As our population ages and more people are living with chronic disease, the need for effective palliative care will only increase. It is one of our core missions to advance knowledge in the field of palliative medicine, by fostering new and cutting-edge research opportunities. Division faculty, together with the Adult Palliative Medicine Program, focus on a diverse range of research interests, and study all the different aspects of treating serious illness.


To improve care for patients with serious illness and their families by promoting palliative care research. In partnership with the Palliative Care Clinical Services at the VA and Michigan Medicine, our aim is to rapidly translate findings into clinical practice.

Specifically, the PCRP aims to provide a mechanism to:

  • establish institutional priorities for palliative care research.
  • develop a new generation of researchers in palliative care.
  • coordinate and support studies focused on improving care for patients living with serious illness and their family caregivers.

Our Research 

Michigan Medicine offers a vibrant environment for investigators interested in palliative care research.

Current palliative care research falls into three domains:

  • Clinical trials to enhance symptom management of patients with serious illness and reduce the burden upon their caregivers.
  • Health services research into the efficacy of advance directives and determinants of quality of life.
  • Studies to assess the needs of learners and the outcomes of palliative care education.

Key strengths of Michigan Medicine include:

  • Pre-existing data collection tools and systems to support clinical trials in palliative care.
  • Pre-existing clinical and survey datasets for secondary data analyses.
  • Broad experience across the Schools of Nursing and Medicine, as well as across departments. 

Central coordination of palliative care research would foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and provide access to local resources for conducting research, in turn, increasing the fundability of this talented pool of investigators.