New Center for Population Health Sciences Launched; Curtis Named Director

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nancy C. Andrews, MD, PhD, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine, today announced the launch of the new Center for Population Health Sciences in the School of Medicine. The center will be led by Lesley Curtis, PhD, professor in the Department of Medicine and director of the Center for Pragmatic Health Systems Research in the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).

The goal of the Center for Population Health Sciences is to identify determinants of health and the most effective means for improving health. This multi-disciplinary center will comprise 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. The center will foster active collaborations with the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, the Duke Global Health Institute, the Center for Community and Population Health Improvement, the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the Duke University Health System, and other entities engaged in the science of population health. 

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. She has led national and international efforts to develop and refine advanced methods for the analysis of large secondary data sets. Dr. Curtis currentlyco-leads the Data Core for the FDA’s Sentinel  Initiative, and the coordinating centers for the NIH’s Health Care Systems Collaboratory and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Initiative’s National Clinical Research Network (PCORnet).

This new center will be the launching pad for the subsequent establishment of a new department in the School of Medicine, which will include signature research initiatives in health services research, implementation science, and measurement science.  Educational offerings will complement the department’s signature research initiatives with an initial focus on principles and methods of research embedded in health care systems, analytic approaches to population-based electronic health data, and principles of patient-reported measures. Center faculty will develop educational programs including a post-graduate certificate program in Population Health Sciences and Master and PhD programs in Population Health Sciences.