Duke-Margolis Interns Wanted for Collaborative Summer Experience

Margolis interns.

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Internship Program Overview

Effectively improving health and the value of health care requires multidisciplinary teams and capabilities. To meet this aim, Duke-Margolis uniquely brings together teams of health care and policy experts and organizations to assess key policy and practice challenges and identify and implement impactful solutions. As future policy-leaders and -aware professionals, students are integral team members. The Center offers students (undergraduate and graduate) opportunities to contribute to a variety of projects aimed at improving health and the value of health care through research and the development of innovative, practical, and evidence-based policy solutions through a collaborative and mentored 8-week summer internship experience.

Goals of the Internship Experience

  • Learn through challenging and meaningful activities
  • Link academic learning to policy and practice
  • Gain professional experience within the field of health policy
  • Build positive relationships with faculty and staff
  • Identify, clarify, and/or confirm direction as it relates to their academic studies and future career path
  • Develop strong networking/mentoring relationships
  • Strengthen our Margolis student community

Read More

Program Details


Remote for Summer 2021.

Projects / Learning Outcomes

The intern will support the team’s efforts to conduct rigorous analyses and communicate their findings. Individual tasks will be project-specific, but will include assignments such as literature reviews, data analyses and visualizations, and writing/editing a broad variety of work products, including project reports, policy briefs, blog posts, and article submissions for peer review. Click here to learn more about our current work and areas of research.

Compensation & Hours

Paid, dependent on education level. Approximately 40 hours per week.

Approximate Program Length

10 weeks. Dates fall between May 20th and July 30th.

Meet more of our interns to learn about their experiences by visiting the Margolis Interns Directory! Margolis Intern Directory

Applicant Information

Qualifications and Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate:

  • Interest in health policy and inquisitive drive for drilling into data sets, legislation, and the like, in order to discover insights that can be translated to a stakeholder audience and inform health policy decisions
  • Ability to work both independently and as a contributing team member
  • Ability to handle multiple competing project deadlines
  • Strong attention to detail and commitment to scientific integrity and high-quality research
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and, especially Excel
  • Proficiency with SAS, STATA, R, ArcGIS, or similar statistical and/or geospatial mapping programs is a plus but not required
  • Both graduate and undergraduate levels
  • Duke University and non-Duke University students
  • Applicants from all US-based locations are encouraged to apply. However, Duke University has set hiring preferences to 10 states and Washington, D.C. for this upcoming summer due to the program being virtual. To be employed as a graduate intern through the Margolis Internship Program, preference will be given to applicants who physically reside in one of the approved 11 locations: NC, CA, GA, NY, TN, VA, FL, MD, SC, TX, & DC while participating. To be employed as an undergraduate intern, preference will be given to applicants who are able to physically reside in NC while participating.
Application Materials
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of Interest
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Writing Sample
  • Professional or Personal Reference Contact Information
Dates to Know
  • Application Deadline: January 31, 2021
  • Decision Notification Date: March 15, 2021
  • Internship Dates: May 20, 2021 – July 30, 2021

Learn more: https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/margolis-internship

Interested in Health Policy and Management? Apply to the Margolis Scholars Program

Margolis Center.

Deadline: June 5, 2020

Updated 5/12/20

About the Margolis Scholars Program

The Margolis Scholars program is a prestigious program for Duke University students that demonstrate strong interest in and commitment to a career in health policy and management, as well as leadership potential to improve health policy. Named in honor of Robert Margolis, M.D., the founder of Duke-Margolis and a pioneer of innovative integrated care delivery models, the Margolis Scholars program provides promising students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to be the next generation of health care leaders.

Margolis Scholars is a competitive program open to students at undergraduate and graduate levels. Selected Scholars are engaged in the program for 1 to 2 years, depending on their program of study. You can look at our program fact sheet here.

