Digestive disorders and diseases of the liver vary widely but share one common feature: the devastating impact they can have on a person’s health and quality of life. In DCRI’s GI program, clinical-translational and basic science experts come together to seek out bold and creative innovations in the treatment of these complex conditions. This partnership positions Duke University and the DCRI as one of the leading GI and hepatology research centers in the world.

GI Research that Spans the Disease Spectrum

Our GI faculty comprises practicing physicians in Duke’s GI division, which ranks among the leading clinical programs in the country. They partner with basic scientists who focus on genetics and genomics, liver injury and repair, endocrinology, metabolism, and the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying obesity and its complications.

The result of this collaboration is a track record of successful drug development and outcomes research that spans commercial industry, government, and academia. We’ve successfully coordinated more than 60 gastroenterology and hepatology studies, with more than 10,000 patients enrolled across 800 global sites.

Andrew Muir, MD, MHS
Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Research Professor of Medicine,

"Duke’s GI division ranks among the leading programs in the country. Our faculty are practicing physicians with first-hand experience treating patients and a broad range of clinical expertise."

cropped photo

A Comprehensive Offering of GI Research Services and Expertise

Our experienced and consistent Clinical Operations teams expertly manage all aspects of local and multinational GI clinical trials, including:

  • Full-service expertise across all phases of development (phases I–IV)
  • Rapid site network in the United States to expedite startup
  • Global regulatory support
  • Pharmacometrics
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Pragmatic health systems research
  • Registry services
  • Economic data collection and analysis
  • Clinical-event validation

We also offer specialized capabilities, many of which are unique to the DCRI:

  • Adaptive trial designs
  • Biobanking
  • Early phase trials: bioequivalence, bioavailability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Implementing genetics- and genomics-based technologies into clinical trial design
  • Real-time HCV RNA Monitoring
  • Outcomes research: economic analysis and quality-of-life assessments


Our Clinical Research Expertise

  • Barrett’s Esophagus
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Drug-induced Liver Injury
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • HIV/HCV co-infection
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Liver transplantation
  • Noninvasive fibrosis markers
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD/NASH)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pediatric GI and liver disease
  • Portal hypertension
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Research Highlights

Data, Innovation & Guidelines in Gastroenterology

Research challenges posed by the era of “big data,” the promise of an optical sensor in colonoscopy and biopsy, and recent changes to colon cancer screening guidelines are covered in this audio interview with Deborah Fisher, MD. Read the transcript.

DILIN expands research on drug-induced liver injury

Established in 2003, the Drug-Induced Livery Injury Network (DILIN) collects and analyzes cases of liver injury to help better understand their source. The network’s latest award allows more study on the impact of genetics, specific drugs, and supplements.

Wilder receives Clinical, Translational, and Outcomes Research Award

The American Associate for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) awarded the DCRI’s Julius Wilder, MD, PhD, funding to contextualize why poor people, people of color, and those whose native language is not English are at a disadvantage for being listed for liver transplantation.

Looking into the Liver Transplant List

Gastroenterologist and hepatologist Julius Wilder, MD, PhD, is using funds from a recent career development award to investigate reasons why patients from underrepresented populations are less likely to be put on the liver transplant list.


andrew_muir_landscapeAndrew Muir, MD, MHS, Director

Andrew J. Muir is chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and a professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, as well as director of the DCRI GI Research group. Muir graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1993 and completed his training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Duke. After joining the faculty in 2000, Muir established the site-based program in clinical research for Duke GI, eventually making the transition to medical monitor and coordinating center principal investigator.

debfisher_landscapeDeborah Fisher, MD, MHS, Associate Director

Deborah A. Fisher is an associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and the associate director of the DCRI GI Research group. Fisher graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1996 and completed her training in internal medicine at the University of Virginia followed by a gastroenterology fellowship at Duke. Since joining the faculty in 2002, Fisher has conducted health services and outcomes research in gastroenterology, including colorectal cancer screening/surveillance, gastrointestinal bleeding, and biliary obstruction. She is also an expert in quality measurement and has served on a number of national clinical guidelines committees.