Blue Devil Docs

Blue Devil Docs Logo

Current Issue: September 2019 


Inner BrainFirst Encounters with the Inner Brain

In their first six months of medical school, students have mostly examined the brain from the outside. The Brain and Behavior class allows them to run their fingers over the brain’s wrinkled walnut-like surface and get a firsthand glimpse of what lies beneath the surface.

Read More >



Rural Health

Re-Imagining Rural Health Care

Kendra Rumback, MHS, PA-C’18, was a recipient of the Samuel L. Phillips Family Foundation scholarship for Duke physician assistant students. The scholarship has enabled her to complete four months of clinical rotations at the Bakersville Community Health Center in North Carolina. She loved the area and decided to apply for a full-time position at the clinic.

Read More >


Harvey Cohen

Harvey Cohen Says Yes

Harvey Jay Cohen, MD, HS'65-'67, '69-'71 the Walter Kempner Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, never planned to go into geriatrics or medical school. Once there, he was not planning to become a clinician. He just wanted to do research. Today, at age 78, Cohen is considered a leading pioneer in the field of geriatrics.

Read More >


Duke Honduras

Duke In Honduras

A team of 18 Duke staff, including a current Duke medical student and several DukeMed alumni, traveled to the Instituto Nacional Cardio-Pulmonar in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to perform heart surgeries. The hospital had nearly 100 patients on a waiting list for heart surgery, the majority were indigent patients with rheumatic valve disease.

View Video >


Incoming Class of 2019

Welcome incoming class of 2019!

The School of Medicine welcomed 121 students from across the country and around the world who last month started their health-professions careers at Duke. 

Read more >






Thank you alumni!

On behalf of the Duke medical alumni family, the Duke Medical Alumni Association presented incoming students with a personalized stethoscope during the white coat ceremony on August 2. Thank you to all alumni who helped make this gift possible!

Learn More and Participate >



Alumni News

The late Brenda Armstrong, AB’70, MD, HS’75-’79 was posthumously honored with Duke’s highest honor, a University Medal, on Founders’ Day, September 26.

The Duke Human Vaccine Institute led by Barton Haynes, MD, HS'73-'75 was awarded a $129 million grant in an ongoing quest for HIV vaccine.

Erica Taylor, MD'06 was recognized with a 2019 Winn Award, celebrating achievements in diversity and inclusion at Duke Health.

Kay Young, BSE'84, MD'90, plastic surgeon turned painter, gives back to foster collaboration between art and science at Duke.

Previous Issues:


February 2019  
Featuring: Duke Hospital in Top 10, Year in Discovery at Duke, New Faculty, Russ Prize and more.

See the full issue >>> 

TSCHEDuke University Among Top 10 in Nation for Federal Medical Research Funding

Eight clinical departments ranked among the top 10 for NIH research dollars. 

Read More >



2018 Year in Discovery

2018: The Year in Discovery at Duke

School of Medicine stories were among the highlights of Duke scholarship in 2018. Among the breakthroughs: the surprising discovery of unexpected cells in a particular tumor underscores the amazing resilience of cancer cells; a poliovirus therapy gives new hope to glioblastoma patients; and recent research into the gut-brain connection is overturning long-held beliefs about how signals travel to the brain.

Read More >


New Faculty

Newly Recruited Faculty Bring Expertise in Key Research Areas

Twelve new Translating Duke Health Scholars will work with faculty across the School of Medicine to advance research on major health challenges in five key areas: cardiovascular disease, children’s health, brain metastasis, brain resilience, and immunology.

Read More >



Russ Prize

Russ Prize Recipients: John B. Simpson, MD’74, HS’75, PhD and Richard Schatz, MD'77

Two pioneering Duke University School of Medicine alumni who helped revolutionize the treatment of cardiovascular disease are among the five scientists named winners of the prestigious 2019 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize. The prize recognizes outstanding bioengineering achievements in widespread use that improve the human condition.

Read More >



Dr. Crusty Rosemond

Remembering Crusty Rosemond, AB'49, MD'53, HS'53

Robert Malone Rosemond, a beloved cardiologist and a loyal supporter of Duke University School of Medicine, passed away in July 2018, in Sanford, Florida, at the age of 93. 

Read more >



Class of 2019

Class of 2019: Launches their Class Gift Campaign

The class of 2019's campaign is special because the students have chosen to direct their gifts of $20.19 or more to the Brenda E. Armstrong, MD Endowment Fund. This endowment was created to honor Dr. Armstrong and her strong commitment to student diversity, recruitment, and retention.




Podcast Link
"Coming Back and Giving Back... DukeMed Alumni Talk About the Ties That Bind."