Program Components

The Margolis Scholars program has four key components: knowledge building, skills enhancement and training, professional development, and community building and networking. Activities offered across the four components include, but are not limited to:

Knowledge Building: participate in health policy coursework, attend bi-weekly Margolis Seminars, and engage in a multi-day intensive health policy workshop

Skills Enhancement & Training: participate in research, simulation and skills labs, and teaching assistantships, as well as plan policy events and participate in peer mentorship programming

Professional Development: receive 1:1 academic and professional advising/mentorship, attend professional conferences, receive internship/fellowship guidance and placement, and plan community service projects

Community Building & Networking: receive monthly policy newsletters, plan annual events, attend Margolis Retreat and other social/alumni events, and participate in unique opportunities to meet experts in the field

To learn more about the Margolis Scholars Program, check out our informational video.

Scholars Fund

Margolis Scholars will be eligible for up to $6,000/year that may be applied toward the following activities:

Research Funding Support (access to data sets, participant incentives, equipment/software etc.)

Professional Development (attendance of conferences, trainings, workshops, professional association memberships etc.)

Supplement for summer internships (up to $4,000)

Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Undergraduates: Rising sophomores or juniors may apply. Applications are open to all Schools/Majors.

Graduate/Professional Students: Students entering the first year of their respective graduate school program are eligible to apply with the following exceptions: Medical and PhD Nursing students should apply at the end of their second year and Law students should apply at the end of their first year.

Application Materials
  • Online Application
  • Resume/CV
  • Most recent transcripts
  • Contact information for a professional/personal reference

Undergraduate process begins in March of each academic year, while graduate students will begin the application starting in June. Selected scholars will start in the fall semester.

Application Deadlines 2020

Undergraduates: Applications are now closed for 2019-2020. Application will reopen in April 2021.

Graduate students: Applications for Public Policy, Business, and Medicine are now closed for 2019-2020. Applications for all other eligible graduate programs are now open and are due on June 5th by 11:59 PM EST. Select interviews will occur mid- to late-June.

Decision Notification Dates

Undergraduates: April

Graduates: June

Program Start Date

August 2020

Learn more: https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/scholars

Ten Groups of Faculty Receive Intellectual Community Planning Grants for 2020

Campus in winter.

The Provost’s Office has awarded Intellectual Community Planning Grants to ten groups for the 2020 calendar year.

A key goal of Together Duke is to invest in faculty as scholars and leaders of the university’s intellectual communities. To foster collaboration around new and emerging areas of interest, Intellectual Community Planning Grants (ICPG) ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 are available to groups of faculty. Recipients can use the funds to support the exploration of new collaborations, covering the cost of meeting venues, food, external speakers or other meeting costs, and research to identify potential collaborators at Duke and elsewhere.

The 2020 grants include faculty from all of Duke’s schools as well as the University of North Carolina, NC State University, and NC Central University.

Bridging Social Determinants of Health with Clinical Extensions of Care for Vulnerable Populations

Bridging team members.

This group will establish a partnership between Duke’s Clinical Translational Science Institute and the Social Science Research Institute in order to develop a portfolio of scholarly activity that tackles the interplay of social determinants of health, clinical health outcomes, and the advancement of health equity. Members will develop a compilation of resources to facilitate interdisciplinary and collaborative research and take advantage of short-term synergies that allow for additional coauthored publications. They will also develop research proposals to design and test one or more interventions.

Developing a Neuroethics and Theological Studies Network

Developing Neuroethics team members.

What can theological studies contribute to neuroethics, and vice versa? How can the engagement of theological studies with neuroethics best be facilitated? How can further interdisciplinary collaboration at Duke shape such dialogue? This group seeks to foster and expand the work of an emerging international cohort of scholars working at the intersection of theological studies and neuroethics.

Duke SciReg Center: Science in Regulation, Law, and Public Policy

Duke SciReg ICPG members.

Bringing together Duke faculty and students from STEM disciplines, law, and policy, this group will seek to facilitate the provision of timely comments from Duke experts to state and federal agencies on pending regulations that implicate scientific and technical issues. Following a series of conversations and planning events, members hope to establish a center at Duke that would create a unique model for interdisciplinary education in science, law, and policy through actual participation in the regulatory process.

