CTSA Special Populations Core

The Duke CTSA Special Populations Core facilitates research that promotes health equity for populations that have traditionally been under-represented in health research or excluded altogether, including:

  • Infants and children/pediatric populations (birth to 21 years)
  • Adolescents and young adults
  • Older adults    
  • People with disabilities and/or rare disorders
  • People who have been underserved or underrepresented in clinical research (e.g., African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, rural populations or populations with low socioeconomic status).

Funding Opportunities

Special Populations Core Pilot Funding

The purpose of the Special Populations Pilot program is to facilitate research that promotes health equity for groups who have traditionally been under-represented in health research or excluded altogether. The Duke CTSI Special Populations Pilot Agreement provides funding up to $25,000 (direct costs only) to support  novel clinical and translational research in its many forms. Projects must show strong potential to inform subsequent grant applications to the NIH or other funding agencies.

The 2018 application period closed on September 17. Please check back for 2019 application period dates.

The 2018 application period closed on September 17, 2018. We received 14 letters of intent and invited 5 applicants to submit full proposals. We will announce the awardee in February 2019. Please check back later for the 2019 submission dates.

Reference the RFA

Contact Us: specialpopulations@duke.edu

About the Special Populations Core

Core Objectives

1.       Provide resources to accelerate and amplify 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

Request a Consult

Meet Our Leadership

Heather WhitsonHeather Whitson | heather.whitson@duke.edu

Associate Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics) & Ophthalmology
Director, Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham VA Medical Center

Dr. Whitson’s clinical and translational research focuses on improving independence and resilience to stressors among older adults with multiple chronic conditions. She has particular interest and expertise in the link between age-related vision and cognitive changes.



Dwight KoeberlDwight Koeberlkoebe001@mc.duke.edu

Professor of Pediatrics (Medical Genetics) and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Duke University School of Medicine
Dr. Koeberl's research focus in Special Populations is rare diseases, including newborn screening, new orphan drug therapies, and the diagnosis of genetic disease.



Devon Noonan | devon.noonan@duke.edu

Associate Professor, Duke University School of Nursing
Member, Duke Cancer Institute


KK LamK.K. Lamkk.lam@duke.edu
Clinical Health Project Leader, CTSI




Jillian HurstJillian Hurstjillian.hurst@duke.edu
Research Program Manager, CTSI