Abbruzzese, Douglas, MacIntyre, McNeill Receive 2024 DOM Career Achievement Awards

Four faculty members have received the 2024 Department of Medicine Career Achievement Award in recognition of the extraordinary impact that their careers have had in one of the department’s three core missions: education, research, and clinical medicine. 

The awardees are Drs. James Abbruzzese, Pamela Douglas, Neil MacIntyre, and Diana McNeill. Recipients model Duke’s values of Excellence, Integrity, Teamwork, Respect, and Innovation and have created sustained legacies that have shaped the institution.  

James Abbruzzese, MD
Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology 

An internationally recognized pancreatic cancer expert, Dr. James Abbruzzese came to Duke in 2013 as chief of the division of Medical Oncology, following 17 years as chairman of the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  

Arriving when Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) was newly established, Dr. Abbruzzese guided the division through the transition to a matrixed organizational structure and spearheaded the rapid growth of cancer services in Durham and Wake counties, understanding the value of a unified multi-disciplinary clinical care infrastructure.  

As a gastrointestinal medical oncologist at Duke, he has shown exemplary leadership and outstanding clinical care while also providing education and mentoring to interns, residents, fellows, and faculty, personifying the qualities of a servant leader, said DCI colleague, Dr. John Strickler, professor in the division of Medical Oncology. 

“His vision of integrated growth has led to improved clinical care in all of our locations, increased accessibility to Duke cancer care, and expanded clinical research infrastructure,” Strickler said. “He understood the need for growth, but also successfully aligned that growth with our core research, education, and clinical care mission. His selfless leadership style ensured that faculty concerns and priorities were heard and represented in a rapidly changing health care landscape.”  

“His first priority is always patient welfare. Whether it be rounding on the inpatient service, thoughtful goals of care counseling, or personally reviewing imaging to ensure appropriate clinical staging, he ensures that his patients receive the best possible outcomes,” said Dr. Hope Uronis, clinical vice chief, division of Medical Oncology. “It is this devotion to clinical excellence that makes Dr. Abbruzzese’s clinic a destination for patients with pancreatic cancer nationally.” 

Colleagues note that Dr. Abbruzzese is an outstanding educator with a love of teaching who has made significant contributions to the field of GI Oncology, leading the development of gemcitabine as the standard of care therapy for patients with pancreas cancer, that remains a mainstay today.  


Pamela Douglas, MD
Ursula Geller Distinguished Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Diseases 

Cardiologist Dr. Pamela Douglas represents the “best of our outstanding Duke DOM faculty,” who has had a profound impact in many areas, noted Cardiology Division Chief, Dr. Manesh Patel, in his nomination of Douglas, who serves as director of the Multimodality Imaging Program at Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI). 

The two areas where she has had the greatest influence are her work in cardiac imaging and diversity, equity and inclusion in research, clinical care and the workforce, both locally and at the national level.    

“Guided by a relentless focus on patient outcomes and innovative research, Dr Douglas led the creation of novel concepts in imaging care quality, which were accepted nationally,” Patel said. “Dr. Douglas’s thought leadership, scholarship and relentless translation to the bedside have dramatically improved the rigor of imaging science and meaningfully enhanced patient-centered clinical care.”  

During her more than 30 years in the medical field, Dr. Douglas has led several landmark multicenter government studies and pivotal industry clinical trials along with outcomes research studies.  She is renowned for her scientific and policy work in improving the quality and appropriateness of imaging in clinical care, clinical trials and registries and through development and dissemination of national standards for imaging utilization, informatics and analysis.  

Dr. Douglas is also a longstanding championship of diversity and equity in research, clinical care, and the workforce, locally and at the national level, Patel added. As the founding director of the American College of Cardiology’s diversity and inclusion initiative, Dr. Douglas was the architect of its strategic efforts to increase representation of women and minoritized populations among cardiovascular physicians and researchers. 

“Dr. Douglas has been a mentor and example to me personally, countless other faculty and Duke and around the world,” Patel said. “Put simply, she has been a north star for the field of cardiovascular medicine, a leader who continues to move our science, care, and training forward.”  


Neil MacIntyre, MD
Professor of Medicine
Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine 

Dr. Neil MacIntyre is recognized for his “lifelong commitment to teaching the next generation of Duke pulmonary critical care physicians, advanced practice providers (APPs), medicine house staff, and respiratory therapists,” said Dr. Loretta Que, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine division chief. 

Formerly clinical chief of the division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, he has been instrumental in growing the division, establishing its national reputation through leadership in clinical trials and professional organizations, and teaching generations of house staff and therapists the physics and physiology of mechanical ventilator management. 

In his 42-year career at Duke, Dr. MacIntyre has also been a national and international thought leader in multiple areas of pulmonary and critical care medicine, serving as a consultant for numerous other clinical research organizations and industry sponsors of clinical trials focusing on both ICU issues (sepsis, respiratory failure) as well as long term management of chronic respiratory insufficiency, long term oxygen therapy and ventilator support.  

He has also been very active in several national and international organizations developing educational programs based on the results of these trials.  

Dr. MacIntyre’s research interests have also included the design and assessment of many innovative features of respiratory life support, pulmonary function testing, exercise physiology, and nebulizer technologies. He has published over 170 peer reviewed manuscripts, 143 book chapters and reviews, 52 editorials, and 22 books and monographs.  

He has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over 37 clinical trials that have enrolled thousands of patients. Among the most notable of these have been the NIH funded ARDS Network evaluating many aspects of respiratory failure, the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) evaluating lung volume reduction surgery for emphysema, the Long-Term Oxygen Treatment Trial (LOTT) evaluating oxygen therapy in COPD patients, and the ten-year COPD Gene Project.  


Diana McNeill, MD 
Professor of Medicine 
Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition 

Dr. Diana McNeill is recognized for her distinguished career in academic medicine education, and her substantial impact on the training of medical students and residents at Duke.  

One of her most significant achievements has been in resident education, where she served as director for the Internal Medicine Residency program from 2001-2011, noted nominators, Drs. Andrew Alspaugh, departmental vice chair for faculty affairs, and Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition Division Chief, David D’Alessio.  

“One would be hard pressed to find someone whose life or career was not positively impacted by Diana’s teaching, leadership or mentorship,” said Dr. Aimee Zaas, current Internal Medicine program director. “She gives generously of her time and serves as a role model, as an educator, a clinician, and a caring human being.”   

Dr. McNeill led Duke’s involvement in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Educations Innovation Project, which developed and implemented novel approaches to improve residents’ educational experience. Dr. McNeill has also provided leadership as inaugural director then associate dean of Duke Academy for Health Education and Academic Development (AHEAD) program, which has over 1,400 interprofessional members in Duke Health. She is also the director and a co-founder of the interprofessional Diabetes Clinic at Duke Outpatient Clinic.  

Dr. McNeill is an “innovator, with a special place in her heart for our underserved patients” and is someone who “has made a real difference in the lives of our patients,” said Dr. Alex Cho, medical director of the clinic. 

A nationally recognized diabetes clinician with a career spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Diana McNeill inspires confidence and trust in her patients with the respect, kindness, and quality of care that are the hallmarks of her clinical practice.  

In recognition and gratitude, she was honored by a grateful patient’s family with a distinguished professorship.