News to Use

  • IUSM alum honored as a 'Person of the Year' by Time magazine

    Kent Brantly, M.D., a graduate of the IU School of Medicine Class of 2009 and one of the first U.S. citizens to contract Ebola as a medical aid worker in West Africa, has been honored as a "Person of the Year" by Time magazine. He shares the honor with other aid workers fighting the disease.

    The announcement was made Dec. 10 on the "Today" Show, which featured a telephone interview with Dr. Brantly.

    In addition to his connections to IUSM, Dr. Brantly's father and uncle were physicians at IU. His uncle, Frank Black, M.D., was the founding director of the IUSM Emergency Medicine Residency Program and served in that capacity until the early 1980s when he departed IU to become a medical missionary in Africa. Dr. Brantly's father, Jim Brantly, M.D., trained in internal medicine at Methodist Hospital before the specialty of emergency medicine was recognized. 

    In August, the IUSM community showed their support for Dr. Brantly with a letter-writing campaign organized by the IUSM Class of 2009.

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  • IU Health to implement visitor restrictions due to flu

    Early data suggests that the current 2014-15 flu season could be very severe. One flu death has already been reported in Indiana and hospitals are seeing patients at an increasing rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this season’s most predominant strain -- the H3N2 strain of influenza A -- is historically known to cause more hospitalizations and deaths.

    To protect patients, families and IU Health team members from unnecessary potential exposure to the flu virus, IU Health is taking the precautionary measure of restricting patient visitors to its hospitals. This temporary policy goes into effect on Monday, Dec. 15, at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, IU Health Methodist and University hospitals and other IU Health facilities statewide:   

    • Only immediate family as identified by patient (18 or older) will be allowed to visit patients.
    • Visitors who have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills or muscle aches, will not be allowed.
    • Patients with flu-like symptoms will be asked to wear a surgical or isolation mask.
    • Signage will be posted throughout facilities.
    • Masks will be available to patients with flu-like symptoms.
    • Exceptions can be made in special circumstances (e.g. patient is near the end of life.). Nurse managers can help determine when those exceptions can be made without compromising the quality and safety of the patient care.

    In addition, IU Health team members are asked to stay home if they are experiencing flu-like, wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often -- as well as encourage patients and guests to do the same -- and recommend to patients and families flu.gov for more information.

    A patient education handout, FAQs and talking points are available to IU Health employees on the Flu News page on IU Health's website.

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  • Next week is last InScope issue until Jan. 8

    Due to the holidays, Dec. 18 will be the last issue this year of InScope, the official weekly newsletter for faculty, staff, residents, postdocs and students at the IU School of Medicine.

    Please consider this publication schedule when submitting your news. The deadline for InScope submissions is 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays. InScope returns on Jan. 8.

    Individuals may continue to submit their news to the IUSM Events Calendar and MedTV digital signage system as usual.

    For more information, contact scopemed@iupui.edu.

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Research News

  • IU-led team earns $3.3 million to study HPV, cervical cancer in Kenyan women

    An IU-led international team of oncology research specialists has been awarded a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study HPV and cervical cancer in Kenyan women with HIV/AIDS.

    The grant will enable the researchers to create a sustainable approach to education, clinical care and research, with the goal of providing early detection screenings for human papillomavirus and cervical cancer.

    The five-year National Institutes of Health/ National Cancer Institute grant was awarded to the AMPATH-Oncology Institute in Eldoret, Kenya. The three lead scientists on the project are Patrick Loehrer, M.D., director of the IU Simon Cancer Center; Darron Brown, M.D., professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology from the IU School of Medicine; and Elkanah Omenge Orango, M.D., from Moi University School of Medicine.

    Dr. Brown was instrumental in developing the HPV vaccine.

    Aaron Ermel, M.D., assistant research professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the IU School of Medicine, was responsible for the development of a biobank that will be critical for the project. He and his Kenyan co-investigators – Kirtika Patel, Ph.D., and John Michael Ong’encha, Ph.D. -- will provide the laboratory testing and specimen banking that will allow for future projects to be developed as a result of this grant.

    Researchers from Brown University, the University of Toronto and the University of Massachusetts along with the Miriam Hospital and Kenya Medical Research Institute, known as KEMRI, are also involved in the study.

