Faculty Directory

Lawrence S Phillips, MD

Lawrence S. Phillips MD headshot

Professor of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine

Staff Physician
Director, Clinical Studies Center
Atlanta VA Medical Center

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PHONE: 404-727-1392
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Division of Endocrinology
101 Woodruff Circle, WMRB 1027
Atlanta, GA, 30322



Dr. Phillips was educated at Swarthmore College and Harvard Medical School, followed by residency at Rush University Medical Center, 2 years at the CDC, and fellowship training at Washington University School of Medicine. He is Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism, is listed as one of the Best Doctors in America, and has been a Professor of Medicine at Emory for 30 years. At Emory, he has been Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Program Director of the General Clinical Research Center. He is currently the Director of the Clinical Studies Center at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. He has been engaged in research, teaching, and the clinical practice of endocrinology for over 40 years, and has published over 200 articles in peer-review journals. He has had funding from the National Institutes of Health, the VA, and the American Diabetes Association for research in physiology, molecular biology, and improving diabetes management.
His clinical research interests span a range from assessment of insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, epidemiology, medical economics, evaluation of new diabetes drugs, improvement of health care delivery, to strategies to detect and manage diabetes early in its natural history. In recent years, he analyzed decision-making by health care providers and showed that diabetes therapy was often not intensified despite high glucose levels – identified as "clinical inertia". After demonstrating that interventions focused on overcoming clinical inertia led to improved metabolic control in the Grady Diabetes Clinic, he then extended his objectives to a broader patient population. Dr. Phillips developed novel strategies which helped to overcome clinical inertia and improve diabetes management in primary care settings as well.
At Emory and the VA, he currently leads two major, NIH-supported clinical trials – the GRADE study and the D2d study; NIH-supported studies of the VA’s MOVE! lifestyle change program; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-supported studies of a new screening strategy to detect cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and prediabetes; industry-supported studies of new, diabetes-related pharmaceutical agents; and additional diabetes-related epidemiologic studies.
Two additional major emphases are (i) to demonstrate that the natural history of type 2 diabetes can be changed by early identification and appropriate management – preventing or delaying progression of the disease and the development of complications; and (ii) to develop computer software aimed to facilitate diabetes management via team-based decision support integrated into electronic health records – with the goals of improving control, sustaining beta cell function, reducing hypoglycemia and diabetes complications, and lowering costs. 

Research Center(s)