Dr. Brittany Dennis

Dr. Brittany Dennis MBBS, PhD is a clinician scientist with training in general internal medicine and an area of focused competency in addiction medicine. She currently holds academic appointments as a full-time Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Social Medicine at the University of British Columbia and part-time Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine – Adjunct at McMaster University. She joins the British Columbia Center on Substance Use as a Clinician Scientist, with protected time from her role as an attending physician in Providence Health Care’s (PHC) Division of Addiction. Dr. Dennis has been awarded the 2023 Michael Smith Health Research BC/BCCSU Partnered Scholar award to support her leadership role on the research evaluation of the Road to Recovery Initiative. Dr. Dennis’ program of research within the BCCSU includes a collection of studies investigating emerging treatments and novel models of substance use care.

Prior to her undergraduate medical training at the University of London (MBBS), she completed a PhD in health research methodology at McMaster University. To establish capacity in large-data base analytics she received post-doctoral training at Stanford University, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), and through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars Program (Boston and Yale University). Dr. Dennis has been an important contributor to over 90 peer-reviewed publications, 20 national and international presentations, an expert panel for Canada’s 2023 national guidance on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, and a textbook chapter on opioid use disorder. She has held six grants as a junior principal investigator (CDN $235,050 total funds) since 2020. She was awarded both UBC’s Strategic Investment Fund Grant and the Carraresi Foundation’s Early Career Investigator Award to support projects within the Road to Recovery program of Research.

Dr. Dennis’ scholarship is highlighted by numerous accolades including the prestigious Michael Smith Health Research BC/BCCSU Partnered Scholar Award (2023), Hamilton Academy of Medicine Resident Award (2023), David L Sackett Award (2015), Paul O’Byrne Research Award (2021), and the CIHR Funded Intersections in Mental Health Perspectives in Addictions Care training fellowship (2014). Her PhD work alone received the outstanding thesis award for doctoral dissertations and garnered her a Valedictorian title.

As one of Canada’s first addiction focused research methodologists, her work has advanced the prioritization of patient important outcomes and directly informed methods to improve evidence synthesis, enhance measurement selection, increase generalizability, and enrich guideline development practices for studies evaluating therapies for patients who use substances. Pivoting to identify health inequities driving the imbalanced consequences of addiction, her work has also been foundational in establishing health disparities observed in female patients with substance use disorders. She’s successfully led observational studies addressing addiction-based issues, including prospective cohort designs establishing risk factors for treatment response, qualitative research evaluating patient important outcomes, and finally large database studies establishing trends in mortality and hospitalization for patients with substance use disorders.