Research & Innovation VP Addresses Year’s Progress

Lodge to keep mission first as ongoing assessment phase continues

Research admin and support groups from both campus and the School of Medicine joined virtually on Thursday, April 14, to discuss progress made on 2021–22 priorities and what’s to come during OR&I’s town hall hosted by Duke’s new vice president for Research & Innovation, Jennifer Lodge, PhD.


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As you may have read in her announcement back in November, Vice President Lodge joins Duke from Washington University in St. Louis where she served in a similar role as Vice Chancellor for Research and Associate Dean for Research at the School of Medicine.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” Lodge exclaimed, welcoming everyone to the town hall. “Duke is internationally known as a research powerhouse, so being a part of this community is phenomenal to me.”

Lodge has spent the last couple of months understanding the landscape of Duke and meeting with research staff and leadership to determine where things are working very well.

Following an overview of the many changes the Office for Research & Innovation has undergone over the past few years, Associate Vice President for Research and Vice Dean for Scientific Integrity Geeta Swamy, MD, was recognized and congratulated for being named one of this year’s Duke Presidential Award recipients.

“This is an incredible honor for Geeta and reflects the outstanding work she has been doing leading research integrity,” said Lodge. “She has put so many different programs in place that really help our faculty and researchers to do the right thing.”

Lodge reported that tremendous progress has been made on OR&I’s 2021–22 goals — set by previous leadership — in areas such as successful and responsible conduct of research, and research translation and commercialization.

Communications have been expanded over the past year with the development of the new Duke Research & Innovation website, two new newsletters focusing on important research updates and stories, regular policy updates, and the first-ever annual report from the Office for Research & Innovation.

Efforts to improve responsible conduct of research have provided our research community with services, support, and ongoing training programs. Research policies are being reviewed, more central grants support is available to faculty, and implementing similar principles and goals across the entire institution as One Duke is still an ongoing process.

“As a researcher myself, if compliance is easy to do the right way, faculty will do it,” Lodge said. “It’s really been great to see so much focus on services provided to faculty and to researchers in order to do research in a rigorous and responsible, and ethical way.”

Duke’s research translation and commercialization initiative is offering a more robust suite of services through the Office for Translation & Commercialization (OTC) and providing a front door to corporate partners and faculty through the Office for External Partnerships (OEP).

Leading the growth and development of the Office for External Partnerships is our new Assistant Vice President for External Partnerships and Executive Director, Ed Pagani, PhD.

“We are going to spend a lot of time meeting with our faculty of all the schools and institutes at Duke to become more familiar with their field of research,” Pagani said. “With this knowledge, we will engage parties from the public and private sector to discuss partnering at Duke.”

The external partnerships office will create and support industry, government, and private partnerships with Duke faculty and administration. It will also create new opportunities for students through summer internships possibly leading to future employment.

The town hall concluded with an open discussion, including questions addressing how we can maintain culture across research offices in our new hybrid work environment; what assets, programs, and initiatives are most critical moving forward; and what future priorities we can expect from the Vice President for Research & Innovation. The latter will be announced in the near future, Lodge said.


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