Mark Daskin, Ph.D.

EngineeringIndustrial Operations Engineering


Dr. Daskin's research focuses on the application of operations research techniques to problems in healthcare, transportation, and supply chain management and facility location modeling. His research examining problems in healthcare operations focuses on transportation problems and the assignment of residents and interns to patients. His work is also concerned with healthcare quality improvement, and improving the efficiency of clinical research participant recruitment.

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

U-M Academic Affiliation(s)

Featured Member Profile

What are you thinking about?

I am currently working with Larry An, M.D., director of the Center for Health Communications Research and scientific director of the Cancer Survivorship Program; Amy Cohn, Ph.D., an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and associate professor of industrial and operations engineering; Joan Kellenberg, M.S., M.P.H., program manager for the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research; and Joe East, an M.S. student in industrial and operations engineering, and health management and policy, on issues related to clinical research study recruitment. At any point in time, the University of Michigan has nearly 2,000 clinical studies underway. Many of these will fail to enroll an adequate number of research participants. This problem is not unique to the U-M; indeed, it is a pervasive national issue. We are hoping to understand this problem better and to identify ways of: (1) improving data collection related to clinical research recruitment, (2) helping study coordinators better recruit and retain research participants, and (3) identifying research participants whose participation in particular trials is critical to the success of the trial.

What are the practical implications for healthcare?

The key implication of this work for health care is that researchers will be better able to identify eligibility criteria that will enable them to recruit research participants for their studies, more clinical studies will be successful, and the clinical research enterprise will be more efficient and effective.

Why is this interesting to you?

The United States spends billions of dollars each year on clinical research. Many of these clinical research studies are peer-reviewed, funded by the federal government, and have high scientific and medical importance. Nevertheless, many do not attract sufficient research participants to complete the studies in question. Improved recruitment and retention strategies, coupled with the early identification of studies unlikely to recruit sufficient research participants under the proposed eligibility criteria, will allow a higher proportion of the funded studies to be successful. This will lead to a more efficient use of scarce resources and improved health care. On a personal level, there are many opportunities for interesting data analysis and for the use of optimization to improve the recruitment process.

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