John Lavis is relied on by policymakers and stakeholders in many countries to build capacity to clarify health-system problems and their causes, frame options for addressing these problems, and identify implementation considerations. His research focuses on how to support the use of research evidence in health policymaking, both in high-income countries like Canada and in a broad range of countries internationally. He founded and continues to direct the McMaster Health Forum, including its Impact Lab. He founded and oversees the continuous updating of Health Systems Evidence, the world’s most comprehensive, free access point for high-quality evidence about how to strengthen or reform health systems, or how to get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them. He also founded and oversees the periodic expansion of Health Systems Learning, which combines online and face-to-face learning opportunities for health system policymakers and stakeholders about how to find and use research evidence and how to set agendas and develop and implement policies. He leads one of the five teams contributing to the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, which provides the world’s best research evidence about optimal aging, specifically packaged for citizens, clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers. He is co-chair of the World Health Organization (WHO)-sponsored Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Global Steering Group, and a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research.
He holds an MD from Queen's University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from Harvard University.