Doctor as Designer
Joyce Lee, MD, MPH





To make a meaningful impact on individual health and health outcomes, researchers need to be unafraid to tackle new methodologies, collaborate with individuals with skills and talents outside of the the biomedical research complex, and embrace technology in research given that we live in a networked, connected world.  

I am formally trained in clinical and health services research with a Masters in Public Health, but I also use methods of design ethnography, participatory design, human-centered design, quality improvement science, and digital/social media communications in my work. I have fantastic collaborators at large in the community as well as from multiple schools at the University of Michigan (Schools of Information, Art and Design, Computer Science & Engineering). Funding for my work comes from NIH as well as private sources. For a list of my publications, please see my CV.

Below are my research themes and highlights of research projects.


Emerging Technologies & the Maker Movement in Healthcare

Nightscout Research

We are conducting research with members of the Nightscout Community to learn about diabetes hacking, making, and innovation in the community and to create opportunities for participatory design, citizen science, and open science diabetes research. Check out this web page to learn more about our research and to learn more about how to contribute to the Nightscout Data Commons.

Data Visualization and Mobile Technology for Diabetes

We are using principles of human-centered design to understand how to create effective context-aware mobile technology systems and patient-centered personalized interactive data visualizations for individuals with type 1 diabetes (funded by an R21 from AHRQ).


Health Outcomes for Type 1 Diabetes Patients

Design of a Learning Health System for Type 1 Diabetes

With colleagues from the @T1DExchange and the @C3N Project, we are designing a learning health system for type 1 diabetes.  We are working with patients, caregivers, clinicians, information technology specialists, systems design experts, quality improvement specialists, and community organizers to design and create this system. For more information about our work, please view the Storify from design meeting 1 and design meeting 2


Quality Improvement & Screening Methods for Obese Children

Conventional and Metabolomic Biomarkers for Identifying Children with Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes  

This project is funded by an NIH R01 grant to study the longitudinal performance of conventional and metabolomic biomarkers for identifying children with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Please see for more information about eligibility and study requirements.



For a list of my publications, please see my CV.