Entity Resolution with Applications to Public Policy and Business

Entity Resolutions ICPG members.

This collaboration will enable the formation of a multidisciplinary lab of social scientists, public policy analysts, business scholars, mathematicians and statisticians who seek to understand the practical issues related to entity resolution (ER)—the processes of removing duplicates from large databases and engaging in accurate record linkage across databases. There will be regular meetings of the member research groups to explore applications of ER tasks in public policy and business; one Ph.D. student will work on a project to implement members’ developed tools into software for public distribution and a working paper.

Housing and Health: A Multisector Community-driven Approach to Achieving Health Equity

Housing ICPG members.

Combining a community engagement process with interdisciplinary expertise, these faculty hope to address social, economic, and environmental influencers of health, with the eventual goal of transforming Durham into a healthier place for its most vulnerable residents. Members will participate in an interactive, facilitated pre-planning meeting and four design-thinking workshops with community partners, followed by a post-workshop debrief and a meeting to determine next steps and future directions.

Human Rights Futures

Human Rights ICPG members.

This community of human rights scholars plans will discuss a new temporal framing for human rights: one that remains aware of past grievances and the need for reparations, but that places such awareness in the service of a sustainable and desirable future. Involving graduate and undergraduate students, the group will explore a number of ideas for how this multiyear project might come to life. Following several working lunches, the group plans to launch a “speculative fiction book club,” host a guest speaker, and convene a day-long workshop.

  • Lead: James Chappel, History, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Kathi Weeks, Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Robin Kirk, Cultural Anthropology, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Adam Rosenblatt, International Comparative Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Liliana Paredes, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Marion Quirici, Thompson Writing Program, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jen Ansley, Thompson Writing Program, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Emily Stewart, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute

Light-based Methods in Neuroscience and Biology

Light-based ICPG members.

This group aims to cross-pollinate ideas among neuroscientists, engineers, and data scientists. Each meeting focus on related questions requiring interdisciplinary engagement (e.g., How can we use light-based methods, such as scanless holography, adaptive optics, computational optics approaches, and genetically encoded activity sensors and actuators such as bacterial opsins, to investigate neural function?) Members will share information about resources for addressing these questions and communicate across Duke to strengthen imaging infrastructure.

North Carolina Saltwater Intrusion and Sea Level Rise

NC Saltwater ICPG members.

Predicting the impacts of sea level rise and the accompanying saltwater intrusion on freshwater coastal wetlands is a complex challenge. While the formation of “ghost forests”—the rapid death of trees due to salt stress—is gaining attention, our understanding remains fragmented. This group will convene a one-day workshop to develop an overarching research framework, with the goals of then pooling resources, sharing data, and submitting joint grant proposals.

Opioid Detection Technologies and Their Application to Addressing Various Aspects of the Opioid Crisis

Opioid ICPG members.

How can novel detection technologies be brought to bear on the opioid crisis? Members of this group will explore that question by undertaking two parallel activity streams: monthly collaboration meetings to share information; and acquisition of initial compound signatures on two fundamental detection technologies (X-ray diffraction and mass spectrometry). These faculty will pursue increased cross-disciplinary understanding of the opioid crisis and its detection needs; a baseline signature library of relevant compounds to support future analysis and design; and one or more joint proposals on topics related to detection and the opioid crisis.

Transformative Learning: A Shared Intellectual Interest across the University

Transformative Learning ICPG members.

This group’s primary goal is to identify transformative learning moments among Duke students. Members will meet monthly to develop a shared knowledge of transformative learning practices and assessment. They will host a dinner with Dr. Stacey Johnson of Vanderbilt University, a renowned expert in transformative learning in language education, convene two campus-wide discussions, and invite a nationally recognized speaker to give a public talk. The group will create a shared toolkit of assessment tools for transformative learning and develop conference proposals and a publication to showcase this work.

