Department of Medicine Awards

Neil L. Spector Art of Medicine Award

The Duke Department of Medicine is pleased to announce the second annual Neil L. Spector Art of Medicine Award to recognize exemplary mentorship practices in clinical and translational research. This award will be presented annually to a faculty member in the Department of Medicine who demonstrates respect for trainees and junior faculty members and who holistically approaches mentorship to guide trainees to attain their diverse research goals. 


All faculty and trainees are invited to nominate colleagues in the Department of Medicine. To be eligible, the nominated faculty member must be regular rank. Nominations may come from individuals or groups; self-nominations will not be accepted.

  1. Letter of nomination: A single primary letter of nomination should include a description of the qualities of the mentor prompting the nomination, with specific examples of the nominee’s willingness to share ideas, mentorship advocacy, respect for learners and trainees, and ability to foster a supportive yet challenging work environment. Additional letters of support (maximum of three) are encouraged.
  2. Nominee’s current curriculum vitae

A single .pdf file containing all application materials should be submitted to Joan Dupont by 5 p.m. on February 18, 2022. Please submit applications from a email address.

Awards Notification

Successful applicants will be informed by March 9, 2022, and will be expected to present at the mentoring-themed Medicine Grand Rounds in May.

Selection Process

The selection committee values the diversity of our university community and the anti-racism commitment of the Department of Medicine.
The Neil L. Spector Art of Medicine Award will honor a faculty member who exemplifies Spector’s broad impact on the lives of those around him. Recipients of the award will demonstrate qualities well-represented by Spector in his interactions with his patients, colleagues, and trainees: integrity, compassion, altruism, respect, and empathy.
The selection process for this award will emphasize the training experiences and successes of the nominee’s mentees, and not merely the mentor’s personal career achievements. For the purpose of this award, mentoring is defined as the process of guiding, supporting, and promoting the training and career development of others. The key roles of a mentor include, but are not limited to:

  • Willingness to share knowledge, skills, and expertise with mentees
  • Ability to provide guidance and constructive feedback while encouraging mentees to gain confidence in their own skills and intellectual independence
  • Clear interest in the mentoring relationship, showing care for mentees and treating them with respect
  • Ability to foster a supportive but challenging work environment, in which all members (mentors and mentees alike) have a voice and are empowered to participate in the intellectual conversation

About Dr. Spector


Neil Spector

Neil L. Spector, MD, was a nationally recognized physician-scientist, translational research leader, and oncology mentor. He was the Sandra Coates Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, an associate professor of pharmacology and cancer biology, and at Duke Cancer Institute, associate director for translational research, director of the Developmental Therapeutics Program, and associate codirector of clinical research with the breast cancer disease group. He led two molecularly targeted therapies to FDA approval, one for the treatment of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and another for the treatment of HER2 overexpressing breast cancers.

Spector served as an attending physician and supervised medical oncology fellows at the Durham Veteran Affairs Healthcare System. In 2016, he was appointed as the inaugural director of the National Precision Oncology Program at the Veterans Health Administration in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as part of the Cancer Moonshot initiative that launched that year.

In 2015, Spector published Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician's Search for True Healing, which chronicles his courageous battle with Lyme disease. He was undiagnosed and untreated for years, and ultimately the disease damaged his heart. In 2009, he received a heart transplant at Duke. He became a tireless advocate for Lyme disease research and awareness. His research on the tick-borne parasite Borrelia burgdorferi and the bacteria Bartonella, which have been linked to Lyme disease in humans, had recently expanded into investigating a possible overlap between these pathogens and cancer.

Neil Spector passed away in 2020, due to a clinically aggressive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder.

2021 Award Recipients

Name Division
Kimberly Johnson, MD, MHS (Senior Mentor Award Recipient) Geriatrics
Kim Huffman, MD, PhD (Junior Mentor Award Recipient) Rheumatology and Immunology

Education Awards

Each year the Department of Medicine honors faculty with Excellence in Education Awards.

This annual initiative provides awards in the amount of $5,000 per person to recognize one faculty member in each division for excellence in medical education.

2020 Award Recipients

Due to financial constraints related to COVID-19, recipients this year will not receive the monetary award.

