25th anniversary logo

Twenty-five years after DCRI’s founding, an enduring spirit of innovation has enabled the institute to affect change in most every aspect of clinical research and realize our mission to improve health around the world.

Where does the DCRI go next? In the video at right, listen to the institute’s former and current executive directors discuss their proud moments while at DCRI’s helm as well as their hopes for DCRI’s next 25 years.

Explore the Five Tenets of Our Vision

Formally founded in 1996, the DCRI followed in the footsteps of Duke pioneers who envisioned novel ways to learn about health and health care. Learn more about the visionary leaders of the early DCRI by listening to founding director Dr. Robert Califf (video at left), and by exploring the five tenets of our vision outlined below.

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Generating world-class evidence to improve health

At the DCRI, clinical research and patient care are inextricably linked. The world-renowned faculty who lead DCRI studies are also practicing physicians who care for patients. Their clinical work inspires and informs their research; they study what they see and seek answers that will results in therapies and treatments that will improve patients' lives. DCRI faculty are uniquely aided by the institute's deeply talented staff of operational experts, partnering together to conduct bench-to-bedside research based in evidence that will transform clinical care.

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Sharing and implementing knowledge widely

The DCRI's mission to share knowledge is unwavering. It is the end and the beginning of every DCRI project; while knowledge dissemination closes one chapter, it inevitably opens another by raising new research questions. As an academic research organization, the DCRI commits to sharing broadly, without exception, its results—through publishing in scientific journals, speaking at professional conferences, and other high-profile outlets. We strive to ensure the knowledge we generate has as broad an impact as possible, from helping to inform regulatory decisions at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to returning results to our most important stakeholders—research participants.

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Creating novel methods that accelerate clinical research

Throughout its history, the DCRI has led the way in imagining and implementing new approaches in every facet of clinical research, from innovative trial design and statistical methodologies to novel endpoints. By introducing novel methods as the new "gold standard" for how research should be conducted, the DCRI is forging new frontiers for how evidence generation can change lives.

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Improving health equity through our research

As the world's largest academic research institute, at the DCRI, we are keenly aware that the past informs today's clinical research challenges and tomorrow's solutions. Put simply, there is more work to be done to ensure equity in clinical research. The blueprint for designing research that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable is being revisited and revitalized—and led by DCRI physician scientists who look like the patients they care for.

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Developing the next generation

Our legacy remains a launch pad for the next generation of clinical researchers. The DCRI's Fellowship Program, the premier training program, provides both a solid foundation in basic clinical research approaches and fertile ground for testing new ideas. The program attracts trainees from around the globe, ensuring that the DCRI's vision is sustainable not only here in Durham, but is also a seed that cultivates mission-based research throughout the world.

Sample Trials and Networks

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