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


Smith, P. J., J. Blumenthal, J. Mathew, B. M. Hoffman, S. Rivelli, M. Durheim, and S. M. Palmer. “Depression, Quality of Life, and Mortality Early Following Lung Transplantation.” In The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 35:S227–28. Elsevier BV, 2016.

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Todd, J. L., C. A. Finlen Copeland, M. Neely, and S. M. Palmer. “FVC and FEV1 Decline in Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction (CLAD) Phenotypes.” In The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 35:S223–24. Elsevier BV, 2016.

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Setten, J. van, N. de Jonge, M. V. Holmes, K. K. Khush, N. K. Sweitzer, P. Garcia-Pavia, J. W. Rossano, et al. “The Role of Loss-of-Function Mutations on Death and Development of Rejection in HTX/LTX Patients.” In The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 35:S191–S191. Elsevier BV, 2016.

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Cantu, E., Y. Suzuki, J. M. Diamond, J. Ellis, J. Tiwari, B. Beduhn, J. R. Nellen, et al. “Protein Quantitative Trait Loci Analysis Identifies Genetic Variation in the Innate Immune Regulator TOLLIP in Post-Lung Transplant Primary Graft Dysfunction Risk..” Am J Transplant 16, no. 3 (March 2016): 833–40.

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DerHovanessian, A., S. S. Weigt, V. Palchevskiy, M. Y. Shino, D. M. Sayah, A. L. Gregson, P. W. Noble, et al. “The Role of TGF-β in the Association Between Primary Graft Dysfunction and Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome..” Am J Transplant 16, no. 2 (February 2016): 640–49.

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Smith, Patrick J., James A. Blumenthal, Benson M. Hoffman, Sarah K. Rivelli, Scott M. Palmer, Robert D. Davis, and Joseph P. Mathew. “Reduced Cerebral Perfusion Pressure during Lung Transplant Surgery Is Associated with Risk, Duration, and Severity of Postoperative Delirium..” Ann Am Thorac Soc 13, no. 2 (February 2016): 180–87.

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Blumenthal, James A., Patrick J. Smith, Michael Durheim, Stephanie Mabe, Charles F. Emery, Tereza Martinu, Philip T. Diaz, Michael Babyak, Karen Welty-Wolf, and Scott Palmer. “Biobehavioral Prognostic Factors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Results From the INSPIRE-II Trial..” Psychosom Med 78, no. 2 (February 2016): 153–62.

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Durheim, Michael T., Derek D. Cyr, Renato D. Lopes, Laine E. Thomas, Wayne M. Tsuang, Bernard J. Gersh, Claes Held, et al. “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in patients with atrial fibrillation: Insights from the ARISTOTLE trial..” Int J Cardiol 202 (January 1, 2016): 589–94.

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Brass, D. M., W. M. Gwinn, A. Valente, F. L. Kelly, C. Brinkley, A. Nagler, A. Moseley, D. L. Morgan, S. M. Palmer, and M. W. Foster. “Artificial Butter Flavoring Exposure Causes An Extracellular Matrix Reorganizing Proteomic Signature In Primary Human Airway Epithelial Cells.” In American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 193. AMER THORACIC SOC, 2016.


Brass, D. M., F. L. Kelly, W. M. Gwinn, C. Brinkley, A. Nagler, D. L. Morgan, M. W. Foster, and S. M. Palmer. “Synthesis Of A Cross-Linked Hyaluronan Matrix By The Airway Epithelium In Experimental Bronchiolitis Obliterans.” In American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 193. AMER THORACIC SOC, 2016.