Duke Anesthesiology Celebrates 29 Years of Scientific Excellence

29th Annual Academic Evening

William Maixner, DDS, PhD

William Maixner, DDS, PhD

Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, 84 poster abstracts – ranging from basic science, clinical trials and case reports – were submitted and showcased at Duke Anesthesiology’s 29th Annual Academic Evening, an event that aims to advance anesthesia, critical care and pain management. It once again took place virtually on May 11 with at least 115 departmental members in attendance, eager to celebrate scholarly activity and scientific excellence from its junior-level investigators and faculty; leadership also honored the life and legacy of the late Dr. William “Bill” Maixner, who served as the department’s vice chair for research for three years and co-chair of the event.

Jeffrey C. Gadsden, MD, FRCP, FANZCA

Jeffrey C. Gadsden, MD, FRCP, FANZCA

“We were thrilled to see the depth and breadth of engagement in this year’s Academic Evening,” says Dr. Jeffrey Gadsden, event chair and associate professor of anesthesiology. “In a year when clinical research was interrupted by the pandemic, we saw an exceptional number of abstract submissions, which shows not only the commitment to scholarly discovery here at Duke Anesthesiology, but the resilience of our trainees and their faculty mentors.”

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. Leah Acker, Academic Career Enrichment Scholars (ACES) chief resident, received first place in this category for her project, titled “Perioperative EEG Complexity Measures as Predictors of Postoperative Delirium in Older Adults.”

Leah Acker, MD

Leah Acker, MD

“Academic Evening has been one of my favorite events since I first attended as a Duke medical student, and I’m honored to receive the Bill White research award this year. It’s humbling to think of all the seminal trials and research that he was a part of in this department, and to feel that in some small way, my work is helping to carry that tradition of excellence forward,” says Acker. “I am grateful for the opportunity to apply my engineering background and skills to the clinical problems we see as anesthesiologists. None of my work would be possible without the superb mentorship I’ve received from Drs. Miles Berger, Heather Whitson, and Marty Woldorff, the statistical guidance from Mary Cooter Wright, and our department’s on-going dedication to resident education.”

Guest judge, Dr. Deborah J. Culley, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, was particularly impressed with the number of posters submitted by residents, saying “this past year has been a period of unprecedented pressure” and acknowledging the essential role of residents during covid surges. “Hats off to you all for being able to accomplish such amazing research during that period of time. Research from this event suggests that there is a bright future in anesthesiology, and you really are that future.”

Deborah J. Culley, MD

Guest judge, Dr. Deborah J. Culley

Culley went on to speak about the importance of academics being maintained within the anesthesiology specialty, applauded the department for its commitment to research, and left the audience with a message about resilience: “When things don’t go the way you want them to go, you have to be resilient enough to look at what the reviewers are saying to you…part of becoming an academician is recognizing that you can’t always come out on top. But if you persevere and keep going through the process, you’ll find yourself in the exact position that each of you are here today. I think the individuals coming from your institution are going to be the leaders of the future.”

“Dr. Culley was a wonderful guest judge,” adds Gadsden. “She provided the presenters with inspiring words of wisdom about the importance of doggedness in an academic career, despite the obstacles and setbacks that are frequently encountered.”

Congratulations to each of the award winners listed below.

2021 Academic Evening Award Winners:

Post Doc Basic Science

1st Place: Sharat Chandra: “New Non-Sulfonamide Inhibitors of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel 1.7 for Treatment of Pain and Itch”

2nd Place: Su Hyoun Park: “Altered Resting State Activity of the Brain Reward Circuit in Fibromyalgia”

3rd Place: Satya Achanta: “TRPV4 Inhibitor Counteracts Phosgene-Induced Pulmonary Inflammation and Edema”

Fellow Clinical Research (Dick Smith Award)

1st Place: Riley Ann Landreth: “The ED90 of Intrathecal Chloroprocaine for Cervical Cerclage Placement: An Up-Down Sequential Allocation Dose-Response Study”

2nd Place: Olga Diomede: “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Dural Puncture Epidural versus Standard Labor Epidural Technique in Parturients with Obesity”

3rd Place: Michelle McGauvran: “Association Between Gabapentinoids and Postoperative Pulmonary Complications in Patients Undergoing Thoracic Surgery”

Resident Research (Bill White Award)

1st Place: Leah Acker: “Perioperative EEG Complexity Measures as Predictors of Postoperative Delirium in Older Adults”

2nd Place: Katherine W. Sun: “Comparison of Neuraxial Techniques for Labor Analgesia: A Retrospective Analysis”

Medical Student Research

1st Place: Tim Beck: “Altitude Decompression Corrections for 35% Oxygen Diving at 10,000 and 12,000 ft Elevation”

2nd Place: Sierra Camille Mims: “Intrathecal Bupivacaine versus Chloroprocaine for Transvaginal Cervical Cerclage: A Retrospective Analysis”

CRNA/DNP/Grad/Undergrad Research

1st Place: Erica Harris: “Sensory Evoked Potential Stimulation Interferes with TOF Assessment and Increases Risk for Undiagnosed Residual Neuromuscular Blockade”

Case Report

1st Place: Robert Morris: “False Positive Intraoperative Diagnosis Of Severe Aortic Insufficiency Associated With An A-V Dialysis Fistula”

Quality Improvement

1st Place: James Dierkes: “A Picture Says a Thousand Words: Use of a Visual Aid to Improve Patient Positioning During Neuraxial Procedures”

Stacey HiltonDuke Anesthesiology Celebrates 29 Years of Scientific Excellence