communities, and often it is not. Asian Americans are the fastest-growing subset in the U.S., and without that representation – without that data – we’re not going to achieve population health; we’re just going to increase disparity.”

Simona Kwon, DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School

“Inclusion and appropriate identification of Asian Americans in clinical research is critical to understand health disparities in the United States and develop clinical, public health, and policy strategies that improve the health of all Americans.

Aggregating Asian Americans into a single Asian race category masks important heterogeneity and obscures health disparities of Asian subgroups. Aggregation may consequently lead to disease under-recognition and undertreatment, exacerbating disparities and threatening health equity.”

Addressing Asian American Misrepresentation and Underrepresentation in Research > 


Underrepresentation by the Number

2 Percent

While making up 7% of the U.S. population, Asian Americans are represented in less than 2% of clinical trials.

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1 Percent

Less than 1% of NIH funding is directed toward Asian health, despite the fact that Asian Americans have different health risks and often worse health outcomes than the non-Hispanic White population.

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0.38 Percent

Only 0.38% of NIH clinical research expenses went to Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander research studies in 2018.

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Photograph of Vineeta Gulati

“I think it’s very important to celebrate and acknowledge AAPI history month because it calls attention to the disparities that exist and makes us think about the policies that impact these populations. Sadly, in the last two years we’ve seen a rise in hate crimes against AAPI populations so it’s even more important we highlight the contributions that are made by Asian Americans. There is a strong representation of Asians in the clinical trial workforce, but not at the senior level. We need to address that. ACRP is a great platform where we can all come together to learn and contribute and help address the issue.”

Vineeta Gulati
Director, Clinical Operations, Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases (GSID)
ACRP Member Since 2016

Photograph of Amanda Whalen

“As we move toward more personalized medicine, diversity in trials becomes even more important. Diversity helps us find the therapies that work for different groups. We know generic drugs don’t apply to everyone. We can’t just be talking about it. The first step is education, but we have to be inclusive. We have to organize events, promote our culture, and take pride in it.”

Amanda Whalen, ACRP-CP
Clinical Data Manager, Genentech
ACRP Member Since 2010

Photograph of Michael Hong

“I want to encourage everyone to just listen more and be willing to understand why these issues are so important in medicine and society at large. I want to encourage clinical research investigators to consider who and what their research is addressing. If the research they’re conducting has an impact on different races, then it is essential to include an adequate number of people that represent those demographics. Being more inclusive and accepting of other minorities is a key step towards a positive future.”

Michael Hong
Medical Student, Florida State University College of Medicine

Photograph of R'Kes Starling

“As a step to foster more inclusion, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month provides us all an opportunity to reflect, acknowledge, and celebrate all the many contributions to scientific advancements and medical innovations from the AAPI communities. I hope that the increased awareness and solidarity displayed globally will provoke conversation and influence people to listen.”

R’Kes Starling, RPh, MBA
Chief Executive Officer/President, Reveles Clinical Services
ACRP Diversity Advisory Council Member
ACRP Member Since 2018

Photograph of Yonjong Choi

“With my AAPI racial background, I work to promote excellence in clinical research with the ACRP community. AAPI Heritage Month is a great opportunity to encourage more participation in clinical trials from the AAPI population, as well as to celebrate together the various contributions of AAPI clinical research professionals.”

Yonjong Choi, MS, CCRP, ACRP-PM
Start-up Research Coordinator, University of Rochester Medical Center
ACRP Diversity Advisory Council Member
ACRP Member Since 2020

“AAPI heritage month is a time to celebrate the strength and resilience of immigrant and AAPI communities. While one narrative has focused on fear and powerlessness, AAPI organizations, representatives, and allies have come together persistently in solidarity, pushing for investments in community-based services and providers, heightening awareness and education on AAPI communities, and a renewing focus on marginalized histories, and engaging in an unprecedented level of collaboration between communities at all levels.”

Eunice Lee
NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes

ACRP would like to recognize Yonjong Choi, ACRP-CP, ACRP-PM, Start-up Research Coordinator, University of Rochester Medical Center, for her support in helping us recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and for her service as a member of ACRP’s Diversity Advisory Council.