Ryan Edward Ferguson, DSc

Assistant Professor, Medicine

801 Massachusetts Ave


Ryan Ferguson is Director of the Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He is responsible for the planning, execution and analysis of large scale clinical trials within a 140 person research enterprise funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Center (the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center) provides the Department with expertise in large scale clinical trials, epidemiological studies, biobanking and biomedical informatics. Among his current portfolio is the Point of Care Research Program. This national project uses innovative health informatics to embed clinical research in the clinical care system in order to create a ‘learning healthcare system’.

The majority of clinical trials conducted by the program are Phase III-IV IND/IDE regulated trials. The Center develops investigator-initiated research letters of intent into full proposals. The process involves a series of planning meetings with national and international content experts and culminates with a mature protocol including study design, data collection forms, statistical analysis plans and monitoring procedures. Protocols are then defended through a peer-reviewed process. After approval, the Center executes the trials using recruitment sites at clinical centers across the country (VA and non-VA) . International collaborations with Canada and Australia are currently being executed. The studies range from hundreds to thousands of participants at up to 40 recruitment sites and run from 2 – 7 years in duration. The clinical trials have been developed in many content areas including pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, alcoholism, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and oncology. The Center has published clinical trial results in prestigious medical journals and has presented results at national and international medical conferences.

During his tenure as the Center Director the Center became ISO 9001 registered as a clinical trial coordinating center, and risk-based monitoring and other innovative operational changes were implemented. In addition to his center leadership duties, Dr. Ferguson is a co-Principal Investigator for the VA Point of Care Program, a pragmatic trial program that embeds clinical operations into the VA EMR. He is also the Principal Investigator responsible independent epidemiologic research in chronic diseases in the veteran population.


  • Boston University School of Public Health, DSc
  • Boston University School of Public Health, MPH
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, BSc


  • Published on 5/1/2024

    Ishani A, Hau C, Cushman WC, Leatherman SM, Lew RA, Glassman PA, Taylor AA, Ferguson RE. Chlorthalidone vs Hydrochlorothiazide for Hypertension Treatment After Myocardial Infarction or Stroke: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2024 May 01; 7(5):e2411081. PMID: 38743423.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/2/2024

    Bihn JR, Cioffi G, Waite KA, Kruchko C, Neff C, Price M, Ostrom QT, Swinnerton KN, Elbers DC, Mooney MA, Rachlin J, Stein TD, Brophy MT, Do NV, Ferguson RE, Priemer DS, Perl DP, Hickman RA, Nabors B, Rusiecki J, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Fillmore NR. Brain tumors in United States military veterans. Neuro Oncol. 2024 Feb 02; 26(2):387-396. PMID: 37738677.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/18/2024

    Hau C, Woods PA, Guski AS, Raju SI, Zhu L, Alba PR, Cushman WC, Glassman PA, Ishani A, Taylor AA, Ferguson RE, Leatherman SM. Strategies for secondary use of real-world clinical and administrative data for outcome ascertainment in pragmatic clinical trials. J Biomed Inform. 2024 Feb; 150:104587. PMID: 38244956.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/5/2023

    Hau C, Efird JT, Leatherman SM, Soloviev OV, Glassman PA, Woods PA, Ishani A, Cushman WC, Ferguson RE. A Centralized EHR-Based Model for the Recruitment of Rural and Lower Socioeconomic Participants in Pragmatic Trials: A Secondary Analysis of the Diuretic Comparison Project. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Sep 05; 6(9):e2332049. PMID: 37656456.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/25/2023

    Schumann R, Yuyun M, Chandok T, Amirfarzan H, Donnelly CM, Ferguson RE, Leatherman SM. Temperature Changes During Electrophysiology Ablation in Veterans and 1-Year Success Rates: A Retrospective Pilot Analysis. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2023 Sep; 37(9):1646-1650. PMID: 37344247.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/25/2023

    Klint AL, Leatherman SM, Taylor O, Glassman PA, Ferguson RE, Cushman WC, Ishani A. Telephone informed consent in a pragmatic point-of-care clinical trial embedded in primary care. Contemp Clin Trials. 2023 Aug; 131:107239. PMID: 37244366.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2023

    Raju S, Hau C, Woods P, Flynn M, Sadatis C, McPherson J, Tella A, Ishani A, Ferguson RE, Leatherman SM. Ascertainment of stroke from administrative data to support a pragmatic embedded clinical trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2023 Jul; 130:107214. PMID: 37137378.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/7/2023

    Leatherman SM, Hau C, Klint A, Glassman PA, Taylor AA, Ferguson RE, Cushman WC, Ishani A. The impact of COVID-19 on a large pragmatic clinical trial embedded in primary care. Contemp Clin Trials. 2023 Jun; 129:107179. PMID: 37031794.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/29/2023

    Ferguson RE, Leatherman SM, Woods P, Hau C, Lew R, Cushman WC, Brophy MT, Fiore L, Ishani A. Practical issues in pragmatic trials: the implementation of the Diuretic Comparison Project. Clin Trials. 2023 Jun; 20(3):276-283. PMID: 36992530.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/6/2023

    Rosenheck R, Anand ST, Kurtz SG, Hau C, Smedberg D, Pontzer JF, Ferguson RE, Davis CR. Can multisite clinical trial results change clinical practice? Use of long-acting injectable risperidone nationally in the Veterans Health Administration. Trials. 2023 Feb 06; 24(1):85. PMID: 36747254.

    Read at: PubMed

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