Paul D. Cleary, Ph.D., the newly named Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health, has devoted much of his career to understanding how to improve the quality of patient care.

Cleary, dean of the School of Public Health and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, is interested in developing better methods for using patient reports about their care and health status to elevate the quality of medical care.

His recent research includes a study of how organizational characteristics affect the costs and quality of care for persons with AIDS; a national evaluation of a continuous quality improvement initiative in clinics providing care to HIV-infected individuals and a study of the long-term impact of patient-centered hospital care.

He is the principal investigator of one of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems grants funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These grants support research to develop surveys of consumers about their health plans and services. He also is leading a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project to facilitate and stimulate research on public health systems.

Cleary’s work with people infected with HIV dates back to the 1980s. His first study in the field was a randomized trial of an education and support program for blood donors discovered to be infected with HIV. He has since continued to investigate the ways in which HIV infection affects people’s lives and the factors affecting the quality of the medical care they receive.

Cleary taught at the University of Wisconsin and at Rutgers University before joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where he was a professor of medical sociology in the Departments of Health Care Policy and Social Medicine. In 1997 he received Harvard’s A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Cleary joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 2006.

Cleary is a member of the Institute of Medicine. He was selected as a distinguished fellow of the Association for Health Services Research in 1996, and in 2002 received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Health Services Research and Health Policy.