Clinical Research Methodology Program

Members of this program collaborate with health care practitioners on investigator-driven clinical research.

The team is dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of excellence in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical research within VCHA.

In 2010 the team was involved in over 50 new consultations and over 20 ongoing projects producing five publications and numerous conference presentations and grant submissions.   Projects originated with investigators from a variety of clinical departments and sites including Vancouver General Hospital, G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, UBC Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital. 

The team was also involved in educational activities with graduate students, interns, residents and fellows, presentation at departmental rounds, and a series of workshops, ‘Understanding Statistics in Medicine’.

There are three main streams of activity within this program: collaboration with clinical research teams in the design and conduct of clinical research studies, consultation and education.

Data Management Services

Our Data Manager can provide expertise on how best to capture, store, and manage data.  Services provided include:

  • Assistance with the design of case report forms
  • Implementation of data capture methods including scan-enabled forms and web-based forms
  • Design and maintenance of databases
  • Design and execution of database queries 

Statistical Consulting

Two PhD trained statisticians provide methodological advice including:

  • Choice of study design
  • Study sample size and power calculations
  • Development of analytical plans
  • Analysis of data 
  • Interpretation and presentation of results 


In collaboration with VCHRI members of the program deliver workshops about research design and introductory statistics.   

Specific training programs can be developed upon request.

Program Lead

Penny Brasher, Director

Penny is a Senior Research Scientist at C2E2.  She completed a Ph.D. in Biostatistics at The University of Toronto and post-doctoral training at The University of Western Ontario.  Originally from Ontario, Penny came to Vancouver via Calgary (Tom Baker Cancer Centre).  Dr. Brasher was the first Statistical Editor for The Canadian Journal of Anesthesia and has served on provincial and national grant review committees.  Dr. Brasher’s research interests include clinical research methodology with an emphasis on randomized trials, secondary use of administrative data, and statistical education.  Among her current collaborations is a randomized trial investigating a novel treatment for mild traumatic brain injury led by Dr. Noah Silverberg (Rehabilitation Research Program, VCHRI) and a study investigating the effect of VV-ECMO on cerebral blood flow led by Dr. Don Griesdale (C2E2, Anaesthesia & Critical Care).

Abbreviated CV