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Keisha Leanne Bentley-Edwards

Associate Professor in Medicine
Medicine, General Internal Medicine


Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards is the Associate Director of Research for the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and an Associate Professor at Duke University’s School of Medicine. She is the Co-Director of Duke’s CTSA Integrating Special Populations Core and Center for Equity in Research. Dr. Bentley-Edwards’ research focuses on how racism, gender, and culture influence development throughout the lifespan, especially for African Americans. Her research emphasizes cultural strengths and eliminating structural barriers to support healthy development in communities, families, and students. Dr. Bentley-Edwards has published and lectured extensively on using racial socialization and racial cohesion strategies to facilitate positive outcomes in Black students, as well as how teacher perceptions and school resources can influence disciplinary practices in early childhood education. She is dedicated to eliminating barriers to healthy birth and pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Bentley-Edwards nurtures complex conversations around race and racism in ways that not only identify disparities but prompt meaningful strategies for remedying these disparities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health have supported her research. Dr. Bentley-Edwards regularly shares her expertise on the causes and consequences of structural racism and bias on health, education, and social outcomes with policymakers, practitioners, and the media. 

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor in Medicine · 2021 - Present Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Medicine
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute · 2017 - Present Duke Cancer Institute, Institutes and Centers
Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute · 2019 - Present Duke Global Health Institute, University Institutes and Centers
Affiliate of the Center for Child and Family Policy · 2023 - Present Center for Child and Family Policy, Sanford School of Public Policy

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Pennsylvania · 2009 Ph.D.
Columbia University · 2000 M.A.