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. Rebecca Buckley was born in 1933 in Hamlet, North Carolina. She graduated with an A.B. from Duke University in 1954 and an MD from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1958, and she then continued her training and became a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Buckley studied pediatric allergy with Dr. Susan Dees in the Division of Pediatric Allergy at Duke, and was the chief of the division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology from 1974 to 2003.
Dr. Buckley studies and maintains a remarkable success rate with a surgical technique for babies with severe combined immunodeficiency, or "bubble boy disease," which enables significant numbers of SCID babies to develop normal immune systems through the removal of T-cells from donor bone marrow. Dr. Buckley was named the J. Buren Sidbury Professor of Pediatrics in 1979, a position she continues to hold currently; she was the first female at Duke Medical School to be given a distinguished professorship. Dr. Buckley has written extensively, served on numerous committees, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, and has been given many awards, including the William G. Anlyan Lifetime Achievement Award from the Duke Medical Alumni Association, in 2006.
Dr. Susan Dees was born in 1909 in Hancock, Michigan. She received her MD from Johns Hopkins in 1934. In 1939 she joined the faculty of Duke University Medical Center, as did her husband, urologist Dr. John Dees. Dr. Susan Dees was one of the first female faculty physicians at Duke. She also served as the first female division chief in the medical center, in Pediatric Allergy, from the inception of the division in 1948 until 1974. After stepping down as division chief, continued to serve on the faculty. In 1958 she became the first female to achieve the rank of full professor in Duke Medical Center. She authored over 60 publications, trained numerous pediatric residents, established the Duke Hospital School for Sick Children, and was among the first to recognize Wiskott-Adlrich Primary Immunodeficiency Syndrome and Gastoresophogeal Reflux as a major trigger of asthma attacks. She died in 2001.
Howell received a BA from Park College in Parkville, Missouri in 1944, and an MD from McGill University in 1949. She interned at Children's Memorial Hospital in Montreal, Canada, and then came to Duke in 1951 as a senior assistant resident in pediatrics-in 1970 she would be the first female to be given the Distinguished Duke Medical Alumni Award. In 1952 she was a research fellow in hematology at Harvard. She returned to Duke in 1955 and served as a pediatric hematologist working with pediatric cancer patients until 1963 when she left to become chair of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She would also become chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Diego in 1974.
Dr. Howell has been a pioneer in the hospice movement since 1968. She served on the Hospice Board of Directors since its inception and was instrumental in founding San Diego Hospice, of which she was named Director Emerita in 1989. Since her retirement, Dr. Howell established the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Research in Women's Health, which gives research grants to scholars in the area of women's healthcare and research. She has been given numerous awards, including the Salvation Army Woman of Distinction Award, the Humanism Award from the Health Care Foundation of New Jersey, and awards for leadership and service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been listed in Who's Who in American Women.
Frances Widmann was born in 1935 in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a BA from Swarthmore College in 1956 and an MD from Western Reserve University in 1960. After her internship at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and her residency at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, she remained at UNC-Chapel Hill as a faculty member. In 1971 she came to Duke to direct the blood bank at the Durham Veteran's Administration Hospital and to teach in the Duke Department of Pathology. She was also assistant chief of the laboratory service at the Durham VA, 1972-1998.
Dr. Widmann's major contributions include editing the Technical Manual of the American Association of Blood Banks (1985) and the Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services (1991 and 1993), which outline the standards of the field of blood banking. Dr. Widmann has won several awards, including the John Elliott award of the American Association of Blood Banks (1984) and the Distinguished Service award from the American Association of Blood Banks (1993). She has also served on numerous committees in the American Association of Blood Banks.
Dr. Hilda Pope Willett was born in 1923 in Decatur, Georgia. She received her AB in 1944 from Georgia State College for Women, her MA in 1946 from Duke University, and her PhD in 1949 from Duke University, in Microbiology and Biochemistry, studying tuberculosis with Dr. D.T. Smith. She was one of the first females in her department and the first person to receive a PhD from the department. She would continue her career at Duke Medicine until her retirement.
In 1948 she became an instructor in the Department of Microbiology, and in 1950 an associate. In 1961 she received the Alumnae Achievement Award from Georgia State College for Women for Distinguished Service in Microbiology. In 1964, she would become a full professor in the department, and in 1971, she became the director of graduate studies for the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the chair of the Committee for Graduate Studies within the department. She is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and chapters, and she served as a contributor or co-editor of Zinsser Microbiology for decades.
Dr. Joanne A. Peebles Wilson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and was valedictorian of Cardinal Gibbons High School. She graduated with a B.S. in chemistry with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969 and with an M.D. from Duke in 1973. Dr. Wilson was the second African-American woman to graduate from Duke University School of Medicine. She also served as President of medical student body and was elected to AOA.
After her graduate training in Boston, Massachusetts (Peter Bent Brigham) and Washington, D.C., she joined the staff of the University of Michigan Medical Center as a gastroenterologist. She returned to Duke as a faculty member in 1986, serving as Associate Professor and Associate Chief of Gastroenterology for outpatient services of Duke University Medical Center. In 1995, she became the second woman in the Duke Department of Medicine to achieve the rank of full professor.
Dr. Wilson was the first woman and first African American to serve as secretary of the American Gastroenterological Association (1997-2003) and served on the organization's board. She has served in numerous capacities within Duke and beyond, serving on committees and advisory boards regionally and nationally. She is widely published and has won numerous awards, including the Trailblazer Award from the Duke Student National Medical Association in 2007. She was named one of the AGA Outstanding Women in Science, 2008.