Respiratory Medicine

Respiratory Medicine

Respiratory diseases are increasing in prevalence and mortality, and today are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Members of the DCRI’s Respiratory Medicine research team are both physicians who care for patients with diverse respiratory problems and researchers who conduct clinical and translational research to improve outcomes for patients with respiratory disease.

A Pragmatic Approach to Respiratory Research

Respiratory research at the DCRI is distinguished by world-class faculty leading cutting-edge programs in airway biology, environmental health sciences, and lung fibrosis.

Our team has coordinated multicenter trials in many pulmonary diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lung transplantation. And through Duke, we’re connected to one of the largest and most successful lung-transplant programs in North America.

We’re trained physicians and trained researchers who understand the biology of the disease because we care for the patient population every day. Our investigators have pioneered new and pragmatic approaches to obtain clinical data for registry and trial studies improving study efficiency and data quality. The DCRI Respiratory team also includes operational experts with advanced training in study design, biostatistics, regulatory affairs, and clinical trials.

Jamie Todd, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor, DCRI Respiratory

“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

Selected Partnerships

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—PROspective Outcomes (IPF-PRO) Registry

The Biomarker Factory

  • Cross-Sectional Blood Banking and Processing
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

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. Since the registry’s launch in 2014, it has resulted in eight published manuscripts and at least 40 poster or abstract presentations.

Watch the videos to the right to learn more about how DCRI’s Respiratory team is making new discoveries by using the data collected through the IPF-PRO/ILD-PRO Registry.

Read more about our research in IPF:

  • IPF-PRO: Registries to Advance Research
  • Genetics in IPF Research



Collaborating on COVID-19 Research

Scott Palmer, MD, MHS, director of DCRI Respiratory research, is working with a multidisciplinary Duke University team to understand why some people who contract COVID-19 experience worse symptoms than others.

Sharing Expertise via American Thoracic Society

Due to COVID-19, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) decided to share knowledge virtually this year in lieu of hosting its annual conference. Visit the DCRI Events page for a full listing of published abstracts from DCRI faculty represented by ATS.

Respiratory Leadership at the DCRI

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 more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, received numerous awards, including election into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2012, chaired many sessions at national and international meetings, serves regularly on NIH study sections, and is on the editorial board of many prominent journals. He 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.

His scientific accomplishments include the first human studies to demonstrate the importance of innate immunity in transplant rejection and completion of a prospective multicenter study that improved CMV prevention after lung transplantation.

DCRI Respiratory Faculty

Duke Faculty Collaborators

DCRI Respiratory Fellow