DCI Members Named To NAM

October 18, 2016
By: Karen E. Butler, Director, Communications

Duke Cancer Institute members Donald P. McDonnell, PhD, and Allan Douglas Kirk, MD, PhD, are among the three Duke faculty members recently named to the National Academy of Medicine, an independent advisory organization made up of leading professionals in health, medicine and the natural, social, and behavioral sciences. Duke's Robert M. Califf, MD, on leave to serve as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, was also named.

Allan Kirk, MD, PhDAllan Kirk joined Duke from Emory University in 2014 as chair of the Department of Surgery and surgeon-in-chief forthe Duke University Health System. An internationally recognized surgical scientist and authority on transplant immunology, Kirk has focused his research on the development and implementation of new immunomodulatory strategies for transplantation and other conditions.

Kirk received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1987 and completed his PhD in immunology at Duke in 1992. He completed his general surgery residency at Duke in 1995 and a multi-organ transplantation fellowship at the University of Wisconsin in 1997. From 1997 through 2001, Kirk served in the United States Navy, reaching the rank of commander and principal investigator at the Naval Medical Research Center. He also served as a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health, working as inaugural chief of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Transplantation Branch.

Donald McDonnell, PhDDonald McDonnell is chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and the Glaxo Wellcome Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. He is also the co-director of the Women’s Cancer Program at the Duke Cancer Institute.

McDonnell’s work focuses on the development of new ways to treat and prevent breast and prostate cancers. He and his team are recognized as leading innovators in the field of drug discovery and their work has resulted in the identification of several drugs that are currently available to patients or which are currently under development. His most recent work has led to the definition of biochemical links between obesity, elevated cholesterol and increased risk of breast cancer and therapy failure in breast cancer patients.

McDonnell received a degree in biochemistry from the National University of Ireland (Galway) was awarded a PhD in cell biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he then joined the faculty. After a short tenure with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., he came to Duke in 1994 and has served numerous leadership roles prior to being named department chair.

The National Academy of Medicine serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as adviser to the nation and the international community. Election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.

Official Duke News Press Release:
Three Duke Medical School Leaders Honored by National Academy of Medicine