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Duke Neurology 2018: A Year in Review (Part 2 of 2)

Friday, December 28, 2018
Year in Review

For the Duke Department of Neurology, the second half of 2018 was as busy as the first, with the addition of three new division chiefs, more than 50 peer-reviewed publications by members of our Department, and numerous accolades recognizing individual faculty members and our clinical services at the hospital level. Here is the second part of our two-part year in review (part 1 is available here).


  • Three groups of seven to eight rising eighth graders from Durham stepped foot onto the premises of the Duke School of Medicine and learned about Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and stroke, from various members of the Duke Neurology Department. Read more.
  • The Neurology Department welcomed four familiar faces into its faculty: former resident and fellow Suma Shah, MD, graduated Movement Disorders fellows Noreen Bukhari-Parlakturk, MD, PhD, and Ian C. Lee, MD, and the Liedtke Lab’s  Carlene Moore, PhD, who our Headache division as an Assistant Professor. The Division of Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders also welcomed new additions Kyle Mitchell, MD, and Sneha Mantri, MD. Read more.


  • Bryan Walker, MHS, PA-C, was named the Duke Private Diagnostic Clinic's Director of Advanced Practice, where he Walker will begin working to establish best practices and align advanced practice providers (APPs) across the physician practice. Walker also will facilitate the integration of APPs within the PDC, and develop and implement improvements in service, quality, competency and productivity in addition to his duties within the Neurology Department. Read more.


  • More than 11,000 U.S. physicians ranked Duke University Hospital as a top hospital nationwide for stroke, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a new Medscape survey. Duke University Hospital ranked in the top 10 in the nation for all three neurological conditions included in the survey, one of only seven institutions to do so. Read more.
  • Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD, was named division chief of the Division of Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, while Aatif Husain became division chief of the renamed Division of Epilepsy, Sleep, and Clinical Neurophysiology. They would be joined by Kim Johnson, PhD, as the new chief of the Division of Memory Disorders later that year. Read more about those new appointments here and here, respectively.


  • Al La Spada, MD, PhD, was the senior author of a new study that found that investigated a potential therapy that may halt or even reverse a form of progressive vision loss. This hyper-targeted approach offers hope to individuals living with spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) and validates a new form of therapy with the potential to treat neurogenetic diseases effectively and with far fewer side effects than other medications. Read more about that article here.


  • Ten new peer-reviewed journals written or co-written by members of our Department were published, including a review of the emerging specialty of sports neurology, potential new treatments for forms of myasthenia gravis, and discussions of use of granular hydrogels to regenerate tissue after stroke. Read more.


  • Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD, Al La Spada, MD, PhD, and the Department of Cell Biology’s Cagla Eroglu, PhD, received a grant of more than $1 million to study the role of astrocytes--common, star-shaped support cells within the brain--in the development of Parkinson’s disease. The award is part of more than $52 million in funding being given by the Chan Zuckerburg Initiative (CZI), which brings together experimental scientists from a variety of fields to better understand the root causes of neurodegenerative disorders. Read more.