Robert Olson and Bernie Eigl honoured for their excellence in clinical trials

17 May 2024

2024 Clinical Trials BC Awards, recipients announed.

Clinical Trials BC, part of Michael Smith Health Research BC, honours Drs. Robert Olson and Bernie Eigl with the 2024 Clinical Trials BC Awards for their outstanding contributions to the clinical trials community in British Columbia and beyond.  

Through these annual awards, Clinical Trials BC recognizes individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to strengthening BC’s clinical trials ecosystem. Award recipients exemplify excellence in leadership, advocacy for clinical trials and outstanding service and support to advance clinical trials research and improve the health of people across British Columbia.

“We’re thrilled to recognize the exceptional achievements of this year’s recipients,” says Alison Orth, portfolio director, research programs, Health Research BC. “Their dedication and impactful contributions have enriched the research and clinical trials community, inspiring us all to enable transformational change for better health.”


Leadership & Advocacy Award 

The Leadership & Advocacy Award honours outstanding leaders and advocates for clinical trials at the local, provincial and/or national level. It recognizes leaders who educate, mentor, advocate or spearhead projects, programs and strategies that benefit our clinical trials community.

Dr. Robert Olson, recipient of the 2024 Clinical Trials BC Leadership & Advocacy Award.

Dr. Robert Olson 

Professor and head, division of radiation oncology, department of surgery, faculty of medicine, University of British Columbia 

Executive medical director, BC Cancer – Prince George, Provincial Health Services Authority

Dr. Robert Olson received the 2024 Leadership & Advocacy Award for his longstanding leadership in the clinical trials and research community.   

Robert has led clinical trials that have transformed practice and continue to push the clinical trials boundary.  Based in Prince George, he is a persistent advocate for clinical trial success in rural and remote communities. He has worked to increase clinical trial infrastructure in northern BC, opening some of the first clinical trials in the north.    

Robert has made significant contributions to the advancement of clinical trials through education activities that address challenges in the area. Through ongoing professional development and education, he inspires and mentors the next generation of clinical research teams and professionals. 

“I am honoured to receive this award and would like to acknowledge that it took a large team of dedicated individuals to receive this recognition,” says Robert. “Over the last decade, BC Cancer – Prince George has grown from a new regional cancer clinic to a world leader in precision radiation oncology trials, thanks primarily to the collective work of many individuals both in Prince George and supporting of us from BC Cancer’s central clinical trials office.”


Service & Support Award

The Service & Support Award recognizes the community-based, volunteer commitment of an individual, organization, company or agency to improve the research and clinical trials community.

Dr. Bernie Eigl, recipient of the 2024 Clinical Trials BC Service & Support Award.

Dr. Bernie Eigl 

Deputy head, department of clinical research, BC Cancer, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)  

Director, provincial clinical trials office, BC Cancer, PHSA 

Medical oncologist, BC Cancer – Vancouver Centre, PHSA 

Clinical associate professor, faculty of medicine, University of British Columbia

Dr. Bernie Eigl received the 2024 Service & Support Award for his dedication to supporting clinical trials and enhancing trial participation and efficiency. 

Bernie has a positive impact in the research and clinical trials community through support activities related to the Canadian Remote Access Framework for Clinical Trials (CRAFT) project and its implementation in British Columbia. He sits on the steering committee for the project, which is leading the development of decentralized clinical trials across Canada.  As a committee member, Bernie has helped address barriers for using satellite sites. His involvement in the creation of the CRAFT framework reflects his commitment to the role that clinical trials play in the everyday care of patients with cancer.  

Bernie has also been instrumental in developing a structure and supporting documentation to enable larger clinical trial centres to bring on satellite sites in remote areas of BC, bringing the research to patients and improving trial participation.  

“This award is so meaningful to me because it provides recognition of the work of a large team of individuals from across our province who dedicate all their efforts to increasing access to, and improving the quality of, clinical trials,” says Bernie. “I see the real-world benefits of clinical trials every day, and it is an honour to see that we continue to make a difference.” 

Congratulations to Robert and Bernie on their achievements.  

Clinical Trials BC, part of Michael Smith Health Research BC, supports clinical trial investigators, sites and institutions to ensure British Columbia is a world-class destination for clinical trials. Focusing on infrastructure and capacity building with a collaborative approach, we enable clinical trial excellence across the province. Learn more.