Partner Programs

Robert J. Lefkowitz Society

The Robert J. Lefkowitz Society provides a home for MD and MD/PhD post-graduate trainees who are in the Duke University School of Medicine, and are pursuing careers with a primary focus on basic and translational research as physician-investigators.

Through formal and informal mentoring relationships, the Lefkowitz Society provides promising post-graduate trainees with a greater understanding of how to develop successful academic careers.

The Society helps members grow opportunities to develop successful research projects, and helps them find appropriate research mentors and investigative teams as early as possible in order to enhance their future research success and productivity. Members will benefit from direct interactions with senior physician-investigators at Duke through a series of dinner programs and other activities.

The Lefkowitz Society is named for Robert J. Lefkowitz, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2012.

In his 40 years as a Duke researcher, Dr. Lefkowitz has mentored more than 200 trainees. He has embraced the opportunity to serve as a role model and informal mentor for members of the eponymous Lefkowitz Society.

The Lefkowitz Society comprises selected Duke internal medicine post-graduate trainees with either an MD or MD/PhD dual degrees and a significant interest in pursuing a research-intensive academic career.

The Society will engage 5-10 new members per year and membership will extend throughout their training as long as the career focus remains.

  • The Society will be overseen by a Program Director. The program director will also assist members in selecting their primary research mentors and identifying funding opportunities.
  • Members will be selected through a nomination and review process coordinated by the Society Program Director with input from residency program leaders, department chairs, and division chiefs.
  • Potential candidates will be vetted through an interview.
  • Following the vetting process, a formal letter signed by the Society Program Director will be issued to each approved candidate, inviting the post-graduate trainee to be a member of the society.
  • The Lefkowitz Society will hold up to six dinner meetings per year on campus or at the home of a faculty member. Senior physician-investigators from Duke and elsewhere will be invited to these meetings and asked to share career advice and scientific perspectives. Selected fellows may also be invited and engaged to participate in the process.
  • Society members may request financial support to attend scientific meetings over the course of residency training. These requests will be coordinated by the Society Program Director and chief residents to ensure that no scheduling issues affecting patient care staffing arise.
  • Society members will also be supported to attend institutional career development activities, such as the grant writing seminar and leadership programs offered by the School of Medicine.
  • The Society will coordinate with the OPSD to support an annual physician-scientist symposium to highlight Society members' research activities. In addition, members will be invited to represent the Society at Duke Clinical and Basic Science Days, and other opportunities as they arise.
  • Society members will be given priority for selection into fellowship training programs at Duke.

Learn More

For more information, contact Gerard Blobe, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Lefkowitz Society Program Director, at

Below is a list of Lefkowitz Society members, the medical schools they attended, and their current departments or fellowship programs.

Below are current members, the medical schools they attended, and affiliated fellowship  departments.