  • Co-lead: Cori Crane, Germanic Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Co-lead: Deb Reisinger, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Co-lead: Joan Clifford, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jennifer Ahern-Dodson, Thompson Writing Program, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Alessandra Dinin, Office of Assessment, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jennifer Hill, Office of Assessment, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • David Malone, Program in Education, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Liliana Paredes, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Melissa Simmermeyer, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Read about the 2019 recipients of Intellectual Community Planning Grants and view the 2018 summary report.

See all initiatives in the Together Duke academic strategic plan, including the current RFP for Collaboratories for Research on Immigration or on Science, Technology & Ethics (deadline: January 24, 2020; to learn more, attend an information session on Thursday, January 9, from 3:00 to 4:00 in the Karl E. Zener Auditorium, 130 Sociology-Psychology).

For Rhodes Scholars, Duke’s Interdisciplinary Institutes and Initiatives Played Vital Role

Kadakia, Kantor, Wang.

On November 17, Duke University seniors Kushal Kadakia, Ariel Kantor, and Claire Wang were selected for prestigious 2019 Rhodes Scholarships. These three students and the 29 other recipients were chosen from among 880 applicants from colleges and universities across the United States.

Clearly, they are stellar young scholars and individuals. What else do they have in common? Throughout their undergraduate education, they have deeply engaged with the intellectual communities of Duke’s university-wide interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives.

Kushal Kadakia

Committed to pursuing research and policy to make healthcare more accessible, Kadakia is majoring in Public Policy and Biology, with a minor in Global Health administered by the Duke Global Health Institute.

Kadakia.A Truman Scholar and Faculty Scholar, he has served as chair of the Honor Council, vice president of Student Government, and a voting member of the Board of Trustees.

As a first-year student, Kadakia took part in the FOCUS Genetics and Genomics cluster and got involved with Duke’s Bass Connections program, in which faculty and students collaborate on interdisciplinary research into complex societal challenges. Kadakia’s first Bass Connections project team, Innovation & Technology Policy Lab, led to a follow-on grant. He won the Duke Libraries Holsti Prize for his related paper, “Rethinking R&D: Partnerships as Drivers for Global Health Innovation.”

As a member of the Bass Connections North Carolina Medicaid Reform Advisory Team, he provided recommendations to state legislators. “Collectively, Bass Connections has been the centerpiece of my Duke experience – providing a common thread to weave together my scientific training and my policy interests into an impact-oriented research experience that is now the foundation for my future career,” he said.

Taking this work further, Kadakia served as an intern on the policy team of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to work on Medicaid transformation, and he collaborated with Professor of Law Barak Richman and three other undergraduates to develop county-level case studies detailing the challenges in North Carolina healthcare. The group submitted its findings to the Department of Health and Human Services as the state seeks to improve rural access to healthcare and other Medicaid reform.

“I am still humbled, and a bit incredulous, at how much policy knowledge and intellectual authority Kushal exhibits – and how much respect he commands – before even completing his bachelor’s degree,” Richman said.

Kadakia was selected for the Huang Fellows Program at the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, in which students learn how to integrate ethics, policy, and social implications into their scientific research.

He served as a 2018 summer intern at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, working on projects studying the translation of international health innovations to the U.S. context. He has also been a research assistant for various Duke-Margolis projects, including Accountable Care Policy Gaps and Implications of Global Experiences with Accountable Care.

For his Public Policy honors thesis, Kadakia is exploring how an accountable care healthcare framework could repurpose international innovations to improve the U.S. healthcare system.

Rhodes Scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford. Kadakia will work toward the M.Phil. in Evidence-based Social Intervention and Policy as part of his preparation for a career in medicine and public service.

Ariel Kantor

Kantor created an interdisciplinary major through Program II around biotechnology, policy and bioengineering.

Kantor.He was a 2016 GCB Summer Scholar at the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology (GCB). Mentored by Charles Gersbach, he pursued a research project to develop and characterize Cas9-fusion systems and examine their ability to control gene expression. He has continued working with Gersbach to develop new applications for CRISPR to facilitate epigenome editing.

