Faculty Spotlight: Oliver Glass, PhD

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dr. Oliver Glass joined Duke GIM faculty two months ago, taking on a new role as "Interim Director of Research at Duke Integrative Medicine" and GIM Medical Instructor. We want to share a recent interview with Dr. Glass.

Where do you work? What is your title?

I work at Duke Integrative Medicine where I serve as the Interim Director of Research, my title is Medical Instructor in General Internal Medicine.

"I recognize and appreciate the immense responsibility that comes along with managing diverse research projects both internally and externally."

What is your focus in Integrative Medicine?

My interests in the field relate to understanding the impact of lifestyle modification on overall health and well-being, especially in the context of chronic disease.

How did you get into this specific field of lifestyle modification and chronic diseases?

I became interested in this line of research through my graduate work in exercise-oncology. I was investigating the effects of exercise on breast tumor biology in animal models and was awestruck by the ability of exercise to slow cancer growth. It was astounding to see something like exercise have such a profound impact on cancer. Around that same time, I began to look further into the growing body of scientific literature indicating that other aspects of lifestyle (social isolation, circadian rhythm, diet, environment, etc.) could also influence cancer progression. It was then apparent to me that the important lessons of lifestyle effects on cancer could also be applied to optimizing health strategies on a broader scale.

What attracted you to Duke?

I first came to Duke in 2007 to work on breast cancer vaccine research in the lab of Dr. H. Kim Lyerly. I had a previous background in basic cancer research and was looking for unique opportunities to get involved in translational (bench to bedside) projects. With great mentors in the lab I was able to develop my skills in various research techniques, scientific writing, and a level of research independence that helped me navigate the challenges of graduate school.

How is the new position going for you so far?

Being Interim Director of Research at Duke Integrative Medicine is an amazing experience. I recognize and appreciate the immense responsibility that comes along with managing diverse research projects both internally and externally. However, we have a tremendous research and clinical team here at Duke Integrative Medicine which has made the process smooth and enjoyable.

Tell us about your research.

I am planning to conduct a pilot study of vigorous intensity interval training in patients with chronic liver disease. This study will help provide preliminary data for a future clinical trial to look at whether improving fitness improves chronic liver disease.

And, life outside the profession

My hobbies and interests outside of work include Crossfit, cooking, sailing, fixing all things, and exploring the unique offerings of Durham with my family.

Oddly enough, my favorite food is steel oats, I eat it every day.

My favorite restaurant is Primal Food & Spirits in Durham, everything is consistently good….and I mean everything.

A fun fact ? I used to be an artist and art historian.