Dr. Duane Mitchell honored with inaugural Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., Award

duane mitchelle stands at a podium giving a speachBy Michelle Jaffee

Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., has been named recipient of the inaugural Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation in recognition of his work to develop innovative immunotherapy treatments for brain cancer.

Mitchell, director of UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and co-director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy, said he was honored to receive the first ASCI Sullivan Award. Sullivan is a hematologist, health care advocate and policy leader and was founding dean and president of Morehouse School of Medicine. He also served as U.S. Secretary of Health of Human Services.

“My sincerest hope is that through my research I can contribute to the body of knowledge that ultimately leads to more effective treatments for cancer, that through my mentorship I can turn my mistakes into others’ wisdom to be applied toward even greater goals, and that through my example, I can inspire the minds of other young people, particularly young black men, to pursue the remarkable journey and rewarding life of the physician-scientist,” Mitchell said.

Founded in 1908, the ASCI is comprised of over 3,000 elected physician-scientist members and supports scientific, educational and clinical pursuits to improve human health. The new Sullivan Award, which recognizes significant scholarly achievements of a mid-career physician-scientist who is underrepresented in medicine and science, comes with a $10,000 honorarium.

Jonathan Licht, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center, nominated Mitchell for the award for his “pioneering work, outstanding leadership and dedicated service.”

“In addition to being an accomplished scientist and excellent mentor, Dr. Mitchell is an impactful leader at our institution and on the national stage,” Licht wrote in his nomination.

Mitchell will be recognized at the ASCI’s annual meeting to be held April 21-23 in Chicago and will deliver a scientific talk at the organization’s meeting in 2024.

“Through his discoveries, Dr. Mitchell is advancing science to find a cure for the deadliest brain cancers for both adults and children,” said Brian Hoh, M.D., M.B.A., chair of UF’s Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery. “His novel brain tumor immunotherapies are being tested in first-in-human clinical trials and multi-center phase 2 collaborations.”

Black Voices in Research Storytelling Event videos featuring Dr. Duane Mitchell


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mitchell checking on samples in a freezer
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Dr. Flores and team
Mitchell in lab
mitchell in lab, looking at samples
doctor mitchell walking and talking down lab hallway with a fellow scientist.