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Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE

Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE

Director of the PAIR Center

CHIBE Internal Advisory Board Member|Founding Director, Palliative and Advanced Illness Research Center|John M. Eisenberg Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy


Dr. Halpern’s research focuses on developing and testing interventions to improve the value of health care delivered to acutely and seriously ill patients. This work is coordinated through several research programs. The Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science (FIELDS) program, which he founded in 2012, is the nation’s only research program that uses insights from the field of behavioral economics to understand and improve upon the end-of-life decisions made by seriously ill patients, caregivers, and clinicians. Through the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research (PAIR) Center, which he founded in January 2017, he examines ways to improve the allocation of scarce healthcare resources including ICU beds and services, solid-organ transplants, and palliative care clinicians’ time. Finally, his work through CHIBE examines the use of focusing effects, default options, and novel structures of financial incentives to increase rates of smoking cessation, participation in randomized clinical trials, and use of high-value health care services. Dr. Halpern’s research has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar Award in Bioethics, AcademyHealth’s Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award, the Young Leader Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Federation for Medical Research’s Outstanding Investigator Award for the best scientist in any field under the age of 45, and the Association of Clinical and Translational Science’s Distinguished Investigator Award for lifetime achievement in translation of clinical practice into public benefit and policy. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, a member of the Editorial Boards of the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Bioethics, and from 2013 – 2015 he was an Anniversary Fellow at the Institute of Medicine. He has been Principal Investigator of more than 20 grants, and his work has been featured in every major American media outlet.