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Duke Neurology 2018: A year in review (part 1 of 2)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Year in Review collage

The Duke Neurology Department grew and advanced at the clinical, research, and educational level in 2018. With the new year less than two weeks away, now is the perfect opportunity to review some highlights of this year, from celebrations of long-time faculty members Janice Massey and Allen Roses to the graduation of our newest class of residents and fellows. Here's a brief summary of just a few of the events that took place in our Department in the first half of 2018.


  • Duke Today named Rick Bedlack, MD, PhD, as its "Blue Devil of the week." Beth Hatcher spoke with Bedlack about his work treating patients with ALS, researching the disease, his unusually developed fashion sense and how Bedlack was inspired by the long-running "X-files" television show. Read their full interview here.


  • Our faculty and housestaff contributed to 10 new peer-reviewed journals, advancing our understanding of clinical neurology and basic neuroscience on multiple fronts. Topics of these articles included examining diabetes as a risk factor for stroke, reviewing how habits form at the neuronal level, and a discussion of existing and future treatments for spinal cord injuries. Read a summary of those articles here.


  • Our Neurology and Women’s Health feature debuted, featuring five women of our leading neurologists discuss how conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and other conditions uniquely affect women a the biological, social, and political levels. Read that series here.
  • Leonard White, PhD, received the 2018 Duke Medicine Golden Apple Award for Pre-Clinical Science Faculty for the second time. The award, presented during the annual School of Medicine Student-Faculty Show, is the most prestigious teaching award presented by the Duke University School of Medicine student body to recognize physician-teachers that the medical students feel have played an exceptionally effective and dedicated role in their education. Read more.


  • Current and former members of the Duke Department of Neurology gathered to catch up on old times, enjoy the Southern California weather, and celebrate the career of Janice Massey, MD, at the AAN meeting last week in Los Angeles. About 30 people attended the event, with individuals from Larry Faulkner, MD, head of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, to numerous women and men Massey had mentored over the years expressing their memories of working with her. Read about the celebration here, or read about the more than 20 faculty members, residents and fellows from the Department who directed courses, gave lectures, or presented their findings at the meeting in Los Angeles. Read about their contributions here.


  • Duke Neurology residents, fellows, postdoctoral researchers, and students discussed their ongoing research over drinks and hors d'oeuvres at the Department’s third annual Resident, Fellow, and Postdoc Research poster night. More than 20 posters highlighting advances in clinical, laboratory, and translational neurology. Topics ranged from the potential of using mitochondrial DNA damage as a blood-based biomarker for Parkinson’s disease to a case study of the cognitive difficulties faced by one bariatric surgery patient. Read more.


  • Members of the Duke Neurology Department gathered amidst space capsules, moon rocks, and tornado simulations for the 2018 graduation of the Department’s residents and fellows on Saturday. At the Durham Museum of Life and Science, graduating trainees were honored by their former mentors who had become their colleagues. Read about that celebration here.
  • For Men’s Health Month, the Neurology Department launched a new interview series focusing on how neurological conditions such as stroke, ALS, epilepsy, and sleep disorders specifically affected men. Read that series here.
  • The 2018 Allen Roses Symposium on Alzheimer’s Disease honored  the legacy of Allen Roses, MD, with cutting-edge updates on Alzheimer's disease research with expert speakers from Duke and other institutions, as well as an unveiling of Roses’ official portrait, which hangs in his former home of the Bryan Research Building. More than 200 people attended the event. Read more about the symposium, or about the dinner celebrating his personal contributions to the Department and Duke as a whole here.