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Clinical Research Unit

The Duke Department of Orthopaedic Surgery’s Clinical Research Unit (CRU) plays a critical role in realizing the mission and vision of Duke Orthopaedics.

The CRU oversees and supports all clinical research projects undertaken by Duke Orthopaedics faculty, and helps investigators access and manage pre- and post-award funding from industry, foundation, and federal sources and develop strong research partnerships across disciplines.

Duke Orthopaedics is enjoying an expansion of our research programs across all areas of expertise, including our core focus areas of engineering; cellular, developmental and genome sciences; whole body kinematics; and population biology.

Clinical research has always been the central focus and strength of our Duke Orthopaedics surgical faculty – and the CRU is instrumental in facilitating and advancing this important work.

Recently, a traditional focus on retrospective review-based projects, driven in part by our residency program, has shifted toward more industry-funded research due to our industry partners’ need to understand the function of medical devices we implant in patients.

The CRU facilitates these partnerships while also striving to grow the Department’s portfolio of federally funded clinical research.

Several Duke Orthopaedics faculty have joint appointments with the Duke Clinical Research Institute, providing enhanced opportunities for cost-effective collaborative research.

CRU in Action: Osteoarthritis

According to the CDC, osteoarthritis (OA) affects 13.9 percent of adults aged 25 years and older and 33.6% of those 65+. OA was the second most expensive diagnosis treated in the U.S. in 2011 for all payers. Duke Orthopaedics is developing a multi-faceted approach to addressing the issues of OA, including:

  • Several studies evaluating the cost-effectiveness of various OA treatments
  • Industry funded protocols evaluating the outcomes of medical devices used to treat OA
  • Federally funded research to assess the ability of biomarkers to predict progression of arthritis after injury
  • Translation of basic science in the area of post-traumatic arthritis that is moving into clinical trials



CRU Faculty and Staff

Steven Olson, MD, Director   

Duke South Orange Zone Room 5312    

DUMC Box 3706, Durham, NC  27710

W: 919-668-3000

F: 919-668-2933                                

Nancy Hassell, Research Practice Manager    

Duke South Orange Zone Room 5343

DUMC Box 3389, Durham, NC  27710

W: 919-681-8778

Peter Pavlis, Financial Practice Manager

Duke South Orange Zone Room 5307

DUMC Box 3706, Durham, NC  27710

W: 919-681-3360    


Sport Medicine

Emily Reinke, PhD

3475 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705

(919) 684-8997

Suzanne Finley, CRC

3475 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705

W: 919-684-5431

F:  919-681-6357



Jennifer Friend, CRC

4709 Creekstone Drive, Suite 200, Rm 235

Durham, NC  27703       

W: 919-668-4373

F: 919-660-5029

Joanne Harlin, CRC

4709 Creekstone Drive, Suite 200

Durham, NC 27703

W:  919-660-8068

F: 919-660-5029

JaNell Wylie, CTS, Sr.

4709 Creekstone Drive, Suite 300

Durham, NC 27703

Phone: 919-660-4025

Fax: 919-660-5029


Foot and Ankle

Cristina Van Sant, CRC

4709 Creekstone Drive, Suite 200, Rm 235

Durham, NC  27703

W: 919-668-9175

F: 919-660-5029



Carrigan Creech, CRC

4709 Creekstone Drive, Suite 200, Rm 235

Durham, NC 27703

W: 919-660-9343

F: 919-660-5029


Trauma, Peds, Oncology and Spine

Cameron Howes, CRC

Duke South Orange Zone Room 5343

DUMC Box 2923, Durham, NC 27710

W: 919-613-5747

F: 919-668-1012      


Resources for Investigators

CITI modules:




Research Support Offices

  • Duke Office of Clinical Research (DOCR)
    DOCR supports the Clinical Research Units (CRUs), including all School of Medicine faculty, staff, and students, by developing the navigation, tools, and training for the conduct of clinical research in which Duke serves as an investigative site.
  • Duke Office of Research Support (Funding Opportunities)
    Duke’s Office of Research Support provides information on funding sources for research and other scholarly projects.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB)
    The IRB ensures the protection of human research subjects by conducting scientific and ethical review of research studies while providing leadership and education for the research community.
  • Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance
    The Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance oversees compliance activities across Duke.
  • Office of  Research Contracts (ORC)
    The Office of Research Contracts (ORC) supports Duke University School of Medicine and School of Nursing research and educational efforts by drafting, reviewing, negotiating, signing, and performing certain administrative functions regarding agreements with external industry, non-profit/foundation, and government entities for the funding and conduct of clinical and non-clinical research and CME and non-CME educational programs.  ORC additionally supports all Duke faculty in establishing appropriate documentation for exchanges of research materials, confidential information, data, technical know-how, and equipment in support of research across the University.
  • Office of Research Administration (ORA) 
    The Office of Research Administration generates systems for research administration performed at Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University Health System, and Duke University. Among these systems there are three main database applications that facilitate the management and electronic submission of sponsored research projects.
  • Office of Research Support
    This University office, under the guidance of the Vice Provost for Research, oversees several administrative areas for research: the Grants, Contracts, & Compliance group; the Funding Opportunities group; the Office of Human Subjects Protection; and the Office of Export Controls.
  • Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)
    The Office of Sponsored Programs performs the post-award administration of sponsored projects.
  • Patient Revenue Management Organization (PRMO) Clinical Trials Billing
    The PRMO provides billing support for research projects and establishes standards for clinical trial billing throughout the institution.