DukeMed Alumni News

DukeMed Alumni News Fall 2022

DukeMed Alumni News, Fall 2022

Alumni Spotlight: Kurt Newman, MD'78

Health care professionals found themselves facing a whirlwind of unknowns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Among the many unanswered questions was what effect shutdowns, social isolation, and the virus itself would have on children. Despite what some stated at the time, Kurt Newman, MD’78, and his colleagues at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., believed there was cause for concern.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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