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Education and Training

Pediatric Clinical Research/Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship


Duke University Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics is recruiting for a fellow in Pediatric Clinical Research/Clinical Pharmacology.

This is a unique three-year program in which the successful applicant is given a joint appointment in a clinical division in the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University and in the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Successful candidates will be jointly recruited by either the Primary Care Pediatrics Division or a subspecialty division.


Partnership with the relevant clinical division is central to the success of this program. Candidates recruited to subspecialty divisions (e.g., Pediatric Critical Care, Cardiology, Rheumatology, etc.) will be expected to complete subspecialty training during their three* years of fellowship and successfully complete the American Board of Pediatric subspecialty certification in their subspecialty. Typically**, the fellow will complete a total of 12 clinical months in a pediatric clinical subspecialty and two years in a competitive clinical research/clinical pharmacology research training program.

Children are at high risk of catastrophic drug-related adverse events. Their unique physiology prevents successful extrapolation of pharmacokinetic data from older patients. As a result appropriate dosing of many therapeutic agents in children is unknown.  Using existing and expanding programs at Duke University and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, we have developed a training program to launch the next generation of researchers to address the lack of safety, dosing, and efficacy information in the area of pediatric therapeutics.


This training track is for candidates who plan to pursue a career in academic medicine which emphasizes Clinical Research and Pediatric Therapeutics.  The Duke Pediatric Clinical Research/Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship is designed to provide young clinical scientists with the tools needed to develop innovative approaches to drug development and clinical research.  The training program takes advantage of the educational and degree granting programs at Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These programs include degree program in biostatistics, epidemiology, and pharmacology.  Trainees will participate in coursework at one of the two institutions (Duke or UNC). The program will support the tuition to pursue one of the following: 1) a Masters in Clinical Pharmacology; 2) a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences; 3) a Masters or PhD in Biostatistics; 4) a Masters or PhD in Epidemiology.

Proven Success

The program has a track record of success. We have won nine NIH-sponsored Career Development Awards (e.g., K23) in Clinical Research/Clinical Pharmacology; of these 9 faculty, five are in the midst of their award and four have secured multiple independent (R01, U01, etc.) awards and have tenure at Duke or UNC. These 9 faculty have clinical appointments in Pediatric Infectious Diseases (Danny Benjamin and Micky Cohen-Wolkowiez), Neonatology (Brian Smith and Matt Laughon), Pediatric Critical Care (Kanecia Zimmerman and Kevin Watt), Pediatric Cardiology (Kevin Hill), Pharmacy (Daniel Gonzales), and Neurology (Jeff Guptil). Two additional faculty (Christoph Hornik, Critical Care and Cardiology; and Rachel Greenberg, Neonatology) have K23 applications under review at NIH. Our goal is to develop successful, independent, pediatricians in every clinical subspecialty offered at Duke.

Research Resources

Trainees will be able to take advantage of infrastructure in clinical research developed around the following:

  • The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) is the largest academic clinical research organization in the United States.  Fellows will have a joint appointment in the DCRI Research Fellowship Training Program (Associate Director – P. Brian Smith). The DCRI has a longstanding commitment to developing the next generation of clinical researchers. This commitment has evolved into the creation of a comprehensive and unique fellowship training program. Faculty members associated with the program include clinician-researchers, biostatisticians, clinical pharmacologists, health economists, and health services researchers. 
  • Pediatric Trials Network (PTN). A strong component of clinical pharmacology research in the Duke Department of Pediatrics relates to the fact that Duke and DCRI have earned membership in several competitive NIH-sponsored networks, including the NICHD’s PTN. The PTN provides an outstanding opportunity for fellows in the Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship to develop skills in trial design, multicenter trial operation, regulatory submission, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacogenomics, and pediatric clinical pharmacology. The leadership for the PTN is housed at the DCRI and is led by the PI (Dr. Danny Benjamin).
  • T32 Programs. Trainee development will occur in collaboration with several established T32 programs at Duke including Duke’s Pediatric Clinician Scientist Training Program (PI Danny Benjamin) and the UNC-Duke Collaborative Clinical Pharmacology Postdoctoral Training Program (PI Drs. Kim Brouwer and Danny Benjamin) These programs provide internationally recognized mentors from multiple disciplines and provide a uniquely collaborative environment with strong institutional support.

How to Apply

Applicants should send their curriculum vitae and a letter outlining career goals/research plans to:

Divinagracia R. Pinson
Assistant to Daniel Benjamin, MD PhD
Kiser-Arena Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University
Chair, Pediatric Trials Network 
Faculty Associate Director, Duke Clinical Research Institute