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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.

BC Cancer provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of BC in partnership with regional health authorities. BC Cancer’s mandate covers the full spectrum of cancer care from prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment, to research and education, to supportive and palliative care. 

Research is an essential part of BC Cancer’s mission to not only find the causes of cancer, but to find better treatments for prolonged life and better quality of life. 


BC Cancer Research Institute

The BC Cancer Research Institute supports BC Cancer’s research mandate through scientific investigation into the causes of cancer, advancements in treatment, and improvements to detecting, managing and curing the disease. Nationally and internationally recognized scientists are working to advance cancer research at our six regional centres and in over sixty labs across British Columbia.

A series of programs and platforms operate within the centre’s research departments:

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 highly specialized treatment for people across British Columbia with severe mental health and substance use/addiction issues, people in custody, and people who have been referred by the courts for assessment and treatment.

BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute

The BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute is located on the third floor of the Translational Research Building located on the Oak Street campus in Vancouver, with a smaller number located at BCMHSUS clinical program sites, including the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction and the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

BCMHSUS researchers have academic affiliations with either the University of British Columbia or Simon Fraser University and may hold multiple research institute affiliations, including with the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHRI) and the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI)

Our researchers conduct research and leverage knowledge translation and exchange to transform care for people with complex mental health and substance use needs as well as other needs, including involvement with the criminal justice system.

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 a real and virtual organization designed to facilitate women’s health research in British Columbia and provide a community for women’s health researchers. One of only three research institutes in Canada with an explicit focus on women’s health, the WHRI engages research partners across the province to support, enhance, and champion women’s health research with the recognition that when women are healthy, all of society benefits. The WHRI is devoted to improving the health and health care of girls and women through knowledge generation, serving as a catalyst for research in women’s health and supporting an expanding provincial and national network of women’s health researchers, policy makers and healthcare providers.

As the research arm of BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, the 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, but not limited to:

  • 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.

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