Robert M. Califf, MD

robert califf

Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research
Director, Duke Translational Medicine Institute
Donald F. Fortin, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, School of Medicine
Principal Investigator, The MURDOCK Study

Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, is the Donald F. Fortin, MD, Professor of Cardiology at the Duke University School of Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research, and director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI), Duke University’s academic home for clinical and translational research.

Born in 1951 in Anderson, South Carolina, Dr. Califf attended high school in Columbia, where he was a member of the 1969 AAAA South Carolina Championship basketball team. He attended Duke University, graduating in 1973 summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. In 1978, he graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. After completing an internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco, he returned to Duke to complete a fellowship in cardiology. He is board-certified in internal medicine (1984) and cardiology (1986), and is a Master of the American College of Cardiology (2006).

Prior to his current role as DTMI director, Dr. Califf served as the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), one of the world’s largest academic clinical research organizations. He is the author or coauthor of more than 1,100 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and editorials and is among the most frequently cited authors in medicine. Dr. Califf is the editor-in-chief of the American Heart Journal and has served on the FDA’s Cardiorenal Advisory Panel and on the Pharmaceutical Roundtable of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). He also served as founding director of the coordinating center for the Centers for Education & Research on Therapeutics™ (CERTs), a public-private partnership that seeks to advance and optimize the use of medical products.

Dr. Califf is currently a member of the IOM Forum in Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation and the IOM Policy Committee. Prior to this, he served on the IOM’s Committee on Identifying and Preventing Medication Errors and on committees that recommended Medicare coverage for clinical trials and the removal of ephedra from the market. He also co-chairs the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), a public-private partnership co-founded by Duke and the FDA, and chairs the Clinical Research Forum (CRF), an organization of academic health system leaders; both CTTI and the CRF are devoted to facilitating systemic improvements to the clinical research enterprise.

Dr. Califf is co-principal investigator of Duke’s Clinical and Translational Science Award, funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and of the Southeastern Diabetes Initiative, a Health Care Innovations Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that aims to reduce health inequities by using geospatial mapping to deploy population-level interventions. He is principal investigator for the coordinating center of the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory, a Common Fund program that develops, tests, and disseminates innovative methodologies for pragmatic clinical research. He is also a co-director of the coordinating center for the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), a nationwide initiative that supports large-scale patient-centered trials and comparative effectiveness research, and is a co-principal investigator for the Baseline Study, a collaboration among Duke, Stanford, and Google that seeks new understandings of states of health and disease in humans.

Dr. Califf is married to Lydia Carpenter Califf, and they have three children—Sharon Califf, a graduate of Elon College; Sam, a doctoral candidate in aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder; and Tom, a medical student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine—and two grandchildren. Dr. Califf enjoys spending time with his family, working on his golf game, listening to music, and supporting Duke basketball.

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