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

Crane PK, Trittschuh E, Shubhabrata M, Saykin AJ, Sanders E, Larson EB, McCurry SM, McCormick W, Bowen JD, Grabowski T, Moore M, Bauman J, Gross AL, Keene CD, Bird TE, Gibbons LE, Mez J, for the Executive Prominent Alzheimer’s Disease: Genetics and Risk Factors [EPAD:GRF] Investigators. Incidence of cognitively-defined late-onset Alzheimer’s disease subgroups from a prospective cohort study. Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Jun 14. pii: S1552-5260(17)30216-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.04.011. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Langa KM, Larson EB, Weir DR. Could the adoption of unleaded gasoline in the 1970s play a role in the precipitous decline in dementia prevalence?-reply. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Jun 1;177(6):893. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1083. No abstract available. PubMed

Tisminetzky M, Bayliss EA, Magaziner JS, Allore HG, Anzuoni K, Boyd CM, Gill TM, Go AS, Greenspan SL, Hanson LR, Hornbrook MC, Kitzman DW, Larson EB, Naylor MD, Shirley BE, Tai-Seale M, Teri L, Tinetti ME, Whitson HE, Gurwitz J. Research priorities to advance the science of multiple chronic conditions in older adults. J Am Geriatrics Soc, doi: 10.1111/jgs.14943. [Epub ahead of print 2017, May 26].

Mosley JD, Shoemaker MB, Wells QS, Darbar D, Shaffer CM, Edwards TL, Bastarache L, McCarty CA, Thompson W, Chute CG, Jarvik GP, Crosslin DR, Larson EB, Kullo IJ, Pacheco JA, Peissig PL, Brilliant MH, Linneman JG, Witte JS, Denny JC, Roden DM. Investigating the genetic architecture of the PR interval using clinical phenotypes. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2017 Apr;10(2). pii: e001482. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.116.001482. PubMed

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


Latest News

Targeting risk factors could prevent 1 in 3 dementia cases

International experts on The Lancet Commission report, including Dr. Eric B. Larson, identify 9 risk factors from childhood onward.

Read about it in News and Events.

Averting Dementia

Revenge of the super-agers: Healthy living may avert dementia

After decades of ‘magic bullet’ pursuits, world researchers shine light on the basics: education, good hearing, smoke-free living, and more.

Read about it in LinkedIn.

Enlightened Aging

Proactive boomers will ‘choose their own adventure’ in growing old

In an excerpt from his new book Enlightened Aging, Dr. Eric B. Larson encourages his generation to build reserves for a long life ahead.

Read it in Enlightened Aging

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