The San Francisco Branch of the
United States Cochrane Center





University of California San Francisco, Laurel Heights Campus
3333 California Street, Suite 420
San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

Phone: (415) 476-4958
Fax: (415) 502-0792

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The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network of individuals and institutions committed to preparing, maintaining, and disseminating systematic reviews of the effects of health care. More information about the United States Cochrane Center and The Cochrane Collaboration can be found at:

The San Francisco Cochrane Center was opened and registered with the Cochrane Collaboration in January 1995. In 2002, the Cochrane Collaboration established a policy of having a single center per country and the San Francisco Cochrane Center merged with the Baltimore Cochrane Center to become the United States Cochrane Center (USCC). The central office of the USCC is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and the San Francisco Branch is based at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco.

Mission Statement

The overall mission of the San Francisco Branch of the United States Cochrane Center is to further the Collaboration's goal of making widely available high quality systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions.


The two offices of the USCC share many tasks, including:

  1. Supporting Cochrane entities with a coordinating base in the US or one of the countries serviced by the Center. These include:
    Review Groups

    • Eyes and Vision Review Group US Satellite;
    • HIV/AIDS Review Group (based at the University of California, San Francisco);
    • Neonatal Review Group;
    • Pain, Palliative, and Supportive Care Review Group (Pain and Headache Section);
    • Prostatic Diseases and Urologic Cancers Review Group;


    • Child Health Field
    • Health Equity Field

    Methods Groups

    • Bias Methods Group
    • Patient Reported Outcomes Methods Group
    • Screening and Diagnostic Tests Methods Group

  2. Supporting new Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs), Fields, and Methods Groups who want to register with the Collaboration.
  3. Supporting individuals who seek information about and participation in the work of the Collaboration.
  4. Hosting Cochrane fellows who conduct research related to the conduct or use of systematic reviews. The SFCC hosts approximately one fellow every 2 years.

In addition, each of the two offices of the Center performs unique tasks for the Collaboration:

When The San Francisco Branch of the USCC was established with funding from the Eugene Garfield Foundation in 1995, a special focus of the SFCC was to develop and evaluate the on-line post-publication peer review system for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The SFCC was involved in transitioning the development and management of Cochrane's Electronic Criticism Management System to Wiley InterScience. The SFCC continues to serve on the Feedback Management Advisory Board of the Cochrane Collaboration. Current activities include developing and evaluating systems for assessing and sustaining the quality of Cochrane reviews. The branch is also involved in the management of conflicts of interest within the Cochrane Collaboration, including spearheading the development of the Cochrane Collaboration Policy on Commercial Sponsorship and serving as Chair of the Funding Arbiter.

The SFCC also participates in the training of review authors, editors, consumers, healthcare providers, policy makers and others in the conduct and use of systematic reviews. The SFCC assists the USCC with the support of a national coalition of consumer advocacy organizations, whose members are educated in evidence-based healthcare decision making (Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare). The SFCC supports CUE's mission to promote the health of populations and the quality of individual health care by empowering consumers, public health policy makers, health care providers and others to make informed decisions based on the best current evidence through research, education, and advocacy. One SFCC member, Dr. Donna Odierna, has a special interest in equity and systematic reviews.

The SFCC also serves as a link between UCSF systematic review activities and the Cochrane Collaboration. For example, the SFCC has supported UCSF applications for K12 and CTSI-related training.

In addition, Lisa Bero, the Director of the San Francisco Branch of the United States Cochrane Center has served as an elected member of the Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group from 1996 2000 and 2004-2010.


The main strength of the Center is that it has a strong international presence and provides a focal point for United States (western) individuals who are interested in the Cochrane Collaboration.


The main challenge is obtaining sustainable funding. An NIH grant is pending.

Future Goals

We will continue to seek sustainable funding. To minimize duplication of effort, we would like to integrate more systematic review activities at UCSF with the SFCC activities. We would like to collaborate more closely with the CTSI. In addition, we will be updating our website and integrating it with the USCC site.

Here are links related to the San Francisco Branch:

Copyright The San Francisco Cochrane Center
Last updated on August 31, 2006
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