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Research Entities

Operated through research institutes, research centres and research programs, each of PHSA’s programs and services conduct research focusing on the patient populations they serve.

The BC Cancer (BCC) is responsible for cancer care for the people of BC. BCC's cancer control program includes research, education, care and treatment, and is provided through its six regional centres in Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, the North and the Southern Interior. BCC researchers work with patients at the regional centres to conduct international clinical research trials, seeking treatments that are more effective, work better at prolonging life, and have fewer side-effects.


BC Cancer’s Research Centre

The BC Cancer Research Centre supports the BCC’s research mandate through scientific investigation into the causes of cancer, advancements in treatment, and improvements to detecting, managing and curing the disease. A series of programs and platforms operate within the centre’s seven research departments and divisions:

Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

The Genome Sciences Centre, hosted at the BC Cancer’s Research 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 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.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provides provincial and national public health leadership through surveillance, detection, prevention, and consultation, as well as direct diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health significance.

BCCDC's unique integrated structure combines service delivery, policy advice and research which contribute greatly to its ability to identify and respond to emerging public health threats. Research at BCCDC uses a range of innovative technologies and methodologies and spans many areas of infectious diseases, chronic diseases and environmental hazards.


Serving children from birth to age 16, BC Children’s Hospital is home to many specialized pediatric services available nowhere else in the province. Sunny Hill Health Centre, the child rehabilitation and development program of BC Children’s, provides specialized services to children with disabilities. Through the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, BC Children's and Sunny Hill support research to advance knowledge and care for children, youth and their families, across BC and around the world. 

BC Children's Hospital Research Institute

Located on the BC Children’s Hospital site in Vancouver, the Research Institute is dedicated to world-class research spanning a wide range of children's and women's health concerns. It is the largest research institute of its kind in Western Canada.

The Research Institute's Research Themes include:
  • Childhood Diseases
  • Brain, Behaviour & Development
  • Healthy Starts
  • Evidence to Innovation
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) provides provincial ambulance and emergency health services in BC. BCEHS conducts research in collaboration with a variety of regional, national and international partners to help improve emergency care. In addition, BCEHS participates in the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, an international clinical trial network focusing on research in the area of pre-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest and severe traumatic injury.
BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) provides a diverse range of specialized, “one-of-a-kind” tertiary-level mental health services to people across the province. Recognizing that people with mental health challenges may also have issues with substance misuse, the assessment and treatment of addictions are an integral part of these programs. BCMHSUS provides provincial leadership for system-wide improvements through health promotion and illness prevention, knowledge exchange, research and academic teaching.

Areas of research focus include:
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Childhood disorders, including autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Pharmacology studies
  • Forensic projects in risk assessment and aggression 

BC Mental Health & Addictions Research Institute

The BC Mental Health & Addictions Research Institute (BCMHARI) is dedicated to conducting basic, clinical, and applied research to improve the understanding and treatment of mental health disorders and substance use issues. The institute is located on the campus of BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre in Vancouver, providing facilities for research and training as well as opportunities for collaboration with other research groups.


BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre is the only facility in BC devoted primarily to the health of women, newborns and families. Located in Vancouver, BC Women’s is known as one of Canada’s pre-eminent obstetrical centres. The facility is the provincial referral centre for high risk pregnancies and cares for the most critically ill and premature babies in its Newborn ICU.

BC Women’s also provides one-of-a-kind care to meet women’s specialized health needs throughout their lives, including gynecological and reproductive care, substance dependency treatment and osteoporosis management.

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 supporting an expanding national network of women’s health researchers, policy makers and health care providers. 

As the research arm of BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, WHRI supports research embedded in the Acute Perinatal and Ambulatory programs of the hospital. In addition, through clinical, epidemiological and women-centered clinical trials, investigator-driven research spans a wide-range of women’s health topics including:

  • Family planning
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and the prevention of cervical cancer
  • Women’s global health
  • Integrative genomics and the prevention of preterm birth
  • HIV prevention and treatment strategies for women
  • Breast health
  • Reproductive endocrinology and infertility

The British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health

The British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (BCCEWH), hosted at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre and funded by Health Canada, is a research and knowledge exchange centre focused on girls’ and women’s health with strong roots in policy, practice, academic and community networks. BCCEWH research aims to improve the health status of girls and women who face health inequities due to socioeconomic status, race, culture, age, sexual orientation, geography, disability and/or addiction. 


BC Renal works to improve quality of life and outcomes for renal patients throughout BC. In cooperation with the regional health authority renal programs, BC Renal coordinates all aspects of kidney care. 

Research focuses on: 

  • Assessment of tools used in caring for renal patients
  • New strategies for care delivery
  • Impacts of new therapies 

These activities are supported by the PROMIS database, a clinical information system that provides real-time, accurate data to support a broad range of functions. PROMIS is used as a source of important epidemiological data in support of clinical trials and for assessing new treatment protocols.


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 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.


Cardiac Services BC is responsible for planning, coordinating, monitoring, evaluating and, in some cases, funding cardiac services across the province in collaboration with senior administrators and physicians in the other health authorities.

Cardiac Services BC is supported by HEARTis, a provincial information system with clinical and demographic information on every cardiac procedure within BC’s system of cardiac care. This valuable research tool supplies data for ongoing evaluation of all areas of cardiac care across BC and serves as a data source for outcomes research related to cardiac care. 

Perinatal Services BC (PSBC) provides leadership across the continuum of perinatal care in BC, focusing on perinatal system planning, clinical practice standards, performance monitoring and quality improvement.

Through the BC Perinatal Data Registry (PDR), PSBC supports health care providers, leaders, researchers and policymakers in their work to improve maternal, fetal and neonatal health. The PDR has collected health data on nearly every birth in BC since 2000 and contains records for 700,000 births and deliveries, serving as a rich resource for research, surveillance, program delivery and evaluation.

SOURCE: Research Entities ( )
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