A leader in health research
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and its agencies conduct approximately $180 million worth of health research every year, improving the health of British Columbians and the sustainability of our healthcare system. Research funding supports the activities of a network of about 1,200 researchers and staff involved in lab-based, clinical and community health research. PHSA researchers attract about 25 per cent of all health research money that comes into BC.
PHSA is one of Canada’s foremost academic health science organizations and, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia and other research partners, is a leader in the area of health research in BC.
An important part of PHSA’s mandate is to improve the health of British Columbians by advancing research and using research findings to inform decision-making and health care planning. To achieve this goal PHSA, its member agencies and its research partners work closely with academic institutions across the province, including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the BC Institute of Technology, the University of Victoria, the University of Northern British Columbia and Royal Roads University.
Through these partnerships PHSA also promotes the development of health care professionals and supports a culture of excellence in education and training.
A collaborative approach to achieve positive outcomes
To achieve full value from its investment in health research, PHSA and its eight health care agencies have a strong focus on translational research and on implementing findings to improve patient care and system efficiency.
BC Cancer Agency
The BC Cancer Agency is internationally recognized for its research excellence, which is leading to a better understanding of cancer and more effective means of controlling and curing the disease. BC Cancer Agency researchers work with patients at regional centres across the province and their efforts span all areas of research and all settings – from research centre to clinical centre to population network. This activity is grounded in the concept that best care and outcomes are derived from integrating scientific research and clinical practice.
BC Cancer Agency’s Research Centre
The BC Cancer Agency’s Research Centre is the largest free-standing cancer research enterprise in Canada, supporting investigators engaged in both clinical and basic science research. Direct links between researchers and the agency’s cancer care centres enables collaboration between scientists and clinicians that help speed the translation of new research discoveries into improved treatments for the benefit of BC patients.
Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre
Operating under the auspices of the BC Cancer Agency, the Genome Sciences Centre is Canada’s first high-throughput gene sequencing facility. The centre provides state-of-the-art genome mapping and DNA sequencing technology to support genetic research at BCCRC focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop methods for controlling the human genes affecting the growth and suppression of cancer.
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BC Centre for Disease Control
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) operates in close collaboration with the UBC Centre for Disease Control and, increasingly, Simon Fraser University. Basic research at BCCDC and the PHSA Laboratories situated there includes work toward developing new vaccines, strengthening diagnostics, genomic characterization of new and emerging disease agents, and mathematical modeling of major communicable disease and environmental health challenges.
Applied health research at BCCDC is focused on evaluating public health interventions in such areas as drinking water safety, vaccination, recognition and control of disease outbreaks, and antimicrobial treatment of communicable diseases.
BCCDC is a partner in the Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT), a $25.5 million national research centre of excellence designed to fast-track development of vaccines for pandemic influenza and a number of other viral and bacterial conditions.
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BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children
BC Children’s Hospital provides expert care for BC’s most seriously ill or injured children, while Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, a program of BC Children’s, offers specialized services to children with disabilities. BC Children’s is an academic health centre affiliated with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the Child & Family Research Institute.
Child & Family Research Institute
The Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) conducts discovery, clinical and applied research to benefit the health of children and families. With 200 investigators and more than 200 trainees, CFRI is the largest institute of its kind in Western Canada.
CFRI operates in close relationship with British Columbia’s five regional health authorities and with BC’s academic institutions, including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, the University of Northern British Columbia and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
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BC Mental Health & Addiction Services
Researchers at BC Mental Health & Addiction Services (BCMHAS) and the BC Mental Health & Addiction Research Institute are engaged in both basic and translational research, and conduct research across all of the agency’s clinical program areas, including adult psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, and child and youth mental health.
Research activity at BCMHAS is spread across three different sites: Riverview Hospital, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital – the location of a new 18,000 square-foot translational research lab.
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BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre
BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre provides services for pregnant women, newborns, and women with specialized health needs from across the province. BC Women’s is an academic health centre affiliated with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the Women’s Health Research Institute.
Women’s Health Research Institute
The Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) is devoted to improving the health and health care of girls and women, serving as a catalyst for research in women’s health and to supporting an expanding national network of women’s health researchers, policy makers and health care providers.
British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health
The British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health is focused on efforts to ensure that health and wellness for women is a consideration for policy makers and clinicians. Funded by Health Canada and co-located at BC Women’s, the centre promotes a women-centred approach and partners with local community agencies, provincial initiatives, national organizations, and international agencies to conduct research and/or to exchange knowledge among community members, academic researchers, policy makers, and health care professionals.
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BC Provincial Renal Agency
The BC Provincial Renal Agency (BCPRA) works to improve quality of life and outcomes for renal patients through BC. In cooperation with the regional health authority renal programs, the BCPRA coordinates all aspects of kidney care.
In support of continual improvement in all areas of renal care, the BCPRA is committed to ongoing research and evidence-based decision making. These activities are supported by the agency’s clinical information system, which provides real-time, accurate data to support a broad range of functions. This database – the only one of its kind in North America – is an essential tool for renal research leading to improved care.
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BC Transplant (BCT) is responsible for all aspects of organ donation and transplantation in BC, including pre-transplant assessment, deceased donor management and organ recovery, professional and public education and clinical trials. BCT also supports seven regional clinics across BC for post-transplant care.
Research at BCT and the BC Transplant Research Institute ranges from basic scientific investigation focused on better understanding the immune system response to organ transplants and improving organ preservation and donation techniques, to exploring the ethical and social issues of transplantation.
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Cardiac Services BC
Cardiac Services BC is responsible for planning, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating cardiac services across the province in collaboration with the regional health authorities.
The agency’s cardiac services database, one of the most comprehensive clinical databases in Canada, collects data from BC’s cardiac care hospitals, providing a valuable tool for research toward improving cardiac care.