Lori Laffel, MD, MPH, focuses her research on preventing the late complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and preserving the health, normal growth, development, and family functioning of children, adolescents, and young adults with diabetes.
A primary focus of Dr. Laffel's research is the design, implementation, and evaluation of clinic-based interventions aimed at increasing family involvement in the day-to-day care of youth with diabetes in order to prevent deteriorations in adherence and glycemic control that usually occur during late adolescence and persist during the stage of emerging adulthood. This effort has had ongoing funding from the NIH and private foundations since 1993.
Dr. Laffel, along with colleague and collaborator Barbara Anderson, PhD, from Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, pioneered the development and implementation of a cost-effective model of care in which a "Care Ambassador" encourages routine clinic attendance and adherence to diabetes management tasks (e.g., BG monitoring). This model has been translated into routine care in the Joslin pediatric clinical program and elsewhere following multiple empiric studies performed at Joslin.
Another focus of Dr. Laffel's research is the use of technologies, such as CGM, automated insulin delivery, and text messaging systems, in diabetes management. She is an expert in the area of CGM use in youth with type 1 diabetes and was co-chair of the landmark multi-site JDRF CGM RCT.
Dr. Laffel is also a Principal Investigator and member of the National Steering Committee for the NIH-funded TODAY study, the largest clinical trial involving youth with type 2 diabetes to date.
Dr. Laffel is Chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section in the Joslin Clinic, Senior Investigator/Co-Head of Joslin's Section on Clinical, Behavioral and Outcomes Research, and a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is also a member of the JDRF's Research Advisory Committee. Dr. Laffel received her MD from the University of Miami School of Medicine and her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her post-doctoral training at Boston Children's Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center. Dr. Laffel has received multiple awards, including the 2015 American Diabetes Association Outstanding Physician-Clinician Award, the 2016 Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award, and the 2016 University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Hall of Fame Award.