Duke Anesthesiology Marks Academic Evening’s Silver Anniversary

A special 25th anniversary edition of Academic Evening was held on May 16 at the Millennium Hotel in Durham. All training levels and divisions of Duke Anesthesiology were represented by the 102 poster abstracts, presented by the department’s junior-level investigators and faculty. The annual event supports research and discovery with the overall goal of advancing anesthesia, critical care and pain management.

A key element to the evening was guest judge Dr. Aman Mahajan, the executive chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and the Ronald L. Katz Professor of Anesthesiology and Bioengineering. Dr. Mahajan’s expertise is in cardiothoracic anesthesiology, cardiac electrophysiology and echocardiography. As director of the UCLA Perioperative Services at UCLA, he coordinates a multidisciplinary team of physicians involved in the care of patients undergoing surgical and interventional procedures. Dr. Mahajan’s research focuses on autonomic neural modulation of cardiac electrophysiology and assessment of cardiac mechanical function in heart failure.

After 23 years of service to Academic Evening, Dr. David Warner served as program director for the final time. Dr. Jeffrey Gadsden co-directed for the first time and will assume the event’s future leadership. “It was a pleasure and honor to work alongside Dr. Warner. He essentially built this event into what it is today,” says Dr. Gadsden.

“Academic Evening allows us to celebrate our academic successes and often serves to foster new and exciting research ideas and collaborations between departmental subspecialties,” says senior resident, Dr. Kendall Smith, winner of the Bill White Resident Research Award. “To receive this award among the many excellent resident entries this year was both a surprise and a great honor.”

At the night’s conclusion, Drs. Gadsden and Warner thanked all of the participants and everyone who helped make this event possible, especially those who served as abstract judges, moderators, mentors, and support staff. “Just when you think you couldn’t be more proud of the department you work in, you receive more than 100 abstracts of original research. It’s humbling,” says Dr. Gadsden.

Congratulations to each of the award winners and teams, listed below.

2017 Academic Evening Winners

1st Place
Martin Sigurdsson, MD

Runner-Up
Shu Yu, MD

Runner-Up
Chao Xiong, MD

1st Place
Rebecca Scholl, MD

Runner-Up
Hassan Amhaz, MD

Runner-Up
Claudia Villalpando, MD

1st Place
Kendall Smith, MD

Runner-Up
Jon Andrews, MD

Runner-Up
Rebecca Anderson, MD

1st Place
Benjamin Andrew, BS, RD

Runner-Up
Andrea Ansari, BS

1st Place
Michael Young, MD

1st Place
Benjamin Dunne, MD

Runner-Up 
James Kim, MD

1st Place
Suraj Yalamuri, MD
Michael Plakke, MD

Runner-Up
Tera Cushman, MD

Runner-Up
Jennifer Lee, MD

View the 25th Annual Academic Evening Photo Gallery

View the Academic Evening 25th Anniversary Video

Chris KeithDuke Anesthesiology Marks Academic Evening’s Silver Anniversary
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Duke University Awards Dr. Maixner Distinguished Professorship

William Maixner, DDS, PhDWe are pleased to announce that Duke Anesthesiology’s William Maixner, DDS, PhD, has received one of the highest honors in academia with his appointment as the Joannes H. Karis, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology, designated by the Duke University School of Medicine. This endowed professorship recognizes Dr. Maixner’s extraordinary achievements in advancing medical science, significantly shaping the field of pain research and education, profoundly impacting patient care and exemplifying superior mentorship.

Endowed professorships established within Duke Anesthesiology are awarded to the department’s most distinguished physician-scientists who have exhibited both outstanding accomplishments and strong potential for future pursuits. These highly coveted, permanently named memorials, promote scientific discovery and the advancement of anesthesia care.

