Diversity Research

As the world's largest academic research institute, at the DCRI, we are keenly aware that the past informs today's clinical research challenges and tomorrow's solutions. Put simply, there is more work to be done to ensure equity in clinical research. The blueprint for designing research that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable is being revisited and revitalized—and led by DCRI physician scientists who look like the patients they care for.
doctor and patient

Finding the Right Answers

We work to close the gap and alleviate disparities in a variety of ways. From focusing on representation in our provider base to ensure that patients feel comfortable with their providers to designing representative clinical trials, the DCRI ensures all patients have a voice in every phase of the health care journey.

Designing Representative Clinical Trials & Interventions

By striving for clinical trial enrollment to meet the population distribution and disease burden, the DCRI can be sure that its research helps to form clinical guidelines that will impact all affected patient groups. DCRI researchers also focus on creating interventions that will address disparities and improve outcomes in underrepresented populations.



The PIONEER-HF study analyzed the safety of in-hospital initiation of sacubitril-valsartan for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Led by the DCRI’s Adam DeVore, the study population included 36 percent black patients. DeVore noted that diverse representation helped to provide "much-needed data on the use of this therapy in this population."


Stakeholder Engagement

group of people holding sign that reads 'Adaptable'

The DCRI Stakeholder Engagement program brings patients and community members together with sponsors and investigators to co-design clinical research. Through the program's Research Together™ initiative, the DCRI developed guiding principles of participant engagement with the intention of developing relationships that are bidirectional – everyone learns from each other and everyone gains value.

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VIVID Pilot Study

A pilot study conducted by the DCRI’s Kevin Thomas, MD, found that showing black patients an educational video about their treatment options increased the patients’ acceptance rate for treatment. A larger study to test the intervention is ongoing.

two circular charts
two circular charts

Sharing Knowledge That Leads to Equitable Care

DCRI Diversity/Equity Publications 2012-2021 graph

In alignment with the DCRI's mission to improve health care around the world, the institute's thought leaders regularly share their insights through peer-reviewed publications and at major conferences.

In the last ten years, the DCRI has published over 80 articles on topics that highlight crucial findings related to equity, race/ethnicity, and sex/gender.

Most recently, the DCRI served as the data analytics center for the American Heart Association's (AHA) COVID registry's racial/ethnicity disparities project which shed light on the pandemic's impact on racial minorities. Findings were presented at the AHA 2020 Scientific Sessions.

world map

Celebrating 25 Years of Improving Health Equity through Our Research

Formally founded in 1996, the DCRI followed in the footsteps of Duke pioneers who envisioned novel ways to learn about health and health care. An enduring spirit of innovation has enabled the institute to affect change in most every aspect of clinical research and realize our mission to improve health around the world. This includes advancing health equity to ensure an equal chance at health for all people.

Learn More About DCRI's Legacy of Health Equity Research