Lesley Curtis, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, it was announced today by Mary E. Klotman, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Curtis has served as interim chair of the new department since July 2017, when creation of the department was approved by the Duke University Board of Trustees. From 2016-2017, Dr. Curtis served as director of the Center for Population Health Sciences, which served as a launching pad for the new department.
“I couldn’t be more pleased about this appointment,” said Klotman. “Dr. Curtis is an outstanding scientist and a visionary leader. She was a key driver and instrumental in the creation of this new department and will be the impetus for the department’s future growth and success.”
The Department of Population Health Sciences engages faculty members from a variety of disciplines including epidemiology, health services research and policy, health economics, health measurement and behavior, and implementation science who share an interest in answering complex questions about the drivers of health in populations.
A health services researcher by training, Dr. Curtis has spent her career advancing the health of patients with cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and other chronic diseases through her conduct of numerous studies employing methods in health services research, clinical and comparative effectiveness, and pharmacoepidemiology. An expert in the use of Medicare claims data for health services and clinical outcomes research, she has led the linkage of Medicare claims with large clinical registries and epidemiological cohort studies including the Framingham Heart Study and the Cardiovascular Health Study. In addition to her role as chair, Dr. Curtis is director of the Center for Pragmatic Health Systems Research in the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI). Dr. Curtis also leads the Distributed Research Network Operations Center for PCORI’s National Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), is co-PI of the NIH Health Care Systems Collaboratory, and co-leads the Data Core for the FDA’s Sentinel Initiative.