Duke University News Briefs, June 18, 2004

Employee's condition improves | Tagging abandoned bikes | Duke high in NIH funding | Grantwriting workshop | Marcel Tetel dies

Employee's condition improves

The condition of a Duke University Medical Center employee injured Tuesday by a bus has been upgraded from critical to fair, a Duke Hospital spokesman reported Thursday.

The victim, Jacqueline Walker, 40, of 615 Piper St., Durham, works as a medical secretary in the Medical Center's pediatric neurology division.

Duke Police spokeswoman Maj. Phyllis Cooper said Walker got off the front of a Duke University bus on Trent Drive, near Parking Garage I, around 7:20 a.m. Tuesday when she slipped and fell in the path of the bus.

The bus driver, Henry McNair, told police he did not see Walker fall before he started to drive away, Cooper said. A front tire ran over Walker's legs and left arm, and emergency workers had to use airbags to lift the bus and free Walker, Cooper said.

McNair, a bus driver at Duke for 15 years with a spotless driving record, will be on leave "while we complete our investigation of what happened," said Catherine Reeve, director of Duke's Parking and Transportation Department.

The police investigation of the incident is continuing, Cooper said.

Tagging abandoned bikes

Through August, a new campaign will focus on removing abandoned bicycles around campus.

During the summer, Duke Police will place a tag on any bicycle that appears to be abandoned. If after 14 days if the bike hasn't been removed, it will be taken to Surplus & Salvage. The bike will be stored there for 60 days. If the owner has not contacted Surplus And Salvage prior to the 60th day the bike will be sold or destroyed.

Those bicycles that are obviously abandoned - missing parts, rusted, rotted tires, etc. will be removed immediately and sent to Surplus and Salvage for disposal.

During the regular school year, bikes will be removed when complaints are made by the public or for safety reasons.

Duke high in NIH funding

Duke School of Medicine finished in fifth place among the nation's top National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded medical schools in fiscal year 2003, according to the federal agency's latest figures. The school saw a funding increase of more than 20 percent, the highest among the nation's 20 top-ranked institutions.

The finish marks the highest ranking Duke has received since 1973, said Dean R. Sanders Williams, M.D.

"The NIH funding we receive is critical to Duke's ability to play a transformative role in the advancement of human health and biomedical science," Williams said. "Our continued success in competing for NIH awards highlights the dedication and talent of Duke faculty in the pursuit of scientific discoveries and the translation of those discoveries into improved patient care."

For more information, see news.mc.duke.edu.

Grantwriting workshop

The Grant Institute will hold a workshop designed as an introduction to professional proposal writing on July 19-21 in the Bryan Center at Duke.

The three-part course will focus on program planning, professional grant writing and grant research. Tuition for the course is $597. For more information, visit www.thegrantinstitute.com or call (888) 824-4424.

Sleep and blood study

Volunteers are needed for a Duke study of sleep and blood pressure. Participants must be between the ages of 30 and 60, have high blood pressure and are not presently on blood pressure medication. Volunteers can earn up to $500.

For more information, call 681-1863 and ask about the INSIGHT study.


Marcel Tetel, who escaped Nazi-occupied France as a boy and later came to America to become one of the world's leading scholars of 16th century French literature and philosophy, died May 27 in Durham. He was 71.

A professor emeritus of Romance studies at Duke University, Tetel wrote path-breaking books and essays on Rabelais and Montaigne and helped bring modern attention to the works of long-neglected works of Marguerite de Navarre. He also promoted a wide range of scholarship and was a specialist in French and Italian Renaissance comparative studies.

"He was one of the three or four major figures of international renown in French Renaissance studies," said Lawrence Kritzman, Rosenwald Research Professor in the Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth College.

Born in Paris in 1932, he was the son of two Polish Jews living in France. His father was sent to Auschwitz in early 1939, but he remained in Paris living with his mother. The two periodically went into hiding with neighbors after being tipped off by family members who served as tailors to German officers with information about when the periodic roundup of Jews would occur.

In 1943, his mother made plans to escape to southern France on a train, but the plans were changed late when an uncle suggested that the mother go alone and call for the son when she got away safely. Instead, the train was stopped and his mother was picked up and sent to Auschwitz as well. Both parents died at the concentration camp.

Shortly after, the French resistance provided Tetel with new ID papers, and he lived out the rest of the war with a family near La Rochelle.

In 1949, Tetel arrived in Chattanooga, Tenn., in a trip funded by Jewish relief funds.

He attended the University of Chattanooga, graduating in 1954, and then earned a master's degree from Emory University in 1956. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was attracted to French Renaissance studies by the noted scholar Alfred Glauser.

Tetel joined the faculty of Duke University in 1960 and was made a full professor in 1968.

A ceremony celebrating his life was held in Durham June 1.

He is survived by his wife, Julie Tetel, a member of the Duke faculty; four children: Jocelyn, Marc, Francis and John Gerard Tetel; and two grandchildren.

Donations may be made in Tetel's name to the Durham Rescue Mission, 1201 E. Main St., Durham, NC 27701.

Zhaochun Xu, an electrical engineering graduate student at Duke, died early 7 from injuries sustained in a car accident the day before. He was 31.

Xu was a member of the Fitzpatrick Center for Photonics and Communications, where he worked with professor David Brady. He was scheduled to receive his Ph.D. in May 2005. Xu, a citizen of China, is survived by his wife Yuan Liu, who was in the car at the time of the crash. She also suffered injuries and was treated and released from an area hospital.

For more information, see www.dukenews.duke.edu.

Micah Harris, a rising senior on the Duke football team, died tragically in a one-vehicle automobile accident late Friday morning in Virginia. He was 21. A native of Poland, Ohio, and 2001 graduate of Poland Seminary, Harris was traveling northbound on Interstate 85 when his car exited the highway and struck a tree. Police indicated that he was killed immediately upon impact.

For more information, see www.goduke.com.