DCRI participates in new Duke Health research initiative

October 3, 2017 – Translating Duke Health will identify areas where Duke can make significant contributions to patient care.

A version of this story first appeared on the Duke School of Medicine (SOM) blog.

Translating Duke Health (TDH), an initiative principally sponsored by the Duke University SOM and Duke Health in collaboration with other Duke entities, formally launched on September 13. The multi-year, multidisciplinary program will focus on areas where Duke Health can make the most significant contributions to health and healthcare. TDH is a direct outgrowth of Duke Health’s Advancing Health Together Strategic Planning Framework.

“The creation of the Translating Duke Health initiative began months ago, spurred by the recognition that Duke is uniquely positioned to address many of the world’s most significant scientific and healthcare challenges. It represents a firm commitment by Duke Health to fulfill a vision of making impactful discoveries and transforming health for millions,” said Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean, Duke University SOM and Vice Chancellor, Health Affairs. “This ambitious initiative will amplify Duke as a leader among our peers, as a unique destination for care and promise for our patients, and as a place where the best minds participate in meaningful, impactful science.”

TDH will initially focus on five opportunities—areas where Duke Health can have the greatest impact on transformative treatments and prevention strategies—selected by the steering committee:

  • Preserving and restoring cardiovascular health
  • Enhancing brain resilience and repair
  • Ending disease where it begins
  • Controlling the immune system
  • Combating solid tumor brain metastases

DCRI faculty have been involved in TDH at a leadership level since the planning begun. The cardiovascular area’s steering committee includes DCRI’s Pamela Douglas, MD, Ursula Geller Professor for Research in Cardiovascular Diseases (pictured), who leads the cardiovascular initiative; Lesley Curtis, PhD, Professor, Medicine and Interim Chair, Department of Population Health Sciences; Kevin Hill, MD, Associate Professor, Pediatrics; and Manesh Patel, MD, Professor, Medicine and Chief, Division of Cardiology.

Additionally, during the summer the cardiovascular steering committee held a series of cross-disciplinary workshops, in which the following DCRI faculty served as speakers or moderators for the discussions:

  • Recovery from MI: Lesley Curtis, Pam Douglas, Dan Mark, Kristin Newby
  • Prevention of Vascular Disease: Neha Pagidipati, Manesh Patel
  • Recovery from Heart Failure: Adrian Hernandez, Joseph Rogers
  • Recovery from Surgery: John Alexander, Kevin Hill, Paul Wischmeyer

“The TDH initiative will span basic research to clinical research to population health, which obviously includes DCRI’s areas of expertise and activities,” said Douglas. “DCRI could be a partner with TDH in every one of the five opportunity areas.”

In addition to the workshops and a symposium for fall 2018, the TDH cardiovascular team currently is focused on recruitment of key translational faculty positions; creating a new mechanism for cross-cutting seed grants; and planning for a model “clinic of the future” for cardiovascular care, in which patients are engaged in research as part of receiving care at the clinic.​

Visit the Translating Duke Health website to learn more and watch the videos about each of the five opportunity areas.