Research Career Development Program (K12)

Duke University Medical Center (Duke) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Clinical Hematology and Transfusion Medicine Research Career Development Program (Duke-UNC HTM K12) is a program designed to ensure the continuation of high quality, patient-oriented research in hematology and transfusion medicine through the careful and thorough training of post-doctoral and post-fellowship scholars who are committed to academic careers focused on clinical research in these areas.

About the Program

Leaders from both Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created academic environments that place a high value on the mission of clinical research. Interactions between biomedical scientists and health care professionals are enthusiastically fostered in order to facilitate the transfer of fundamental discoveries from the laboratory bench to the bedside and then ultimately to human populations.

Professionals from areas as diverse as molecular and human genetics to health care economics are actively encouraged to work together in order to create new knowledge that will improve the care of our own individual patients and then ultimately be applied to the health of patients throughout the world.

This K12 program encourages the collaborative behavior and multidisciplinary approach that is essential to achieve success in clinical research involving a variety of blood diseases.

By combining a variety of established institutional resources, we employ a carefully crafted didactic educational structure designed to ensure that all participants are provided with a well-defined body of knowledge. Then, under the guidance of their individual mentors, scholars apply this information to clinical research in hematology and transfusion medicine, including hematopoietic cell therapy. Finally, we will leverage the strengths and breadth of the faculty at both institutions to optimize the research environment for each scholar.

Elements of the Program

  • Each scholar participates in the clinical core curriculum and the didactic clinical research curriculum consisting of a formal multidisciplinary didactic program of lectures, seminars, and workshops. Some of these have been created expressly for this program, while others come from coursework taught as part of existing didactic clinical research programs at both Duke and UNC and from the ongoing research and clinical seminars that already involve faculty and junior investigators from both institutions.
  • Each scholar has “internship” rotations -- one (required) in the Duke or UNC Clinical Research Unit or IRB; and the other (optional) at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) or Duke Translational Medicine Institute, where insights and experience will be gained in some of the key activities along the spectrum of patient-oriented research. Additional optional internships are available in specialized hematology laboratories, and in the Center for Human Genetics.
  • In addition to coursework, successful future clinical investigators must have high-quality mentoring and opportunities to do significant original work so that they can eventually move to an independent, sustainable academic career. Therefore, each scholar supported by this Duke-UNC K12 will have a mentored research internship in program year one, followed by one to two years of full time research under the direction of a lead mentor and one or more co-mentors.
  • Each scholar will receive formal instruction in the “survival skills” essential to success in an academic career.
  • Each scholar will undergo formal training in the responsible conduct of research.

Executive Committee

Marilyn J. Telen, MD
Wellcome Professor of Medicine

Thomas L. Ortel, MD, PhD
Associate Program Director
Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology
Chief, Division of Hematology

Daniel Wechsler, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Nigel Key, MD
Harold Roberts Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Director of the UNC Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center
Chief of the Section of Hematology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Leslie V. Parise, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill