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The primary mission of the Duke Division of Surgical Sciences is the discovery, through hypothesis-driven research studies, of fundamental new scientific principles and insights that will ultimately improve the overall quality of global health care. We are known internationally for our excellence and groundbreaking research.

We have enjoyed a rich history of significant scientific accomplishments in many highly varied basic and clinical research areas over the past 35 years.

By establishing close collaborations with clinical investigators within the Department of Surgery and throughout Duke University Medical Center, breakthrough research discoveries made by surgical sciences principal investigators rapidly translate into new advances in clinical therapies for patients.

Scientific interactions among our individual research programs optimize research synergy and productivity.

Research Highlights

  • Successful clinical trials of aptamer-based anti-coagulants and their antidotes are providing the opportunity to improve safety for this emerging class of therapeutics.
  • Pre-clinical and clinical research is leading to development of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics, which have led to the "first-in-man" cancer clinical trial using phosphorodiamidate morpholino-based oligomer (PMO) agents.
  • Our researchers are creating, optimizing, and standardizing comprehensive analytic platforms to profile the human immune response in the context of a diverse array of clinical disease states.
  • Division researchers were involved in the identification of both breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1 and 2) and are currently investigating their structure, function, and role in non-hereditary breast cancer.
  • New understandings of autoimmune disease are emerging from investigations of the hygiene hypothesis.
  • Division researchers lead an NIH-funded effort to conduct diagnostic testing to determine the immunogenicity of viable HIV vaccines.
  • Dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy approaches have had sucess in clinical trials. 

Learn More

Learn more about our research programs: