News

Staff Spotlight: Webb Pierson

Webb Pierson was an Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Navy in early 2021 when the COVID19 pandemic forced him and his fellow officers to isolate for two weeks before their deployment. Pierson used that time to reflect on his career, ultimately deciding to pursue a graduate studies in neuroscience and genomics. Now, Pierson is finishing up that graduate work while also running Duke NROTC program and conducting research in the lab of Ornit Chiba-Falek, PhD.

Staff Spotlight: Alexis Schuettke

This week’s Spotlight interview shines on Clinical Research Coordinator Alexis Schuettke. In this interview, Schuettke talks to us about her many roles helping to coordinate studies on idiopathic hypersomnolence, status epilepticus, and delayed sleep-wake phase disorder. She also talks to us about the joys and challenges of her work and enjoying making art, riding her bike and playing clarinet and piano when she’s not at Duke.

Staff Spotlight: Debbie Dahnke, RN

For almost eight years, Debbie Dahnke, RN, worked in the Duke University Hospital’s neuro step down unit, helping some of the most intensely injured patients in DUH transition from neurocritical care to the next stage of their medical journey. Now as one of our research nurse coordinator, she’s helping to enroll and care for patients involved in our clinical trials for multiple sclerosis (MS) and status epilepticus. For this week’s Spotlight interview, Dahnke talks to us about how a friend with MS inspired her to become a nurse.

Staff Spotlight: Holly Johnson, MS, CNIM

Even the most non-invasive surgeries pose potential strains and challenges for the central nervous system, making careful, real-time monitoring of the brain and spinal cord a requirement for a safe procedure. As one of Duke’s intraoperative neuromonitoring technologists, Holly Johnson, MS, CNIM, performs this monitoring for patients undergoing surgeries at Duke University Hospital.

Staff Spotlight: Cerica Phelps, CMA, AMT

The day’s work of a provider depends on frequent support. Appointments are constantly being scheduled and rescheduled, orders for medication refills and procedures need to be maintained, and providers need instant access to records, images and other information. Cerica Phelps, CMA, AMT, provides these duties and more to more than a dozen providers within the Duke Neurology Department--while also acting in an advisory and supervisory role to nine staff assistants.

Staff Spotlight: Zhaohui Man, MSIS

Genetic and epigenetic analysis offer the potential to vastly improve our understanding of how these conditions begin and progress, as well as to identify targets for future therapy. Bioinformatician Zhaohui Man, MS, MA, recently joined the lab of Ornit Chiba Falek, PhD, to perform this analysis and advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other conditions.

Duke Neurology Research Round Up, September 2022

Members of the Duke Neurology Department contributed to 12 new peer-reviewed journal articles published this August. Highlights include a review article examining evoked potentials used for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s, the healthcare received by veterans with epilepsy, the optimal stroke treatments for patients with cerebral venous thrombosis, and other topics.

Staff Spotlight: Samantha Lowenberg

This week’s Spotlight interview shines on Samantha Lowenberg, a registered nurse at our Morreene Road Clinic. Lowenberg talks to us about the joys and challenges of her work helping patients with ALS, dementia, and other conditions. She also shares her hobbies of painting, playing music, and traveling when she’s not at Duke.

Staff Spotlight: Julie Hobgood

Three decades ago, Julie Hobgood first came to Duke University as a receptionist for the Talent Identification Program. After stints in the Registrar’s Office, Divers Alert Network, and other locations, she’s joined the Health System as a Human Resources Specialist, where she provides payroll support to our neurology inpatient, outpatient, and lab units as well as other locations.

Staff Spotlight: Amanda Beaty, DPT

Fifteen years ago, Amanda Beaty, DPT, who was managing a human genotyping core facility, had only experienced physical therapy as an occasional patient. Now , as physical therapist she’s combining her loves of physical movement with her interests in health and science while helping patients with neurological and other conditions at Duke. For this week’s Spotlight interview, Beaty talks to us about her professional journey from the laboratory to helping patients with neurological conditions.