DukeMed Alumni News

DukeMed Alumni News Fall 2022

DukeMed Alumni News, Fall 2022

Developing New Tools to Fight Cancer

For decades, medical cancer treatment has generally meant chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, alone or in combination. But things are changing rapidly. Today, new approaches such as immunotherapies and targeted therapies are becoming available, with many more in research and development. In many cases, the new treatments are more effective, with fewer side effects. “It’s an exciting time to be in cancer research and cancer discovery,” said Colin Duckett, PhD, professor of pathology, interim chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and vice dean for basic science. “We’re moving into this era where we have a new set of tools we can use to treat cancer.” Researchers in the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) and across the School of Medicine are helping to create these new tools, fueled by the knowledge and experience of experts from a wide range of disciplines.

One Foot in the Clinic, the Other in the Lab

Health challenges across the globe — everything from climate change to infectious disease and better treatment options for patients — precipitate the need for skilled physician-scientists: physicians who see patients in the clinic and who also devote time to scientific research. Duke programs including the Office of Physician-Scientist Development and the Medical Scientist Training Program are helping to meet that need.

Alumni Making a Difference: Lori J. Pierce, MD'85

Lori Pierce, a radiation oncologist, professor, and vice provost for academic and faculty affairs at the University of Michigan, says there is an important but frequently misunderstood distinction between “equality of care” and “equity of care.”

Restoring Sight in Sierra Leone

In April 2022, Duke eye surgeon Lloyd Williams, MD, PhD, traveled to Sierra Leone to perform corneal transplant surgeries, restoring sight for patients who had suffered corneal-related blindness for years. Williams, associate professor of ophthalmology and director of the Duke Global Ophthalmology Program, performed 19 corneal transplants and four non-transplant surgical procedures during the visit.

Native American Heritage Inspires Lumbee Students

Third-year Duke medical student Emily Alway grew up near Detroit, but every July, her family would travel to North Carolina for Lumbee homecoming, which includes a parade and a pow-wow. The Lumbee Tribe is the largest Native American tribe in North Carolina, and its members have traditionally lived in Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke, and Scotland counties in the southeastern part of the state.

Alumni Spotlight: Phil Lister, MD'79

One of the most powerful moments Phil Lister, MD’79, had in medical school came during a lecture by Adhemar "Jim" Renuart, BS’52, MD’56, HS’57. Renuart shared with the students the challenges he experienced as both a doctor and a father to a child with medical issues.

About DukeMed Alumni News

DukeMed Alumni News is published twice a year. If you have a story idea, please write to us at the address below or send an e-mail to dukemed@dm.duke.edu. We are interested in remembrances of favorite faculty or stories about your time at the School of Medicine, as well as alumni who have interesting hobbies, alternative careers, global and community health experiences, and anything you think would be of interest to other Duke medical alumni. Letters to the editor are also welcome.

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