Distinguished Faculty Award: Mark F. Newman, MD

Mark F. Newman, MD, HS’88-’89

Having grown up on a farm in Owensboro, Ky., with a full complement of cattle, hogs, and sheep, a natural career path for Mark Newman could easily have been veterinary medicine. But the hard-working farmer’s son sought more intimate connections with his patients and chose the human variety instead. Anesthesiology grabbed his interest early and his impact on the field has been profound. Best known for his two decades of far-reaching research on neurocognitive decline after surgery, Newman, the chair of the Duke Medicine Department of Anesthesiology, has helped to identify pre- and post-operative risk factors for cognitive decline following surgery. His discoveries regarding the management of body temperature and glucose levels to improve cognitive outcomes are widely used today.

He earned a medical degree at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and completed residency in anesthesiology at Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He came to Duke in 1988 for a cardiac anesthesia fellowship under pioneering anesthesiologist Joseph “Jerry” Reves, MD, who ignited Newman’s passion for neurological outcomes research. Newman returned to Wilford Hall to serve as director of research and chief of cardiothoracic anesthesiology. During that time, he also held an appointment at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center as a clinical assistant professor. He returned to Duke in 1992 to lead the Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine to international prominence. Newman went on to become a pioneer in the field, having largely defined the now widely accepted demographic, procedural, and genetic risk factors for outcomes-based research.

He became full professor of anesthesiology and vice-chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology in 1999, and was named chair of the department in 2001. Also in 2001, Newman was recognized for his expertise by his appointment as the first medical director of the Global Perioperative Research Organization, a joint venture between the International Anesthesia Research  study Society and Duke University’s Clinical Research Institute.

In 2004, he was named the Merel H. Harmel Distinguished Professor of Anesthesiology. In 2006, he was awarded The Bernard H. Eliasberg Medal for significant contributions to the field of anesthesia, critical care, and pain management. He currently is principal investigator on the largest perioperative study ever conducted to reduce mortality and stroke in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. More than 10,000 patients are enrolled worldwide.

Dr. Newman and his wife Susan live in Durham and have three children, Sarah, T’07, Jack, a senior at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and Catherine, a Duke freshman.

Credit: DukeMed Alumni News

ChrisDistinguished Faculty Award: Mark F. Newman, MD