Duke University in 2019 initiated a university-wide effort to elevate and sustain excellence in the sciences with new funding for research, recruitment of nationally recognized scholars, and retainment of highly regarded scientific leaders at Duke. Launched with a $100 million investment from The Duke Endowment — divided equally between the university and the School of Medicine — Duke Science and Technology (DST) positions Duke to maximize the potential of revolutionary advances in fields such as genomics, data science, and artificial intelligence.
The effort focuses on three broad thematic pillars: Resilience: Fortifying the Body and Brain, which seeks to harness the body’s intrinsic mechanisms to fight disease; Computing, involving fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning; and Materials Science, which seeks to engineer new materials to solve challenges in disparate fields.
School of Medicine researchers are leading in efforts to advance the Body and Brain Resilience pillar, focusing on four broad areas where Duke has significant strengths: brain, cancer, immunology, and viruses. Seven DST Scholars have been recruited as faculty in the School of Medicine.
School of Medicine DST News and Videos
Developing a Universal Flu Vaccine
Unlocking Secrets of the Brain
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.
One day when Carol Deane was an undergraduate biology student at Lake Forest College, a private liberal arts university north of Chicago, she happened to pick up a magazine.
“That was back when they had those Save the Children ads that said, ‘You can save this child for 10 cents a day, or you can turn the page,’” says Deane, who recently completed a six-year tenure as chair of the Duke University School of Medicine Board of Visitors. “Well, I couldn’t turn the page.”
Zhao Zhang (ZZ), PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and cancer biology in the School of Medicine, has been named a 2021 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. The award provides four years of exploratory research funding to young investigators of outstanding promise as they investigate timely questions surrounding health and disease. Zhang is one of 22 scholars to receive the award this year.
The Duke Endowment of Charlotte, N.C., is supporting Duke University’s efforts to expand its faculty in computation, materials science and the resilience of the body and brain by completing the second phase of a $100 million investment.
This is the largest award Duke University has ever received.