Celebrating 30 Years of Academic Evening

30th Annual Academic Evening

Dr. Jeff Gadsden

Dr. Jeffrey Gadsden

After two years of observing scholarly activity and scientific excellence on a virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of Duke Anesthesiology returned to gathering in-person this year to celebrate a special 30th anniversary of Academic Evening. Three decades since its inception, science and discovery have progressed, but the goal of the event has remained constant—to advance anesthesia, critical care and pain management—which ultimately enhances the care of patients.

This year, a near record-breaking 91 poster abstracts—ranging from basic science, clinical trials and case reports—were submitted and showcased by junior-level investigators and faculty at Duke Anesthesiology’s 30th Annual Academic Evening, which took place on May 10 at the Millennium Hotel Durham.

“We were thrilled to be back in person and to watch all of our brilliant, innovative and talented colleagues presenting their research,” says Dr. Jeffrey Gadsden, event chair and associate professor of anesthesiology. “It’s truly humbling and inspiring to see the sheer talent and ideas that our department produces. It was especially gratifying to see how much research was carried out by trainees—these are busy residents and fellows with often grueling clinical schedules, and the fact that they are mentored to prioritize clinical and basic science investigation while training is simply amazing.”

David S. Warner, MD

Dr. David S. Warner

With his family in attendance, the late Dr. David S. Warner (who served as former event chair and vice chair for research) was honored during the evening not only for his key role in the event, but for the integral role he played in mentoring numerous investigators and advancing both basic science and clinical research within the department for nearly 30 years. Duke Anesthesiology chairman, Dr. Joseph Mathew, opened the evening by announcing the newly-named David S. Warner Award for post doc basic science research and then ringing Warner’s bell, signifying the beginning of presentations. Dr. Ravikanth Velagapudi received first place in this category for his project titled, “Percutaneous Vagus Nerve StimulationAttenuates Postoperative Aβ Deposition in a Mouse Model of Delirium Superimposed on Dementia.”

Dr. Mathew rings the Bell used by Dr. Warner at the Academic Evening.“I am deeply honored and pleased to receive this prestigious award,” says Velagapudi. “I appreciate my hard work being recognized, and I am extremely thankful to my mentor, Dr. Niccolo Terrando, for his continuous support in bringing this study to fruition.”

One of the anticipated highlights of the annual event is the presentation of the Bill White Award for resident research. White was involved in the design, data control and examination, and statistical analysis of biomedical studies in both observational and clinical trials within Duke Anesthesiology for more than 20 years. Dr. Benjamin Andrew received first place in this category for his project titled, “Effects of the Pecto-Intercostal Fascial Plane Block on Postoperative Analgesia Following Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.”

“I’m honored that this work was recognized at Academic Evening. I have been exceptionally lucky to have outstanding mentorship and support for my research pursuits over the past several years of residency and this project was no exception,” says Andrew. “It was a great experience to work closely with the senior author, Dr. Lisa Einhorn, from the study’s inception through to the final outcome, and I’m looking forward to continuing this work with her in the future!”

George Mashour, MD, PhD

Dr. George Mashour

Dr. George Mashour, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, was selected to serve as this year’s guest judge. In this role, he received the honor of determining the award winners in each category.

“I was extremely impressed by the breadth and depth of the research accomplishments—Duke is clearly a top-tier academic anesthesiology department making major contributions to the field,” says Mashour. “It is exciting to see such a vibrant and thriving community of scholars in anesthesiology.”

“Dr. Mashour was a wonderful guest judge. He was thoroughly engaged with all of the presenters and provided each of them with thoughtful questions, feedback and kind words of encouragement throughout the evening,” adds Gadsden.