Dr. Maixner is an internationally-renowned pain researcher who has dedicated his career to unraveling the mysteries of chronic pain and is committed to translating basic discoveries into novel diagnostics and treatments that will impact research, education and patient care, worldwide. He is the director of Duke Anesthesiology’s Center for Translational Pain Medicine (CTPM), established in January of 2016 to further expand the department’s clinical and research program in pain medicine. Bringing together leading basic scientists, clinicians and clinical researchers who have a common core mission of developing novel therapies to improve patient care, this center is rapidly becoming internationally-recognized as the best-in-class translational pain medicine program. Dr. Maixner was also a driving force in the development of Duke Innovative Pain Therapies, a first-of-its-kind multispecialty pain practice in Raleigh that opened its doors to patients in September of 2016. He plays a key role as a knowledge leader in the field of pain; Dr. Maixner was recently named president elect of the American Pain Society and currently serves on our nation’s Health and Human Services Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee and the National Institute of Health’s Pain Consortium, which shapes the direction of our nation’s future national strategies in pain research, education and patient care. Additionally, Dr. Maixner was appointed as a member in the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) Academy of Research Mentors in Anesthesiology. His mentorship skills are evidenced by the success of the more than 20 students, trainees and mid-career scientists whom he has mentored throughout the past 30 years.

“It’s a wonderful honor to be recognized by Duke University and the Karis family,” says Dr. Maixner. “Dr. Karis was a pioneer in the area of translational research where he developed and implemented new ways of treating patients in the operating room. I hope to be able to follow in his footsteps by developing new ways of treating patients with pain conditions, an area that he was beginning to pursue late in his career. This endowed professorship will truly enable myself and my colleagues to push the frontiers forward as Dr. Karis did in his own career.”

In 2012, Duke Anesthesiology proudly announced the Joannes H. Karis Professorship, made possible through the generous donations of the Karis family, including Dr. Karis’ wife, Martha, and their children, Drs. Martha Karis Fikrig and John Karis, in effort to preserve his legacy.

Mr. and Mrs. KarisJoannes H. Karis, MD, is one of Duke Anesthesiology’s most distinguished emeritus faculty. He is known as a remarkable leader, scientist, pioneer, and philanthropist who was instrumental in the growth and development of both the cardiac and pediatric divisions at the Duke University School of Medicine. In 1975, Dr. Karis’ mentor, Dr. Merel H. Harmel, the “founding father of Duke Anesthesiology,” recruited him to Duke where he spent the final 18 years of his career doing cardiac anesthesia. Through his groundbreaking research, Dr. Karis helped to uncover the dangers of ultraviolet radiation in the operating room and identify the physiologic mechanisms of neuromuscular blockade agents. He served as the director of one of the world’s first surgical intensive care units and was a key player in refining early physiological monitoring and anesthesia delivery systems that have evolved to become essential components of the modern operating room.

In a “Career Reflections” article written by Dr. Karis in 2012, he said, “My wife and I hope that our sponsorship of an endowed chair within the Duke University Department of Anesthesiology will help to build on the phenomenal level of research, teamwork, patient care, and physician education with which I am honored and proud to be affiliated.”

Dr. Maixner is the fifth faculty member of Duke Anesthesiology to be named a distinguished professor. The department believes that investing in the promotion of its faculty’s professional growth and the enhancement of learning for students is vital to the future of medicine. Creating endowed professorships provides distinguished faculty with the means to discover unprecedented breakthroughs, adding to the thriving academic environment at Duke, and to attract world-class faculty for generations to come.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Maixner on being named the Joannes H. Karis, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology as we wish him continued success in his career.

Chris KeithDuke University Awards Dr. Maixner Distinguished Professorship
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Residency Program Director Reveals Match Day Highlights

Annemarie Thompson-MDThis year’s Match Day brought an element of growth to the annual event known as an exciting rite of passage in the lives of thousands of medical students around the world. Not only was this the largest Main Residency Match® in history, it was a record-breaking recruitment season for the Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program that welcomed 15 interns as their Match Class of 2021.

“We were incredibly excited to open that envelope and see the names on our list. In fact, some of our faculty were so excited they began contacting some of the Matches they interviewed along the way which I think is unique and pretty remarkable,” says Dr. Annemarie Thompson, Duke Anesthesiology’s residency program director. “It was so satisfying to watch how happy my colleagues were during the unveiling and how enthusiastic they are to welcome these individuals to our team this summer. It was one of the most special moments of Match Day for me.”

Dr. Thompson was in her office, surrounded by her colleagues, when her Match list was revealed this year. But she says her memories of the drama, the tears and the sheer joy at her Match Day celebration during medical school are never too far away to tap into. “It still feels like a whole lifetime in a minute when you open that envelope; medical students learn where they’re going to train and spend the next few years of their lives, and we learn who will join our program.”

