Ryan Edward Ferguson DSc

Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine

801 Massachusetts Ave | (617) 638-7775

General Internal Medicine


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.


BU Profile



Epidemiology, DSc, Boston University School of Public Health, 2012

Epidemiology, MPH, Boston University School of Public Health, 2005

Biology, BSc, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2000


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.

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.

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.

Published on 12/1/2020

Vassy JL, Gaziano JM, Green RC, Ferguson RE, Advani S, Miller SJ, Chun S, Hage AK, Seo SJ, Majahalme N, MacMullen L, Zimolzak AJ, Brunette CA. Effect of Pharmacogenetic Testing for Statin Myopathy Risk vs Usual Care on Blood Cholesterol: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 12 01; 3(12):e2027092. PMID: 33270123.

Published on 8/10/2020

Ripollone JE, Huybrechts KF, Rothman KJ, Ferguson RE, Franklin JM. Brief discussion on sampling variability in 1:1 propensity score matching without replacement. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2020 09; 29(9):1194-1197. PMID: 32939910.

Published on 6/1/2020

Ripollone JE, Huybrechts KF, Rothman KJ, Ferguson RE, Franklin JM. Evaluating the Utility of Coarsened Exact Matching for Pharmacoepidemiology Using Real and Simulated Claims Data. Am J Epidemiol. 2020 06 01; 189(6):613-622. PMID: 31845719.

Published on 3/24/2020

Weisbord SD, Palevsky PM, Kaufman JS, Wu H, Androsenko M, Ferguson RE, Parikh CR, Bhatt DL, Gallagher M. Contrast-Associated Acute Kidney Injury and Serious Adverse Outcomes Following Angiography. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 03 24; 75(11):1311-1320. PMID: 32192658.

Published on 1/8/2020

Bessesen MT, Doros G, Henrie AM, Harrington KM, Hermos JA, Bonomo RA, Ferguson RE, Huang GD, Brown ST. A multicenter randomized placebo controlled trial of rifampin to reduce pedal amputations for osteomyelitis in veterans with diabetes (VA INTREPID). BMC Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 08; 20(1):23. PMID: 31914940.

Published on 9/1/2018

Ripollone JE, Huybrechts KF, Rothman KJ, Ferguson RE, Franklin JM. Implications of the Propensity Score Matching Paradox in Pharmacoepidemiology. Am J Epidemiol. 2018 09 01; 187(9):1951-1961. PMID: 29750409.

Published on 2/1/2018

Weinstock MA, Thwin SS, Siegel JA, Marcolivio K, Means AD, Leader NF, Shaw FM, Hogan D, Eilers D, Swetter SM, Chen SC, Jacob SE, Warshaw EM, Stricklin GP, Dellavalle RP, Sidhu-Malik N, Konnikov N, Werth VP, Keri JE, Robinson-Bostom L, Ringer RJ, Lew RA, Ferguson R, DiGiovanna JJ, Huang GD. Chemoprevention of Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma With a Single Course of Fluorouracil, 5%, Cream: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 02 01; 154(2):167-174. PMID: 29299592.

View full list of 28 publications.