Kantor has also worked with Susanne Haga, faculty member at GCB and the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine. His senior thesis examines developing technology-based therapies for orphan diseases. His work with Haga resulted in a publication analyzing the number and types of pharmacogenetic tests offered by clinical testing laboratories in the U.S.

Concerned about human rights and violence prevention, Kantor worked with the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute on programming to facilitate dialogue around religion, violence, and human rights.

He will pursue a doctorate in Molecular Biology at Oxford in preparation for a career in gene engineering and translational medicine.

Claire Wang

The recipient of Truman and Udall scholarships, Wang is majoring in Environmental Science and Policy and minoring in Economics and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies.

Wang.Active in the university’s vibrant culture of engaged scholarship in energy and the environment, Wang is currently taking a course on the transformation of the U.S. electric power sector, taught by Brian Murray, Director of the Duke University Energy InitiativeKate Konschnik, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy SolutionsJim Rogers, former CEO and chair of Duke Energy, and Norman Bay, former chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“It would be an understatement to say that Claire is dedicated to environmental concerns,” said Timothy Johnson, associate professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and faculty network member of the Energy Initiative. She “is approaching issues at the intersection of energy and the environment out of a larger concern for social well-being.”

Wang played a leadership role in the Duke Climate Coalition, one of the energy-related student organizations that comprise the Energy Initiative’s Student Advisory Committee. She has also been involved with student campaigns such as Duke Seize the Grid and Duke Renewable Energy Action.

At Oxford, Wang will pursue master’s degrees in Environmental Change and Management as well as Global Governance and Diplomacy, toward a career in environmental advocacy.

Read related articles on the Duke Today and Duke Chronicle websites.

Image at top: Kadakia at an event for legislators in Raleigh organized by the Bass Connections NC Medicaid Reform Advisory Team, courtesy of Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy; Kantor as a GCB summer intern, courtesy of Duke Center for Genomics and Computational Biology; Wang, courtesy of Nicholas School of the Environment. Photos below courtesy of Duke Today.

November 21, 2018

Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy Announces Advisory Board, Celebrates Launch

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy announced the appointment of an external advisory board at a public launch on February 9 in Washington, D.C.

The event featured Duke University faculty engaged in health policy research and panel discussions focusing on the fast-changing health policy environment for healthcare transformation and high-value biomedical innovation. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) offered opening remarks.

Advisory board member Susan Dentzer, president and CEO, Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI), moderated a panel focused on healthcare transformation, which included Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine. Advisory board members participating included David Brailer, managing partner, Health Evolution; David Feinberg, president and chief executive officer, Geisinger Health; Michael O. Leavitt, Leavitt Partners and former governor of Utah; and Debra L. Ness, president, National Partnership for Women & Families.

A panel on high-value biomedical innovation was chaired by advisory board member Peter Orszag, vice chairman of investment banking and global co-head of healthcare, Lazard, and included Joseph Jimenez, chief executive officer, Novartis; David P. King, chairman and chief executive officer, Laboratory Corporation of America; Jessica Mega, chief medical officer, Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences); and Dan Mendelson, president, Avalere Health.

Other advisory board appointees who could not attend the launch include Drew Altman, president and chief executive officer, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; Tony Coles (M’86), founding investor, chairman and chief executive officer, Yumanity Therapeutics; and Joseph R. Swedish (G ’79), chairman, president and chief executive officer, Anthem Healthcare.

“We are pleased and honored to have recruited such a unique and distinguished group to help guide the Duke-Margolis Center’s mission of improving health and the value of health care in our communities and around the world,” said Dr. Mark McClellan, Margolis Professor and Director. “They have demonstrated leadership in making needed changes from a wide range of perspectives across the breadth of health care, biomedical research and population health. We appreciate their support for the Duke-Margolis approach to developing and analyzing new health policy ideas, and applying them in real-world settings, at a time when reform is both urgently needed and challenging to do effectively.”

