The research efforts of Paul D. Scanlon, M.D., relate to occupational or environmental lung diseases, new methods and clinical application of pulmonary function testing, evaluation of and intervention for obstructive lung diseases, and the beneficial effects of humanities in health care.
Lung health and disease. Mayo Clinic was one of 10 clinical centers for the Lung Health Studies, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Dr. Scanlon and colleagues continue data analysis and publications from those landmark studies.
Currently funded studies for which Dr. Scanlon is investigator or co-investigator include the NHLBI-funded COPD Clinical Research Network, the NHLBI-funded Lung Tissue Research Consortium and numerous clinical trials of new medications for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) funded by pharmaceutical companies.
- Pulmonary clinical research. As medical director of the Mayo Clinic Pulmonary Clinical Research Center, Dr. Scanlon supports clinical research studies of a wide variety of pulmonary conditions, including those related to occupational and environmental exposures such as asbestos and beryllium. The Pulmonary Clinical Research Center has supported Mayo Clinic participation in studies such as the National Emphysema Treatment Trial, the Spiral CT Lung Cancer Screening Trial and the National Lung Screening Trial. The center also supports numerous intervention studies for interstitial lung diseases and pulmonary vasculitis.
- Pulmonary function. As medical director of the Mayo Clinic Pulmonary Function Laboratory, Dr. Scanlon works to develop and improve current understanding of pulmonary function testing within the pulmonary community. His laboratory is responsible for the original description of the nonspecific pattern and the complex restrictive pattern, which together constitute nearly 15 percent of all complete pulmonary function tests.
Humanities in health care. As medical director of the Mayo Clinic Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities in Medicine and as chair of the Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine Committee, Dr. Scanlon leads programs in medical humanities.
He and his colleagues incorporate programs based in the arts and diverse expressions of human culture into the healing environment of Mayo Clinic. These programs are intended to improve patient experience and outcomes, increase employee satisfaction and prevent burnout, and improve learner outcomes, especially communications skills. Research efforts seek to measure the effectiveness of these programs.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Scanlon's long-term research goal is to better serve patients with pulmonary illnesses by developing and applying better diagnostic tools and treatment options for diseases such as lung cancer and COPD.