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Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program Northern California, Division of Research

Founded in 1961, the Division of Research’s research program is built on a base of rigorous epidemiologic investigation in a large, well-characterized population. Many of the division’s major contributions have been in the areas of risk factor identification, prevention, and drug safety. However, this is an exciting time in biologic, medical, and health services research, and the division is contributing to progress in many new areas including: research looking at the role of genes and the environment in health, clinical trials, and research to help answer the critical questions of how to implement and use health informatics, manage chronic illness, and motivate self-care and disease prevention.

The Division of Research has a staff of approximately 500, which includes 41 investigators and 10 staff scientists who serve as principal investigators and co-investigators on more than 250 ongoing research studies. In addition, our administration provides support to 28 adjunct investigators from other academic institutions and to 35 clinician investigators from The Permanente Medical Group. These numbers continue to grow each year.

The division’s researchers are recognized for their scientific expertise worldwide and have contributed more than 2,600 papers to medical and public health literature. Their work covers a wide range of topics including epidemiologic and health services studies, clinical trials, and program evaluations covering a wide range of topics, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, substance abuse, mental health, maternal and child health, women’s health, drug safety, health care policy and health services, and health and health care disparities.

Division of Research studies involve collaborations with researchers from other regions of Kaiser Permanente, and from other health plan-based centers affiliated with the HMO Research Network. We also collaborate with academic institutions across the country. Of particular note are our rich collaborative relationships with academic centers in the Bay Area, including the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Stanford University School of Medicine, and the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

The division’s work is funded primarily by federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and other outside institutions, foundations, and associations, as well as by The Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan's Community Benefit Program.

Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research Clinical Services, located on the Oakland Medical Center campus, is distinguished by its multi-functional capabilities designed to provide a professional and pleasant setting for study participants and staff. Healthcare disciplines and departments come together at the Division of Research in an environment that fosters a collaborative approach for improving the lives of its members. National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) are a few of the funding agencies providing support for DOR clinical studies, with research findings that may have far reaching implications for people of all ages in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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