Scott Michael Palmer, MD

Professor of Medicine
Member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute
Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine
Professor in Immunology
Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Campus mail 2085 Msrb2 2 Genome Ct, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-0245
Email address

Dr. Palmer leads a successful program of clinical, basic and translational research in transplantation and advanced lung diseases. He currently directs the pulmonary research program at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and serves as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Palmer has over 150 peer reviewed publications, received numerous awards, including election into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2012, chaired many sessions at national and international meetings, serves regularly on NIH study sections, and is on the editorial board of many prominent journals. He is also Associate Director of the Clinical Research Training Program at Duke and has personally mentored over 40 pre-and post-doctoral trainees, many of whom are now engaged in their own successful research careers.

His scientific accomplishments include the first human studies to demonstrate the importance of innate immunity in transplant rejection and completion of a prospective multicenter study that improved CMV prevention after lung transplantation.

Current basic projects in the lab are studying the role of the matrix in the activation of innate immunity in pulmonary transplant rejection, and epithelial injury and repair in the development of toxin induced bronchiolitis obliterans. Translational and human projects are studying predictors of lung transplant survival in the UNOS database, immune monitoring to predict CMV infection and acute rejection after lung transplantation, and the use of novel inhaled antibiotics in lung transplantation. The lab is also using cutting edge whole exome genetic sequencing to identify genetic predictors of transplant rejection.

Dr. Palmer also leads trials coordinated through the DCRI that study the natural history and investigate new treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), chronic lung transplant rejection, and posttransplant cytomegalovirus infection.

Education and Training

  • Fellow, Pulmonary Medicine, Medicine, Duke University, 1996 - 1999
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1993 - 1996
  • M.H.S., Duke University, 2000
  • M.D., Duke University, 1993


McAdams, HP, Palmer, SM, Donnelly, LF, Charles, HC, Tapson, VF, and MacFall, JR. "Hyperpolarized 3He-enhanced MR imaging of lung transplant recipients: preliminary results." Ajr. American Journal of Roentgenology 173, no. 4 (October 1999): 955-959.

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Marom, EM, McAdams, HP, Palmer, SM, Erasmus, JJ, Sporn, TA, Tapson, VF, Davis, RD, and Goodman, PC. "Cystic fibrosis: usefulness of thoracic CT in the examination of patients before lung transplantation." Radiology 213, no. 1 (October 1999): 283-288.

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Palmer, SM, Miralles, AP, Lawrence, CM, Gaynor, JW, Davis, RD, and Tapson, VF. "Rabbit antithymocyte globulin decreases acute rejection after lung transplantation: results of a randomized, prospective study." Chest 116, no. 1 (July 1999): 127-133.

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McNicholl, IR, Palmer, SM, Ziska, DS, and Cleary, JD. "Antiinfectives Update: Focus on Treatment and Prevention of Viral and Associated Infections." Annals of Pharmacotherapy 33, no. 5 (May 1999): 607-614.

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Wood, KA, Palmer, SM, Govert, J, Baz, MA, Steele, MP, Davis, RD, D'Amico, TA, and Tapson, VF. "Outcomes of lung transplant recipients with respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation." March 1999.


Palmer, SM, McAdams, HP, MacFall, JR, Donnelly, L, Davis, RD, and Tapson, VF. "Hyperpolarized helium-3 magnetic resonance imaging of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome in lung transplant recipients." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE 159, no. 3 (March 1999): A276-A276.


Matar, LD, McAdams, HP, Palmer, SM, Henshaw, NG, and Tapson, VF. "Respiratory viral infections in lung transplant recipients: Radiologic findings with clinical correlation." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE 159, no. 3 (March 1999): A739-A739.


Alexander, BD, Palmer, SM, Tapson, VF, Davis, RD, and Reller, LB. "Bacteremia and fungemia in lung transplant recipients at Duke University Medical Center." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE 159, no. 3 (March 1999): A738-A738.


McAdams, HP, Palmer, SM, Erasmus, JJ, Patz, EF, Connolly, JE, Goodman, PC, Delong, DM, and Tapson, VF. "Bronchial anastomotic complications in lung transplant recipients: virtual bronchoscopy for noninvasive assessment." Radiology 209, no. 3 (December 1998): 689-695.

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Marom, EM, McAdams, HF, Erasmus, JJ, Palmer, SM, Sporn, TA, and Tapson, VF. "Value of chest CT in the pretransplant evaluation of patients with cystic fibrosis." November 1998.