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March 2020               Newsletter               Vol 1 Issue 4
Empowering physician-scientists to launch successful research careers


Thank You!
More than ever our physician-scientist colleagues are demonstrating the delicate dynamic of balancing research and clinical duties. Thank you for fighting for us.

OPSD is partnering with Sherry Pagoto, PhD, Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and Director of the Center for mHealth and Social Media at the University of Connecticut, in her national effort to match NIH-funded reviewers to frontline physician-scientists. 

If you have a grant you would like reviewed, or would like to volunteer as a reviewer click here. 

Featured in the graphic: Our many OPSD mentors, scholars, and leadership team.

Duke Adds Two New R38 Programs: 
Duke is now home to the most (and maximum number of) R38 programs in the nation.

We are pleased to announce the successful funding of two new R38 programs; The Radiation Oncology and Radiology (RoR) program, funded by the National Cancer Institute, and The Creating ADRD Researchers for the Next Generation (CARiNG)program, funded by the National Institute on Aging.

These programs join the portfolio of Scientist-Clinician Investigator Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (SCI-StARR) R38 programs at Duke which are funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and by the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

A special shout out to our new R38 Scholars (left to right):

David Michael Elliott, MD, PhD 
Department of Medicine

Amy Berkman, MD
Department of Pediatrics

Brian Shaw, MD
Department of Surgery

Elizabeth Hope Weissler, MD
Department of Surgery

Latest NIH and Internal funding opportunities...


Duke Health Students are Volunteering to Help You!
Are you a healthcare worker fighting COVID or with increased clinical duty who needs pet carechild care or household assistance (think: grocery pick up)? 

Sign up: here.

Duke Corona Virus Research-Related Updates: here.

Duke SOM podcasts to keep you educated and entertained:

1. Gastronauts: a scientific venue for investigators to create and communicate the future of gut-brain matters. Find them here.
2. MetaPhys2020: daily one-hour talks on metabolic physiology. Find them here.

Research Careers Ahead!
April 22, 4 p.m., Zoom: link here.
Featuring Jory Weintraub, PhD and Karl Bates, MS
"Sharing Your Science Effectively"

Register here.

Online Research Symposium: Emerging themes in SARS-CoV-2 biology, disease and treatment (School of Medicine)
Friday, April 17, 2020
8:00 am – 4:15 pm
Registration required; space is limited

Register here.

NIH Online Workshop: Writing and Publishing a Scientific Paper
A four-session, online writing-intensive workshop designed for NIH trainees and scientists.
Dates and Time
  • Friday May 1, 2 - 4 PM  
  • Friday May 8, 2 - 4 PM 
  • Friday May 15, 2 - 4 PM  
  • Friday May 22, 2 - 4 PM  
For more information and to register, click here. 


What's Next?
Basic Science Research Track
The Duke Clinical Research Training Program, in tandem with OPSD, has added a
Basic Science track to their Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) in Clinical Research starting Fall 2020. This track's curriculum is custom designed for physician scientists and trainees.

Now accepting applications: 

Want to attend for free?
OPSD is offering scholarships for TWO physician-scientists. Email us at with:
  • Your CV
  • Your Research Summary (1- 2 pages)
    • Statement of need including a description of the impact the BSRT degree program is expected to have on the applicant’s ability to move their research forward
    • An overview of the applicant’s research and career plans
  • A Letter of support from Mentor (for students and trainees) or Division Chief/Department Chair (for faculty) (1 page)

Tell us about your research.
"I have two main areas of research both focused on the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. One part of my research is using microphysilogical systems (MPS) and small animal models to better understand the effect of radiation on cardiovascular function. My second research focus is on end stage cardiac failure and transplantation, using large animal models, device therapies, and unique gene delivery approaches to modify the course of the disease."

Why is your science important?
"I think it is important because it spans across a number of different disciplines from molecular biology, to engineering, to translational large animal research.  This of course keeps it very fun and challenging, but it also allows for rapid translation of basic discoveries closer to clinical implementation."

If you could have the blueprints to any invention what would it be and why?
"This is a fun question. Hmm, well I do have a copy of early engineering drawings of the steam engine- I love pumps (not just heart pumps, although the heart is the ultimate pump).  But if I were to pick, I would say the printing press. I think it is probably one of the most important inventions in history. It allowed for the cheap and rapid dissemination of knowledge, which in my view is the best way to improve the human condition."

If you would like research career mentoring from outside of your department sign up here.

If you have what it takes to be a great master mentor email us here.
Suggestions for what we should feature?
Contact us at:

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