Amy Abernethy

Palliative care oncologist, patient advocate, and former NASA programmer Amy Abernethy focuses on the intersection of big data and patient rights.

Amy P. Abernethy, MD, a medical oncologist and palliative medicine physician, is a tenured Associate Professor in Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing, Director of the Duke Center for Learning Health Care (CLHC) in the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and Director of the Duke Cancer Care Research Program (DCCRP) in the Duke Cancer Institute. With over 300 publications, Dr. Abernethy is an internationally recognized expert in health services research and delivery in patient-centered cancer care. She directs a prolific research program (CLHC/DCCRP) which conducts patient-centered clinical trials, analyses, and policy studies; all CLHC/DCCRP studies make use of, and simultaneously contribute to the development of, an integrated data system that coordinates diverse datasets, leverages novel information technology for patient-reporting of symptoms and other concerns, informs future studies, and facilitates patient education and patient-provider communication.

As a part of her focus on health policy, evidence synthesis, and comparative effectiveness research, Dr. Abernethy is Co-Chair of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC), an appointee to the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum, President-Elect of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, on the Advisory Board for the Rapid Learning System for Cancer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Co-Chair for the PRO Core of the NIH-funded Collaboratory, and Co-Principal Investigator of a NIH-funded faculty development (K01) program in comparative effectiveness research at Duke. Dr. Abernethy participates integrally in current high-level national and international discussions about reforming the evidence development system, presenting a model for a rapid learning clinic that coordinates clinical and research functions to better serve patients’ needs in an evidence-driven, cost-effective, and patient-centered manner.