30th Academic Evening winners Ravikanth Velagapudi, Rose Tang, Benjamin Andrew, Jake Thomas, Eden Deng, and Trung Pham

2022 Academic Evening Award Winners:

Post Doc Basic Science Research (David S. Warner Award)

1st Place: Ravikanth Velagapudi, “Percutaneous Vagus Nerve StimulationAttenuates Postoperative Aβ Deposition in a Mouse Model of Delirium Superimposed on Dementia”

2nd Place: Yaomin Wang, “Adipocyte Adrb3 Receptor Mediates Mechanical Hypersensitivity in Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions”

3rd Place: Sangsu Bang, “Oral Administration of Anti-Malaria Drug Artesunate can Reduce the LPS Induced Septic Death and Inflammation”

Fellow Clinical Research (Dick Smith Award)

1st Place: Rose Tang, “The Choice of Opioid Infusion for Thoracolumbar Spine Surgery and Long-Term Opioid Use”

2nd Place: Gabrielle Madsen, “Achievement of Textbook Outcome in Pulmonary Hypertension Patients After Lung Transplantation: Comparing Planned MCS Modes”

3rd Place: H. Douglas Wackerle, “Differences in Death, Hospitalization, and Emergency Department (ED) Visits Following Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Between 2000 and 2016”

Resident Research (Bill White Award)

1st Place: Benjamin Andrew, “Effects of the Pecto-Intercostal Fascial Plane Block on Postoperative Analgesia Following Pediatric Cardiac Surgery”

2nd Place: Andrew Breglio, “Mechanisms of Autologous Conditioned Serum-Mediated Resolution of Chronic Neuropathic Pain”

3rd Place: Alex Girden, “Interscalene Block with Liposomal Bupivacaine Versus Continuous Interscalene Catheter in Primary Total Shoulder Arthroplasty”

Medical Student Research

1st Place: Jake Thomas, “Postoperative Changes in the Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteome Suggest a Role of the Complement Pathway in Postoperative Delirium”

2nd Place: Jordan Hatfield, “Risk Factors and Neurologic Outcomes Associated with Circulatory Shock Following Moderate-Sever Traumatic Brain Injury: A TRACK-TBI Study”

CRNA/DNP/Grad/Undergrad Research

1st Place: Eden Deng, “Evaluation by Survival Analysis of Cold Pain Tolerance in Patients with Fibromyalgia and Opioid Use”

Case Report

1st Place: Trung Pham, “Freeing the Incarcerated Uterus: Balancing Maternal and Fetal Benefits”

Quality Improvement

1st Place: Henry Lather, “Promotion of Low Fresh Gas Usage During an Inhalational Anesthetic: A Safe, Environmentally Accountable, and Financially Responsible Practice”

Stacey HiltonCelebrating 30 Years of Academic Evening
Read More

Duke Anesthesiology Faculty Win Duke Innovation Award

DIH Innovation Award Recipients Drs. Blitz, Gulur and Kent

Duke Anesthesiology faculty are among one of the five teams that received a 2022 Innovation Award from the Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI). Its leadership panel selected the multidisciplinary team for their high-potential innovation project titled, “Improving Perioperative Care Coordination via Enhanced Decision Support Tools.” Team members include Drs. Jeanna Blitz, Padma Gulur and Michael Kent of Duke Anesthesiology, Drs. Allan Kirk and Michael Lipkin of Duke Surgery, and Wendy Webster of Duke Surgery/Neurosurgery.

Blitz will lead this multidisciplinary team in the creation of an iterative multivariate digital solution to drive preoperative risk assessment and patient optimization. The team aims to achieve faster turnaround time between case posting and surgery for low risk patients, while increasing the window of time for interventions aimed at modification of chronic medical conditions before surgery in patients at higher risk of poor postoperative outcomes. The ultimate goal of this project is to share these learnings across the Duke University Health System.

Each year, DIHI calls for project ideas in the areas of novel strategies to improve the value of care delivery, advance health equity, grow digital solutions for care and monitoring, strengthen care team experience and well-being, and enhance patient engagement and experience. In addition to providing funding for these projects, the DIHI team will work with various Duke Health and Duke University partners to provide access to data, analytics, statistical analysis, machine learning and AI resources, while driving project and implementation management.

