Long-Term Staff Recognition: Claudia Jones, MD

By Jamie Botta


Dr. Jones, who retired from our department on Nov. 30, 2021, had a highly successful, 22-year career with Duke Pathology. In honor of her many contributions to our department, medical center, and university, she was named Associate Professor of Pathology Emeritus on Dec. 1, 2021.

She is a Durham, N.C., native and has deep ties to the area and Duke University, where she received both her undergraduate and medical degrees.  She was a devoted mentor, teacher, diagnostic pathologist, and leader, serving as Chief of the Division of Cytopathology for more than 20 years and Vice Chair for Faculty for the final four years of her career. 

“Her leadership style was one of quiet confidence and patient persuasion,” remembered David Howell, MD, PhD. “She was an outstanding role model for any pathologist or trainee who had the good fortune to work with her.”

She completed her pathology residency at Vanderbilt University, then moved to California for a cytopathology fellowship at the University of California San Francisco, training under the renowned Britt-Marie Ljung, MD, among others.  After completing her training, she joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 1991 and became the director of the Vanderbilt FNA clinic.  

In 1999, Dr. Jones returned to Duke as a member of our Cytopathology division, becoming chief of that division in 2001, and ultimately becoming Vice Chair for Faculty in 2017. In the latter capacity, she oversaw numerous recruitments that have augmented our faculty with talented new colleagues, and offered mentoring and support to faculty. Under Dr. Jones’ guidance, cytopathology became an indispensable part of the clinical diagnostic service team at Duke.

Dr. Jones was also responsible for establishing a free-standing FNA clinic with ultrasound capabilities that provided our patients with an easy and fast method for evaluation of clinically concerning lesions. She was an outstanding colleague, mentor, and educator. In addition to being the “go-to” faculty member for diagnostically challenging cases, she was an outstanding source of mentorship, support, and common-sense advice. Her wisdom and expertise were invaluable.

“Dr. Jones led by setting an example and was the utmost professional, well-respected within the department and by our colleagues throughout the health system.  In retirement, Dr. Jones leaves a legacy of diagnostic excellence, patient-centered care, teaching and mentoring.” – Sarah Bean, MD

“Dr. Jones has been a quiet source of inspiration to me as a physician and a woman. And even more so, as a cytopathologist.  Cytopathology divisions can easily be relegated to Pap smears and body fluid specimens. But Dr. Jones has worked to create a service that supports providers in every corner of the hospital. It is no easy feat to build up confidence in and respect for a division that effectively prides itself in making diagnoses on less tissue with less invasive procedures. Her contributions to the discipline of cytopathology have been truly impactful.” – Danielle Elliott Range, MD, FCA