Learning and Knowledge Systems

The Division of Learning and Knowledge Systems aims to be the lead research and development hub for a new trans-disciplinary science of large scale learning systems. Our faculty and research staff include an interdisciplinary community of scientists with expertise in biomedical informatics, behavior change, organizational change theory, systems science, quality and performance improvement methods, and translational research. The division's activities focus on health-related systems at higher levels of scale: organizations, regional networks, national and multi-national systems. The division addresses how these systems can routinely learn and improve through continuous self-study and self-surveillance, application of analytical methods converting data to knowledge, and subsequent application of that knowledge to drive positive change. Our faculty and staff have played leadership roles in numerous Learning Health System initiatives at local and national levels.



  • Research programs examine fundamental questions related to the creation, operation, and sustainability of learning systems that support health care, public health, and biomedical research. 
  • The division coordinates a pan-university Learning Health System initiative, which aims to develop key elements that make possible a complete Learning Health System at a national and global scale. 
  • Members of the division are involved in the coordination teams for numerous regional and national Learning Health System events.


  • In pursuit of improving health, faculty in the Division of Learning and Knowledge Systems identify opportunities to continually "learn how to learn" better.
  • The division supports Learning Health for Michigan, a statewide initiative convened by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT). Learning Health for Michigan is a collaboration of multiple and diverse stakeholders aimed at realizing a state-level Learning Health System across Michigan. The division disseminates the lessons learned from this and other initiatives to help inform the development and improvement of learning systems.


May 17, 2017

Yearbook of Medical Informatics Features DLHS Chair

The first article in the 2017 Yearbook of Medical Informatics is "Toward an Information Infrastructure for Global Health Improvement" by Charles P. Friedman, PhD, Chair of the Department of Learning Health Sciences,  Joshua C. Rubin, JD, MBA, MPP, MPH, Learning Health System Initiatives along with Kevin J. Sullivan, PhD, an associate professor in the University of Virginia Department of Computer Science.

March 31, 2017

Raymond De Vries, PhD Featured in New Videos from The Trust Project

Bioethicist and sociologist Raymond De Vries, PhD presents a deeper look into the history of Trust in medicine for the The Trust Project at Northwestern University.

March 28, 2017

Dr. Karandeep Singh Receives EBS Teaching Award

Recently Karandeep Singh, M.D., MMSc, Clinical Assistant Professor, Learning Health Sciences was among nine recipients of the 2016 U-M Endowment for Basic Sciences Teaching Award.

March 15, 2017

Dr. R. Van Harrison Elected as First Public Board Member of ABPMR

In January 2017 the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) elected R. Van Harrison, PhD to be a board member and an advocate for the public on the previously all-physiatrist board.

March 9, 2017

HIMSS Information Exchange Features Joshua Rubin Interview

Joshua Rubin, JD, MBA, MPP, MPH, Program Officer for Learning Health System Initiatives at the University of Michigan Medical School Department of Learning Health Sciences emphasizes collaboration in the new HIMSS HIE inPractice FEATURE.