Debra Harris


Debra Harris

Associate Director, Pragmatic Health Services Research


Debra Fasteson Harris, BA, is Associate Director of Operations, Pragmatic Health Systems Research, at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. In this role, she oversees all aspects of the day-to-day and strategic operations for the Pragmatic Health Systems Research group, including project management and data integrations. She is a clinical trial-ist who focuses on leveraging existing electronic sources of health data, including claims and electronic health records (EHRs), for research.

A proven clinical research team leader in academic and commercial environments, Harris has expertise in developing processes, organizational infrastructure and implementing data work flows and information systems in alignment with organizational and research goals.

In addition to Harris’s work in pragmatic health systems research, her 23 years of experience include five years with a clinical research organization (CRO). Since joining the DCRI in 1998, she has worked in Data Management, with a focus on cardiovascular MegaTrials, where she led the transition from paper-based to electronic data collection, integrated various data sources, implemented novel data cleaning and data surveillance and monitoring approaches, and implemented best-in-class data reporting. During her two years in CEC (clinical events classification) and Safety Surveillance at the DCRI, she led endpoint adjudication and safety surveillance efforts, including implementation of online adjudication and serious adverse event management systems and improved quality control measures. Before taking up her current position, she served as operations director for the DCRI’s Integrated Clinical Events and Safety Surveillance (ICE-SS) group. Ms. Harris has a BA from Vassar College, with a major in psychology.

“Data is plentiful. Accurate and robust interpretation of the available data and its sources is the critical foundation for generating reliable evidence and medical knowledge to improve patient care.”