Dr. Hernandez with a patient


Designing Studies That Unveil Truths

Research That Shapes Tomorrow’s Patient Care

As part of the Duke University School of Medicine, our faculty are physician-scientists who actively care for patients as well as statistical faculty. Together with our experienced operations teams, they design and implement innovative clinical trials grounded in the realities of patient care. We expand the impact of clinical research beyond regulatory approval by designing trials that advance our fundamental understanding of health and disease and inform efforts to improve the quality of care.

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Worldwide Operational Excellence

Our knowledgeable and experienced clinical operations teams expertly manage all aspects of global clinical trials, from Phases I through IV. Additionally, impeccable data integrity and biostatistical expertise yield credible study results that change clinical practice. The DCRI is a pioneer in cardiovascular and pediatric clinical research, and conducts groundbreaking clinical research across multiple other therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, neuroscience, respiratory medicine, and nephrology.

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The ARO Difference

As an academic clinical research organization, the DCRI unites the clinical expertise and academic leadership of a premier teaching hospital with the capabilities of a full-service contract research organization. Thus our teams of faculty and operational experts provide the independence, scientific leadership, and collaborative approaches to look at research challenges differently:

  • Our researchers include practicing physicians who implement trials that are grounded in the realities of clinical care.
  • Our experienced teams deploy nimble and responsive operational approaches.
  • We offer the best-in-class statistics, informatics, and quantitative science.
  • We have extensive knowledge of local clinical practice patterns and regulatory requirements, both across the United States and worldwide.

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Our Mission

To develop, share, and implement knowledge that improves health around the world through innovative clinical research.

Our Vision

To be the leading academic clinical research organization that:

  • Generates world-class evidence to improve health;
  • Creates novel methods that accelerate clinical research;
  • Shares and implements knowledge widely;
  • Develops the next generation; and
  • Improves health equity through our research.

Our Values

At the DCRI, our values honor our history and guide our actions and daily decisions. Our values and our mission help us define what it means to be successful—as an organization, as individuals, and as a partner to our sponsors. Together, we are making tomorrow better than today—one patient, one question, one innovation at a time.


DCRI's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The DCRI recognizes that diversity, equality, and inclusivity are essential to the success of our Institute. We strive to recognize all of humanity equally, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. This commitment is reflected in DCRI’s values, culture, and research objectives. The Institute’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion includes:

Increasing diverse representation: Mentor our leadership and staff to create diverse teams that support innovation and high-quality clinical research.

Empowering courageous engagements: Courageously engage to drive continuous change for a more inclusive workplace.

Advancing population health and improving health equity for all people: Increase participation of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in our clinical trials to match the community affected by the health challenge.

The DCRI is part of the Duke School of Medicine and Duke Health, which are taking a collective stand against systemic racism and injustice via the Moments to Movement initiative.

Bell Research Building

Our History

The inception of the DCRI dates back to 1969 and the formation of the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, the world’s oldest and largest cardiovascular database. The DCRI as it is known today was formally created in 1996, with Robert M. Califf, MD, serving as our first executive director.

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