Featuring Dean Mary Klotman, BS'76, MD'80, HS'80-'85, Betsy Harden, MD'78, HS'81-'84, and Kathy Upchurch, MD'76,

Listen now >


Alumni News

 Amy Abernethy, MD'94, HS'94-'01 named FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

 Kaf Dzirasa, PhD'07, MD'09 receives prestigious AAAS Fellowship.

 Thom Mayer, MD'77 is recognized for making significant contributions to emergency medicine.

 Leslie Norins, MD'62 asks "Could Alzheimer's be an infectious disease?"


February 2018  
Featuring: Regenerative Medicine, MEDx, Invented at Duke, Alumni Weekend, Thankathon and more.

See the full issue >>> 

Regenerative Next

The Future of Regenerative Medicine

Interdisciplinary research to restore organ functions without transplantation or donation through regenerative medicine.

Read More >






MEDx: Collaboration Writ Large

Encouraging students and faculty to dream up and evaluate ideas in fields from health informatics to drug and device innovation.

Read More >





Invented at Duke


Entrepreneurism is strong at Duke, particularly in the School of Medicine, where just last year there were 4 start-ups and 206 invention disclosures.

Read More >





Duke in DurhamStudents Volunteer in Durham

Duke Medical students share their time and talents with Durham area non-profits on this semi-annual community service day.  

Learn More & Volunteer >





Medical Alumni WeekendAlumni Celebrate: 2017 MAW Weekend

School of Medicine alumni returned to Durham for a fabulous weekend of learning, reconnecting, and celebrating their Duke connections.

Read more >







 It’s All About Gratitude

 School of Medicine students and volunteers called 728 Medical Annual Fund donors on October 13 just to say "Thank You!" Did you get a call?

Learn More >





Podcast LinkTune in each month to hear Dean Klotman offer her thoughts and ideas about important and timely topics and issues related to medical education, science and discovery, and patient care.

"Translating Duke Health: How will Duke address scientific & healthcare challenges?

Listen now >


Alumni News

Thomas Owens, MD, HS'95-'99, named president of Duke University Hospital.

Nita Ahuja MD’93, is appointed chair of the Department of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine and chief of surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Aris Baras, BS'07, MD’12, MBA'12 and Jake Bauer, BS’01, make Business Insider’s list of top 30 biotech leaders under 40.

David Terris, MD'88, professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Medical College of Georgia, receives a 2017 Presidential Citation from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

William Steinbach, HS'01-'04, professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, receives the 2017 Oswald Avery Award.

Congratulations to the Duke faculty and students elected to AOA Medical Honor Society.

August 2017  
The Class of 2021, Alzheimer's Research, Holly Hedrick, MD'91, and alumni volunteering opportunities.

See the full issue >>> 

Photo of White Coat CeremonyWelcome Class of 2021!

The School of Medicine’s class of 2021 is readying for their Duke experience and an immersion into the Duke and Durham community. The 116 members of the class received their first white coats — a gift from the Duke Medical Alumni Association— at the White Coat Ceremony on August 4.

Read more >   Pictures >


Photo of Brain Scans

Scientists Use New Data Mining Strategy to Spot Those at High Alzheimer’s Risk

Method could group similar Alzheimer’s patients for more precise drug trials.

More on Alzheimer's >





Photo of Dr. Holly HedrickAlumni Spotlight - Fixing the Unimaginable

By Aliza Inbari

Pediatric and fetal surgeon Holly Hedrick, MD'91 gives hope for families and babies with complex birth defects.

Be inspired >




Photo of Boston Welcome ReceptionBoston Alumni Welcome New Trainees

DukeMed alumni gathered with Class of 2017 graduates starting residencies at Boston-area hospitals.

Read more >





Get Involved Photo

Get Involved on Your Local Duke Alumni Board

Would you like to be nominated to represent the School of Medicine on your local Duke alumni regional board? The Duke Alumni Association has regional volunteers serving in nearly 40 domestic regions and a dozen international locations.

Learn More >



Podcast LinkWhy is diversity important in Academic Medicine?

 Hear what Dean Klotman has to say.

Listen now >





Alumni News

  • Vanessa Grubbs, AB'91, MD'97, talks with NPR about her memoir, “Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers: A Kidney Doctor’s Search for the Perfect Match.”
  • Jennifer Kherani, MD'08, is named “Fairygodboss of the Week” by Fairygodboss, an online platform that offers company reviews and workplace resources for women by women.
  • Mary Klingensmith, MD'92, is named chair of the American Board of Surgery, one of the highest positions in American surgery.
  • Kurt Newman, MD'78, president and CEO of Children's National Health System, shares insight from his 30-year career as a surgeon about the revolution that is taking place in pediatric medicine.
  • Robert Savage, MD'76 is the recipient of the American Society of Echocardiography's 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Echocardiography Award.

