Gregory, Saunders, Tomaras Named Distinguished Faculty

This spring, MGM faculty Simon Gregory, Kevin Saunders, and Georgia Tomaras are among the 18 faculty members in the Duke University School of Medicine to have been awarded distinguished professorships. The new distinguished professors will be honored at the annual distinguished professorship event on May 23.

Distinguished professorships are awarded to faculty who have demonstrated extraordinary scholarship in advancing science and improving human health.

Simon Gregory, PhD: Margaret Harris and David Silverman Distinguished Professor

Dr. Gregory is a tenured professor and director of the Brain Tumor Omics Program in the Duke Department of Neurosurgery, vice chair of research in the Department of Neurology, and director of the Molecular Genomics Core at the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. He elucidates the mechanisms underlying multi-factorial diseases using genetic, genomic, and epigenetic approaches. His primary research addresses disease development and progression in brain tumors and Alzheimer’s disease, white matter injury repair in multiple sclerosis, and social and behavioral response to oxytocin treatment in animal models of autism.

Kevin Saunders, PhD: Norman L. Letvin M. D. Distinguished Professor in Surgery and the Duke Human Vaccine Institute

Dr. Saunders is a professor in surgery who also has appointments in integrative immunobiology and molecular genetics and microbiology. His research focuses on vaccine and antibody development to combat HIV-1 infection and coronavirus infections. As the associate director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) and director of the DHVI Laboratory of Protein Expression, he focuses on two main areas of research: vaccine design and antibody isolation and engineering. Together, his research program is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the molecular biology underlying antibody recognition of glycoproteins in order to produce protective vaccines.

Georgia Tomaras, PhD: A. Geller Distinguished Professor for Research in Immunology

Georgia Tomaras, PhD, is a professor in surgery, chief of the Division of Surgical Sciences in the Department of Surgery, director of the Duke Center for AIDS Research, and co-director of the Duke Center for Human Systems Immunology. Her primary research focus is deciphering mechanisms of protective human immunity and identification of immune correlates of protection to further development of effective vaccines against infectious diseases. Her laboratory’s goals are to reveal the specificities and functions of protective immune responses that lead to prevention or resolution of disease, including findings that directly contribute to the design and implementation of clinical trials.

Click here to read about all the School of Medicine faculty members who have been awarded distinguished professorships this spring.