Two members of the Department of Medicine receive the 2018 VCHRI Investigator Award

Dr. Thalia Field, Assistant Professor, Division of Neurology and Dr. Nathaniel Hawkins, Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiology are recipients of the 2018 Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute Investigator Awards

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) promotes excellence in health research through the annual VCHRI Investigator Awards. These awards recognize outstanding health investigators and support their research efforts through peer-reviewed salary support awards. The awards provide an opportunity for investigators to reduce their clinical practice commitments and build their research capacity to expand the possibilities of improving health research. They are supported by VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.


Dr. Thalia Field – Study of Rivaroxaban for cerebral venous thrombosis

Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is a rare cause of stroke that mainly affects younger women and results in death or disability in 15 per cent and long-term impairment of quality of life in up to 60 per cent. Consensus-based standard of care is anticoagulation, usually with heparin and transition to dose-adjusted warfarin. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) may provide an improved antithrombotic strategy for CVT due to superior safety (lower risk of intracranial hemorrhage) and decrease length of hospital stay.

“In anticipation of conducting a Phase III trial comparing DOAC to standard of care for CVT, we will conduct a pilot feasibility study. During this phase, 50 patients at 17 sites across Canada will be randomized 1:1 to rivaroxaban or standard care. We will engage patients with peer support, knowledge sharing and feedback to clarify the most meaningful patient outcomes,” says Dr. Thalia Field.

“In addition to determining whether DOACs are a better choice for treating CVT, this is an opportunity to learn more about the prognosis of this rare disease and to connect survivors with peer support opportunities and feedback about patient-centered outcomes.”


Dr. Nathaniel Hawkins – Contemporary treatment and outcomes of atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting 350,000 Canadians and substantially increasing their risk of stroke. The risk of stroke in AF is reduced by anticoagulants. Despite having evidence-based treatments, many patients with AF do not receive appropriate anticoagulants, emergency care, investigations and procedures.

“This interprovincial program will comprehensively assess AF across British Columbia and Alberta using 17 linked administrative datasets. We will define the burden of disease, healthcare utilization, use of anticoagulants, access to and inequalities in care,” explains Dr. Nathaniel Hawkins.  “Our focus is on the outcomes most important to patients— stroke and bleeding. One of our key goals is to develop a tool to guide treatment decisions and help inform patients of the best treatment strategies.”

“This project will create one of the largest, most contemporary, and detailed population based datasets for AF outcomes research. Our research will guide health system improvement in British Columbia and Alberta.”


Please join us in congratulating Dr. Field and Dr. Hawkins on this wonderful achievement.