Duke AI Health Leadership

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Housed within the School of Medicine but drawing leadership, resources, and insights from across the entire University, AI Health’s executive leadership combines clinical knowledge and quantitative insight. AI Health is led by Duke School of Medicine Vice Dean for Data Science and Information Michael J. Pencina, PhD, and cardiologist and Vice Dean for Clinical Research Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS, who is also the Executive Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Under their guidance, AI Health will constitutes a key pillar of a strategic initiative devoted to growing excellence in discovery science and technology at Duke University.

Michael J. Pencina, PhD, Director

Portrait of Michael Pencina, PhD, Director of Duke AI Health and

As vice dean of data science and information technology, Dr. Pencina is responsible for developing and implementing quantitative science strategies as they pertain to the education and training, and laboratory, clinical science, and data science missions of the Duke University School of Medicine. He leads the School’s IT strategic direction and investments, working in collaboration with the vice presidents and chief information officers of Duke Health and Duke University’s Office of Information Technology.

Dr. Pencina is a professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Duke University and served as director of Biostatistics at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DRCI). He is an internationally recognized expert in risk prediction model development and evaluation. Expert panels and guideline groups frequently recommend methods for quantifying improvement in model performance proposed in his research.


Scholars at Duke Profile

Richard P. Shannon, MD, Co-Director

Portrait of AI Health Co-Director Richard P. Shannon, MDRichard P. Shannon, MD serves as the Chief Quality Officer for Duke Health. He is responsible for the overall direction, leadership and operational management of the quality and safety programs of Duke Health, and provides leadership in strengthening a quality culture where everyone is engaged and respected.

Shannon received his BA from Princeton University and his MD from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed his training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, his cardiovascular training at Massachusetts General Hospital, and was the Francis Weld Peabody Fellow and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School before becoming the Claude R. Joyner Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine.


Ricardo Henao, PhD, Associate Director

Duke AI Health Associate Director Ricardo Henao, PhDDr. Henao is an assistant professor in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. A quantitative scientist whose research focuses on the development of novel statistical methods and machine learning algorithms primarily based on probabilistic modeling, his expertise spans several fields, including applied statistics, signal processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning. His methods research targets hierarchical or multilayer probabilistic models to describe complex data for the purposes of hypothesis generation and improved predictive modeling. Most of his applied work is dedicated to the analysis of biological data such as gene expression, proteomics, medical imaging, clinical narrative, and electronic health records. His recent work has been focused on the development of sophisticated machine learning models, including deep learning approaches, for the analysis and interpretation of clinical and biological data with applications to predictive modeling for diverse clinical outcomes.

Scholars at Duke Profile

Victoria Christian, Chief Operating Officer

Portrait of Victoria Christian, Duke AI Health Chief Operating OfficerVictoria Christian is the Chief Operating Officer of AI Health and Duke Forge. Victoria Christian has held executive leadership roles in clinical and translational research for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, CRO, and academic organizations.  Before joining Duke Forge, she was COO of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and the Duke Translational Research Institute, a central institutional resource for translational researchers (now encompassed by the Duke Translational Research Institute). Ms. Christian played an instrumental leadership role in the conceptualization, design, and launch of the Measurement to Understand Re-Classification of Disease of Cabarrus County and Kannapolis (MURDOCK) Study, a major molecular epidemiology initiative made possible by a gift from David H. Murdock. She has held multiple positions at Duke University, where her operational leadership was crucial to the success of large clinical trials.