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
Professor in Population Health Sciences
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


Porteous, Mary K., James C. Lee, David J. Lederer, Scott M. Palmer, Edward Cantu, Rupal J. Shah, Scarlett L. Bellamy, et al. “Clinical Risk Factors and Prognostic Model for Primary Graft Dysfunction after Lung Transplantation in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension.” Ann Am Thorac Soc 14, no. 10 (October 2017): 1514–22.

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Brass, D. M., A. E. Nagler, K. Weinberg, F. L. Kelly, and S. M. Palmer. “Diacetyl, Epithelial Injury and Popcorn Lung.” In Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 58:S44–45. WILEY, 2017.


Petrovski, Slavé, Jamie L. Todd, Michael T. Durheim, Quanli Wang, Jason W. Chien, Fran L. Kelly, Courtney Frankel, et al. “An Exome Sequencing Study to Assess the Role of Rare Genetic Variation in Pulmonary Fibrosis.” Am J Respir Crit Care Med 196, no. 1 (July 1, 2017): 82–93.

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Castleberry, Anthony, Michael S. Mulvihill, Babatunde A. Yerokun, Brian C. Gulack, Brian Englum, Laurie Snyder, Mathias Worni, et al. “The utility of 6-minute walk distance in predicting waitlist mortality for lung transplant candidates.” J Heart Lung Transplant 36, no. 7 (July 2017): 780–86.

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Todd, Jamie L., and Scott M. Palmer. “Danger signals in regulating the immune response to solid organ transplantation.” J Clin Invest 127, no. 7 (June 30, 2017): 2464–72.

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Brass, David M., William M. Gwinn, Ashlee M. Valente, Francine L. Kelly, Christie D. Brinkley, Andrew E. Nagler, M Arthur Moseley, Daniel L. Morgan, Scott M. Palmer, and Matthew W. Foster. “The Diacetyl-Exposed Human Airway Epithelial Secretome: New Insights into Flavoring-Induced Airways Disease.” American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 56, no. 6 (June 2017): 784–95.

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Osho, Asishana A., Anthony W. Castleberry, Babatunde A. Yerokun, Michael S. Mulvihill, Justin Rucker, Laurie D. Snyder, Robert D. Davis, and Matthew G. Hartwig. “Clinical predictors and outcome implications of early readmission in lung transplant recipients.” J Heart Lung Transplant 36, no. 5 (May 2017): 546–53.

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Smith, P. J., S. M. Palmer, L. D. Snyder, B. M. Hoffman, K. K. Ingle, G. L. Stonerock, C. Saulino, and J. A. Blumenthal. “Depressive Symptoms and Post-Transplant Mortality: Examining the Influence of Perioperative Outcomes.” In Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 36:S208–S208. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2017.