CTSI Special Populations: About


CTSA Special Populations Core

Duke Special Populations Core

The Special Populations Core launched in May of 2017 to facilitate the integration of traditionally underserved populations in clinical research. These special populations include infants and children/pediatric populations, adolescents and young adults, older adults, people with disabilities and/or rare disorders, people who have been underrepresented in clinical research (e.g. African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, rural populations or populations with low socioeconomic status). We provide infrastructure, resources, and training to amplify science and accelerate discoveries in special populations. We also build workforce capacity through training and growing professional networks of investigators engaged in special population research. 

What we Do

  1. Provide resources to accelerate life course and disparities research
  2. Build workforce capacity in life course and health disparities research
  3. Expand professional networks of life course and disparities investigators

Meet Our Leadership

 Keisha Bentley-Edwards, PhD, Duke Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine; Associate Director of Research

Jillian Hurst Jillian Hurst, PhD, Duke Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 

Dwight Koeberl, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology  Dwight Koeberl, MD, PhD, Duke Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology 

 Devon Noonan, PhD, Duke Associate Professor in the School of Nursing 

KK Lam K.K. Lam, PhD, Director of Operations for Special Population Core; Child Health Project Leader; CTSI Accelerator 

Carter Crew, MPH, Partnerships Lead, NC Integrated Care for Kids; Program Coordinator for Children's Health and Discovery Initiative and Special Populations Core 

Sydney Sullivan, MPH, HRSA/SPC Research Analyst/Program Coordinator 


Assisted Barrett Bowling, MD, in developing the 5Ts Research Framework. Although the framework was designed to facilitate the inclusion of older adults in clinical research, the SP Core has recognized and will promote its relevance as a tool to facilitate inclusion of multiple special populations. It targets the 5Ts: target population, team, tools, time, and tips to accommodate. The 5Ts Research Framework was selected for presentation at the American Geriatrics Society annual meeting in May 2019.

Provided research consultation services that offer feedback and assistance to investigators developing proposals for our pilot awards and other external funding opportunities; guidance to trainees engaged in scholarly research projects; and assistance in identifying relevant resources and tools.

Collaborating with CTSA cores and Duke entities to create a repository of existing resources, including tools, protocols, databases, and registries to facilitate research in special populations. We will distribute a survey to faculty, staff, and trainees conducting research in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing to identify key resources and opportunities.


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