Meet DGIM Postdoc: Joseph Lunyera

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Title: Postdoctoral Associate at Duke Division of General Internal Medicine (Duke GIM).

Duration of position: I started my 2-year postdoc appointment in November 2016 – already 4 months down the road!

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Uganda.

Where did you receive your degree? I obtained my medical degree (MBChB – the British equivalent of an MD) from Makerere University in my home country of Uganda.

What brought you to Duke? I chose Duke because of its reputation as a premier research institution.

Tell us more about your background and experience. During my clinical rotations while in medical school, I became interested in a career in academic medicine focusing on nephrology. I chose to pursue an academic career in nephrology because I wanted to advocate for individuals with kidney disease both on the academic and policy fronts. With this vision, I embarked upon my efforts to acquire graduate training in research methodologies at the Duke Global Health Institute.

What is your role? My primary work focuses on the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) – the largest study of cardiovascular disease in African Americans – where I lead several analyses aimed at identifying risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD).

What studies are you working on? Within the JHS, I am currently studying the role of sleep duration, vitamin D deficiency, hydration status, and other potential exposure factors in the etiology of CKD. I am also working with Dr. Clarissa Diamantidis on the U-Change AKI Study – which aims to understand the role of patient behavior change in acute kidney injury (AKI) outcomes.

What do you hope to accomplish here? I hope to hone my expertise in research methodologies during my time at Duke GIM. Because I was recently appointed to the American Society of Nephrology’s Policy and Advocacy Committee as a fellow participant, I also hope to hone expertise in public policy to my repertoire – which will help tailor my research effort to address policy-relevant issues in the United States.

Where is your office located? My office is located on the 5th Floor of the NC Mutual Life building on W. Chapel Hill Street in downtown Durham. I am directly down the hall from my mentors Drs. Ebony Boulware and Clarissa Diamantidis!

Fun Fact! Tell us something interesting people don’t know about you. I am a “board-certified” cook – I have a high school diploma in food and nutrition!

What are some hobbies/interests you have outside of work? I treat soccer like a religion: I only miss pick-up soccer on Saturday mornings at Duke’s Central Campus if I must, and I show up at virtually all of my soccer team’s games during Duke intramural championships. I also recently picked up a new hobby – mountain biking at Falls Lake!