For this week’s faculty spotlight, we talk to Corrine Voils, PhD, a faculty member of DGIM since completing her fellowship in 2004. In this interview, Voils talks about leading faculty development efforts and about a planning grant that evaluates an IT platform for weight loss management. Did you know she’s from Texas and “grew up in the desert”? Dr. Voils plays cello with the Duke Medicine Orchestra. Read what she adds, too, about the value of Twitter!
How long have you been at Duke? How long have you been in the division of General Internal Medicine?
I have been in HSR&D/GIM since 2004, when I completed my HSR&D postdoctoral fellowship.
What are your responsibilities within the division? What does a typical day for you look like?
I am the Co-Director (with David Edelman) of the HSR&D/GIM fellowship. I am also co-leading (with Deborah Fisher) a fellowship curriculum for the Department of Medicine. I also lead early-career faculty development for our division. In addition to these programmatic efforts, I provide individual mentoring to a number of PhD and MD fellows and early-career faculty. I also have a very active research portfolio. A typical day is full of meetings, whether for ongoing projects, planned grants, or with one of my mentees. When I am not in a meeting, I am writing e-mails (lots of them), grants, and manuscripts. Sometimes I make time for lunch as well.
You recently received an R34 from the NHLBI. What does that study involve?
I am very excited about this project, which is in collaboration with Ryan Shaw, Will Yancy, Jennifer Gierisch, and Shelby Reed. We will be developing an IT platform to collate weight data from cellular scales and dietary intake data from a weight loss app. These data will be fed into algorithms to determine whether people meet criteria for earning a financial incentive for self-monitoring and/or weight loss. At the end of this planning grant, we should be poised to submit an R01 for an efficacy trial.
What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the division?
I play cello in the Duke Medicine Orchestra. We rehearse every Sunday evening for 2.5 hours and have concerts in the winter and spring. My 8-year old daughter started playing cello this year. I enjoy playing Suzuki songs with her and taking her to her lessons. I also enjoy spending time outside with my husband and daughter, whether doing yardwork, hiking, or bike riding. We recently went to southern Utah for a family reunion and hiked in Zion National Park, the Escalante Petrified Forest, and Capitol Reef National Park. I grew up in the desert, and that trip made me realize how much I miss the desert dryness, scenery, and sunsets.
Have you recently read any books, articles, blog posts or other material that would be of interest to the division?
Unfortunately, the only time I ever read for pleasure is on vacation. I really enjoy Bill Bryson. On a recent return flight from Germany, I read “I’m a Stranger Here Myself.” I look forward to reading his forthcoming book.
I noticed you have a Twitter account. Any thoughts about social media and academia?
I think it is a great idea to use social media to be informed about others’ research as well as to promote one’s own research. I keep telling myself that I need to use my Twitter account more! And I think more of my GIM colleagues should be on Twitter! [Follow Dr. Voils @VoilsCorrine on Twitter]