Dr. Bryan Batch: Nurturing a Diverse Workforce in Clinical Research

In the dynamic landscape of the Duke Department of Medicine (DOM), Bryan Batch, MD emerges as a leader of change and progress, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as the Duke Faculty Director of the Duke-NCCU Bridge Office. The office is a testament to collaborative efforts between Duke University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU), aiming to foster multidisciplinary collaborations, amplify research endeavors, and nurture a diverse workforce in clinical research sciences. 

Dr. Batch's journey is one marked by dedication and purpose, and she brings a unique perspective to her role. Her commitment to addressing health disparities, particularly in marginalized communities, serves as a driving force behind her involvement in the program. 

"I've dedicated my time and effort to researching disparities in diabetes and obesity, focusing on building and implementing interventions to improve outcomes," Dr. Batch says. "My professional trajectory has evolved from being research and clinically focused in the early stages to taking on leadership roles that impact systems of care and diversification of the clinical research workforce." 

Reflecting on her role within the Duke-NCCU Bridge Office, Dr. Batch emphasizes the importance of building bridges—both metaphorically and figuratively. The program facilitates seamless exchanges between Duke and NCCU, leveraging institutional capabilities to foster bidirectional partnerships, empower trainees at all career stages, and fortify community engagement efforts. 

"The Duke-NCCU Bridge Office serves as a conduit for collaboration, innovation, and mutual enrichment," Dr. Batch explains. "The Office strategically aligns institutional capabilities to advance translational research, inter-professional learning, and community engagement between researchers, clinicians, students, staff, and community partners." 

Central to the program's mission is the cultivation of talent and the empowerment of underrepresented individuals in clinical research. Dr. Batch highlights that Duke-NCCU Bridge Office initiatives provide tailored professional development opportunities. From internships to research funding support, the Duke-NCCU Bridge Office equips individuals with the tools and resources essential for success. 

"We're dedicated to nurturing talent and empowering underrepresented individuals in clinical research," Dr. Batch states. “Through mentorship, leadership development, and consultations, we strive to create a more equitable landscape within academia and beyond." 

Dr. Batch's commitment to DEI is deeply rooted in her personal experiences. Both her parents and in-laws attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), instilling in her a profound appreciation for the role of HBCUs in fostering excellence and opportunity for Black individuals. 

"Having my parents and in-laws graduate from HBCUs has deeply influenced my perspective on education and diversity," Dr. Batch reflects. "HBCUs play a vital role in nurturing talent and empowering communities, and I am committed to honoring that legacy through my work." 

The Duke-NCCU Bridge Program is more than just an institutional partnership—it's a catalyst for change and progress. Dr. Bryan Batch's leadership within the program exemplifies a steadfast commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic medicine. 

In celebrating the achievements of individuals like Dr. Bryan Batch, we reaffirm our commitment to amplifying diverse voices, championing equity, and shaping a future where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.