Dr. Alexander Lazarides and Dr. David L. Kerr, IV, have been chosen for membership in The Robert J. Lefkowitz Society
The goal of the Lefkowitz Society is to provide a scientific and mentoring community and resource for MD and MD/Ph.D. postgraduate trainees in the School of Medicine’s Residency and Fellowship Programs who are intent upon pursuing research-intensive careers. Through both formal and informal mentoring relationships, the Lefkowitz Society will provide guidance on how to develop your academic career, including finding appropriate research mentors and investigative teams and developing successful research projects.
Dr. Kerr's research focus has largely been in Orthopedic Oncology, specifically looking at a new chemotherapy for osteosarcoma. The chemotherapy drug is a new formulation of niclosamide, an established anthelminthic agent, within a lipid-based vehicle similar to the normal metabolism of osteosarcoma cells. Dr. Kerr’s research showed that this new drug (they call it NSPT) is effective against osteosarcoma both in vitro and in a mouse model. The team recently published the results (Dr. Kerr was the co-first author with another former Duke medical study, Gireesh Reddy) in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32371588/). Dr. Kerr’s other areas of research have included investigating the role of the ATRX gene in osteosarcoma development, a number of larger clinical studies looking at the survival effects of various treatment modalities, and predictors of survival for various sarcomas types of the spine and extremities in adults and children. An Orcid list of Dr. Kerr’s publications is here.
Dr. Lararides research to date has been broad within Orthopaedics. His specific interest has been in the field in Orthopaedic Oncology, where he has conducted both translational and clinical science research where his work has largely focused on novel technologies and therapeutics for treatment of sarcoma and on clinical outcomes within Orthopaedic Oncology. Dr. Larazides’s early work helped to develop a framework for testing of image-guided laser systems in sarcoma and has translated into the preparation of a clinical-ready imaging device and efforts to begin a trial in canines. Recently, he received grant funding to investigate novel drug targets for osteosarcoma in a Mouse- Dog- Human drug discovery pipeline and funding for a clinical trial using intraoperative angiography to predict wound complications Dr. Lazarides’s work has been presented both locally, nationally and internationally and has received award recognition, most notably two young investigator awards with the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) and the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS).
The Lefkowitz Society is named for Robert J. Lefkowitz, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2012.
In his 40 years as a Duke researcher, Dr. Lefkowitz has mentored more than 200 trainees who have come through his lab. He has embraced the opportunity to serve as a role model and informal mentor for members of the eponymous Lefkowitz Society.