School of Medicine Announces 2018 Research Staff Appreciation Award Winners

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
research staff award recipients and School of Medicine leadership From left: Elizabeth Fraulo, Senior Director Health Services Research, DCRI; Bray Patrick-Lake; Daniel Wojdyla; Mary Klotman, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine; Ann Marie Navar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, DCRI; Michael Pencina, PhD, Vice Dean for Data Science and Information Technology; L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH, Vice Dean for Translational Sciences; Colin S. Duckett, PhD, Vice Dean for Basic Science; Richard Scearce; Bart Haynes, MD, F.M. Hanes Professor of Medicine, Professor of Immunology, Director, DHVI .


Three members of the School of Medicine staff received the 2018 Research Staff Appreciation Award, in recognition of their exemplary support in the conduct of research projects. The School of Medicine launched this annual awards program in 2015. Recipients are honored at a luncheon with School of Medicine leadership.  Read the nomination statements about the recipients' outstanding contributions to research at Duke.

Bray Patrick-Lake, Director of Engagement, Duke Clinical Research Institute 

“When it comes to “technical expertise,” Bray has “super powers,” as she is a true hero in fundamentally changing the way in which the clinical research industry engages with stakeholders of clinical research, especially patients and their families. To do this, Bray leads with a deep understanding of drug development, inspires and engages a diverse team around a critical issue, and deftly challenges stakeholders to think differently, go beyond and to get things accomplished. Bray’s expertise lies in her ability to translate her real world experience as a trial participant into real change for others. Bray currently leads engagement activities for NIH’s Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. Patient engagement is fundamental to a learning healthcare system, and Research Together (RT), co-developed by Bray and her team, has established a gold standard for participants’ treatment in clinical research. With RT’s Guiding Principles, which were developed by a diverse group of clinicians, researchers, and patient advocates, the SoM has a roadmap for engaging participants in clinical research every step of the way—from bench, to bedside, and back. Bray and the Research Together team have made patient engagement a reality, implementing best practices and making new models and engagement tools available to investigators—all in support of high quality, efficient research that minimizes burden and maximizes value for participants.” Elizabeth Fraulo, Senior Director Health Services Research, DCRI.

Richard Scearce, Facilities Director, Duke Human Vaccine Institute

“Richard has been the laboratory manager of my laboratory since 1982 and has been key in the training of every student, technician, analyst, post-doctoral fellow that has come to the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. He has also been key in helping every investigator set up their labs, procure equipment, navigate safety, and obtain necessary permits. Richard does not hesitate to jump in no matter how complex the issue at hand. He serves as a role model to all in terms of his dedication and commitment to the Human Vaccine Institute and the mission we have to design preventative vaccines for global health. Over the past 39 years, when anyone at Duke needed a monoclonal antibody and did not have the technology or resources to make antibodies, Richard has been the go to person and make mAbs for countless Duke investigators. DHVI now markets over 40 antibodies to companies around the world that Richard has made. He is a wonderful and trusted employee and colleague with exemplary skills and dedication to excellence. During the recent hurricane, Richard personally walked to our labs to ensure that no damage was done or power was out which shows his immense dedication to our mission. I know if Richard has done the experiment that it has been performed correctly and the data can be trusted.” Bart Haynes, MD, F.M. Hanes Professor of Medicine, Professor of Immunology, Director, DHVI

Daniel Wojdyla, Principal Biostatistician, Duke Clinical Research Institute

“Daniel’s statistical outputs are meticulous, and he takes considerable effort to check data quality and his outputs - this work has led him several times this year to identify major issues in the data quality that we have received from external sources that we could troubleshoot. He scrutinizes and re-scrutinizes his code (and the code he uses from others) – to such a degree, that he’s even found errors in widely published SAS Macros that he’s found in the literature. He is also a dedicated mentor and teacher – ensuring his standard of excellence is spread to others on his team. Daniel is considered by his peers to be an expert statistician and the "go-to" person for advice on analytic challenges. He has impacted countless manuscripts beyond the nearly 100 he has co-authored at the DCRI. As a faculty member, I often go to Daniel when I need help developing a proposal or project idea. He always makes time to meet with me when I need help, and patiently and thoughtfully has helped me develop numerous “ideas” into actionable, high-impact proposals. He also has worked with other faculty members at DCRI to develop new statistical approaches – furthering the field and helping DCRI stand out as experts in complex methodology.” Ann Marie Navar, Assistant Professor of Medicine, DCRI.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an award, an individual must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Research Assistants, Research Specialists, Clinical Research Coordinators, Project Leaders, or any staff member employed by the School of Medicine, who provides exemplary support in the conduct of research. Not Eligible: Faculty or staff members who have primary investigator status; research fellows, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students; administrative professionals.
  • Current role provides technical expertise to support any research program (including translational, clinical, data sciences, or basic science research) in a manner which underpins the effective and efficient promotion of the research mission in the School of Medicine.
  • At least 5 years of continuous service in a research role in the School of Medicine.
  • Demonstrated record of excellent performance.

The call for nominations for the 2019 awards will be announced in the fall.