Dr. James Appointed to Duke Leadership Roles

Michael L. James, MD, FAHA, FNCSWe are pleased to announce the appointment of Duke Anesthesiology’s Michael “Luke” James, MD, FAHA, FNCS, to the position of assistant vice chancellor for Duke-NUS Research. This position will assist the vice chancellor of Duke-NUS Affairs by providing support and oversight for building research partnerships and collaborations with Duke-NUS. He will have a coordinate appointment as assistant dean in the Duke-NUS Office of Academic and Clinical Development, which oversees joint activities between Duke-NUS and SingHealth.

James will work with Dr. Edward Buckley, vice chancellor for Duke-NUS Affairs, to identify areas of key strategic overlap between Duke Health and the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Center; construct specific, collaborative platforms for building alignment; and create programs to support, resource and execute these new collaborative efforts. In addition, we want to continue to foster individual- and center/departmental-level collaboration both formally through existing platforms and informally by facilitating productive conversations.

As the partnership between Duke and Duke-NUS matures, we look forward to working with James to take advantage of the many opportunities available.

Source: (June 22, 2021) Duke University School of Medicine Announcement

Stacey HiltonDr. James Appointed to Duke Leadership Roles
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Dr. Moon Awarded $2M for Diving Studies

Richard E. Moon, MD, CM, MSc, FRCP, FACP, FCCPDuke Anesthesiology’s Richard Moon, MD, CM, MSc, FRCP(C), FACP, FCCP, has been awarded more than $2 million in funding for diving studies from branches of the United States Navy.

The Office of Naval Research has awarded Moon a three-year, $1,209,589 grant for his project, “Integrated Diaphragmatic Function, Chemosensitivity, Erythrocyte Gas Transport and Endurance in Exercising Divers.”

Moon’s study will determine (1) the effectiveness of breathing carbon monoxide on diaphragm training (his research team has previously shown that low dose carbon monoxide upregulates mitochondrial biogenesis in humans); (2) whether carbon monoxide-enhanced diaphragm training increases endurance in divers during underwater exercise; (3) the degree to which oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange is determined by gas channels in human red blood cells.

Additionally, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has awarded Moon, medical director of Duke’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology, an $850,502 contract for his project, “Perfluoromethane to Reduce Decompression Sickness after Heliox Dives.” This contract will fund studies in pigs to determine whether perfluoromethane breathing during decompression from a dive reduces decompression sickness.

Stacey HiltonDr. Moon Awarded $2M for Diving Studies
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Dr. Gasier Awarded Naval Research Grant

Heath Gasier, PhDThe Office of Naval Research has awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Heath Gasier, PhD, a $227,954 grant to study the effects of hyperbaric oxygen on skeletal muscle calcium regulation and mitochondrial function.

Oxidant production increases with strenuous muscle contractions and has been reported to cause or contribute to fatigue. It is, therefore, probable that intramuscular oxidant production is increased during prolonged and repeated HBO2 exposures and results in damage to organelles and regulatory proteins involved in muscle contraction and bioenergetics.

This research will help Gasier determine the impact of skeletal muscle oxidant production on calcium regulation and mitochondrial function in mice exposed to HBO2, ultimately identifying new approaches for preventing oxygen toxicity and optimizing performance in divers.

In this study, he will implement an innovative combination of biological techniques. His approach allows for real time measurement of total and mitochondrial superoxide and calcium levels, and mitochondrial membrane potential in live muscle fibers ex vivo. Combined with immunoblotting and immunofluorescence, he aims to identify the potential source of muscle fatigue. Gasier’s central hypothesis is that prolonged and repeated HBO2 exposures increase oxidation of RyR1 and STIM1 that increases intracellular and mitochondrial calcium uptake, resulting in impaired mitochondrial function. This hypothesis is based on the synthesis of work by others.

Gasier’s work is expected to discover whether critical targets involved in muscle contraction are influenced by HBO2. Results of this research will have an important and positive impact because they will offer a strong scientific framework for testing specific drugs or antioxidants on muscle and aerobic exercise performance after HBO2.

Stacey HiltonDr. Gasier Awarded Naval Research Grant
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