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forrestb [at]
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3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Christopher B. Forrest, MD, PhD
Christopher B. Forrest Headshot
Director, Center for Applied Clinical Research

Dr. Forrest's research focuses on developing novel ways of conducting multi-center pediatric applied clinical research, child health services and outcomes research, pediatric person-reported outcome measure development and application, life course health science, learning health systems science, and policies and programs that promote the lifelong health of children. He has a particular interest in the concept and measurement of health.



In 1997, Dr. Forrest authored one of the first papers on the new field of child health services research and laid out a research agenda, which he has pursued since. In that manuscript, he described the need to develop pediatric-specific clinical research infrastructure, databases, and outcome measures.

Dr. Forrest has been at the forefront of building a national infrastructure for pediatric clinical, translational, and patient-centered research. He serves as principal investigator (PI) for PEDSnet, one of nine clinical research networks that constitute PCORnet<>, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.

PEDSnet has created an analysis-ready database for >6 million children by transforming source institutional electronic health record data into Common Data Models. The network is currently supporting 40 clinical research studies. Regarding outcomes, Dr. Forrest has played a seminal role in advancing the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Pediatric initiative, and is dedicated to ensuring that PROMIS becomes a standard for assessing children’s self-reported health.

In addition, Dr. Forrest served as the Chair of the Executive Committee for the NIH Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, led a large pediatric research site for the second phase of the initiative, and recently received an NIH award to conduct clinical validation of PROMIS measures as part of the PEPR Consortium, for which he serves as Chair of the Steering Committee. His research team has developed 20 PROMIS measures during this interval with support from NIH, PCORI, and AHRQ.

Dr. Forrest also led the development of the learning health system researcher training competencies, which formed the basis of a recent AHRQ/PCORI K12 RFP, and serves as the PI for one of the K12 program’s centers of excellence, a program called PEDSnet Scholars. Finally, Dr. Forrest has authored several manuscripts and a recent book on life course health development, which lays out the theory, concepts, and research needs for this new field.

Education and Training

BA, Boston University (Biology), 1982

MD, Boston University, 1986

PhD, Johns Hopkins University (Health Services Research), 1995

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Center for Applied Clinical Research

Academic Investigator, Healthy Weight Program

Attending Physician

Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

Academic Pediatric Association, 1997-

AcademyHealth, 1997-

International Society for Quality of Life Research, 2000-

Professional Awards

Child Health Services Investigator of the Year, AcademyHealth, 2004

Most Outstanding Research Abstract of the Year, AcademyHealth, 2011

John Morgan Society, University of Pennsylvania, 2016

Publication Highlights

Halfon N, Forrest CB, Lerner RM, Faustman EM. Handbook of Life Course Health Development. Springer. 2018 Dec; 1–666. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47143
Forrest CB, Chesley FD, Tregear ML, Mistry KB. Development of the Learning Health System Researcher Core Competencies. Health Serv Res. 2017 Aug; PMID: 28777456
Forrest CB, Simpson L, Clancy C. Child health services research. Challenges and opportunities. JAMA. 2017 Jun; 277(22):1787-93.PMID: 9178792
Forrest CB, Margolis P, Seid M, Colletti RB. PEDSnet: How A Prototype Pediatric Learning Health System Is Being Expanded Into A National Network. Health Aff. 2014 Jul; 33(7):1171-7PMID: 25006143
Forrest CB, Bevans KB, Pratiwadi R, Moon J, Teneralli RE, Minton JM, Tucker CA. Development of the PROMIS pediatric global health (PGH-7) measure. Qual Life Res. 2014 May; 23(4):1221-31. PMID: 24264804

Links of Interest