Duke University names new director for N.C. Research Campus facility

Published 1:34 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A staff report

Julie Eckstrand has been named the new director of operations for Duke University’s Translational Population Health Research Group, which includes the MURDOCK Study and Duke’s other clinical research studies based at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

In her new role, Eckstrand will manage operations for the “TransPop” Group for the new Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The research portfolio includes the MURDOCK Study and related research projects involving biomarkers, longitudinal registries, risk modeling of data, and community-engaged research at the Duke-Kannapolis office. TransPop serves as an academic hub for accelerating the translation and implementation of scientific discoveries into health benefits for patients and communities.

Eckstrand will maintain offices in both Kannapolis and Durham and oversee a team of nearly 30 people.

“I am thrilled to return to my Duke family and begin new research endeavors with the NCRC community,” Eckstrand said. “We have important work to do that has the potential to be enormously impactful. I am looking forward to meeting new collaborators and to a bright and productive future.”

Eckstrand began her career as a clinical pharmacist and has worked almost exclusively in human clinical research for 30 years. Most recently, Eckstrand was executive director of the Nutrition Science Initiative, a nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to reducing the social and economic costs of obesity, diabetes, and other related and rare diseases by improving the quality of science in nutrition research.

She returns to Duke University after previously serving as assistant director for clinical support services and quality management at the Duke Clinical Research Unit from 2011 to 2015, as well as a clinical pharmacist in informatics specializing in enterprise analytics and patient safety research from 2006 to 2011.

A self-described “soccer mom, musician and Sudoku fanatic,” Eckstrand is married and has two children in high school.