The world looks to the DCRI as the definitive leader in cardiovascular clinical research, implementation science, and education. We look to our practicing faculty, cutting-edge analytics, and operational expertise to address the spectrum of challenges through clinical research focused on improving the care of patients with cardiovascular disease.

The Next CV Advancement
Begins Here

The Cardiovascular Clinical Trials group advances and streamlines the process through innovative study design, fit-for-purpose approaches, thoughtful analytics, and a commitment to rapid knowledge dissemination. This is essential to translate novel therapeutic concepts into effective and efficient clinical trials across the spectrum of cardiovascular illnesses, including:

  • Acute coronary syndromes
  • Antithrombotics/thrombosis
  • Chronic coronary artery disease and coronary atherosclerosis
  • Dyslipidemia and hyperlipidemia
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Cardiovascular genetics and genomics
  • Cardiac diagnostic testing
  • Electrophysiology
    • Atrial fibrillation
    • Pacemakers and implantable defibrillators
    • Antiarrhythmic agents
John Alexander
  • Geriatric cardiology
  • Heart failure
  • Pediatric cardiology
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Risk modeling for coronary disease
  • Valvular heart disease

Testing for Cardiovascular Devices

The DCRI has a team of experts specifically dedicated to providing critical guidance and support for the unique challenges faced by devices trials, such as evolving regulatory requirements and the need for rapid recruitment of eligible patients.

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CV Outcomes Research

Prove the Value of Better Patient Care

The demand to clearly and quickly demonstrate outcomes of new therapies for cardiovascular patients is greater now than ever before. And the DCRI is the national leader in helping sponsors do that—collecting and analyzing economic and quality-of-life data for the purpose of overcoming barriers to reimbursement.

DCRI’s Outcomes Research Group maintains the world’s oldest and largest ongoing database for cardiovascular disease and is conducting groundbreaking pragmatic clinical trials for patients with heart disease.

With 21 full-time faculty and 100 full-time statisticians, project managers, and research and operational team members, the DCRI Outcomes Research team evaluates outcomes and costs in phase II through IV clinical trials and observational research studies.

Research Highlights

Blood test for specific metabolites could reveal blocked arteries

A pilot project by Duke and DCRI researchers suggests that in the near future, a blood test could show whether arteries carrying blood to the heart are narrow or blocked, a risk factor for heart disease.


DCRI to lead new study of treatments for patients with diabetes and heart disease

The DCRI is leading a new clinical study to optimize care for people with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease through evaluation of a multidisciplinary approach at cardiology clinics across the U.S.


DCRI and Cerner Collaborate on New Cardiac Risk App

The DCRI and Cerner are working together to develop an atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) Risk Calculator app, designed as a tool to increase communication between the person and their doctor about ways to live a healthier life and risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Advancing the Field of Racial Health Disparities in Cardiovascular Research

Kevin Thomas, MD, discusses the ways in which his group attempts to move past describing racial disparities in treatment and outcomes and toward identifying causes of the disparities and interventions that would help bridge the gap, particularly as it pertains to cardiovascular care.

Cardiovascular Leadership at the DCRI 

John H. Alexander, MD, MHS, FACC

John H. Alexander is a cardiologist and professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine and Division of Cardiology at Duke University, as well as the Vice Chief for Clinical Research in the Division of Cardiology. He is the director of cardiovascular research at the DCRI, where he oversees a large group of clinical research faculty and a broad portfolio of cardiovascular clinical trials and other clinical research programs.

Alexander’s clinical interests are in acute and general cardiovascular disease, valvular heart disease, and echocardiology. His research focuses on the translation of novel therapeutic concepts into clinical data through clinical trials, specifically on the therapeutics of acute coronary syndromes and chronic coronary artery disease, on antithrombotic therapies, and on novel methodological approaches to clinical research.

Alexander has published extensively and has served on the steering committee and as the principal investigator of numerous multicenter clinical trials. He serves on steering committee of the Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative (CTTI).