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Duke Surgery Fall 2021 Newsletter: Driving for Growth

About the banner image: Duke faculty, clinicians, trainees, and staff have continued to advance Duke Surgery's mission even in these extraordinary times. As the pandemic rages on, surgeons drive for growth in finding new and innovative opportunities to provide safe and high-quality care to patients. Illustration by Megan Llewellyn, CMI, Section of Surgical Disciplines. 

Friends of Duke Surgery, we welcome you to Driving for Growth, our fall 2021 issue of our newsletter.

It may feel contradictory to highlight growth and renewal at this point in the year, with temperatures dipping and leaves beginning to turn. However, in this time unlike any other, it seems apropos. We all continue to adapt, evolve, and grow as a result of today’s innumerable challenges.

This issue highlights our new partnership with Central Carolina Surgery; introduces the newest member in the Center of Human Systems Immunology; announces the appointment of our new Vice Chair of Education; explores the connection between a General Surgery Chief Resident and a thankful community; and unveils SEEDS, an overarching initiative that will support all members of Duke Surgery. 

Below is a welcome message from Vice Dean of the Section of Surgical Disciplines and Chair of the Department of Surgery Allan D. Kirk, MD, PhD. 

Thank you for your continued support of Duke Surgery's mission.

Chair's Message



Patient Care

General Surgery Residents at CCS OR w/ Dr. Tsuei


New Beginnings: Duke Department of Surgery Collaborates with Central Carolina Surgery

September 2021 marks the first step to a broader experience for some senior residents at Duke’s General Surgery Residency Program, established through a new partnership between Duke Section of Surgical Disciplines and Central Carolina Surgery (CCS). This brought in the opportunity for senior residents starting in their third year of the Duke General Surgery Residency Program to get more hands-on training in the operating room with the CCS surgical team.

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Duke Surgery Team implants new generation artificial heart

Duke Surgical Team Successfully Implants New Generation Artificial Heart in Patient, First in U.S.

Duke is now the first medical center in the United States to implant a new generation of an artificial heart in a patient. On July 12, 2021, a surgical team at Duke University Hospital implanted the artificial heart in a 39-year-old man with heart failure. The procedure demonstrated that the device can act as a successful bridge to transplant before patients receive a full heart transplant.

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HIV Virus Illustration

R. Keith Reeves, PhD, Joins Duke Surgery's Center of Human Systems Immunology

R. Keith Reeves, PhD, Division of Surgical Sciences, joined Duke in June as a tenured Professor of Surgery. Dr. Reeves’ interest in infectious diseases was sparked in middle school after finding a book about AIDS on the floor of the library, and it grew while studying feline immunodeficiency virus at a veterinary virology laboratory as an undergraduate.

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Duke Researcher Analyzing Lab Results

Newly Identified Antibody Can be Targeted by HIV Vaccines

A newly identified group of antibodies that binds to a coating of sugars on the outer shell of HIV is effective in neutralizing the virus and points to a novel vaccine approach that could also potentially be used against SARS-CoV-2 and fungal pathogens, researchers at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute report.

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Duke graduates in space shuttle


Staying Healthy in Space

Let’s say you’re on a weekend trip to outer space when you suddenly experience stabbing pains in your abdomen. What would you do? In the fall of 2020, two Duke graduates developed a Duke house course about space medicine with the mentorship of faculty members Ronen Plesser, PhD, Professor of Physics, and Daniel Buckland, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine. 

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John Migaly, MD, FACS, FASCRS, Appointed Vice Chair of Education

The Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Surgery is pleased to announce that John Migaly, MD, FACS, FASCRS, assumed the role of Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Surgery in August 2021.

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SEEDS Initiative Web Banner


SEEDS Initiative Promises to Invest in Duke Surgery Team Members

As one of the ten core values of the Section of Surgical Disciplines, diversity plays a crucial role in supporting the employees of Duke Surgery, which in turn enables better care for patients. But diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are most effective when not isolated in a vacuum, and are most useful when incorporated as key components of initiatives on a broader scale. To this end, the Section of Surgical Disciplines recently launched the Sustaining Equity, Elevating Diversity in Surgery (SEEDS) Initiative.

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Community Gives Back

While attending the University of Toledo College of Medicine, Paul Schroder, MD, PhD, Duke General Surgery Chief Resident, was a member of Docappella, the medical school’s men’s a cappella choir, and worked closely with Sunset Village to perform at seasonal concerts. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the residents of Sunset Village hadn’t forgotten this act of kindness. The residents handcrafted cards to thank and provide encouragement for healthcare professionals during this challenging time, and sent some to Duke Surgery in appreciation of Dr. Schroder’s past performances.

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The Richard McCann, MD Surgery Fund

In recognition of Dr. McCann’s contribution to the field of surgery, his outstanding mentorship of young surgeons, and his commitment to surgical equity for all, an endowed fund has been created in the Department of Surgery through the generosity of his family and dear friends. The Richard McCann Fund will honor Dr. McCann’s legacy of commitment to high quality surgical access for all patients by providing much needed support for Duke Surgery faculty and trainees devoted to the unique needs of underserved communities—close to home and across the globe.

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Faculty Recognition


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