Diane M. Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Medical SchoolFamily Medicine


Dr. Harper is an internationally recognized researcher, teacher and clinician in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)-associated diseases. Her health services research and work in healthcare policy has emphasized guideline development and publication, particularly around cancer screening. Dr. Harper has also served as a member of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and as a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to advise on global guidelines and to set up screening and prevention operations in low- and middle-income countries to prevent cervical cancer. She has been involved in research on shared decision making, treatment preferences, practice pattern variation, cost-effectiveness modeling, and decision aids within cancer screening and treatment, as well as vaccine clinical trials.

  • M.D., University of Kansas
  • M.P.H., University of Kansas
  • M.S., Polymerics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

U-M Academic Affiliation(s)

Featured Member Profile

What are you thinking about?

As a prior member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, I spend much time thinking about how to maintain a healthy population based on appropriate screening activities, prevention activities, and meeting people where they are in their life in order to bring about or maintain the best health the person is invested in having. This includes all social strata as each social and economic situation requires flexibility in how, as primary care physicians, we offer, present, and bring to the person the best practices of healthcare. 

Why is this interesting to you? 

The advances in medical, social, behavioral, and engineering sciences allow creative solutions for maintaining health and preventing disease that can be individualized at the community and even person level.  Understanding how to leverage these advances for cost-effective population healthcare that fits into a business model for sustaining the delivery of healthcare is important to me.

What are the practical implications for healthcare? 

The increasing number of health related technologies are adding cost, but not necessarily value or effectiveness to the population’s health. Developing overarching theories that mix and match prevention, screening, counseling, genetic testing, and other new developments yet to be disclosed in a way that provides value is important for sustaining population health and the business of healthcare delivery.  This would inform researchers about the relative impact of each new device, discovery, guideline on overall population health, and allow health priorities to be addressed in a balanced manner.

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