IBD Research — What is in it for me?

Clinical Research in the Division of Digestive Care and Endoscopy

The Division of Digestive Care and Endoscopy has a very active Research Team that conducts research related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD including Crohn’s disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)) and Liver diseases. The program is actively involved in industry sponsored research as well as original, home-grown, research conceptualized by our own clinical investigators.

In our CD and UC clinical trials program, we enroll patients from all over Nova Scotia, and sometimes New Brunswick and PEI, into studies of new investigational medical therapies for IBD. We participated in the very first research trials for Remicade, Humira, and Vedolizumab which are now standard medical therapies in the treatment of Crohn’s and Colitis. It is always exciting for us to be able to offer patients who may have failed traditional therapies, access to new treatments that are being developed.

Over the years our research team has developed an excellent reputation owing to its strength and experience. The team has lead the world in recruitment in many IBD trials.

Finding Answers — The importance of Participating in Clinic Trial

Participation in Clinical Trials is essential for finding new treatments and cures for many medical conditions.

What is a “Clinical Trial”?

Clinical Trials are scientific research studies which require volunteers to test new treatments. These treatments may include medications, devices, or education interventions.

Before any new treatment is placed on the market it must be tested through clinical trial to determine

  • If it is effective
  • If it is safe
  • How it compares to existing treatments

Who funds Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are funded by many groups working in conjunction with physicians and other health care professionals including

  • Government funded organizations such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Health charities such as the Canadian Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Why are Clinical Trials Important?

Clinical trials help medical researchers develop more effective treatments and cures and test the value of treatments. Specifically clinical trials help find

  • More effective treatments with fewer side effects
  • Treatments that improve quality of life

Are Clinical Trials Safe for Participants?

While no experimental treatment can be guaranteed “risk free” clinical trials are conducted under very strict regulations and guidelines. Health Canada must approve the testing of any new treatment before it goes to a clinical trial and each trial conducted here must be approved by the Nova Scotia Health Authority Research Ethics board to ensure participants are not put at undue risk. A physician or medical team supervises all clinical trials from start to finish and there is always someone available to answer your questions.

Will I be asked to Take Part in a Clinical Trial?

If your medical condition makes you a suitable candidate for a specific trial, you may be asked if you would like to apart. The decision is entirely up to you. To protect your privacy your name and personal information are kept confidential. In addition you can decide to withdraw from a trial at any time. If you are interested in finding out what trial may be available for your conditions ask your doctor.

What do I need to Know?

If you agree to consider participation in a clinical trial, the research team will provide information and specifics about the study. You should read this carefully in order to understand the potential risks and benefits before you sign the consent form. You may want to discuss it with your family and /or your family doctor before you make a decision.

Here are some Questions you may want to ask:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What will I have to do?
  • How many visits to the study centre will it involve and how much time will be requires on my part?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What side effects may there be?
  • What other treatment choices do I have?

What are the Benefits of Participating in a clinical Trial?

While it is possible you will receive no benefit, you may receive a new promising therapy for your condition that is not yet available. You will be helping medical science find new treatments.

Investigator Initiated Research Studies

In addition to clinical trials, the group has a passion for conducting patient-centered research in other areas including:

  • Quality improvement. Such projects have evaluated the transition of IBD patients from pediatric to adult care, biologic therapy during pregnancy, use of EMR and technology for education and research, patient satisfaction, knowledge and perceptions related to nutrition and medical therapy and inpatient care of acute colitis. We have been involved data collection in families with multiple people with IBD and more recently looking at unaffected siblings and children of Crohn’s and colitis patients.
  • Access to care
  • Impact of educational modalities on knowledge, adherence and clinical outcomes
  • IT based solutions for translation of medical information to enhance quality and efficiency of medical care
  • Knowledge and Impact of therapies on response to immunizations
  • Nutritional risk assessment in IBD
  • Role of nutritional therapies in IBD

Interested in learning more about the research we do?

For clinical studies, please contact Lorena Morrison (Research Manager) or Shari Smith (Senior Clinical Research Coordinator) at:

Centre for Clinical Research
5790 University Avenue Room 321D
Halifax, NS B3H 1V7
Office: 902-473-6861
Fax: 902-473-5889
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For investigator initiated studies, please contact Natalie Willett (Research Associate) at:

Centre for Clinical Research
5790 University Avenue
Halifax, NS B3H 1V7
Office: 902-473-7074
Fax: 902-473-5889
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Where to find us

9th Floor Victoria Building
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2Y5

Fax: 902-473-4406