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Cary Gross, MD

Professor of Medicine (General Medicine) and of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Founder and Director, Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale School of Medicine; Director, Adult Primary Care Center, Quality Improvement; Chair, National Clinician Scholars Program; Director, National Clinician Scholars Program

“Remember what you are striving to accomplish as a researcher,” Cary Gross, MD, tells his mentees. “We are not simply trying to generate new knowledge, we are trying to generate knowledge that is relevant, and can eventually help people.” As a physician, researcher, and mentor, Dr. Gross is focused on easing the leap from the lab to real-world patient care.

In his outcomes research, Dr. Gross examines the disconnect between evidence produced by clinical trials, and the experiences and needs of patients and populations. He has received NIH-funded grants to explore barriers to clinical trial enrollment, the impact of non-cancer illnesses on older persons with cancer, and the dissemination of new cancer screening and treatment methods into clinical practice. After documenting that older persons are disproportionately excluded from clinical research, Dr. Gross also demonstrated that applying trial results to patients who were above the age limit of trial eligibility was associated with a higher risk of harm.

As a founding director of Yale’s Cancer Outcomes Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Dr. Gross leads and conducts research on how to improve the care and outcomes of cancer patients. In a recent viewpoint published in JAMA, Dr. Gross and a colleague advocated for a new paradigm in cancer research, one that focuses on improving efficacy and value, as well as ensuring population health impact and generating new knowledge.

Beyond his outcomes research, Dr. Gross serves as Director of the National Clinical Scholars Program, which is a key part of the YCCI training program and aims to create the next generation of change agents in the American healthcare system, by using an inter-professional training program that focuses on research skills, experiential training in leadership, and building a nuanced understanding of social determinants of health as well as health policy.

Gross tells his mentees that their own research project may be only one step removed from directly influencing patient care, or it may be several steps, but the end goal is the same. Researchers who truly wish to effect change must “work with stakeholders who may have different perspectives than you, to understand the knowledge gaps that must be addressed to improve health and well-being.”