Institutes and Labs

Duke Nephrology faculty work in multidisciplinary teams to integrate inpatient and outpatient clinical services with clinical, translational, and basic research programs. Their work largely takes place in the centers listed below.

Centers and Institutes


Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research (DOCK)
This center was established in 2012 and is supported by a P30 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and by the Duke University School of Medicine and Department of Medicine. Our goal is to unravel the mechanisms underlying the profound impact kidney disease imparts on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The goal of the DOCK center is to explore how kidney disease interacts with the cardiovascular system using a genetic and basic science approach. We will also foster clinical and translational research aimed at the inter-relationships between CKD, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Click here to visit the Web site.


Duke Cardiovascular Research Center (Duke CVRC)
Under the direction of Howard Rockman, MD the Duke CVRC promotes and stimulates basic discoveries that will advance understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases that will enhance clinical care, by developing novel diagnostic strategies, and identifying new targets for therapy. To promote these objectives, the Center provides a framework of support of more than 60 faculty members spanning six academic departments at Duke University and Duke-NUS in Singapore. Through the Center, we have launched a series of programs designed to encourage the development of an interactive and synergistic community of scientists focused on addressing critical problems in cardiovascular disease.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute (DMPI)
The DMPI's mission is to produce integrated multi-omics and physiologic profiles of chronic human diseases, and to use such profiles to develop new disease detection strategies, novel therapies, and insights into disease mechanisms. The center is directed by Dr. Chris Newgard.


The Duke Hypertension Center
The Hypertension Center provides a focus for the care of hypertensive patients and for broad initiatives in hypertension research.


Duke Institute for Renal Outcomes Research at Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI)
The Duke Institute for Renal Outcomes Research provides training and research in epidemiology and outcomes of patients with renal disease.


Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center
Under the direction of Laura P. Svetkey, MD, MHS, the Stedman Center provides clinical research into:

  • Mechanisms involved in regulation of insulin secretion from the pancreas
  • How the body uses dietary copper and iron
  • Mechanisms by which nutrition links to immune system function
  • Mechanisms involved in whole body fuel homeostasis, including the responses of muscle and liver to overnutrition and exercise
  • The role of microRNAs in control of pancreatic islet function and survival



The Coffman Lab: Research in the Coffman Lab addresses issues relevant to disorders such as hypertension, diabetic nephropathy, transplant rejection, and autoimmune diseases.  

The Crowley Lab: Research in the Crowley Lab explores the contribution of the immune system and inflammatory mediators to the progression of target organ damage in the setting of cardiovascular disease.

The Foster Lab: Research in the Foster Lab focuses on autoimmune glomerulonephritis, a major cause of acute and chronic kidney disease worldwide.

The Gbadegesin Lab: Research in the Gbadegesin lab focuses on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of childhood onset nephrotic syndrome, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and vesicoureteric reflux (a common congenital malformation of the kidney and the urinary tract).

The Spurney Lab: The Spurney Lab focuses on the role of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in regulating cellular physiology.