Twenty-five years ago, Robert Califf, MD, founded the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) with a mission to usher in a new approach to generating knowledge about health and illness, and to use that knowledge to improve health care. In marking the institute’s 25th anniversary, the five people who have directed the DCRI —from Califf to current executive director Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS — reflect on how the DCRI has embraced and expanded that vision ever since.
When Tomi Akinyemiju, PhD, came from Nigeria to the United States — Michigan, to be precise — for college in 2001, the first thing she realized was that she had drastically underestimated the cold. “It was the first snowstorm of the winter,” she said. “I arrived in Michigan wearing a cute little hoodie, thinking I was all bundled up.” Her brother, who had been living in the state for a while, brought her a winter jacket.
As the new chief research technology strategist for the School of Medicine, Eric Perakslis, PhD is helping the School navigate the promises and perils of the data age, a fast-arriving future that is full of both new possibilities and new perils.