Frank SullivanPhD, FRSE, FRCP, FRCGP, CCFP


North York General Hospital
4001 Leslie Street
ON, M2K 1E1

Research Interests

Health Informatics, Patient Safety, Screening, Experimental (e.g., RCTs), Electronic Medical Records, Administrative Databases, Systematic Reviews, Survey Methods, Cancer Care, Chronic Diseases (e.g., diabetes, HBP, CVD)


Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows

Gordon F. Cheesbrough Research Chair, North York General Hospital
Director of the University of Toronto Practice based Research Network (UTOPIAN). 
Physician Family Medicine Teaching Unit North York General Hospital
Professor Department of Family and Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Adjunct Scientist Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences(ICES)
Honorary Professor Medical School, University of Dundee
Chair of Primary Care Medicine, University of St Andrews (1.4.17)


Research Synopsis:

Dr. Sullivan's research interests lie in health informatics and community based trials, covering the spectrum from record-linkage of electronic health records to decision support to the evaluation of complex interventions.


2016: Exploration Fund, North York General Hospital. International Primary Care Research Priority Setting. Sullivan F, O’Neill B, Persaud N, Aversa V. $7,500

2016-18: Children with Cancer UK. Evaluation of CCl17 as a diagnostic biomarker for classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Jarret R, Sullivan F, Guthrie B, Hilmi O. $282,268

2016-19: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The health ecosphere: An innovation pipeline for Commercial health solutions. Skinner H, Cafazzo J, Sullivan F et al. $11M 

2016-17: Environment Canada. Outreach strategies for the Air Quality Health Index to patients with Asthma, COPD and CHF. Upshur R, Abelsohn A  & Sullivan F. $25,000

2016-21:  Canadian Institute For Health Research (Strategy for Patient Orientated Research). SPOR Network in Diabetes and its Related Complications. Lewis G,  Brown AD,  Maberley D, Rochon P, Sullivan F, Brent M, Bélanger M, Cafazzo J, Carpentier A, Després, Farkouh M, Fernyhough P, Légaré F,  Mcgavock, J, Perkins J.  $12.45M + $17.8M from other funders(NIH, CDA,JDRF).

2016-18: Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI).Advancing cancer prevention in deprived neighbourhoods. Paszat L, Lofters A, Pinto A, O’Brien MA, Sutradhar R, Selby P, Grunfeld E, Manca D, Lansdorp-Vogelaar I, Sullivan F, Glazier R, Donnelly P, Rabeneck L, Baxter N, Tinmouth J, Kyle R, Petrusiak MA, Nesbitt J, Wall B, Pellizzari R, Gardner C, Simon L. $597,042

2012-18: Chief Scientist Office and Oncimune. Detection in blood of autoantibodies to tumour antigens as a case-finding method in lung cancer using the EarlyCDT-Lung test. Sullivan F(PI), Schembri S, Robertson J, Treweek S, Autier P, Sewell H, McCowan C, Fardon T, Robertson C, Mair F, Ritchie L, Vadera K, Kendrick D. £250K CSO, £1.47M Oncimmune

2015-16: CIHR. Access to EMR data for CNODES and as a platform for pragmatic trials. Access to EMR data for CNODES and as a platform for pragmatic trials. Suissa S, Sullivan F, Henry D, Tu K, Greiver M. $248,634

2015 (1.6.15-30.9.15): UofT student research scheme. Mapping the primary care research capacity of every country. Sullivan F, Aversa V. $13,500

2015-16: NYGH Exploration fund. Exploring the diagnostic and prescription trends for Bell’s palsy patients in Canada within the past five years by using primary care EMR databases: a pilot project. Sullivan F, Greiver M, Aliarzadeh B, Barathi R. $10,474

2014-16: Cancer Care Ontario. Pre-consultation Screening forms in Primary Care. Sullivan F, O’Brien M. $13 980

2015-16: Chief Scientist Office (CSO). The Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE). Sullivan F, McKinstry B (Co-PI). £117,810

2014-17: HTA. The National Trial of Tonsillectomy IN Adults (NATTINA): A Clinical and Cost Effectiveness Study. Wilson J, Sullivan F(Co-PI), Hussain M et al. £1.6M

2013-17: The Scottish eHealth Informatics Research Centre. MRC led consortium including Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Chief Scientist Office, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research and the Wellcome Trust. Morris A, Pell J, Ford I, Sullivan F, et al. £5.9M

Publications and Awards

Recent Publications

Publications (10 of 213) 

Sullivan FM, Madhok V, Gagyor I.  Antiviral Agents Added to Corticosteroids for Early Treatment of Adults With Acute Idiopathic Facial Nerve Paralysis (Bell Palsy).  JAMA, 2016; 316:874-5.

