Blue Sky Groups


The Emory Department of Medicine created Blue Sky Groups to stimulate research interactions and identify potential areas of collaboration by bringing together investigators with similar interests but diverse expertise who might not otherwise interact.


Blue Sky Groups occur in several phases. In the first phase, 5-10 faculty members gather for an informal discussion around the topic idea with the purpose of identifying potential areas of collaboration and the next group of discussants. The initial topic may evolve to an entirely new topic during this discussion. During the second phase, faculty members from the Department of Medicine as well as other departments, schools or other local universities meet to specifically identify potential collaborative opportunities and explore the outcome in depth. Some groups have third and subsequent meetings, depending on the desired outcome.


If you would like to become more involved, please review the opportunities below and let us know if you are interested.  


  • Gut permeability: Drs. Frank Anania (Digestive Diseases) and Roberto Pacifici (Endocrinology) established collaboration with investigators in the Department of Pathology and at Georgia State University. These collaborations resulted in an NIH R01 grant and a VA Merit Award.

  • MicroRNA: Several joint publications have resulted.

  • Pateint-Centered Outcomes Research: The Department of Medicine and ACTSI host an annual symposium entitled "Advancing Health Care Quality Research at Emory."

  • Microbiome: A Microbiome listserv and website have been created to link researchers together who are interested in the microbiome. Group members hold weekly seminars that are posted on the website.

  • Brain and Vascular Inflammation: This group resulted in two RFA applications with fundable scores.

  • Enhancing Patient-Based Research: A Health Services Research (HSR) course, led by Dr. Barrett Bowling, was created.

Future Topics

The following topics have been proposed as potential Blue Sky Groups. Please contact us if you would like to facilitate one of these groups.

• Multimorbidity / chronic illness
• Healthcare Innovation
• Metabolism
• Drug Discovery
• Immunology
• Regenerative Medicine
• Encode
• Cell-Cell Communication
• HSR&D (HCI Initiative)
• Redox Physiology
• Sleep Disorders
• Autophagy
• Imaging
• Emerging Infectious Diseases / Global Health
• T32
• Pulmonary Vascular Disease
• Exposome
Rare Diseases
Ischemic Injury
Exercise-based Interventions
African American Health

Active & Completed Blue Sky Groups

Below, you will find a list of Blue Sky Group topics. Those with contact information in parenthesis are still ongoing. We encourage you to get involved!

  • Gut Permeability
  • Enhancing Patient-Based Research
  • Mitochondria
  • Metabolomics / Multimorbidity
  • MicroRNA
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
  • Predictive Health
  • Heart Failure
  • Brain and Vascular Inflammation
  • Diabetes (see website)
    • Therapeutics
    • Complications
    • Health Services Research
  • Microbiome (see website)
  • Aging (contact: Camille Vaughan)
  • Enhancing Interaction with the Coulter Foundation
  • Health Disparities (contact: Jennifer Christie)