Academic Evening Goes Virtual


Members of Duke Anesthesiology gathered virtually for the first time on May 5 to share the results of their research pursuits and celebrate scientific excellence at its 28th Annual Academic Evening, an event that aims to advance anesthesia, critical care and pain management. The department’s junior-level investigators and faculty presented 81 poster abstracts, ranging from basic science, clinical trials and case reports.

Dr. Vesna Jevtovic-Todorovic“Part of the magic of Academic Evening has always been the social nature of it – investigators from far-flung areas of the department getting together and sharing their ideas with each other,” says Dr. Jeffrey Gadsden, event co-chair.

Guest judge, Dr. Vesna Jevtovic- Todorovic, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke to a virtual crowd of at least 130 faculty, trainees, students and staff with the message, “Be the person who blazes the trail. The environment and culture that we create…is what allows us all to realize our dreams. And what an environment you all have created. This is incredible.”

One of the anticipated highlights of the annual event is the Bill White Award for resident research; he 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 20 plus years. Dr. Ashley McNeil received first place in this category, noting “Having others recognize the importance of my topic motivates me to continue pursuing the research.”


Duke Anesthesiology’s 29th Annual Academic Evening once again took place virtually on May 11 with at least 115 departmental members in attendance, eager to celebrate scientific excellence. “In a year when clinical research was interrupted by the pandemic, we saw an exceptional number of 84 abstract submissions,” says event chair, Dr. Jeffrey Gadsden, “which shows our department’s commitment to scholarly discovery and the resilience of our trainees and their faculty mentors.” Leadership also honored the life and Dr. Deborah J. Culleylegacy of the late Dr. William “Bill” Maixner, who served as the department’s vice chair for research and co-chair of the event. Dr. Leah Acker, Academic Career Enrichment Scholars chief resident, received the coveted Bill White Award for her research, noting “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.” 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 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.”

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Chris KeithAcademic Evening Goes Virtual