Darby Thompson, Ph.D.

President, Emmes Canada

Why I joined Emmes

I actually joined twice! It was my first job after graduate school, and Emmes offered the best of both worlds – a professional, yet academic, atmosphere. I liked the work, the clients, the people. I left 10 years later to return to Vancouver, Canada, where I was born and raised, and completed my doctorate studies there. I had two job offers but decided to rejoin Emmes because there’s no one I can trust more than the people here.

How I describe our firm to other people

We’re a group of researchers who help support our clients at the highest level of integrity and scientific interest. I tell potential clients that we’re not the typical CRO. We have people who are experts in their field – in a particular disease area like ophthalmology or infectious disease – and who are passionate about their research priorities.

A bit about me

I love spending time with my wife and children, along with my extended family. I love being active: cycling and hiking in the summer, and skiing and hockey in the winter.

What I do

The way I describe my work is that I use math to help doctors take better care of their patients and find treatments to cure diseases.

The best part about working here

That’s an absolute no-brainer: the opportunity to work with our clients. We meet enthusiastic scientists and figure out how to help them. Plus, I’m a curious person, and I get to learn something new every day.

My background

My first position at Emmes as staff statistician in 1999, and two years later I was named principal investigator for one of our contracts. Later, I was asked to become our corporate quality assurance officer, which meant I was responsible for co-authoring our policies and procedures to be compliant with government regulations. I left the company in 2009 to get my Ph.D., and then returned after two years as a staff statistician. I opened our Canada office in 2012 and I’m an adjunct professor in the health sciences department at the same university where I received my master’s and doctorate degrees. I’m excited about building our opportunities and reputation in Canada and on the West Coast.


Ph.D., statistics, Simon Fraser University
M.S., statistics, Simon Fraser University
B.S., statistics, University of British Columbia

Selected papers and presentations
Associated projects