Ryan Edward Ferguson, DSc

Voluntary 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 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 Apr 07; 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 Mar 29; 17407745231160553. 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
  • Published on 1/27/2023

    Rosenheck R, Kurtz SG, Anand ST, Hau C, Smedberg D, Sicilia R, Pontzer JF, Ferguson RE. Impact of multi-site clinical trial results on clinical practice: Use of risperidone to treat PTSD nationally in the veterans health administration. Psychiatry Res. 2023 Mar; 321:115071. PMID: 36720177.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/14/2022

    Ishani A, Cushman WC, Leatherman SM, Lew RA, Woods P, Glassman PA, Taylor AA, Hau C, Klint A, Huang GD, Brophy MT, Fiore LD, Ferguson RE. Chlorthalidone vs. Hydrochlorothiazide for Hypertension-Cardiovascular Events. N Engl J Med. 2022 Dec 29; 387(26):2401-2410. PMID: 36516076.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/4/2022

    Leatherman S, Ferguson R, Hau C, Harrington K, Granowitz C, Philip S, Toth PP, Bhatt D, Boden W. Increased residual cardiovascular risk in U.S. veterans with moderately-elevated baseline triglycerides and well-controlled LDL-C levels on statins. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022; 9:982815. PMID: 36407462.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/25/2022

    Soomro QH, Anand ST, Weisbord SD, Gallagher MP, Ferguson RE, Palevsky PM, Bhatt DL, Parikh CR, Kaufman JS. The Relationship between Rate and Volume of Intravenous Fluid Administration and Kidney Outcomes after Angiography. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2022 Oct; 17(10):1446-1456. PMID: 36008352.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2022

    Katz IR, Ferguson RE, Liang MH. Suicide Risk and Lithium-Reply. JAMA Psychiatry. 2022 May 01; 79(5):513-514. PMID: 35262638.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/4/2022

    Ishani A, Leatherman SM, Woods P, Hau C, Klint A, Lew RA, Taylor AA, Glassman PA, Brophy MT, Fiore LD, Ferguson RE, Cushman WC. Design of a pragmatic clinical trial embedded in the Electronic Health Record: The VA's Diuretic Comparison Project. Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 May; 116:106754. PMID: 35390512.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/26/2021

    Woods P, Flynn M, Monach P, Visnaw K, Schiller S, Holmberg E, Leatherman S, Ferguson R, Branch-Elliman W. Implementation of documented and written informed consent for clinical trials of communicable diseases: Lessons learned, barriers, solutions, future directions identified during the conduct of a COVID-19 clinical trial. Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2021 Sep; 23:100804. PMID: 34222708.

    Read at: PubMed

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