Respiratory diseases are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Physician-scientists on DCRI’s Respiratory Medicine team care for patients with diverse respiratory conditions and conduct clinical and translational research to improve outcomes for these patients.

A Pragmatic Approach to Respiratory Research

Respiratory research at the DCRI is distinguished by its research faculty drawn from Duke’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, a top-tier academic division, as well as operational experts and biostatisticians with extensive experience in respiratory clinical trials. Additionally, DCRI researchers bring expertise in biomarkers and translational science to each research project.

DCRI’s Respiratory Medicine team designs and coordinates multicenter trials and registries studying a wide range of pulmonary conditions, including airway biology, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and lung transplantation. Because DCRI investigators are trained physicians who care for patients every day, they understand the biology of lung diseases and know firsthand which research questions will have the greatest impact on patients’ lives.

DCRI researchers work closely with operational experts who have advanced training in study design, biostatistics, regulatory affairs, and clinical trials. The team has pioneered novel and pragmatic approaches to obtain clinical data, improving study efficiency and data quality.

Jamie Todd, MD, MHS

"We’re on the cusp of a decade or two of promise—where we can go from these observations in the lab to really bringing meaningful treatment back to patients."

— Jamie Todd, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor, DCRI Respiratory

Our Clinical Expertise

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hyperbaric medicine
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung injury following bone marrow transplantation
  • Lung transplantation
  • Pediatric lung disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sarcoid

Selected Partnerships

DCRI’s Respiratory Medicine team conducts studies supported by a range of sponsors, from pharmaceutical companies to government entities.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

  • IPFnet
  • Lung Regeneration and Repair Consortium (LRRC)
  • Molecular Atlas of Lung Development—Data Coordinating Center

National Institute of Allergy Immunology and Infectious Disease

  • The Lung Transplant Clinical Trials Network (LT-CTN)

Columbia University

  • Obesity, Inflammation, and Lung Injury after Lung Transplantation

Centers for Disease Control

  • Proteomics of Flavorings-Induced Airway Disease

Bristol-Myers Company

  • Phase II Study of Safety and Efficacy in Subjects with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation

  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Interstitial Lung Disease Prospective Outcomes (IPF-PRO/ILD-PRO) Registry

The Biomarker Factory

  • Cross-Sectional Blood Banking and Processing

Seeking Answers via Real-World Data

The Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Interstitial Lung Disease Prospective Outcomes (IPF-PRO/ILD-PRO) Registry collects data and biological samples as patients with these two progressive lung diseases seek routine care. The registry aims to enable new discoveries that help advance understanding of these diseases and improve patient care. Since its inception in 2014, the registry has resulted in:

  • Over 1,800 patients enrolled
  • Over 96 conference abstracts presented
  • 18 manuscripts published

Watch the videos below to learn more about the DCRI Respiratory team’s work using data from the IPF-PRO/ILD-PRO Registry.

Read more about our research in IPF:

Respiratory Leadership at the DCRI

Scott Palmer, MD, MHS

Scott M. Palmer, MD, MHS, Director

Scott M. Palmer leads a successful program of clinical, basic and translational research in transplantation and advanced lung diseases. He currently directs the respiratory research program at the DCRI and serves as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine.

Palmer has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and has received numerous awards, including election into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2012. He has chaired many sessions at national and international meetings, serves regularly on NIH study sections, and is on the editorial board of many prominent journals. Palmer is also Associate Director of the Clinical Research Training Program at Duke and has personally mentored over 40 pre-and post-doctoral trainees, many of whom are now engaged in their own successful research careers.

Palmer's scientific accomplishments include the first human studies to demonstrate the importance of innate immunity in transplant rejection, as well as the completion of a prospective multicenter study that improved CMV prevention after lung transplantation.