International Women

Dr. Sezer Aksel

Dr. Sezer Aksel was born in Izmir, Turkey, in 1933. She went to high school in the American Collegiate Institute in Izmir, and received her undergraduate degree from Duke University Women's College. In 1970 she graduated with an MD from Duke University School of Medicine, and was a Mary Biddle Duke Scholar. In 1972 she completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in reproductive endocrinology, and in 1974 she became the second female to graduate from the residency in Duke's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the first being Dr. Eleanor Easley in 1941. Dr. Aksel completed a fellowship in the department in 1976 and served as assistant professor in the department from 1974-1976.

Dr. Aksel served in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Alabama beginning in 1976. In 1981, she became the professor and director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology in the Department of Obstetric and Gynecology at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Aksel has served on numerous committees, published widely, and is a member of several professional organizations.

Dr. Marianne Breslin

Dr. Marianne S. Breslin received her medical education in Germany, graduating form the Medical Academy of Duesseldorf in 1946. After a residency in general surgery, internal medicine, and in thoracic surgery, she came to the US under a government fellowship under the Marshall Plan to Presbyterian Hospital in New York City in 1951. She came to North Carolina with her husband in 1952. She received psychiatric residency training at the combined program of Dorothea Dix Hospital and North Carolina Memorial Hospital of the University of North Carolina in the 1950s. She was offered a faculty position in the Department of Psychiatry of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina in 1960. Dr. Breslin was assistant administrator of the Adult Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic and was involved in supervision of residents in psychotherapy and family therapy. She was involved in research projects and was a member of a subcommittee to study curriculum changes in the residency training program at UNC. During this time she also was in the psychoanalytic training program. In 1968m Dr. Breslin resigned with the intention of entering the private practice of psychiatry. However, she received an invitation to join the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical School. From 1968 to 1986, Dr. Breslin was associate professor of psychiatry and head of the Psychosomatic Division. She was involved in the training programs for psychiatric training from residents and medical students in psychosomatic medicine and the consultation service to other specialties. She was involved in research in the area of personality traits in strokes and heart attacks in unresolved grief reactions in psychosomatic disorders and the application of family therapy to psychosomatic patients. She was a consultant to Watts Hospital, John Umstead Hospital, and the Durham Veterans Hospital. She served on many committees in the medical school and was a consultant to the Comprehensive Cancer Research Program and to the Pain Clinic. She received the Residents Teacher Award and other honors. She is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association and the North Carolina District Branch. She served as president of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association in 1979-1980, and she is a fellow in the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and the American Psychosomatic Society and many other organizations. She is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association. After her retirement from Duke University Medical School, Dr. Breslin had a practice in general psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and psychoanalysis. She continued as a consultant to the Veterans Hospital in Durham and served as a consultant to the Social Security Disability Determination until 2006. She continues in private practice on a limited basis.

Dr. Priya Kishnani

Dr. Priya Kishnani was born in Bombay, India. She received her MD in Bombay in 1990. She came to the United States in 1991 and became a resident at Duke University Medical Center. At Duke, Dr. Kishnani became involved in designing the first clinical trials for a new treatment of Pompe disease, a rare disease affecting the heart and the muscles. The treatment, using a drug called Myozyme, was ultimately successful, and it achieved FDA approval for treatment of the disease in 2006. Dr. Kishnani has dedicated her career to advancing the treatment of Pompe disease globally. She has become an expert in designing clinical trials for treatments of rare diseases, and is often sought as a consultant for this expertise. She is published widely.