During the event, speakers honored the vision and achievements of the center’s founder, Robert J. Margolis (M ’71), and his role in recruiting a top-notch advisory board and shaping the vision of the center. In October 2016, Duke University announced a $16.5 million gift from Margolis and his wife, Lisa, to create the center, which has offices in Durham, N.C., and Washington, D.C., where Gregory Daniel serves as deputy director and leads the biomedical innovation portfolio.


Originally posted on the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy website. Watch a video recording of the event.

Duke-Margolis Center Contributes to New Guidelines on Health and Medicine


In a special communication published today (Sept. 13) in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a panel has updated 20-year-old guidelines and recommendations for evaluating cost-effectiveness in health and medicine.

The updates build on the original work of the 1996 Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine, originally convened by the U.S. Public Health Service. They are intended to guide decision-makers in using new methods for analyzing evidence, reporting standardized results, incorporating both health care system and societal perspectives, and weighing ethical issues in the use of cost-effectiveness analysis.

The panel was led by co-chairs Gillian D. Sanders, professor in the Duke Department of Medicine and a member of both the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, and Peter J. Neumann, director of the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center. Neumann is also a professor of medicine at Tufts.

“Cost-effectiveness analysis can help inform decisions about how to apply new or existing medical tests, therapies and prevention techniques so that decision-makers use health care resources wisely,” said Sanders. “As health care costs continue to rise at unsustainable rates, these recommendations provide a framework for comparing the relative value of different health care interventions and help decision-makers across the spectrum from policymakers to patients sort through alternatives and decide what tests and treatments make sense.”

“During the 20 years since the original panel’s report, the field of cost-effectiveness analysis has advanced in important ways and the need to deliver health care efficiently has only grown,” said Neumann. “Updating the guidelines provides an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of cost-effectiveness analysis and to provide guidance for the next generation of practitioners and consumers.”

Primarily funded by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the panel recommends several key changes to the guidelines, including:

  • Broadening the scope of the Reference Cases, a standard set of methodology that should be followed to ensure quality analysis by creating comparable measurements.
  • Measuring health effects in terms of quality-adjusted life years, a measure that includes both the quality and quantity of a person’s life.
  • Including both costs reimbursed by third-party payers and those paid for out-of-pocket by patients in health care sector analyses.
  • Using an “Impact Inventory” that lists the health and non-health effects of a health care intervention to ensure that all consequences are considered, including those to patients, caregivers, social services and others outside the health care sector. This tool also allows analysts to look at categories of impacts that may be most important to stakeholders.
  • A reporting checklist and guidelines for transparency that includes assumptions in any analysis and the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.

The panel also included Anirban Basu (University of Washington), Dan W. Brock (Harvard Medical School), David Feeny (McMaster University), Murray Krahn (University of Toronto), Karen M. Kuntz (University of Minnesota), David O. Meltzer (University of Chicago), Douglas K. Owens (VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University), Lisa A. Prosser (University of Michigan), Joshua A. Salomon (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), Mark J. Sculpher (University of York, UK), Thomas A. Trikalinos (Brown University), Louise B. Russell (Rutgers University), Joanna E. Siegel and Theodore G. Ganiats (University of California — San Diego School of Medicine).

Originally posted on the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy website

Duke Launches New Health Policy Center


Duke University is launching a new health policy center whose goal is to develop ideas on health reform and move them into practical implementation, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Monday.

The center, founded with a $16.5 million gift from Duke medical school alumnus Robert J. Margolis and his wife Lisa, through the Robert and Lisa Margolis Family Foundation, will connect the intellectual resources at Duke with policymakers and policy analysts in the public and private sector.  Disciplines involved in the Duke-Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy will include business, biomedical research, clinical care, public policy, global health, law and other areas.

The center’s inaugural director will be Mark McClellan, one of the nation’s leaders in health policy and reform.  McClellan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiatives, and much of this work will be moving to the new Duke-Margolis Center.  Gregory Daniel, a Brookings fellow and leader of its biomedical innovation portfolio, will join McClellan and help direct the center’s Washington, D.C., office.

