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Roberta W. Scherer, PhD

  • Senior Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

  • Epidemiology (Primary)
    • Division: Clinical Trials and Evidence Synthesis

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E6138
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1987
MS, George Washington University, 1970


As a clinical trial methodologist, my research interests include clinical trial methodology, biases associated with publication of randomized controlled trials, registration of trials at inception, and representation of trial participants by age, sex, and race. I have been involved in the design and conduct of multi- and single-centered randomized controlled trials in vision, women’s health, tinnitus, Alzheimer's disease, and complementary and alternative medicine. My interests also include the assessment of clinical trial methodology and reporting standards. I am also actively involved in the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that seeks to provide the basis for evidence-based medicine by collecting and synthesizing the best available evidence in the health care field, as Associate Director of the US Cochrane Center, and the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Review Group.

  • Epidemiology, Cochrane Collaboration, randomized controlled trial, trial methodology

Research into methods used for randomized clinical trials have formed a large part of my research. These studies involved dissemination bias, the publication of results from randomized clinical trials based on direction or significance of results, and development of methods for retrieval of information from trials to use in systematic reviews. Associated with this work is production of systematic reviews across the spectrum of medical specialties, both as Cochrane and non-Cochrane systematic reviews in vision and other areas. Systematic reviews of methods research complements the ongoing research I have complete on methods on completing systematic reviews and focuses mainly on publication bias and on information retrieval. The other major area of my research is as director of multi-centered randomized clinical trials. Ongoing trials include a trial using methylphenidate for the treatment of apathy in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. This trial is an extension of a pilot trial testing the same drug, but with a larger geographic spread and in a larger sample size. A second ongoing trial is that of tinnitus retraining therapy as a treatment for individuals with debilitating tinnitus in U.S. military hospitals.

  • Scherer RW, Ugarte-Gil C, Schmucker C, Meerpohl JJ. Authors report lack of time as main reason for unpublished research presented at biomedical conferences: a systematic review. J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Jul;68(7):803-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.01.027.
  • Scherer RW, Huynh L, Ervin AM, Dickersin K. Using to supplement information in ophthalmology conference abstracts about trial outcomes: a comparison study. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 24;10(6):e0130619. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130619. eCollection 2015.
  • Mishra S, Scherer RW, Aziz NM, Gotay CC, Baquet CR, Berlanstein DR, Geigle PM. Exercise interventions on health related quality of life for people with cancer during active treatment. (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD008465. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008465.
  • Scherer RW, Formby C, Gold S, Erdman S, Rodhe C, Carlson M, Shade D, Tucker M, Sensinger LM, Hughes G, Conley GS, Downey N, Eades C, Jylkka M, Haber-Perez A, Harper C, Russell SK, Sierra-Irizarry B, Sullivan M; Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Trial Research Group. The Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Trial (TRTT): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.Trials. 2014 Oct 15;15:396. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-396.
  • Drye LT, Scherer RW, Lanctôt KL, Rosenberg PB, Herrmann N, Bachman D, Mintzer JE; ADMET Research Group. Designing a trial to evaluate potential treatments for apathy in dementia: the apathy in dementia methylphenidate trial (ADMET). Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Jun;21(6):549-59. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2012.12.018. Epub 2013 Jan 18.
  • Cochrane Eyes and Vision US Satellite (