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Press Release

July 16, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif., July 16, 2012 – The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. has named Tracy Lieu, MD, MPH its fifth director. Lieu continues an unbroken line of physician researchers who have led the Division of Research during its 50-year history.


Lieu is a pediatrician and health services researcher who began her career as a Division of Research investigator from 1993-1999. She was most recently a professor and center director with the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School.


“Dr. Lieu is a nationally recognized leader in child health services research whose studies of health care safety and delivery have influenced health policy in the United States and internationally,” said Philip Madvig, MD, associate executive director of The Permanente Medical Group. “I am confident that under her leadership, the Division of Research will make even more remarkable contributions than it already has to medical knowledge and public health.”


Lieu received her MD from UCSF and has an MPH from UC Berkeley. She collaborated with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research during her fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCSF. During her subsequent tenure as a Division of Research investigator from 1993-99, she conducted studies of the effectiveness of a wide range of health services. 


While at Harvard, she contributed to the development of investigators through her leadership of the Center for Child Health Care Studies, and as Director of Faculty Development for her department and site director for the Harvard Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program. 


She has received the A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School and the Research Award from the Ambulatory Pediatric Association. Her national roles have included membership on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. She was also the chair of the Health Services Organization and Delivery study section of the National Institutes of Health. She taught at the Harvard School of Public Health and practiced as a part-time pediatrician with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.


The Division of Research, part of The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), conducts epidemiologic, translational, and health services research as well as clinical trials. Its 250 plus ongoing studies are supported with funding of more than $100 million per year. Major external funders include The National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Division of Research employs more than 600 people, including 63 investigators and leads nationally and internationally influential studies of the causes of disease and the effectiveness and safety of treatments and health services. 


Previous Division of Research directors include founding director, Morris F. Collen, MD (1961-1978); Edmund Van Brunt, MD (1979-1991); Gary Friedman, MD (1991-1998); and Joseph Selby, MD (1998-2011). The Division of Research will formally celebrate its 50 year history with a gala event occurring this fall.


The Division of Research is one of eight Kaiser Permanente research centers across the country that conducts epidemiological studies and health services research. In addition, the organization’s physicians and researchers conduct clinical trials of new drugs, medical devices, and other therapies independently and through several organized clinical trials centers. As a whole, Kaiser Permanente’s research centers and scientists comprise one of the largest research programs in the United States.