Diane Harper MD MPH MS

Diane M. Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, U-M College of Engineering
Professor, Department of Women's and Gender Studies, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Areas of Research
HPV associated diseases, screening and prevention of cervical cancer


University of Michigan
Department of Family Medicine
1018 Fuller Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

Administrative Contact


Dr. Diane M. Harper is an internationally recognized clinical research expert in HPV associated diseases, their prevention, early detection, and treatment for the prevention of cancer.  She has been a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to advise on global guidelines and to set up screening and prevention operations in low and middle income countries to prevent cervical cancer.  She received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the European Research Organization on Genital Infection and Neoplasia for her scientific work as well as the Femmes de l'Année Prix Monte Carlo which honors one local and one international woman a year for her influence in bettering women's lives around the world.  

Dr. Harper has a strong interest in public health, epidemiology, and health behaviors, all fields in which she is widely published.  She has over 200 publications and tens of thousands citations, has contributed to multiple textbooks, and has participated in US and Global cervical cancer screening guidelines recommendation publications.  She has been a member of the United States Preventive Services Task Force.

Dr. Harper is also renowned for her educational commitment in medicine receiving the Excellence in Education award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) for her lifetime dedication to education.  In addition, she was honored with the Curtis G Hames Research award from the three Family Medicine organizations: STFM, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the North American Primary Care Research Group.  Dr. Harper has completed the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine fellowship and has served as the Chair of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville with the Rowntree Endowment. 

Dr. Harper joined the instructional track faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in early 2018.

Research Interests: Prevention, screening, early detection and treatment of HPV associated cancers including cervix, anus, oropharynx; evidence-based guidelines development; women's health

Research for the under-served: women in rural Michigan, women of Arab American descent, African American women, women with disabilities, Native American women. Hispanic women will be added in the near future. 


Medical School

M.D., University of Kansas Medical School (KUMC), 1986


Kansas University Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine

Advanced Degrees

M.P.H., Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Kansas Medical School, 1995

M.S., Polymerics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1982

Published Articles or Reviews

Key Publications
  1. Villa LL, Costa RL, Petta CA, et al. Prophylactic quadrivalent human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 virus-like particle vaccine in young women: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre phase II efficacy trial. The Lancet Oncology. 2005;6(5):271-278. doi:10.1016/s1470-2045(05)70101-7.
  2. Garland SM, Hernandez-Avila M, Wheeler CM, et al. Quadrivalent Vaccine against Human Papillomavirus to Prevent Anogenital Diseases. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007;356(19):1928-1943. doi:10.1056/nejmoa061760.
  3. Harper DM, Franco EL, Wheeler C, et al. Efficacy of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine in prevention of infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2004;364(9447):1757-1765. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(04)17398-4.
  4. Harper DM, Franco EL, Wheeler CM, et al. Sustained efficacy up to 4·5 years of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine against human papillomavirus types 16 and 18: follow-up from a randomised control trial. The Lancet. 2006;367(9518):1247-1255. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(06)68439-0.
  5. Paavonen J, Jenkins D, Bosch FX, et al. Efficacy of a prophylactic adjuvanted bivalent L1 virus-like-particle vaccine against infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: an interim analysis of a phase III double-blind, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2007;369(9580):2161-2170. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(07)60946-5.

Dr. Harper's CV

Every new piece of evidence revealed to me begs me to ask another question! How could we address a question better? How do we sample better? How do we respect the integrity of a person who has seen significant trauma, and still provide the best health care for her? What is the next question that will emerge?