After a national search, the Duke University School of Medicine named Adrian Hernandez vice dean and executive director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute last month.
In the new position, Hernandez oversees DCRI’s research and teaching agenda, ensuring the Institute sustains a broad spectrum of clinical research programs and trials. He previously served as vice dean for clinical research starting in 2017, according to a news release announcing his selection for the DCRI role.
“When we reimagine healthcare delivery or research, you need to have the leverage to make it sustainable. It’s really through people, partnerships and platforms that I see DCRI evolving as I go forward,” Hernandez said. “We have an exciting group of these things at Duke that can change the status quo and make it better for everyone.”
Even though Hernandez has stepped back from some elements of his role as vice dean, he has continued to direct the Duke Institute for Health Innovations and will partake in the Medical School’s leadership team for data science and AI Health, the press release states.
In response to COVID-19, Hernandez initiated the Healthcare Worker Exposure Responses and Outcomes (HERO) Registry, which invites healthcare workers to answer questions about the impact of coronavirus on their lives and participate in rapid-cycle research projects. One effort focuses on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in preventing coronavirus infections in healthcare workers, according to a DCRI news release.
The $50 million study is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
“Healthcare workers treat and protect all of us from COVID-19. With the HERO Registry, we aim to develop better measures to protect and support them,” said Hernandez, who is principal investigator of the program, in the DCRI press release.
Hernandez first joined DCRI in 2002 as a cardiology fellow. Before serving as vice dean, he was a faculty associate director of Duke clinical research and director of health services and outcomes research at the DCRI. He became a Duke assistant professor in 2004.
The new executive director earned his medical degree at the University of Texas-Southwestern and completed his residency in internal residency at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, according to the School of Medicine.
“Right now, COVID-19 has really disrupted healthcare and research as we know it, allowing us to reimagine not only healthcare delivery that people talked about for years but also the importance of data science in understanding biology,” Hernandez said. “There are a number of different ways for undergraduates to get involved with medicine whether that be understanding the biology, developing diagnostics, studying policy, developing therapeutics, and learning what’s critical."
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Hernandez continued to serve as vice dean for clinical research. The Chronicle regrets the error.
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