Duke Infectious Diseases celebrates 40 years of history and growth as a division

Friday, November 10, 2017

On Oct. 20-21 at Hanes House, Duke Department of Medicine celebrated the Division of Infectious Disease’s 40th anniversary in a symposium that reviewed Duke Infectious Diseases’ infancy, years of research, and the division’s contributors over the years. The division was established in 1977 with David Durack, MD, MBBS as the first division chief for Infectious Diseases.

In an written opening note to the symposium attendees, Dr. Durack reflected on ID’s beginnings.

“There was no ‘official’ Division of ID, no formal training program, no International Health initiative, AIDS had never been heard of, and solid organ transplantation was still in its infancy,” he said. “With time and teamwork, you have built a nationally-recognized program that is one of the best-funded and most-consulted Divisions in a strong Department of Medicine.”

The symposium hosted 12 speakers, which included Ralph Corey, MD, Vice Chair of Education and Global Heatlh and professor of medicine (Infectious Diseases), John Perfect, MD, Infectious Diseases Division Chief, John Hamilton, MD, former ID division chief (1994), professor emeritus of medicine, and a brief introduction from Mary Klotman, MD, dean of the School of Medicine and professor of medicine (Infectious Diseases). 

At the symposium, attendees experienced two days of engaging and interactive presentations such as Dr. Hamilton’s documentary video “History of AIDS at Duke: A Work in Progress,” Durack’s “Forty Years in the Rear View Mirror” presentation about ID’s history, “40 Years of ATDuke through the eyes of a fungus!” presented by Dr. Perfect, as well as presentations about tackling global health issues at Duke, and discussions about the past and current efforts of progressive research in infectious disease care and treatment.

“For me, the Duke Infectious Diseases Division has always been family to me,” Perfect said in a thank you message to attendees. “The ID Division has a good foundation for the next 40 years of progress and it was all made possible by the efforts of ‘you all.’ Pause and congratulate yourself...you have made a difference.”

This story was written by Tia Mitchell, communications intern for the Department of Medicine.