In September 2018, Duke University School of Medicine received one of five Burroughs Wellcome Fund Physician-Scientist Institutional Awards. The program, which is led by Rasheed Gbadegesin, MD, MBBS, and a team of School of Medicine faculty, strives to enhance research excellence in laboratory-based science. The BWF PSIA provides the foundational organization of the OPSD and works across all four of the OPSD service areas, specifically to enhance the pipelines and training experiences of MD-only physician-scientists who are pursuing laboratory-based research.
The Centre for Clinician-Scientist Development (CSSD), under the Office of Research in Duke-NUS, is led by Professor Koh Woon Puay. It consolidates support and nurtures clinician-scientists, spanning from graduating Duke-NUS students to aspiring clinician-researchers across the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre.
The Duke Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) is housed in the Clinical and Translational Research Institute and catalyzes the translation of scientific discoveries into health benefits for communities through collaborative research. It provides key infrastructure, resources, and learning opportunities for translational researchers at Duke and its partners. The grant supports research through pilot funding, training and career development, as well as core resources with expertise in research design, regulatory policies, biomedical informatics, data sciences, recruitment, participant interactions, community engagement, special populations, team science, and workforce development.
This R38 education project is meant to encourage postdoctoral-level health professionals to pursue careers as physician-scientists and clinician-investigators, fulfilling a critical workforce need. Relatively few physicians and other health professionals are pursuing research careers, and existing opportunities may not maintain adequate numbers or diversity of physician-scientists. Duke is home to four of these programs. Residents in the program will have a primary research mentor and a scholarship oversight committee that will meet at least twice per year to help residents create an individualized career development plan, including submission for an external individual career development award (NRSA F32 or K38/StARRTs).
Benefits of the program include:
- An opportunity to apply for a technician/research assistant to maintain research productivity during the years of clinical training
- Preferential ranking for Duke University School of Medicine subspecialty fellowship program
- Funds to support conference travel and research needs
- Eligibility to apply for a new NIH early career award (K38 Stimulating Access to Research in Residency Transition Scholar)
- Eligibility to apply for the NIH Loan Repayment Program
Junior faculty members often face the challenge of working to establish academic careers while simultaneously managing significant caregiving responsibilities. These competing demands make it challenging to succeed in an increasingly competitive grant funding environment, and indeed can be an obstacle to retaining physician scientists at research-intensive academic institutions. To support junior faculty at this critical tipping point in their careers, the Office for Faculty, in partnership with the Office of Physician-Scientist Development, is pleased to offer the Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists at Duke. Supported by an award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Dean Mary Klotman, the Fund will provide supplements of up to $30,000-$50,000 per year to physician-scientists with significant care giving responsibilities. Exact award amounts will be dependent upon the availability of funds in a given year.
The Robert J. Lefkowitz Society provides a home for MD and MD/PhD post-graduate trainees in the Duke University School of Medicine, and who are pursuing careers with a primary focus on basic and translational research as physician-investigators. Through formal and informal mentoring relationship, the Lefkowitz Society provides promising post-graduate trainees with a greater understanding of how to develop successful academic careers.