“Duke has a long-standing commitment to complex problem-solving in real-world settings, and deriving the highest value from American health care is a challenge perfectly suited to our interdisciplinary skills,” Brodhead said. “We are enormously grateful to Bob and Lisa Margolis for this gift, which will allow Duke to unify its expertise in medicine, business and policy to make advances in this field.

“We are also thrilled to have Mark McClellan join us as the center’s director. His experience in the evolving health care landscape is virtually unmatched, and colleagues across the university will welcome his leadership.”

The Duke-Margolis Center will be based at the Fuqua School of Business, with staff and offices in both Durham and at Duke’s center in Washington, D.C.  It will have participation from faculty and staff at Fuqua, Sanford School of Public Policy, School of Medicine, School of Law and other units, and will collaborate with experts and health care reformers from across the country and around the world.  The center’s activities will include serving as a hub for “translational” policy research and analysis — that is, for supporting the movement of promising ideas in health reform into the implementation of effective policy.

“This new initiative marks an important and transformative collaboration within Duke, bringing together our campus schools and Duke Medicine,” said Sally Kornbluth, Duke’s provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor.  “The Duke-Margolis Center under the direction of Mark McClellan will be the focal point for faculty and students to test ideas, bring them forward to create change and to realize Duke’s full potential in a vital field.”

Added Eugene Washington, chancellor for health affairs and president and CEO of the Duke University Health System, “Since arriving at Duke, I have gained a keen appreciation of the tremendous portfolio of health-related programs arrayed across the university.  We are incredibly grateful and proud that the vision to draw on all the components through the Duke-Margolis Center is being made possible by one of the most distinguished graduates of our School of Medicine.”

Margolis, a 1971 graduate of the School of Medicine and house officer at Duke from 1970-72, is the retired managing partner and CEO of HealthCare Partners, a physician-owned and operated medical group, independent physician association and management services organization.

“While American health care is world class in many respects, there remain wide disparities in access, quality and beneficial use of resources,” Margolis said.  “Duke is uniquely positioned to rigorously study, research and evaluate new and best practices in the U.S. and abroad and advocate for public policies that promote equitable, efficient and high-quality care for all Americans.”

Margolis was a founder of HealthCare Partners’ predecessor, California Primary Physicians Medical Group, and currently sits on the board of directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Hospital in Los Angeles and the National Committee for Quality Assurance.  He previously chaired the California Association of Physician Groups, the California Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles and the Council of Accountable Physician Practices.  He also held a fellowship in oncology at the National Cancer Institute.  In addition to his medical degree from Duke, Margolis earned an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University

McClellan, the new center’s director, will also be the Robert J. Margolis MD Professor of Business, Medicine and Health Policy.  A physician and economist, McClellan is a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He is also a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he oversaw development of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative and public-private initiatives on improving the quality of care and reducing its costs. McClellan previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and senior director for health care policy at the White House, and was an associate professor of economics and medicine at Stanford University.

“I’ve had many opportunities to work with the faculty and staff at Duke, and I appreciate the university’s unique and diverse capacity to support health policy research and health policy reform,” McClellan said. “It is a tremendous privilege to work with the Duke-Margolis Center to make a difference in health care and health.”

McClellan chairs the National Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Consortium for Value and Science-Driven Health Care, co-chairs the guiding committee of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, directs the Merkin Initiative on Payment Reform and Clinical Leadership, is a senior adviser on health policy for the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, then earned a medical degree  from the Harvard University–Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Division of Health Sciences and Technology, a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and a master of public administration from Harvard.  McClellan has been board-certified in internal medicine and a practicing internist during his career.

Daniel, the deputy director, focuses on developing policy solutions to improve development, access and evidence for pharmaceutical products and medical devices. He is also a senior adviser to the Reagan-Udall Foundation and was previously vice president of government and academic research at HealthCore, Inc.  Daniel is a registered pharmacist with a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, and undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Ohio State University.

Originally published on Duke Today