Stacey HiltonDuke Anesthesiology Faculty Win Duke Innovation Award
Read More

Dr. Nackley Awarded NIH IGNITE Grant

Andrea G. Nackley, PhD

Andrea G. Nackley, PhD

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Andrea Nackley, PhD, a three-year, $1,106,152 R61/R33 IGNITE (Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts) grant for her project titled, “A Novel Clinically-Relevant Mouse Model of Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions for Screening Analgesics.”

Chronic overlapping pain conditions (COPCs) affect nearly one in every three Americans, predominantly females, and are characterized by interactions between genetic and environmental events. Approximately 66% of patients with COPCs (eg, fibromyalgia) have genetic variants that cause low activity of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme that metabolizes catecholamines. Individuals with the ‘low COMT activity’ genotype report greater pain at baseline, and enhanced pain following stressful and/or injurious events that potentiate catecholamine release from sympathetic nerves.

The objective of Nackley’s project is to develop and validate a novel mouse model of COPCs in which genetically predisposed COMT+/- mice undergo stressful and injurious events resulting in clinically-relevant behavioral and molecular phenotypes for in vivo screening of analgesic therapeutics.

During the 1.5-year R61 phase, Nackley will establish the magnitude and duration of pain at several body sites, sensitization of primary afferent nociceptors innervating those body sites, and pain-related depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors in her COPC mouse model. During the 1.5-year R33 phase, she will evaluate clinically-relevant cytokine biomarkers to determine construct validity and clinically-used analgesics to determine predictive validity of her model.

Nackley’s central hypothesis is that COMT+/- mice, especially females, undergoing transient stressful and injurious events will develop chronic pain at multiple body sites and increased levels of clinically-relevant cytokine biomarkers that will be reduced by existing FDA-approved analgesics.

“I’m excited to work with my CTPM colleagues, Drs. Xin Zhang, Yaomin Wang and Andrey Bortsov on this IGNITE project. Together, we plan to develop a novel mouse model of COPCs that will have a significant impact on discovery of safe, effective analgesics with translational relevance,” says Nackley, associate professor in anesthesiology, pharmacology and cancer biology.

Nackley is a part of Duke Anesthesiology’s Center for Translational Pain Medicine (CTPM). She also serves as the director of the Translational Pain Research Laboratory.

Stacey HiltonDr. Nackley Awarded NIH IGNITE Grant
Read More

Dr. Achanta Receives Society of Toxicology Awards

Satya Achanta, DVM, PhD, DABTDuke Anesthesiology’s Satya Achanta, DVM, PhD, DABT, was named the recipient of the Donald E. Gardner Inhalation Toxicology Education Award and the Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting in San Diego.

The Donald E. Gardner Inhalation Toxicology Education Award by the Inhalational and Respiratory Specialty Section of SOT provides stipends to develop educational webinars on innovative methods in the fields of inhalation and respiratory toxicology. According to the SOT, Donald E. Gardner was a distinguished pioneer in the field of inhalation toxicology. His research contributed to a better understanding of the health effects of air pollutants – promoting the health of workers and the public. Achanta will develop a series of webinars on “Comparative Inhalation Animal Models and Strategies for the Successful Conduct of Large Animal Studies.”

The SOT’s Comparative Toxicology, Pathology, and Veterinary Specialty Section (CTPVSS) awarded Achanta the Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award, which is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of translational toxicology within 10 years of obtaining the highest degree (DVM/PhD/MD/DDS) and demonstrated leadership.

“I am thrilled and honored to receive these prestigious awards. Winning these awards gives me a sense of recognition for the hard work and time that I have put into my research. These awards also encourage me to continue to make meaningful progress in the field,” says Achanta, assistant professor in anesthesiology, who was presented the awards in March.

Achanta is a part of Duke Anesthesiology’s Center for Translational Pain Medicine. His research focuses on targeting transient receptor potential ion channels and promoting resolution pathways to counteract inflammation.

Stacey HiltonDr. Achanta Receives Society of Toxicology Awards
Read More