(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Beginning March 1, 2022, Dennis Durbin, MD, MSCE, will become the third president of the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Dr. Durbin joined Nationwide Children's in 2018 as its first chief scientific officer.
As CSO, Dr. Durbin has managed a broad portfolio of research initiatives. He collaboratively led the formation of Andelyn Biosciences, Nationwide Children's first spin-off contract development and manufacturing organization for gene and cell therapies; created the hospital’s first chief clinical research officer position, currently held by pediatric surgeon Kate Deans, MD; has supported the recruitment of over 40 new research-intensive faculty, and is overseeing the completion of a fourth research building on the Nationwide Children's campus, scheduled to open in 2023.
Dr. Durbin’s role as president of AWRI will be to establish the vision and strategic direction for the research institute for the future. A key component of that vision is the further integration of research and clinical care at Nationwide Children's as highlighted in the hospital’s recently announced new five-year strategic plan. In addition, Dr. Durbin will represent the research institute in its ever-growing relationship with The Ohio State University, and with the evolving biotechnology ecosystem developing in central Ohio. He will continue to support the recruitment of additional basic scientists; clinical investigators; and behavioral health and health equity researchers to AWRI over the next five years. In addition to his role as AWRI president, Dr. Durbin is a professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and serves as vice chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics.
“During the nearly 20-year tenure of former AWRI President, John A. Barnard, MD, research at Nationwide Children's Hospital grew exponentially with a four-fold increase in National Institutes of Health funding and an expansion of our research faculty to more than 200 investigators. Dr. Barnard’s leadership brought an impressive array of discoveries that have resulted in even higher-quality patient care, including the nation’s first FDA-approved systemic gene therapy, and more than 16 startup companies are translating our research into clinical practice. Dr. Durbin has large shoes to fill, but we could not have chosen a better leader to continue our legacy of high-impact research into the future,” said Tim Robinson, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Prior to joining Nationwide Children's, Dr. Durbin was the assistant vice president and chief clinical research officer for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute. He was also a professor of Pediatrics and an associate scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Dr. Durbin is an internationally recognized injury epidemiologist whose research has focused on the prevention of motor vehicle occupant injuries to children and the prevention of teen driver crashes. He has published nearly 200 articles and editorials in peer-reviewed journals that established the evidence base for child and adolescent traffic safety interventions and he has extensive experience translating research findings into policy and practice.
He served on the Committee for Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics during which time he was the lead author on the Academy’s revised policy statement on child passenger safety. His research has been recognized by several organizations, including the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Durbin grew up in Columbus and graduated from St. Charles Preparatory School. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame; his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School; and a Master of Science degree in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency, including serving as chief resident, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he also completed a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine.
He and his wife, Sarah, reside in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus.
About The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-22 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit free-standing pediatric health care systems providing unique expertise in pediatric population health, behavioral health, genomics and health equity as the next frontiers in pediatric medicine, leading to best outcomes for the health of the whole child. Integrated clinical and research programs are part of what allows Nationwide Children’s to advance its unique model of care. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s faculty train the next generation of pediatricians, scientists and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded free-standing pediatric research facilities in the U.S., supporting basic, clinical, translational, behavioral and population health research. The AWRI is comprised of multidisciplinary Centers of Emphasis paired with advanced infrastructure supporting capabilities such as technology commercialization for discoveries; gene- and cell-based therapies; and genome sequencing and analysis. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org/Research.