Name Medical School Department/Fellowship Program
Alejandro Antonia, MD, PhD Duke University Medicine
Cesar Lopez Angel, MD, PhD Stanford University Pediatrics
Berk Aykut, M.D. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg (Germany) Surgery
David Bader, MD, PhD Baylor College of Medicine Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
John Barber, MD University of North Carolina Medicine
Fahmin Basher, MD, PhD Medical University of South Carolina Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Abigail Benkert, MD Tufts University Surgery
Muath Bishawi, MD, MPH Stony Brook University Surgery
Sonali Bracken, MD, PhD University of Connecticut Medicine/Rheumatology
Nicholas Brazeau, MD, PhD University of North Carolina Medicine
Marcelo Cerullo, MD MPH Johns Hopkins Surgery
Mark Chen, MD, PhD Duke University Radiation Oncology
Benjamin T. Cocanougher, MD, PhD University of Rochester/University of Cambridge Pediatrics
George Cortina, MD, PhD University of Virginia Anesthesiology
Lauren Covert, M.D. Georgetown University Pediatrics, Rheumatology
David Elliott, MD, PhD Duke University Medicine/Cardiology
Nellie Farrow, MD University of Virginia Surgery
Aurian García González, MD, PhD University of Massachusetts Surgery
Alex Gooding, MD, PhD Case Western Reserve Radiation Oncology
Manasa Gurumoorthi, MD Case Western Reserve Pediatrics
Sam Haddad MD, PhD American University of Beirut/University of Cambridge Medicine
Taymour Hammoudi, MD, PhD Emory University Pediatrics, Transplant and Cell Therapy
Stephen Harward, MD, PhD Duke University Neurosurgery
Nathan Hawkey, MD, MBA Tulane University Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Peter Hendrickson, MD, PhD University of Utah Radiation Oncology
Joyce Hwang, MD, PhD Harvard Medical School Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Daniel Joh, MD, PhD Duke University Surgery, Plastic Surgery
Arvind Konkimalla, MD, PhD Duke University Medicine
David L Kerr, MD Duke University Orthopedic Surgery
Aaditya Khatri, MD, PhD Duke University Medicine/Pulmonary
Michael Kiritsy, MD, PhD University of Massachusetts Medicine
Joseph Ladowski,  MD, PhD University of Alabama-Birmingham Surgery
Holly Lewis MD, PhD Emory University Surgery, Plastic Surgery
Annie Liu, MD, PhD University of Pittsburgh Surgery
Jessica Liu, MD, PhD University of Pennsylvania Anesthesiology
Zachary Lorsch, MD PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medicine, Gastroenterology
Justin Low, MD, PhD University of North Carolina Neurosurgery/Neuro-Oncology
William McAlpine, MD, PhD University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center  Medicine
Ryan Meyerhoff, MD, PhD Duke University Radiology
Alexander Moghadam, MD, PhD New York Medical College Psychiatry
Yorleny Mora, M.D., Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University Radiation Oncology
Dimitrios Moris, MD, PhD University of Athens, Greece Surgery
Tanziyah Muqeem, MD, PhD Thomas Jefferson University  Medicine/Neurology
Michael Mulvihill, M.D. Duke University Surgery
Marybeth Nedrud, MD, PhD University of North Carolina Radiology
Bin Ni, MD, PhD Ohio State University Medicine, Transplant Infectious Disease
Maggie O’Connor, MD, PhD Drexel University Surgery
Joshua Parsons, MD, PhD University of Tennessee Medicine, Infectious Disease
Ryne Ramaker, MD, PhD  University of Alabama-Birmingham Medicine, Hematology/Oncology
Vignesh Raman, MD Dartmouth Surgery
Adrian Randall, MD Duke University Medicine
Deborah Rose, MD Loyola University Neurology
Alvin Rucker, MD, MPH Duke University Surgery
David Severson MD, D. Phil. Harvard Medical School/Oxford Surgery
Daniel Sexton, MD Case Western Reserve University Neurosurgery
Brian Shaw, MD UCSF Surgery
Adam Shoffner, MD Yale University Surgery
Dan Schuster, MD Albany Medical College Surgery
Zachary Silver, MD, PhD University of Miami  Medicine
Meredith K. Sooy-Mossey, MD, MS  University of Vermont Pediatrics, Cardiology
Ashley Stark, MD Georgetown University Pediatrics, Infectious Disease
Lilianna Suarez, MD, MPH Duke University Medicine/Pediatrics
Russell Thompson, MD, PhD Washington University St. Louis Radiology
Ashley Thrower, MD University of North Carolina Medicine/Pediatrics
Bangchen Wang, MD, PhD University of Nebraska  Pathology
Lauren West-Livingston, MD, PhD Wake Forest University Surgery
Karolina Woroniecka, MD, PhD Duke University Pathology
Maria Xu, MD, PhD University of Connecticut Surgery
Derek Zachman MD, PhD Oregon Health and Science University Pediatrics
Katherine Zhou, MD, PhD University of Chicago Medicine, Hematology/Oncology

Pediatric Scientist Development Program

The Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) provides intensive training in research relevant to specialty areas of pediatrics. The goal is to prepare entry-level faculty for research careers in academic pediatrics. Physicians presently in pediatric training programs who wish to train in basic, translational, clinical or health services research with an established investigator/mentor are encouraged to apply. A commitment to an investigative academic career is essential.

Candidates completing the PSDP are eligible for sub-specialty boards because PSDP training typically takes place after the completion of the clinical fellowship year(s).  Support includes salary, fringe benefits, and research training expenses. The active involvement and support of pediatric department chairs in the nomination and application process, and career development of PSDP scholars, are essential to the program's success.