[Photo of Dr. Klitzman appears here]Bruce Klitzman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Surgery

  Associate Research Professor, Dept. Biomedical Engineering

  Assistant Res. Professor, Dept. of Cell Biology

Senior Director, Kenan Plastic Surgery Research Laboratories
Research Park Building 4, room 0016, Circuit Dr, Box 3906
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710 USA
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phone: 919-684-3929 or 919-684-6686

email: Dr. Klitzman

Dr. Klitzman's CV

Dr. Klitzman was the 1998-1999 President of:


Dr. Klitzman also founded the North Carolina Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society (NCTERMS) in 1998

13th Annual Meeting
was held November 4, 2011
For more information about the group, go to: www.ncterm.org

Newspaper picture from 1997 showing Page Klitzman cheering on the winning Madagascar cockroach.
Page graduated from Jordan High School in 2006, and with highest honors and distinction from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2010.

Page in front of the statue of The Little Mermaid while studying in Copenhagen.


Page is now a PhD student in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Rachel Hardee Klitzman, 25, died unexpectedly Sunday, August 9, at home in Philadelphia of an undiagnosed cardiac abnormality. Rachel was born October 10, 1983 in Shreveport, LA to Bruce and Hardee Brown Klitzman. She moved at the age of 2 with her family to Durham. Rachel graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School and East Carolina University’s College of Nursing. She began her nursing career at UNC Hospital in orthopedic surgery and most recently worked in orthopedic trauma at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Rachel was an inveterate caregiver, always nurturing and supporting those in need. She was a radiant spirit who adored her family and friends, with a special knack for keeping in touch with everyone. Rachel was brimming with enthusiasm over her upcoming marriage to Stephen, looking forward to beginning a family of her own with him. She loved to travel with her family and friends, and was equally content staying at home to play games.

In addition to her parents, Rachel is survived by her sister Page Klitzman; her fiancé Stephen Ellison, currently in the MD/PhD program at Temple University in Philadelphia; her grandparents, Maurice and Mary Ann Klitzman, and Barbara and Burt Behrens; her uncles and aunts, Jack Klitzman, Clara Hopkins and Babs Mitchell; and cousins, Aris Musa, and Taylor and Mason Hopkins. 

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered 9:30 AM Saturday from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with Fr. Steven Patti presiding. Interment following in Maplewood Cemetery. Friends may visit 4-7:00 PM Friday at church, 810 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham. Donations in Rachel’s memory may be made to: Rachel Klitzman Scholarship Fund, ECU College of Nursing, 525 Moye Blvd. Greenville, NC 27834. alexanderma@ecu.edu.

Rachel’s Time   (by her Dad)


We mortals are burdened with the notion of time.  When an unexpected death occurs, we can’t help but focus on the tragedy of a physical life cut too short.  There is nothing wrong about the sadness and grief over it and the events that now will never happen: the beautiful children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews that she and Stephen were poised to create together, or the suffering patients to whom Rachel would have brought such loving and hopeful care.  Those are indeed tragic.  And there is nothing we can do now to generate those.


But we should also never minimize the reality of our spiritual life, which has no end.  There are people in our own lives who have touched us or been touched by us in a deep spiritual way.  This encounter may have been just for a moment or several moments in the physical world, but the memory and impact of that brief encounter will last indefinitely.  For many of us here, we were truly blessed to have known Rachel even if for a shorter physical time than we would have liked.


We teach the medical students that the heart is not very good at healing, which was fatal for Rachel.  The hole that Rachel now leaves in our hearts will heal only a small amount over time.  But knowing Rachel even briefly added a soft part to our hearts for which we are eternally grateful.  Hardee, Page and I were very blessed that Rachel always stayed close to home, even if separated by some physical distance.  Rachel knew that distance or physical time were but small impediments to maintaining a family connection.


The joy that emitted from Rachel as she talked about and prepared for her wedding to Stephen was electric.  Fr Dan was going to preside at Sacred Heart Cathedral with the reception to follow at Newton Place.  Rachel already had her gorgeous gown.  We can gain some peace in knowing that the happiness in anticipating that event was so satisfying to her.


Rachel’s memory, impact, and love will endure; THAT will never end.  In the same way, God always was and will always be.  God is timeless.  People seeking to understand God often ask , “Why does God take so long?”  Or “How long do people have to wait to get into heaven?”  Well, God doesn’t do it that way.  God does it with spiritual preparedness.  We enter heaven when we are truly ready, not by a calendar or some “spiritual review board”.  That is God’s time.  When you touch someone spiritually as Rachel did, it is forever.

I know Rachel is in Heaven now; Rachel’s time is now God’s time.

Rachel and Page Klitzman visited the Great Pyramids in 1999; newspaper picture

Bruce visited the Great Pyramids again in 2004 with Hassan Mohammed El-Sabbagh, Mahmoud, and Ahmed Hassan El-Sabbagh.

Bruce, Page, and Hardee Klitzman at Monty Reichert's Wedding; November, 2002

Here is a photo of a 300 pound potato cod taken on Bruce's August, 2001 visit to The Great Barrier Reef

Thirty more of Bruce's photos (including several of Nemo!) can be viewed at: Great Barrier Reef