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Lesley Curtis to Lead Duke’s New Department of Population Health Sciences


Duke Health News Duke Health News

DURHAM, N.C. -- Lesley Curtis, Ph.D., has been named to serve as the first chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Curtis has been interim chair of the new department since July 2017, when creation of the department was approved by the Duke University Board of Trustees. From 2016-2017, Curtis served as director of the Center for Population Health Sciences, which was a launching pad for the new department.

“I couldn’t be more pleased about this appointment,” said Mary E. Klotman, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “Dr. Curtis is an outstanding scientist and a visionary leader. She was a key driver and instrumental in the creation of this new department and will be the impetus for the department’s future growth and success.”

The Department of Population Health Sciences engages faculty members from a variety of disciplines -- including epidemiology, health services research and policy, health economics, health measurement and behavior, and implementation science -- who work to answer complex questions about the drivers of health in large populations.

A health services researcher by training, Curtis has spent her career advancing the health of patients with cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and other chronic conditions. An expert in the use of Medicare claims data for health services and clinical outcomes research, she has been a leader in using Medicare claims data along with large clinical registries and epidemiological cohort studies, including the Framingham Heart Study and the Cardiovascular Health Study.

In addition to her role as chair, Curtis is director of the Center for Pragmatic Health Systems Research in the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI). She also leads the Distributed Research Network Operations Center for PCORI’s National Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), is co-principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health’s Health Care Systems Collaboratory, and co-leads the Data Core for the FDA’s Sentinel Initiative.



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