Dean Fergusson profile picture

Contact Information

Dean Fergusson, PhD, MHA, FCAHS

Administrative Coordinator:
Jodi Peters
613-737-8899 x79842

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Research Activities

I am an established international leader and authority in evidence–based transfusion medicine and clinical trial methods. I have focused my research contributions in two major areas: 1) transfusions and transfusion alternatives and 2) methodological research into the ethics, design and analysis of clinical trials. Since my faculty appointment at uOttawa in 2003, I have demonstrated consistent success with over $173 million in peer-reviewed research grants (including 140 CIHR grants), over $74 million as a principal investigator (including 36 CIHR grants), and major salary awards from CIHR and the Province of Ontario. I have published over 600 peer-reviewed journal articles including many in high impact journals. My current H-index is 97 and my global citation numbers rank in the top 1% in both transfusion medicine and epidemiology.

I have advanced the knowledge and practice of transfusion medicine in the areas of defining the optimal blood product to transfuse, establishing when to administer transfusions, and evaluating alternatives to reduce bleeding and transfusion risk. I conducted the first trials (ARIPI & ABLE) to evaluate clinical outcomes in patients receiving “fresh” red cell transfusions and I am currently conducting a similar trial in pediatric critical care (ABC) funded by CIHR and NIH. ARIPI & ABLE helped reassure international blood systems on current procurement practice and provided evidence that fresh red blood cells confer no additional benefit to their patients. I conceived and led the BART trial that changed the worldwide practice of blood loss management in cardiac surgery. The CIHR and Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care funded 2500 patient BART trial looking at three commonly used agents that reduce blood transfusion and massive bleeding during high-risk cardiac surgery. Published in the NEJM in 2008, BART affected the worldwide practice of blood loss management in cardiac surgery. The study provided evidence that the most popular drug aprotinin, widely considered the most effective, actually increased mortality. I have also designed major trials to establish optimal transfusion thresholds (TRICSI-III, TRIST, OPTIMAL). Based on my work in transfusion research, I have served or chaired numerous CIHR panels, and hold membership on 4 NIH/NIHLBI State of the Science panels, editorial boards, and renowned pediatric and adult disease networks.

My work on clinical equipoise, post-randomization exclusions, ethical use of placebo controls, and statistical approaches has influenced the worldwide practice and reporting of clinical trials. As Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Program, I provide senior leadership to over 94 Scientists, 1163 Investigators and staff. I have cultivated a robust successful research community with significant international influence at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the hospital, and uOttawa. I have been extremely productive in building local and national research capacity (trainees, scientists) and stimulating innovation by creating a dynamic diverse environment, developing creative educational initiatives, and establishing facilities for trainees, fellows, and residents. I also led the Ottawa Methods Centre’s participation in major provincial and national enterprises such as the $100 million Ontario SPOR Support Unit. Under my leadership, the Ottawa Methods Centre inspired the national CIHR SPOR SUPPORT initiative and is being modeled in other Canadian centres.