DukeMed Alumni News

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Duke Med Alumni News, Winter 2021

Josh Huang, PhD: Shining a Light on the Traffic Signals in the Brain

Think of the inner circuitry of the brain as a traffic network. When nerve cells release a signal, the information speeds along various routes to its destination: another nerve cell elsewhere in the brain. Neurobiologist Josh Huang, PhD, is especially interested in a particular type of inhibitory nerve cells called chandelier cells.

Carolyn Coyne, PhD: Exploring How Viruses Evade the Placental Barrier

The human placenta performs a delicate balancing act: it must let beneficial nutrients pass from the mother to the developing fetus, but block harmful pathogens from making the same trip. Carolyn Coyne, PhD, investigates how the placenta has evolved to be such a fantastic protector but can also be vulnerable to pathogens.

Ed Miao, PhD: Moves and Countermoves in the Immune System

When certain immune cells in our bodies are invaded by a dangerous pathogen, they sacrifice themselves to vanquish the intruders. Immunologist Ed Miao, MD, PhD, studies pyroptosis — a type of programmed cell death in which a cell, once compromised by an enemy pathogen, literally blows itself up to prevent the pathogen from spreading in the body.

Zhao Zhang, PhD: Follow the Jumping Genes

Zhao Zhang, PhD — ZZ to just about everyone — is a bit of a scientific outlier. While most of his bioscience colleagues around the world are studying the 23,000 protein-coding genes that make us human, the assistant professor of pharmacology and cancer biology is looking at the other part of the genome and asking what it does.

Alumni Spotlight: Susan Blackwell, MHS, PA-C’89

In a lot of ways, Susan Blackwell (Crawford), MHS, PA-C’89, and the physician assistant profession have grown up together. They were born at roughly the same time, matured in parallel and proximity, and for more than three decades they’ve been inextricably linked.

Helping Kids Navigate the Pandemic

The stress and isolation of the pandemic may have a lasting toll on some children, but Duke experts say most will recover fully — and some might even emerge with new strengths.

Using Genetic ‘Dimmer Switches’ to Combat COVID-19

Nick Heaton, PhD, has turned his research focus from influenza to another RNA virus: COVID-19. He is using powerful gene-editing tools to identify candidates for host-directed therapeutics, which don’t attack the virus directly but instead target proteins the virus needs.

School Launches Plan to Dismantle Racism

Since launching its Moments to Movement initiative in June 2020, Duke University School of Medicine has begun work to better understand the root causes and harms of racism and to develop strategies to reduce racial inequity.

More Alumni Publications

Doctor of Physical Therapy Alumni Newsletter

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Physician Assistant Alumni Magazine

PA Alumni Magazine cover

DukeMed Alumni News Archive

Duke Med Alumni News magazine cover

   

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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