Palmer, other Duke researchers receive NIH awards for training program

August 2, 2018 – The awards will support dedicated research track for resident-investigators within the departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Surgery.

Scott Palmer, MD, MHS, faculty director of the DCRI’s Respiratory Medicine group, is one of three Duke faculty members who recently received two R38 awards from two institutes within the National Institutes of Health—the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The other Duke recipients are Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics, immunology, and molecular genetics and microbiology; and David Harpole, MD, professor of surgery, associate professor in pathology, and resident research director. Both awards provide approximately $884,000 over five years to support dedicated research track for resident-investigators within the departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Surgery.

The awards will support Duke’s Stimulating Access to Research during Residency (StARR) program. StARR is intended to address the declining number of opportunities for medical and scientist trainees to conduct research. The program trains physician-scientists in all aspects of biomedical research in order to cultivate investigators who will lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of new clinical modalities to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease states affecting the heart, lungs, and blood. Instructors will train residents in the three departments in areas that span the biomedical research continuum (basic/translational, early phase clinical trials and pharmacokinetics, and late phase clinical trials and outcomes) with a the goal of improving overall lifetime health.

Duke School of Medicine Dean Mary E. Klotman also recently announced plans to form a new Office for Physician-Scientist Development at Duke to coordinate Duke’s efforts in the recruitment, development, mentorship, and retention of physician-scientist across career levels. A search is underway for an Associate Dean for Physician-Scientist Development that will be responsible for the operational and strategic oversight of these new initiatives.

“Duke’s receipt of these important awards and establishment of this new office will catapult our ongoing efforts to encourage and help develop more physician-scientists, the number of which has been steadily decreasing,” said Klotman. “Physician-scientists bring a knowledge of both laboratory and clinical research that is essential for translating discovery.”