DoM Research Retreat 2016 “Seizing Opportunities”

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This blog post submitted by: Nrupen Bhavsar, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Duke General Internal Medicine. 

The Department of Medicine held their annual research retreat on Tuesday, February 16 and as a newly minted faculty member, I decided it was probably in my best interest to attend. The theme of the retreat was “Seizing Opportunities” and after a welcome and introduction by Mary Klotman and Scott Palmer, Chancellor Washington presented a brief overview of the Duke Health strategic plan. Within that plan was an emphasis on building healthier communities and a focus on population health improvement, an area that General Internal Medicine is well positioned to make a difference.

Next up, Don Taylor, pinch-hitting for Mark McClellan, spoke about the newly formed Duke Margolis Health Policy Center. He emphasized that the center is encouraging members of the Department of Medicine to collaborate with them on important health policy issues. Geoff Ginsburg then spoke about the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine and Medx (a joint collaboration between Medicine and Engineering at Duke). Larry Carin from the Pratt School of Engineering rounded out the first part of the retreat by discussing some novel mHealth initiatives.

In the second half of the retreat, we were encouraged to join one of five break out sessions that focused on

  1. Support for fellows and junior faculty
  2. Basic Science Investigation
  3. Clinical research (led by our Chief, Ebony Boulware)
  4. Big Data
  5. Innovations.

The overriding theme was providing resources to make conducting research a bit easier. I attended the session on Innovations which was led by Suresh Balu, Dani Bolognesi, Geoff Ginsburg, and Barry Myers. They explained the process of taking an innovative idea from conception to commercialization. They spoke about MedBlue, a new for-profit incubator that assists faculty with developing ideas and technologies that have commercial potential. More information can be found on the Department of Medicine website.

The retreat concluded with a summary of each of the breakout sessions. Overall, as a new faculty member, I appreciated learning about opportunities throughout the department. I’m already looking forward to the retreat next year. This time I’ll leave the tie at home.

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