DukeMed HOST Program

Match Day Photos

Through the HOST (Help Our Students and Residents Travel) program,  alumni help offset the financial burden and stress of traveling for interviews and/or counsel our youngest alumni about residencies specialties, and life beyond Duke.

HOST volunteers may: provide overnight accommodations; counsel students/residents  about the program or the community where they are interviewing; and/or provide career advice.

 Volunteer to be a HOST >

*Please note: While we endeavor to match as many alumni volunteer HOSTs with students or residents as we can, we cannot guarantee that all volunteers will be contacted.

June 2017  
Precision Medicine Conference; Garheng Kong, MD'01, PhD'00, MBA'03; Chuck Lucore, MD’83, MBA; and our 2017 Medical Alumni Association Awardees.

See the full issue >>> 



Photo of Dr. Mary KlotmanDuke Hosts Precision Medicine World Conference

Hundreds of people representing a broad spectrum of health care, research, and technology converged on Duke University on May 24 and 25 for the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC). The gathering spotlighted the rapid growth of biomedical technologies spurring initiatives that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care.

The conference, co-hosted by Duke Health and Duke University, marked the first time the PMWC was held on the East Coast. This year’s theme was “Translating the Power of Precision Technologies into Better Health Care.” More than 30 sessions were held over the two days, featuring a total of more than 100 speakers from the health care and biotechnology sectors.



Photo of Dr. Garheng KongAlumni Spotlight - Garheng Kong, MD’01, PhD’00, MBA’03 
Impacting the Lives of Patients through Venture Capital

Growing up in a family of physicians, Garheng Kong, MD’01, PhD’00, MBA’03, knew he would continue the family tradition and become a physician like his father, uncles, and cousins. “The joke in my family is that you have to be an MD before you do anything, even if you want to flip hamburgers at McDonald’s,” says Kong, founder and managing partner of HealthQuest Capital.

Read More >



Year in Review Photo

Collaborating to Map Human Health

Duke, Verily, and Stanford announce the first initiative of Project Baseline, a longitudinal study that will collect health data from approximately 10,000 participants.

  Learn more >


2017 DMAA Awardees  

The Duke Medical Alumni Association will honor six alumni and faculty with Distinguished Awards at  Medical Alumni Weekend.

Be inspired >





Photo of Dr. Chuck Lucore
Giving Spotlight: Continuing the Mission of Duke

By Aliza Inbari

Charles (Chuck) Lucore, MD’83, MBA, is president and chief executive officer of HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, the flagship hospital of the 15 hospital HSHS System. He is among the 7 percent of Illinois hospital CEOs who are physicians.

“Leaders who have a clinical background bring an additional dimension to the table,” he says. “We have firsthand experience and we realize our decisions’ potential effects on providing high quality care for patients,” says Lucore.

While at Duke, Lucore did a clinical rotation in cardiology and had the opportunity to work with Robert Califf, T’73, MD’78, HS’78, HS’83, MACC. “It was an exciting time in cardiology, where we were changing the way we approached people with heart attacks and cardiovascular disease”, he says.

“Dr. Califf introduced many of innovative ideas and brought an evidence-based approach to the treatment of patients with heart disease. New therapies like drugs to treat arrhythmia and balloon angioplasty of the coronary artery started at that time. Dr. Califf was pivotal in the trial of new medications and devices that determined the approach that we currently use to treat heart disease,” says Lucore.

He met his wife Paula in 1981 at the Mudd library at Duke, while he was in medical school and she was a senior at Duke University School of Nursing. They have been married for 35 years now. “Our relationship started at Duke and I feel blessed to have met her there. I don’t know where I would be without my wife,” he says. 

Lucore is a loyal member of the Davison Club Dean’s Circle Society. He and Paula support the Duke Medical Annual Fund, which provides scholarships, curriculum enhancements, new technologies, and cutting-edge research opportunities for medical students. “Philanthropy is important to continue the mission of Duke and also to show my gratitude for how Duke helped me develop as a person and a physician,” he says.

Attending Duke has become a tradition in Lucore’s family. His daughter Jordan, T’17, graduated with a BS in evolutionary anthropology. Several of his brothers-in-law and his nephew also attended Duke University. “Our family is fortunate to have many members who received a Duke education,“ he says.

Give here >


Alumni News


Get Duke on Your Calendar!

Looking for a great talk from a Duke professor, a behind-the-scenes museum tour, or just a night out with your fellow Duke alumni? Duke hosts more than 800 alumni events each year, check the Duke Alumni Association events calendar to see what’s happening near you.

