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Dr. Duke Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by the Houston Technology Center

Red_DukeThe Houston Technology Center, a nonprofit business accelerator, honored this year’s outstanding Texas biotech pioneers and Houston-area entrepreneurs at its annual gala in May. The event highlights local entrepreneurship, leaders and companies that the Houston Technology Center recognizes as having a substantial impact in the region’s economy and in the development of innovative technologies.

At the gala, the Houston Technology Center presented two lifetime achievement awards to distinguished Texas biotech pioneers. James “Red” Duke, Jr., M.D., founder and medical director of Memorial Hermann Life Flight®, professor of surgery and the John B. Holmes Professor of Clinical Sciences at UTHealth Medical School, was honored in the category of Life Sciences for his illustrious career. Dr. Robert F. Curl, Professor Emertius at Rice University, was chosen for the Nanotechnology category for his efforts in the study and creation of fullerenes.

“Dr. Duke’s numerous achievements have not only made an immeasurable impact on the medical and scientific community, but on the general public as well,” said Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center CEO Craig Cordola. “He is truly one of a kind, and his unwavering dedication to his work is an inspiration to all of us at Memorial Hermann. We are proud to call him our colleague and friend.”

Dr. Duke’s legendary reputation as a laureate trauma surgeon with a Texas pedigree is widely recognized. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of science degree, he joined the 67th Medium Tank Battalion of the 2nd U.S. Army Division, where he served for two years. He then went on to earn a divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and finally a medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Upon graduation from medical school, he completed an internship in internal medicine and a residency in general surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital. He was then awarded a prestigious NIH Fellowship at Columbia University in New York. Following four years of research and patient care there, as well as graduate studies in chemical engineering, biochemistry and computer science, he moved to Afghanistan to help establish a fledgling medical school.

Upon returning from Afghanistan, Dr. Duke joined the faculty at UTHealth Medical School and was instrumental in establishing the Level I Trauma Center at Memorial Hermann-TMC and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, as well as founding Memorial Hermann Life Flight. Dr. Duke is also a founding member of the American Trauma Society and was named “Surgeon of the Year” by the James F. Mitchell Foundation in 1988.

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