Newsworthy & Noteworthy


Read about Duke Ob/Gyn's newsmakers in 2023, including national awards, grants and research programs and featured publications.

National Awards

Angeles Alvarez Secord, MD, MHSc

Angeles Alvarez Secord, MD, MHSc, is the recipient of a 2022 Health and Environmental Sciences Institute THRIVE Grant Award of $45,000 for the research study “Redox-active drug, BMX-001, as a neuroprotectant: A preventive strategy for chemotherapy induced neurotoxicity.” Dr. Secord is also president-elect of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Nazema Siddiqui, MD, MHSc

Nazema Siddiqui, MD, MHSc, was honored with the CAIRIBU Collaboration Award. A former K12 KURe Scholar in the Collaborating for the Advancement of Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology (CAIRIBU) KURe Program at Duke, Dr. Siddiqui was awarded a CAIRIBU Collaboration Award for her proposal “Development of humanized mouse models for studies of the urogenital microbiome.” Dr. Siddiqui serves on the American Urogynecologic Society Board of Directors and is the specialty chief editor for female urology within the Frontiers in Urology journal.

Fan Lee, MD

Fan Lee, MD, is the recipient of the prestigious Martin-Peterson Scholars Award. Dr. Lee was recognized at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting May 6-8, 2022. The award honors ACOG members who are relatively early in their global health careers for involvement in a global health women’s project or program with a clinical, advocacy or educational focus. At Duke, Dr. Lee will continue her research collaborations with UNC Project Malawi, as well as with low-resource communities in Durham.

Alejandro Gómez-Viso, MD, Bobby May, MD, Cassandra Kisby, MD, MS

Duke urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery fellow Alejandro Gómez-Viso, MD, and resident Bobby May, MD, were awarded first place in the International Urogynecologic Association Video Competition for Fellows and Trainees. Along with faculty Cassandra Kisby, MD, MS, they created and submitted the video “Management of Partial Müllerian Agenesis,” which also has been accepted for presentation at the Society for Gynecologic Surgeons meeting March 19-22 in Tucson, Arizona. The video is posted on the IUGA video contest website page.

Samuel Bauer, MD, CPE

Maternal-fetal medicine specialist Samuel Bauer, MD, CPE, has been appointed to the 2022-23 National Quality Forum (NQF) Measure Applications Partnership workgroup as a women’s health representative. Dr. Bauer was nominated for the role by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. The workgroup is convened by the NQF, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to provide input to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the selection of performance measures for public reporting and performance-based payment programs.

Whitney Robinson, PhD, MSPH

Whitney Robinson, PhD, MSPH, won the Society for Epidemiologic Research’s Carol J. Rowland Hogue Mid-Career Award. This prestigious award is given annually to recognize a mid-career scientist who has made an exceptional contribution to the practice of epidemiology.

Faculty Development Research Team Awarded $3 Million To Continue BIRCWH Program

Cindy Amundsen, MD, Friederike Jayes, DVM, PhD, Rebecca Kameny, PhD

Cindy Amundsen, MD, Roy T. Parker Endowed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, principal investigator and director of the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Program, and program assistants Friederike Jayes, DVM, PhD, and Rebecca Kameny, PhD, have been awarded $3 million over five years to continue the NIH/NICHD K12 program. The BIRCWH program promotes career development of junior faculty pursuing interdisciplinary basic, translational, behavioral, clinical and/or health services research relevant to the health of women and, where appropriate, consideration of sex as a biological variable on health and disease.

This award will lead to 25 years of continued funding for the BIRCWH program, a partnership with the Duke University School of Medicine and North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

The Duke/NCCU BIRCWH program will increase the availability of a diverse pool of highly trained women’s health researchers to address the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical needs.

Read more about the BIRCWH Program.

Duke Faculty Part of National CRDI Research Program

Evan Myers, MD, MPH

Evan Myers, MD, MPH, Walter L. Thomas Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who specializes in mathematical modeling and decision analysis, serves as a member of the steering committee for the Cancer Risk, Detection and Interception (CRDI) Research Program at Duke Cancer Institute (DCI). As a comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), DCI must obtain NCI approval for new research programs, and the CRDI program was officially approved in 2021 to focus on research that falls somewhere between cancer prevention and treatment.

In 2021, Duke University was one of three sites that was awarded a total of $4.4 million National Institutes of Health/NCI Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) comparative modeling funding. Duke received $1.2 million in funding. “Through CISNET, an NCI-funded project to develop mathematical models of uterine cancer to help inform strategies for prevention and improved outcomes for uterine cancer, we’re working on tools to help address the growing incidence and mortality from uterine cancer. There are growing disparities in both incidence and mortality between Black and white women, both nationally and in North Carolina, and this fits very nicely with the CRDI program’s goals,” said Dr. Myers.

Laura Havrilesky, MD, MHSc

Laura Havrilesky, MD, MHSc, is the principal investigator for CISNET.

Read more about Duke’s CISNET funding.

Geeta Swamy, MD, Participates in National Program for Representation in Clinical Trials, Recognized for Achievements

Geeta Swamy, MD

Geeta Swamy, MD, participated in a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Health and Medicine panel as part of a workshop about the inclusion of pregnant and lactating persons in clinical trials in June 2022.

Dr. Swamy is among the leadership from 88 U.S. colleges and universities joining forces to advance the principles and practices of open scholarship, in an effort to make scholarly outputs more transparent and beneficial to a broader community. The Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship cohort (HELIOS) is comprised of colleges and universities formed to create collective action to advance open scholarship across their campuses. HELIOS takes place within the larger context of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science.

Dr. Swamy also was honored with a Duke Presidential Award in 2022 and was named the Haywood Brown, MD Distinguished Professor of Women’s Health. She is a national leader in promoting a culture of scientific integrity and transparency in research.

Four Faculty Newly Board-Certified in Complex Family Planning Subspecialty

Clayton Alfonso, MD; Elizabeth Deans, MD, MPH; Beverly Gray, MD; and Jonas Swartz, MD, MPH

Clayton Alfonso, MD; Elizabeth Deans, MD, MPH; Beverly Gray, MD; and Jonas Swartz, MD, MPH, are board-certified in the new subspecialty of complex family planning. July 2022 was the first time the certifying exam was given.

Duke Faculty Featured in National Media Coverage Following Roe v. Wade Decision


Faculty including Beverly Gray, MD, and Jonas Swartz, MD, MPH, have been featured extensively in media coverage about the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, leading up to the ruling, and in the aftermath.

Read complete coverage of Duke’s Roe v. Wade coverage.

Duke Researchers Develop Prediction Model for Opioid Prescribing Following Gynecological Surgery

Opioid overdoses have risen sharply since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Data shows that opioid misuse often starts with a legally obtained prescription. A team of researchers from Duke Ob/Gyn has developed a model that provides a way to predict individualized estimates of outpatient opioid use post-operatively at hospital discharge for a broad range of patients undergoing gynecologic surgery. This model uses seven factors to predict the number of opioid pills a patient will need following surgery and can be used for patients with and without gynecologic cancers.

The study, “Development and Validation of a Model for Opioid Prescribing Following Gynecological Surgery,” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network.

Study authors are former Duke residents Isabel Rodriguez, MD, and Paige McKeithan Cisa, MD; current resident Julia Salinaro, MD; and Duke faculty Karen Monuszko, MD; Ashraf Habib, MBBCh, MSc, MHSc; J. Eric Jelovsek, MD, MMEd, MSDS; Laura Havrilesky, MD, MHSc; and Brittany Davidson, MD.

Read the complete JAMA study.