Welcome to Biomed Bites, a weekly feature that introduces readers to some of Stanford’s most innovative researchers.
Math was Philip Lavori's first intellectual love. After earning his PhD in mathematics at Cornell University, Lavori spent his time solving tricky calculations. But the disconnect between the world of pure mathematics, and the messy outside world where people were living and dying started to bug him.
"It soon became obvious to me that I would have enormous interest in doing research that would have direct benefits to human beings," Lavori says in the video above.
He began offering his skills as a consultant to physicians, where he discovered a new intellectual love.
"I've found the problems that arose in the design of clinical trials were problems that I could attack with my mathematical skills.... That quickly led to an entire career."
Now Lavori is chair of the Department of Health Research and Policy, and he co-directs the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education (Spectrum).
Learn more about Stanford Medicine’s Biomedical Innovation Initiative and about other faculty leaders who are driving biomedical innovation here.
Previously: Survey confirms that small number of U.S. adults, children participate in research studies, A faster, better, cheaper clinical trial (electronic record system not included) and Re-analyses of clinical trial results rare, but necessary, say Stanford researchers