Division Name
Cardiology Rob Harrison
Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition Jennifer Perkins
Gastroenterology Lindsay King
General Internal Medicine Fatima Syed
Geriatrics Jack Twersky
Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy Carlos DeCastro
Hematology Gow Arepally
Infectious Diseases Libby Dodds-Ashley
Nephrology Matt Ellis
Medical Oncology Ivy Altomare
Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine Stephen Bergin
Rheumatology and Immunology Nancy Allen
Hospital Medicine Nilesh Patel

2019 Award Recipients

Division Name
Cardiology Andrew Wang
Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition Jenniver Rowell
Gastroenterology Darshan Kothari
General Internal Medicine David Edelman
Geriatrics Laura Previll
Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy Christina Gasparetto
Hematology Ara Metjian
Infectious Diseases Richard Drew
Medical Oncology David Hsu
Nephrology Scott Sanoff
Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine Timothy Scialla (JR) and Terry Fortin (SR)
Rheumatology Nancy Allen
Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine Susanne Haga
Hospital Medicine Nadia Pasha

2018 Award Recipients

Name Division
Murat Arcasoy Hematology
David Caldwell Rheumatology and Immunology
Matt Crowley Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition
Talal Dahhan Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
Tom Gehrig Cardiology
Liza Genao Geriatrics
Elizabeth Hankollari General Internal Medicine
Patrick Hemming General Internal Medicine
Peter Kussin Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
Gwynn Long Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Micah McClain Infectious Diseases
Megan McNamara Medical Oncology
Jane Onken Gastroenterology
David Ortiz Melo Nephrology

2017 Award Recipients 

Name Division
Sara Ahmadi Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition
Murat Arcasoy Hematology

Christina Barkauskas

Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Megan Brooks General Internal Medicine
Lisa Criscione-Schreiber Rheumatology and Immunology
Terry Fortin Cardiology
Greg Gray Infectious Diseases
Mahfuzul Haque Gastroenterology
Michael Harrison Medical Oncology
Mitch Horwitz Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Shelley McDonald Geriatrics
Loretta Que Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
John Roberts Nephrology
Daniella Zipkin General Internal Medicine

2016 Award Recipients 

Name Division
Carl Berg Gastroenterology
David Caldwell Rheumatology and Immunology
David D'Alessio Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition
Katja Elbert-Avila


Eileen Maziarz

Infectious Diseases 

Oluwatoyosi Onwuemene


Chet Patel Cardiology

Sonal Patel

General Internal Medicine
 Mark Powers

Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

Craig Rackley Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

Matthew Sparks


Keith Sullivan Hematological Malignancies & Cellular Therapy
Hope Uronis Medical Oncology

2015 Award Recipients 

Name Division
Gow Arepally Hematology
Carla Brady  Gastroenterology
Vivian Chu  Infectious Disease
Joseph Govert Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Michael Hershfield Rheumatology and Immunology
John Middleton Nephrology
Cara O'Brien Hospital Medicine
David Rizzieri Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Zainab Samad Cardiology
Timothy Scialla  Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine 
Tracy Setji Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition
Sharon Rubin  General Internal Medicine 
Mamata Yanamadalda Geriatrics
Yousuf Zafar Medical Oncology

2014 Award Recipients

Name Division
Gwendolen Buhr Geriatrics 
Samir Dalvi Rheumatology and Immunology
Carlos DeCastro Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Cristina Gasparetto Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Daniel Gilstrap Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Tom Hollond  Hospital Medicine
Bruce Peyser General Internal Medicine
John Reynolds Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Zainab Samad Cardiology
Alastair Smtih Gastroenterology
Stephen Smith Nephrology 
Jason Stout Infectious Diseases
Tom Weber Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition
J. Brice Weinberg Hematology
Yousuf Zafar Medical Oncology

2013 Award Recipients

Name  Division
Nancy Allen Rheumatology and Immunology
Jonathan Bae Hospital Medicine
Michael Berkoben Nephrology
Lynn Bowlby General Internal Medicine
Gary Cox Infectious Diseases
Lou Diehl Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Bill Hargett Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Schuyler Jones Cardiology
Yutao Liu Medical Genetics
Neil Macintyre Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Ara Metjian Hematology
Jennifer Perkins Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition
Sandro Pinheiro Geriatrics
Richard Riedel Medical Oncology
Andrew Wolf Gastroenterology

2012 Award Recipients 

Name Division
Murat Arcasoy Hematology
David Caldwell Rheumatology and Immunology
Anna Lisa Crowley Cardiology
Arthur Greenberg Nephrology
Simon Gregory Medical Genetics
Vern Juel Neurology
Mark Lanasa Medical Oncology
Diana McNeil Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition
Mark Powers Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Keith Sullivan Cellular Therapy
Heidi White Geriatrics
Kenneth Wilson Infectious Diseases
Richard Wood Gastroenterology
Daniella Zipkin General Internal Medicine