Sullivan F. Atomic data: James Mackenzie Lecture 2015. Br J Gen Pract. 2016 May;66(646):e368-70. doi: 10.3399/bjgp16X685153

Meaney C, Moineddin R, Voruganti T, O'Brien MA, Krueger P, Sullivan F. Text mining describes the use of statistical and epidemiological methods in published medical research. J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Dec 19. pii: S0895-4356(15)00577-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.10.020. 

Francis NA, Ridd MJ, Thomas-Jones E, Shepherd V, Butler CC, Hood K, et al. A randomised placebo-controlled trial of oral and topical antibiotics for children with clinically infected eczema in the community: the ChildRen with Eczema, Antibiotic Management (CREAM) study. Health Technol Assess 2016;20(19).

The PRECIS-2 tool: designing trials that are fit for purpose. Loudon K, Treweek S, Sullivan F, Donnan P, Thorpe KE, Zwarenstein M. BMJ. 2015 May 8;350:h2147. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h2147. 

Sullivan F, Hinds A, Pitkethly M, Treweek S, Wilson P, Wyke S. Primary care research network progress in Scotland European Journal of General Practice. 2014. (doi:10.3109/13814788.2013.879116)

Morales DR, Donnan PT, Daly F, Van Staa T. Sullivan FM. Impact of clinical trial findings on Bell's palsy management in general practice in the UK 2001-2012: interrupted time series regression analysis. BMJ Open2013;3:e003121 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003121 

Wallace P, Delaney B, Sullivan F. Unlocking the research potential of the GP electronic care ecord.Br J Gen Pract. 2013 Jun;63(611):284-5. doi: 10.3399/bjgp13X668023

Mair F, May C, O’Donnell K,  Finch T, Sullivan F, Murray E.  Factors that promote or inhibit the implementation of e-health systems: an explanatory systematic review.  Bull World Health Organ 2012;90:357–364 | doi:10.2471/BLT.11.099424 

Sullivan FM, Treweek S, Grant A, Daly F, Nicolson D, McKinstry B, Hanley J, Ure J, Sheikh A. Improving recruitment to clinical trials with a register of a million patients who agree to the use of their clinical records for research in the Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE). Trials. 2011 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-12-S1-A115 

Sullivan FM, LockhartPM, Usherwood TP. Potential implications of genomic medicine in general practice. Med J Aust 2010; 193: 120-123.

Treweek S, Mitchell E, Pitkethly M, Cook J, Kjeldstrøm M, Taskila T, Johansen M, Sullivan F, Wilson S, Jackson C, Jones R.  Strategies to improve recruitment to randomised controlled trials. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Art. No.:MR000013. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.MR000013.pub4.

Sullivan F, Swan I, Donnan P, Morrison J, Smith B, McKinstry B, Davenport R, Vale L, Clarkson J, Hernández R, Stewart K, Hammersley V, Hayavi S, McAteer A, Gray D, Daly F. A randomised controlled trial of the use of aciclovir and/or prednisolone for the early treatment of Bell’s palsy: the BELLS study.  Health Technol. Assess 2009;13(47).

Madhok V, Falk G, Rogers A, Struthers AD, Sullivan FM, Fahey T. The accuracy of symptoms, signs and diagnostic tests in the diagnosis of left ventricular dysfunction in primary care: a diagnostic accuracy systematic review. BMC Fam Pract. 2008;9:56 

McGilchrist M, Sullivan F, Kalra D Assuring the confidentiality of shared electronic health records. BMJ  2007;335:1223-1224. doi:10.1136/bmj.39421.544063.BE

Sullivan FM, Swan IRC, Donnan PT, Morrison JMM, Smith BM, McKinstry B, Davenport RJ, Vale LD, Clarkson JE, Hammersley V, Hayavi S, Daly FD.  Early Treatment with Prednisolone or Acyclovir and Recovery in Bell’s Palsy.  N Engl J Med 2007; 357:1598-607.

Honours and Awards

University of Toronto, Department of Family & Community Medicine Outstanding Contribution to Family Medicine Research Award 2016
PSI  Northern Ontario School of Medicine visiting scholar 2016
RCGP James Mackenzie lecturer 2015
Ian Stevenson Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research. 2014 Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 2011
Australian Primary Health Care keynote lecturer and visiting professor 2009 
BMJ Group Research paper of the year 2009
Irish College of General Practitioners Foundation Lecturer 2007
RCGP/MSD Paper of the year 2007

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