Dennis R. Durbin, MD, MSCE

Dennis Durbin

Dennis R. Durbin, MD, MSCE, is president of the Abigail Wexner Research Institute (AWRI) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and vice chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics. Prior to being named president, he was the research institute’s first chief scientific officer.

As president, Dr. Durbin oversees AWRI’s vision and strategic direction, including the further integration of research and clinical care at Nationwide Children's which is at the heart of the hospital’s strategic priorities. Dr. Durbin represents the research institute in its ever-growing relationship with The Ohio State University, with the evolving biotechnology ecosystem developing in central Ohio, and our peer pediatric research institutions on a national level. Working with research center directors, he promotes the continued growth of the research institute through the recruitment of basic scientists; clinical investigators; and behavioral health and health equity researchers to expand and deepen our scientific expertise.

Since his arrival at Nationwide Children's, he has managed a broad portfolio of research initiatives, including the formation of the cell and gene therapy development and contract manufacturing organization Andelyn Biosciences; developing the hospital’s first chief clinical research officer position; and creating the Office of Data Sciences and the role of chief data sciences officer. He has directed the recruitment of more than 40 new research-intensive faculty and the construction of a fourth research building on the Nationwide Children's campus, which opened in 2023 and expanded dedicated research space to over 800,000 square feet. In addition, he has overseen the creation of the Kidney and Urinary Tract Center and the Institute for Mental and Behavioral Health Research.

Dr. Durbin is an internationally recognized injury epidemiologist whose research has focused on the prevention of injuries to children in motor vehicle crashes 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. 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. In 2023, he was inducted into the Manufacturers Alliance for Child Passenger Safety (MACPS) Hall of Fame and received the C. Everett Koop Medal of Distinction from Safe Kids Worldwide.