School of Medicine Celebrates 2021 Faculty Award Recipients

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Duke Som Logo 2021 Faculty Awards, Congratulations!

Duke University School of Medicine is proud to acknowledge the faculty members who were selected as recipients of this year’s School of Medicine faculty awards.  These are just a few of the awards and recognitions afforded to our community members and we want to congratulate them on these well-deserved honors.  Congratulations to the following 2021 Duke School of Medicine Award recipients!

Excellence in Professionalism Award 

The Excellence in Professionalism Award recognizes the importance of promoting ethical and professional behavior within our community.  This award is presented to those who exemplify professionalism and personify Duke’s guiding principles of respect, trustworthiness, diversity, teamwork, and learning. 

Carol Ann Epling, MD and Kevin Thomas, MD from left:
Carol A. Epling, MD, MSPH
Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health
Director, Duke Employee Occupational Health and Wellness

Kevin L. Thomas, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Assistant Dean for Underrepresented Faculty Development


Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize

The Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize was established to advance research opportunities for younger faculty members and to help publicize the caliber of medical research underway at Duke. The 2021 Williams Prize recognizes outstanding contributions in basic science research.

Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD


Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD 
K. Ranga Rama Krishnan Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Associate Professor in Neurosurgery
Associate Professor in Neurobiology
Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering


The Leonard Palumbo Jr., MD Faculty Achievement Award 

The Leonard Palumbo Jr., MD Faculty Achievement Award recognizes a member of the School of Medicine faculty who displays dedication to compassionate patient care and excellence in the teaching and mentoring of young physicians. The award was created in memory of Dr. Palumbo through an endowment gift by his brother, Mr. E. Arthur Palumbo (Trinity College ’49).

Mitchell T. Heflin, MD, MHS; Kathleen A. McGann, MD

from left:
Mitchell T. Heflin, MD, MHS
Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Geriatrics
Associate Dean and Director, Duke Health Center for Interprofessional Education and Care (IPEC)

Kathleen A. McGann, MD
Professor of Pediatrics


Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award 

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award is designed to recognize compassion and sensitivity in the delivery of healthcare. This award is presented annually to a faculty member who demonstrates outstanding compassion in the delivery of care; respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues; as well as demonstrated clinical excellence. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation sponsors this annual award for a faculty member from 99 of the nation's medical schools.

Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP, Maria J. Small, MD
from left: 
Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP
Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health
Director for Health Equity

Maria J. Small, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research Mentoring Awards

The Research Mentoring Awards recognize faculty members in the School of Medicine for excellence in research mentoring.  Excellence can be demonstrated in many ways such as by the accomplishments of individual mentees, by programs implemented by the mentor, or by exceptional creativity in mentoring.

Gayathri R. Devi, PhD

Early Career Mentoring Award in Basic – Translational Science


Gayathri R. Devi, PhD
Associate Professor in Surgery
Associate Professor in Pathology



Robert J. Mentz, MD, FHFSA, FACC, FAHA

Early Career Mentoring Award in Clinical Science – Population Health


Robert J. Mentz, MD, FHFSA, FACC, FAHA
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Population Health Sciences



Guido Ferrari, MD

Career Mentoring Award in Basic - Translational Science


Guido Ferrari, MD
Professor in Surgery
Associate Research Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology



David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD

Career Mentoring Award in Basic - Translational Science


David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD
Barbara Levine University Distinguished Professor
Professor of Radiation Oncology
Professor of Phamacology and Cancer Biology


Cindy L. Amundsen, MD

Career Mentoring Award in Clinical Science – Population Health


Cindy L. Amundsen, MD
Roy T. Parker, MD Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Associate Professor in Surgery


Kimberly S. Johnson, MD

Career Mentoring Award in Clinical Science – Population Health


Kimberly S. Johnson, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity



Gordon G. Hammes Faculty Teaching Award

The Gordon G. Hammes Faculty Teaching Award is intended to recognize continuing excellence in teaching and mentoring, and exemplary commitment to the education of graduate students within Basic Science Departments and Graduate Training Programs of the School of Medicine. The nominees and winners are selected by a graduate student committee.

Beth A. Sullivan, PhD



Beth A. Sullivan, PhD
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Associate Dean for Research Training


Master Clinician/Teacher Awards

The Master Clinician/Teacher Awards recognize clinical practitioners who exemplify the highest standards of clinical care, pedagogy, and professionalism or to basic scientists who achieve distinction in pedagogy and professionalism.

Alison Clay, MD; Mitchell Cox, MD; Terry Fortin, MD; Matt Velkey, PhD







from left:
Alison Clay, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery
Mitchell Cox, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery
Terry Fortin, MD,  Associate Professor of Medicine
Matt Velkey, PhD, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Medical Education in the Department of Cell Biology

Interprofessional Education Excellence Awards

The Interprofessional Education Excellence Awards, established by Duke AHEAD (Academy for Health Professions Education and Academic Development) honors members who have demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm, competence, and innovation in promoting Interprofessional Education in teaching, scholarly work, and/or clinical education.

Duke Clinic Staff 

Duke Outpatient Clinic team

Whitehead Scholars Program

The Whitehead Scholars Program, supported through a gift from the Whitehead Charitable Foundation, helps attract and nurture the most promising biomedical researchers to the faculty at Duke University School of Medicine.

Zhicheng Ji, PhD, Pixu Shi, PhD, Laura M. Wingler, PhD

Zhicheng Ji, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics 
Pixu Shi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics 
Laura M. Wingler, PhD, Assistant Professor Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology

The Michelle Winn Inclusive Excellence Award will be announced at a later date.