Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH

“As the public-interest research arm of Kaiser Permanente Washington's learning health care system and a member of major research consortia, KPWHRI is honored to contribute to local and national health care improvements.”

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, MACP

Vice President for Research and Health Care Innovation, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington
Executive Director and Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Eric B. Larson’s research has changed how people think about healthy aging. Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI)'s executive director since 2002, Dr. Larson is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a national leader in geriatrics research.

A general internist, Dr. Larson has pursued an array of research, ranging from clinical interests such as Alzheimer’s disease and genomics to health services research involving technology assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, and quality improvement. His research on aging includes a longstanding collaboration between Kaiser Permanente Washington and the University of Washington (UW) called the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. ACT’s many groundbreaking results include news linking exercise to later onset of dementia. Several of Dr. Larson’s research projects are related to promoting successful aging and high functioning in seniors. With colleagues at the UW, he is executive co-producer of the Art of Aging, a news-magazine series on public television and the Web.

Dr. Larson strives to keep KPWHRI on the cutting edge of health research. He has provided leadership on several new initiatives, including serving as principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health Roadmap project to expand the capacity of the Health Care Systems Research Network, launching KPWHRI research programs in health informatics and obesity, and evaluating the Medical Home model at Kaiser Permanente Washington. In 2008, Dr. Larson facilitated Kaiser Permanente Washington's inclusion in the UW’s new Northwest Institute for Genetic Medicine, a collaboration among local research institutions to support the translation of genetic research into clinical care. He has also invited many additional UW researchers to serve as KPWHRI affiliate investigators, established a formal affiliation agreement with the UW School of Public Health, and strengthened the Institute’s relationship with its partners in the Kaiser Permanente Washington care-delivery system.

Dr. Larson served as medical director for the UW Medical Center and associate dean for clinical affairs at its medical school from 1989 to 2002. He is a member and past president of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), having received their highest honor, the Robert J. Glaser Award, in 2004. Dr. Larson is also a Master of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and served on their Board of Regents for nearly a decade, including one term as chair. He was a commissioner on The Joint Commission from 1999 to 2010. Since 2007 he has been an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, now the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Larson maintains a small but long-standing internal medicine practice.

Research interests and experience


Recent publications

De Jager PL, Chibnik LB, White CC, Mukherjee S, Towfiqe R, Yu L, Larson EB, Montine TJ, Keene CD, Sonnen J, Schneider JA, Crane PK, Shulman JM, Bennett DA. Susceptibility to neurofibrillary tangles: role of the PTPRD locus and limited pleiotropy with other neuropathologies. Mol Psychiatry. 2017 Mar 21. doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.20. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Larson EB, Langa KM. What's the "take home" from research on dementia trends? PLoS Med. 2017 Mar 7;14(3):e1002236. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002236. eCollection 2017 Mar 7. PubMed

Dumitrescu L, Ritchie MD, Denny JC, El Rouby NM, McDonough CW, Bradford Y, Ramirez AH, Bielinski SJ, Basford MA, Chai HS, Peissig P, Carrell D, Pathak J, Rasmussen LV, Wang X, Pacheco JA, Kho AN, Hayes MG, Matsumoto M, Smith ME, Li R, Cooper-DeHoff RM, Kullo IJ, Chute CG, Chisholm RL, Jarvik GP, Larson EB, Carey D, McCarty CA, Williams MS, Roden DM, Bottinger E, Johnson JA, de Andrade M, Crawford DC. Genome-wide study of resistant hypertension identified from electronic health records. PLoS One. 2017 Feb 21;12(2):e0171745. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171745. PubMed

Fardo D, Gibbons LE, Mukherjee S, Glymour MM, McCormick W, McCurry SM, Bowen JD, Larson EB, Crane PK. Impact of home visit capacity on genetic association studies of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Feb 18. pii: S1552-5260(17)30018-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.01.012. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Postupna N, Latimer CS, Larson EB, Sherfield E, Paladin J, Shively CA, Jorgensen MJ, Andrews RN, Kaplan JR, Crane PK, Montine KS, Craft S, Keene CD, Montine TJ. Human striatal dopaminergic and regional serotonergic synaptic degeneration with lewy body disease and inheritance of Apoe Epsilon4. Am J Pathol. 2017 Apr;187(4):884-895. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.12.010. Epub 2017 Feb 16. PubMed

Almoguera B, Vazquez L, Mentch F, Connolly J, Pacheco JA, Sundaresan AS, Peissig PL, Linneman JG, McCarty CA, Crosslin D, Carrell DS, Lingren T, Namjou-Khales B, Harley JB, Larson E, Jarvik GP, Brilliant M, Williams MS, Kullo IJ, Hysinger EB, Sleiman PM, Hakonarson H. Identification of four novel loci in asthma in European American and African American populations. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017;195(4):456-463. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201604-0861OC. PubMed


KPWHRI In the Media

Dementia is developing in a smaller proportion of older Americans over time

Whether statins cut Alzheimer's risk may depend on gender, race

HealthDay (syndicated), Dec. 12, 2016

News release

Dementia is developing in a smaller proportion of older Americans over time

November 21, 2016—Trend tied to more education, physical activity, and controlling heart risks, say Dr. Eric B. Larson and University of Michigan team.

Read news release.

KPWHRI In the Media

ACT study: Long-running study of aging examines changes in Group Health patients over time

Dr. Eric Larson gave up administration to chase dementia cure

Health Care Inc., Aug. 25, 2016

dementia & continuous care

Continuous medical care is crucial for people with dementia

Dr. Larson discusses how continuity of care for dementia patients may lower costs, emergency visits, and hospital stays.

Read it in Healthy Findings.