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Leadership transition in Duke Pediatric Research Scholars program

Thursday, August 30, 2018
Matthew Kelly; Rasheed Gbadegesin

Ann M. Reed, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of Duke Children’s, recently announced that Matthew Kelly, MD, MPH, has accepted a new role as the associate director of Physician-Scientist Development in the Office of Pediatric Education. Rasheed Gbadegesin, MD, MBBS, will be assuming the role of program director in September, and Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, will step down as program director, but will continue to work with the DPRS in an advisory capacity.  

In his new role, Dr. Kelly will help develop research-integrated resident training pathways and serve as a liaison to physician-scientist training initiatives in the Department of Pediatrics, including the Duke Pediatric Research Scholars (DPRS) program and the new Stimulating Access to Research during Residency (StARR/R38) program. Dr. Kelly’s research focuses on the development of strategies that use targeted manipulation of the microbiome to prevent and treat infections in children. He is currently conducting a study of mother-infant pairs in Botswana to understand how the nasopharyngeal microbiome impacts the risk of childhood pneumonia, which is the leading infectious killer of children globally. These studies will help elucidate interactions between the nasopharyngeal microbiome and respiratory pathogens and could aid in the development of rationally designed probiotics for the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections.

Katie Barrett, MA, will assume the role of DPRS program director and work on development initiatives for Coleen Cunningham, MD, vice chair of research, beginning September 4. Katie is an anthropologist who is interested in how culture influences our biology, and how biology shapes cultural practices. Her doctoral research focused on how infancy and early childhood feeding interactions shape health and risk of chronic disease over the life course. Prior to attending graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill, Katie managed the business operations for a large, multispecialty physician practice in Texas.

Dr. Reed also acknowledged Jillian Hurst, PhD, for her ground-breaking work as the inaugural DPRS program manager. Jillian will continue in her role leading program development in the Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative (CHDI).