Dr. William Towner and Dr. Jim Nomura

Advancing treatments through clinical trials

Kaiser Permanente’s clinical trials program helps advance treatment for health conditions ranging from heart disease and cancer to infectious diseases, such as HIV and COVID-19.

William Towner, MD, FACP, FIDSA, physician director for clinical trials at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, has seen firsthand how clinical trials can contribute to the development of more effective and safer medical treatments. He began working in clinical trials at Kaiser Permanente at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

“AIDS was often a fatal disease with few treatment options,” he recalled. “Through clinical trials, more and more effective disease therapies were developed. We are now able to treat HIV with one pill taken once a day, and patients usually do very well. It’s been amazing to have been a part of such a big transformation of care at Kaiser Permanente Southern California.”

Since those early days, Dr. Towner has served as principal investigator for more than 150 clinical trials in his role at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. He is currently leading clinical trials for treatment of COVID-19.

“Clinical trials really have driven medicine forward,” he said. “I’m proud that Kaiser Permanente could be a part of that.”