Duc M. Ha MD, MAS

Clinician Investigator

Duc M. Ha MD, MAS, is a Clinician Investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research (KPCO IHR). His research interests include lung cancer survivorship care. He is particularly interested in the role of exercise-based and rehabilitation strategies to improve the function and quality of life of lung cancer survivors following curative intent therapy. His longer-term goals are to use rehabilitation as a care model to adapt, deliver, and evaluate collaborative, multidisciplinary, and holistic approaches aimed at improving survivorship outcomes, including the physical and psychosocial function, independence, well-being, and quality of life of lung and other cancer survivors.

Dr. Ha received his medical training at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, completed residency in Internal Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, and fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Medicine at the University of California San Diego. At UCSD, Dr. Ha also conducted postdoctoral research and training focused on exercise physiology, patient-reported outcome assessments, and lung cancer survivorship following curative intent therapy. He obtained a Master of Advanced Study (MAS) in Clinical Research through the UCSD Clinical and Translational Research Institute. His research has been supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), American Cancer Society (ACS), and American Lung Association (ALA).

Dr. Ha is also Staff Pulmonologist at the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He is a long-standing and active member of the American Thoracic Society, including the Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Thoracic Oncology Assemblies.

Selected Research:


  • Inspiratory Muscle Training & Walking in Telerehabilitation following Curative Intent Therapy of Lung Cancer
  • The project goal is to conduct a pilot randomized study of a telerehabilitation intervention consisting of inspiratory muscle training + walking promotion to reverse a postulated “dyspnea-inactivity” spiral among lung cancer survivors following curative intent therapy of lung cancer.

    • Funder: American Lung Association
    • Award End Date: 06/30/2023

  • Lung Health-Related Behaviors among Individuals at High Risk for Lung Cancer
  • This project aims to use the Kaiser Permanente National Research Bank – the second-largest biobank in the US that collects survey and biospecimens linked with electronic medical records of over 11.6 million eligible Kaiser Permanente members – to characterize lung health-related behaviors (smoking, physical activity, and sedentary behavior) with spirometry among people at high risk and eligible for lung cancer screening.

    • Funder: KPCO IHR, 2021 Strategic Targeted Allocation of Resources Program
    • Award End Date: 12/30/2021


  • Physical Activity in Lung Cancer
  • This project aims to characterize the physical activity and sedentary behaviors of individuals eligible for lung cancer screening using data from the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank (KPRB).

    • Funder: KPCO IHR, 2020 Strategic Targeted Allocation of Resources Program
    • Award End Date: 12/30/2020

  • Exercise Behavior in Earlier Stage Lung Cancer
  • This project examined the relationship between pre-diagnosis exercise behavior (the Exercise Vital Sign) and clinical outcomes among stage I-IIIA lung cancer patients. The longer-term goals are to adapt and pilot exercise-/rehabilitation-based interventions to improve physical activity and function in these patients following curative intent therapy.

    • Funder: KPCO IHR, 2019 Strategic Targeted Allocation of Resources Program
    • Award End Date: 12/30/2019

  • Physiological and Patient-reported Outcome Assessments in Lung Cancer
  • The aims of this project were: (1) in a cross-sectional study of lung cancer survivors eligible for long-term cure, assess and analyze the relationship between exercise physiological measures of health and patient-reported outcomes; and (2) in a prospective observational cohort study, quantify the health decrements associated with curative-intent lung cancer treatment using exercise physiological and patient-reported outcome measures.

    • Funder: American Cancer Society, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    • Award End Date: 08/30/2018