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Duke Surgery Spring 2022 Newsletter

Patient Care   Research   Education   Community   Faculty  

Friends of Duke Surgery, we welcome you to the Spring 2022 issue of our newsletter.

In our field, we often speak about improvement. Improving the quality of patient care; improving our efficiencies and metrics; improving the training that our residents and fellows receive. But what does improvement actually look like, and how do we measure it? Is it tangible, and noticeable? How good is good enough?

In this issue, we explore these questions, and look at the ways Duke’s Department of Surgery continues to seek progress and excellence during these most challenging times.

Read the rest of Dr. Kirk's Message

Dr. Allan D. Kirk

In our patient care efforts, we share how our Section of Breast Surgery team has crossed county lines to expand access to breast care for local patients in North Carolina. And here in Duke’s operating rooms, our clinical teams are using advanced OR Black Box® technology to collect valuable data during surgical procedures, empowering our hospital system to make care improvements over time.

Next, we offer stories of personal and professional improvement from several of our residents, including Holly Lewis and Brian Shaw, who have received R38 funding to support their budding careers as physician–scientists. Residents Lauren Coaxum and Anthony Saxton share stories of resilience and community while starting their residency during the pandemic. We also recognize the achievements of three newly endowed distinguished professors.

In research, we hear from several of our investigators who continue to seek answers to complex scientific questions, including those surrounding xenotransplant and vaccine development. In 2022, Duke Surgery again celebrates leading the nation in NIH-funding for surgical research!

And finally, in this issue we share our recent community improvement efforts and support of underrepresented members of surgery through the Diversity in Surgery Coalition, a new and exciting initiative that connects marginalized trainees with resources and mentors.

We hope you enjoy this snapshot of the year so far, and thank you for your continued support and interest in Duke Surgery.

Thank you.

Allan D. Kirk, MD, PhD, FACS
David C. Sabiston, Jr. Distinguished Professor 
and Chair, Department of Surgery 
Duke University School of Medicine 


Patient Care

General Surgery Residents at CCS OR w/ Dr. Tsuei


Jumping County Lines: How Duke is Expanding Access to Breast Cancer Care Across North Carolina

The Section of Breast Surgery is leading the way in expanding access to patient care outside of the immediate Durham area. Meet new additions to Duke Surgery, Drs. Maggie DiNome and Hannah Woriax, who are at the forefront of that charge.

6 minute read

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OR Black Box System in OR Room

OR Black Box® System Offers Artificial Eyes and Ears to Improve Patient Care

Take a look inside one of Duke’s two operating rooms equipped with a Black Box®, a data recording device that uses artificial intelligence to track performance and suggest quality improvements over time. 

3 minute read

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Graphic illustration representing Duke's #1 ranking

Duke Surgery Ranks #1 in NIH Funding

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research released the rankings of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for U.S. medical schools in 2021. Read more about Duke Surgery's #1 ranking among Surgery departments.

2 minute read

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Skin Histology & Dr. Shaw's Research Graph Collage

Duke Surgery and the R38: Investing in Surgeon-Scientist Trainees

Sometimes the designated period for trainees to focus on their research is not enough to obtain satisfying results. Two Duke Surgery residents found an opportunity designed to allow for longitudinal research engagement once they return to clinical training.

6 minute read

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Dr. Hongmei Gao and Kelli Greene stand outside of the Duke CAVIMC Operations offices

Resilience and Dedication of Project Managers Helps Keep CAVIMC Moving Forward

Why do laboratories need project managers? The 16-year-long success and evolution of the Comprehensive Antibody Vaccine Immune Monitoring Consortium (CAVIMC) answers exactly that question.

4 minute read

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Xenotransplantation Photo Gallery


Xenotransplantation: Rounding a Very Long Corner

Dr. Stuart Knechtle walks us through the history of xenotransplantation, the vital research that Duke is contributing, and how much farther we have yet to go.

3 minute read

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Emergency medicine resident Lauren Coaxum, MD (left), with Assistant Professor Stephanie Eucker, MD, PhD (center), and resident Daniel Mercader, MD (right).


Training in a Pandemic: Two Residents Share their Experiences

Junior residents Lauren Coaxum, MD, and Anthony Saxton, MD, discuss residency training during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the past two years have brought about some surprisingly positive changes. 

5 minute read

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Collage of the three Endowed Professorships of 2022


Three Duke Surgery Faculty Members Receive Endowed Professorships

Meet this year’s newly awarded distinguished professors of Duke Surgery who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in advancing medical science and human health.

2 minute read

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DiSC Logo


The Diversity in Surgery Coalition Connects Colleagues While Asking Questions and Seeking Answers

Underrepresented members of surgical subspecialties and their allies have formed a coalition to share stories and support, and to address the particular problems faced by marginalized groups in Surgery at Duke.

3 minute read

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Faculty Recognition





Illustration by Megan Llewellyn, CMI, Section of Surgical Disciplines. 

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