The Duke University Division of Gastroenterology has been engaged in the training of clinicians and scientists in gastroenterology and hepatology since 1965. The philosophy has been to generate research questions from challenges that emerge in the care of patients through an environment that facilitates the relationships of clinicians and scientists. In the last decade, our program has been particularly successful in the placement of graduates into academic positions. Our goal is to maintain this history of productivity by creating an environment that facilitates the development of young investigators capable of pursuing successful research careers. With this competing renewal, Dr. Rodger Liddle and Dr. Andrew Muir have assumed the leadership as Co-Directors. In collaboration with the former Director and Executive Committee, the team has implemented a number of substantial enhancements to the experience of our trainees. The training program has been reorganized into two tracks with a basic/translational track led by Dr. Liddle and a clinical research track led by Dr. Muir. We have also reduced the number of faculty to those focused in gastroenterology or hepatology research. Although collaborations will continue to be sought across Duke and with neighboring universities, our goal is to strengthen the bonds of the gastroenterology and hepatology researchers to enhance the community environment of the research training program. Specific examples of other changes include: 1) reorganization of mentoring teams with the addition of a career mentor and broader representation among basic and clinical researchers; 2) application of the mentoring program design to junior faculty; 3) expansion of the junior preceptor program; 4) expansion of the recruitment process to diversify the applicant pool; 5) development of training for PhD fellows to gain clinical experience and develop working relationships with clinicians and clinical researchers; 6) a new Visiting Scholar Program funded by the Division of Gastroenterology to expose trainees to leading researchers; 7) an annual Duke GI Research Symposium with awards for the best fellow presentations; 8) development of a science culture and accountability plan to foster an environment where scientific integrity is the highest priority; 9) formation of a new External Advisory Committee. Th goal of this program is to continue training talented researchers and to build on the Duke environment that will ensure our postdoctoral fellows develop into highly successful, innovative, independent investigators.

Public Health Relevance

Statement The training of future academic scientists in gastroenterology and hepatology research recognizes the need to accelerate translation of findings from discovery sciences into clinically useful therapies and strategies. This research training program will provide a high-quality mentored research training experience for those future investigators who collectively will make the discoveries of scientists working in basic laboratories available to patients in the form of improved medical care

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases D Subcommittee (DDK)
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Densmore, Christine L
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Duke University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Patel, Y A; Gifford, E J; Glass, L M et al. (2018) Risk factors for biopsy-proven advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the Veterans Health Administration. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 47:268-278
Xie, Guanhua; Swiderska-Syn, Marzena; Jewell, Mark L et al. (2017) Loss of pericyte smoothened activity in mice with genetic deficiency of leptin. BMC Cell Biol 18:20
Henson, Jacqueline B; Patel, Yuval A; Wilder, Julius M et al. (2017) Differences in Phenotypes and Liver Transplantation Outcomes by Age Group in Patients with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Dig Dis Sci 62:3200-3209
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Wilder, Julius M; Oloruntoba, Omobonike O; Muir, Andrew J et al. (2016) Role of patient factors, preferences, and distrust in health care and access to liver transplantation and organ donation. Liver Transpl 22:895-905
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