Index of Named Professorships E-F

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Eleanor Easley Professor


Dr. Eleanor Easley was born in Bellevue, Ohio in 1907. She received her AB degree from the University of Idaho and MA from the University of Iowa. She decided to pursue a career in medicine, and applied – and was accepted by – the brand-new Duke University Medical School. She graduated in 1934, becoming the first woman to graduate from Duke's four-year medical school program and later, the first female Resident at the hospital. Easley was a member of the House staff and an Associate in Obstetrics and Gynecology, working at Lincoln, Watts, and Durham County General in addition to Duke Hospital. She was also the first female president of the North Carolina Obstetrics and Gynecology Society. In 1941, Easley co-founded the Durham Women’s Clinic (now the Women’s Health Alliance Durham) with Dr. Richard Pearse to form the state's first medical partnership, The clinic was one of the first in the area to hire a nurse midwife. Easley was innovative in her approach to women’s health care. While many men were overseas after being drafted for World War II, she cared for the vast number of women still needing medical attention and expertise. She was a pioneer in the use of anesthesiology for labor and delivery, as well as education about birth control, early detection of breast cancer, preparation for childbirth, and counseling for sexual problems. Dr. Easley passed away in 1998 at the age of 91. Eponymous professorships are created by Duke University to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to the history of the institution.

Professor of Medicine

Donald F. Fortin, MD, Professor


Donald F. Fortin, MD, completed a cardiology fellowship at Duke and then joined the faculty as an assistant professor of cardiology. As director of data management for the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Diseases, he was instrumental in converting the 1970s-era databank into a modern, mobile computer information system. Fortin then moved to Summit Medical Systems Inc. to commercialize the new information-systems software and later co-founded Cordillera LLC. He is now vice president of Celeris Corporation. Summit Medical Systems Inc. established this professorship and a fellowship in medical information technology in his honor.

Professor of Medicine
Donald F. Fortin, M.D. Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Stephen & Frances Foster Professor of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation


Every professorship has a great story. Read more about this one.

Stephen and Frances Foster Distinguished Professor of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation

Allan Friedman, MD, Professor in Neurosurgery


Allan H. Friedman, MD, earned a BS in Physics from Purdue University, and earned his medical degree with honors at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr. Friedman spent his internship year in general surgical training under Dr. David C. Sabiston, Jr. and completed five years of neurosurgical training under Drs. Guy Odom and Robert Wilkins, both former division chiefs of neurosurgery. Upon completion of residency, he trained as chief resident and Neurovascular Fellow at the University Hospital in London, Ontario, before studying for three months with Dr. M. Gazi Yasargil, a pioneer in microneurosurgical techniques. Dr. Friedman joined the faculty of Duke University in 1981. He has based his entire academic career at Duke, focusing on his clinical and research interests in the surgical treatment of cerebrovascular disease, peripheral nerve disorders, and brain tumors. Dr Friedman is the current Guy L. Odom Professor of Neurological Surgery.

Professor of Neurosurgery

Henry S. Friedman Professor in Neuro-Oncology


The donor established this professorship in recognition of the extraordinary contributions of Henry S. Friedman, MD, to the field of brain tumor research and treatment, and in gratitude for his devoted care of family members and friends.

The Henry S. Friedman, MD, Professor in Neuro-Oncology is vacant. The School of Medicine looks forward to filling this professorship in the near future.