This week’s Staff Spotlight shines on Barath Ramasubramanian, MS, who currently serves as the program director for the Duke Pediatric Research Scholars Program for Physician-Scientist Development (DPRS). He also collaborates with the Office of the Vice Chair of Research to coordinate research development activities for faculty and trainees in the department. This article discusses his academic interests, how he became interested in working in the Department of Pediatrics, and his passions outside of work.
What made you decide to come to Duke? How long have you been with the Department of Pediatrics?
I am a Hoya from Georgetown University Medical Center, where I received a Master’s in Microbiology and Immunology. At the Department of Pediatrics Diabetes Research Lab where I worked for over 8 years, I was a Research Specialist and Co-Investigator on a number of translational research projects focused on improving islet cell transplantation and developing novel devices with broad applications. I was involved in an Annual Internship Program that provided research training to medical graduates who seek research experiences prior to applying to residency.
My wife, Jen and I moved to Durham during the onset of the pandemic last year when she got offered a great position at a contract research organization (CRO) in the RTP area. I wanted to transition to an academic research environment where I would have the opportunity to do what I love and decided to continue my next phase here at Duke Pediatrics. Being new to the Duke family (since Feb, 2021) I have a great team here at the Department of Pediatrics that I work with.
What are your responsibilities within the Department of Pediatrics? What does a typical day for you look like?
In my role as Program Director, I am responsible for managing the Duke Pediatric Research Scholars (DPRS) Program for Physician-Scientist Development, led by Rasheed Gbadegesin, MD MBBS, and Andrew Landstrom, MD PhD. DPRS provides leadership, training, and mentorship in pediatric research to residents and fellows. In addition, I support the Office of the Vice Chair of Research, Coleen Cunningham, MD (effective March 1, 2021, Bill Steinbach, MD), to coordinate research development activities for faculty and trainees in the Pediatrics Department.
What are some of your academic interests?
My academic interests include immunology, drug development and translational research in the areas of immune mediated diseases and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
What do you enjoy most about your work?
One of the aspects that I enjoy most about working here is fostering an environment that promotes the development of the next generation of physician scientists and seeing the impact they are having on pushing the boundaries of basic, translational and clinical science.
What was the best advice you ever received?
I have had some great mentors in my life, who have been instrumental in my successes by advising and guiding me. However, one piece of advice that I value the most is something I received from my father who urged me to never take things for granted, to value people and enjoy the little things in life. I try to incorporate this doctrine in all aspects of my life.
What passions or hobbies do you have outside of work?
My wife and I are pet parents to two goldendoodles (Toby and Max) and one parrot (Mango). We love travelling, going on several road trips every chance we got (until the pandemic hit). I love playing carrom which is a cue sport like pool, collecting and playing board-games and hosting game-nights with family and friends.