Building Collaboration at the Pathology Retreat

Retreat program and flowers

This year’s Department of Pathology Retreat was held at the top of University Tower on October 12, and 100 attendees enjoyed a content-rich program.  Once again we had a beautiful clear day and a magnificent view of the Duke campus and surrounding lush green trees from the top floor.  This was the third departmental retreat hosted by the Pathology Graduate Program, an annual event which was proposed by our Chairman, Dr. Jiaoti Huang, with the goal of building collaboration and community between faculty and trainees, and between the clinical and basic science pillars of the Department.

The program was moderated by Dr. Soman Abraham, Director of Graduate Studies, and Dr. Thomas Cummings, Director of the Residency Program, and organized by Meg Atchison, Graduate Program Coordinator.

Keynote speaker Tim Stenzel MD PhD talked about “Lessons Learned: A Personal Journey from Academia to Industry and Then to the FDA.”  He chose a different format for his talk, making it more of a Q&A session with Dr. Rex Bentley in a conversational setting while telling his story.   Dr. Stenzel encouraged the group with tales of his journey starting with family inspiration, and how his career took him to the Duke MSTP program, residency and then a faculty position here in Pathology, where he created the Duke Clinical Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory.  After working in industry, he is currently working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the Director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health. His story highlights pathways of career trajectories that are often overlooked in the academic programs.  (See the full story about Dr. Stenzel from 2018)

Other speakers filled the day with topics ranging from the interface of clinical diagnostic tests and patient care, to Artificial Intelligence, and to many angles of genetics.  A complete program is linked here.

A poster session followed the talks, and 27 posters were presented between the PhD students, residents, fellows, and postdocs.  Prizes were awarded to graduate student Steven Shen, and to resident Rachel Jug MB BCh BAO. For the first time, an honorable mention was awarded to a postdoc, Lingfan Xu MD.  

Attendees highly praised the chance to exchange ideas and discussion between the clinical- and research-focused staff.

Speakers group

Back Row:  Jiaoti Huang MD PhD;  Teilo Schaller;  Jung Wook Park PhD;  Giselle Lopez MD PhD;  Carolyn Glass, MD PhD;  William Jeck MD PhD
Front Row:  Herman Staats PhD;  Thomas Cummings MD;  Tim Stenzel MD PhD;  Soman Abraham PhD
Missing:  Christopher Polage MD;  Amy McNulty PhD;  Edgardo Parilla MD PhD


Steven Shen, Lingfan Xu, and Rachel Jug

Grad students eat cake!

Bentley and Stenzel

First year residents with Cummings

Grad students - window

some judges

Atchisonn and Huang