Find Events >

February 2017  
Mary Klotman, T'76, MD'80, HS'80-'85; Georgia Beasley, T’01, MD’08, MHS’12, HS’08-’15; 2016 Year in Review; Black Men in White Coats, and James Ware, MD, HS’59-’61, HS’64-’67.

See the full issue >>> 

Dear Duke Med Alumni Friends,
I am delighted to share with you our inaugural Blue Devil Docs, a digital communication that will provide you with interesting news and updates about the school and your fellow alumni. The results of our recent alumni-wide survey indicated that you wanted to hear from us more often, and we hope this short digest will give you the opportunity to stay informed about the exciting things happening at the Duke University School of Medicine, and stay connected to us and to one another. We welcome your feedback.

Kathy Upchurch, MD’76
President, Duke Medical Alumni Association




Mary Klotman, T'76, MD'80, HS'80-'85, Named Dean of Duke University School of Medicine

Mary Klotman, T'76, MD'80, HS'80-'85, -- a nationally renowned physician-scientist and academic leader who has served as chair of Duke’s Department of Medicine for almost seven years -- has been named Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University. Klotman will assume these roles July 1, 2017.

Read more >




Photo of Dr. Georgia BeasleyScoring points for health: Former All-American Female Duke basketball player transitions to career in medicine

By Aliza Inbari

Georgia Beasley was a student-athlete at Duke when she met Sara, an 11-year-old girl, who was sitting on the bleachers at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The young girl was waiting for her father, who was late to pick her up from a Duke basketball summer camp. Beasley asked her to catch rebounds for her, and Sara happily agreed. Later, her father introduced himself as none other than Henry Friedman, MD, deputy director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.

Read More >


Year in Review Photo

2016 Year in Review

Duke Health pioneered remarkable breakthroughs in 2016 with exemplary advances in research and medicine.

  Watch >




Kwadwo Adu Owusu-Akyaw '10, MD'14 is featured in Black Men, White Coats

Here, we explore the ways that unique, diverse lenses contribute to the success of our incredible doctors.

Watch >



House Staff Alumni Give Back

By Aliza Inbari

James Latane’ Ware, MD, HS’59-’61, HS’64-’67, came to Duke to complete his internship in surgery and a residency in plastic surgery in the early 1960s after he had completed his general surgery residency at Grady Hospital in Atlanta.

His gratitude for his training at Duke and the impact it has had on his career as a plastic surgeon in Richmond, Virginia, led him and 25 other alumni to give back in honor of their mentor Kenneth L. Pickrell, MD. Pickrell was a professor of plastic surgery and chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery for more than 30 years.

“Dr. Pickrell mentored by example – a skillful surgeon, a compassionate physician, a leader in plastic surgery, and a family man. He was meticulous and demanding, but kind. He pushed all to excel. His mentoring gave me the foundation for a successful plastic surgery career and life,” says Ware.

Mentorships and experiences like those that Ware and other trainees experienced at Duke inspire house staff alumni to support a wide variety of departmental and divisional needs, such as research, educational programs, and travel for current residents and fellows, as well as endowed lectureships and professorships. 

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Ware and many other former residents and fellows, philanthropic support from our trainee alumni has increased significantly. These gifts are a powerful legacy to the mentors and students who help make Duke one of the nation’s best academic medical centers. 

Give here >


Alumni News

  • Duke Institute for Health Innovation’s Rapid Health App Prototyping Center accepting submissions of health-related mobile apps.
  • Joseph Forbess, HS'90-'99 is the new chief of pediatric cardiovascular surgery for Advocate Children's Hospital and co-director of the Advocate Children's Heart Institute in Illinois.
  • Marc Gorelick, MD’87 is named the new president and chief operating officer at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
  • Alex Kemper, MD'93, HS'93-'96 talks to TIME about the supplement pregnant women should take as a way to prevent birth defects.
  • Jonathan Moss, PhD'74, MD'75 developed drug for opioid-induced side effects.
  • Barry Myers MD'89, PhD'91, MBA'05 talks to Sports Illustrated about the partnership between Duke and the NFL to produce safer football helmets.
  • Sachit Patel, HS'12-'16 makes medical history in Nebraska after conducting a double umbilical cord blood transplant for a teenaged boy.
  • Diane Simeone, MD'88 will join the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center to serve as associate director for translational research as well as lead its newly established pancreatic cancer center.


Want to find more than 160,000
Duke alumni in one place?

Visit the Duke Alumni Association’s new website,, to get exclusive access to the complete Duke alumni network. The site allows you to search for classmates, view alumni profiles, join regional and affinity groups, and sign up for alumni events around the world.

Get started at