She collectively describes this incoming class as “great people” who have demonstrated the capacity to help others in many aspects of their lives, even before going into medicine, a quality Dr. Thompson believes is one of the foundations of being a good doctor. “When looking at my list of Matches each year, I can immediately see how a class will come together and form their own identity. This class has quickly become known for their intelligence, humor and wide variety of life experiences. That type of diversity is a great addition to our Duke family,” she says.

Selecting the Match class is no small feat. A dedicated team of faculty and residents is committed to recruiting the best and the brightest during interview season at Duke Anesthesiology. “I’m always looking to improve the process,” adds Dr. Thompson, “but my guiding principal is to give potential Matches an authentic view of what it’s like to be a resident at Duke Anesthesiology.” She does so by creating an environment of authenticity during the interview process; talking about the program and personally showing applicants the potential and opportunities they can have training at Duke and living in Durham.

Welcome - Match Class of 2021

According to the National Resident Matching Program, 35,969 U.S. and international medical students and graduates vied for 31,757 positions, the most-ever offered in the Match. Dr. Thompson keeps a close eye on these numbers, specifically noting that this year, there were more anesthesiology positions available in the Match which means programs grew, including Duke Anesthesiology’s, which offered one more intern position for 2017. The Duke Anesthesiology Residency Program also received more applications than ever before, an increase that Dr. Thompson partially attributes to Duke’s size and faculty.

“Duke has a unique position compared to other residency programs and we have enjoyed a reputation for having an innovative program that people want to join,” says Dr. Thompson. “We’re a large, international medical center, but contained within it is a medium-sized, very supportive residency program located in a fun and affordable place to live. We truly have world-class faculty here. We have people in every single field who are nationally and internationally recognized. For residents to have the opportunity to work one-on-one with our faculty, get involved in their projects and patient care, and receive advice during particular periods of their career is a treasure. Our faculty is what makes our program so special. I’m very proud of what we have to offer as an institution.”

As Duke Anesthesiology patiently waits to formally welcome the Match Class of 2021 and Drs. Jack Gamble and  Angela Li prepare for their new roles as co-chief residents, Dr. Thompson leaves the incoming trainees with this advice: “Come in with the great attitude that you have displayed throughout your medical career. Don’t ever be discouraged. Taking care of patients is one of the greatest responsibilities anyone can have. Celebrate with each other during the good times and lean on each other in the bad. The road is long but you’ll soon find that you have a supportive network as you go through both your professional and personal journey as a resident – a network of people who will become lifelong friends and colleagues. There are very few jobs that can give you the personal satisfaction of being a doctor. I would do it all over again and I hope this class will one day look back and say the same.”

Take a look back at this year’s Match Day celebrations at #Match2017, #MatchThrowback and the Duke University School of Medicine.

Chris KeithResidency Program Director Reveals Match Day Highlights
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Global Health Leader Earns Prestigious Award

Adeyemi J. Olufolabi, MB MSDuke Anesthesiology’s Adeyemi Olufolabi, MB BS, has earned a prestigious Fulbright Global Scholar Award for his commitment to research and teaching.

This award is part of the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program which offers more than 500 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in at least 125 countries. Dr. Olufolabi proposed to educate anesthesia providers and students in Rwanda on high-risk obstetrics in a main tertiary hospital in that country. This award will allow him to train leaders within the field of anesthesia in the management of obstetric anesthesia service due to the high maternal mortality experienced. Dr. Olufolabi will also conduct a study to examine the impact of maternal death on male partners/spouses and the family.

“It has been my dream to spend extended time in Africa to see how I can make a difference,” says Dr. Olufolabi. “I am so grateful for this opportunity that both the Fulbright program and Duke Anesthesiology have helped birth.”

Dr. Olufolabi is an associate professor of anesthesiology who is actively engaged in global health and the role of anesthesia in resolving the disparity gap. He is a key leader of the Duke Anesthesiology Global Health Program and an affiliate of the Duke Global Health Institute. His research interests focus on obstetric and gynecological anesthesia, including the use of opioids in the obstetric population.

Chris KeithGlobal Health Leader Earns Prestigious Award
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