    For more information, visit the IUSM Newsroom

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  • IU researchers receive $2.1 million to develop computational model of liver failure

    Kenneth W. Dunn, Ph.D., professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology, is one of three IU researchers to received $2.1 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop a computational model of acetaminophen-induced liver failure -- the leading cause of liver failure in the United States -- by using advanced microscopic and computational technologies that allow scientists to see into the liver of a living animal.

    Dr. Dunn will join James A. Glazier, Ph.D., director of IU’s Biocomplexity Institute and a professor of physics in IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences, and James Klaunig, Ph.D., an environmental health professor in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington to develop computational biology models of liver toxicity. The research is considered by the National Institutes of Health as a first step in the development of new technologies capable of predicting the toxicity of therapeutic agents and environmental toxins while simultaneously reducing the use of animals in toxicity studies.

    Multiscale modeling uses mathematics and computation to quantitatively represent and simulate a system at more than one scale while functionally linking the mathematical models across scales that range from molecular, cellular and tissue to organ, whole-body and population.

    The models can be designed to integrate diverse data; create testable hypotheses leading to new investigations; identify and share gaps in knowledge; uncover biological mechanisms; or make predictions about clinical outcome or intervention effects.

    Understanding liver toxicity could be the key to also understanding the toxicity of drugs and environmental pollutants. The team chose to simulate the liver because it is a key organ in many toxicological, pharmacological, normal and disease processes; and use acetaminophen as the organ’s toxic challenge as it is the most widely used over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer in the U.S., with over 25 billion doses sold annually.

    The three researchers will each lead teams that together provide multidisciplinary expertise in computation biology (Dr. Glazier), advanced microscopic imaging techniques (Dr. Dunn); and chemical and biological expertise in pharmacology and toxicology (Dr. Klaunig).

    The research will be conducted at IU laboratories in both Bloomington and Indianapolis. Federal agencies in addition to NIH that are participating in the Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group funding the work include the National Science Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.

    For more information, visit the IUSM Newsroom.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • IUSM researcher receives five external grants in 13 months

    Debbie C. Thurmond, professor of pediatrics and associate director of the Basic Diabetes Research Group of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research in the IU School of Medicine, was recently named recipient of four grants from National Institutes of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

    Dr. Thurmond will receive a total of $3.34 million over the next four year to advance her lab's work focusing on the underlying causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes developments and progressions.

    An additional $726,500 was awarded from the NIH to support her new T32 training grant with Dr. Alyssa Panitch of Purdue University, to train the next generation of biomedical engineers to apply their skills to diabetes research.

    Thurmond joined the IU faculty in 2001 as an assistant professor and rose up through the ranks to become full professor in 2011. In 2009, she was promoted to associate director of the Basic Diabetes Group in the Wells Center for Pediatric Research.

    All of these were funded between September 2013 and October 2014.

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  • Kraus named Sagamore of the Wabash

    Michael Kraus, M.D., professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine and chief medical officer for adult dialysis at IU Health, has been named Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian honor granted by Indiana governors.

    The award, signed by Gov. Mike Pence, honors Dr. Kraus' many years of service and dedication to patients, specifically his role as both a pioneer and advocate of home dialysis.

    Dr. Kraus received the award at the 2014 Kidney Foundation of Indiana Gala on Oct. 18, where he was also named the recipient of the NKFI’s lifetime achievement award.

    A career highlights video is online.

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Opportunities

  • Medical student applications sought for year in translational research

    The Indiana Clinical and Translational Research Institute Translational Education Program is seeking medical student applicants for a special research fellowship in translational research.

    The Indiana CTSI will provide a $24,500 annual stipend and one year of health insurance to up to two students from the IU School of Medicine interested in taking a year out of medical school to pursue an master's degree in translational science. 

    Applicants must be currently enrolled at IUSM as a medical student and have completed at least one year at IUSM. Applicants will be required to make a commitment to complete the master's degree requirements in 12 to 18 months while conducting 12 months of continuous, full-time research.

    Previous research experience is not required, but advantageous. Applicants must identify two co-mentors that are faculty-investigators from different disciplines (a clinician-scientist and a non-clinician-scientist).

    Applications are due at 4 p.m. Monday, March 9. Awards begin June 1, 2015. 

    For complete application instructions, visit the Indiana CTSI. Interested candidates should e-mail their CV to Carrie Hansel at cahansel@iu.edu (317-278-5842) for prior approval. Eligible candidates will receive additional information to proceed with the application. 

    To read about a past recipient of the M.S. in Translational Science, visit Indiana CTSI's website.

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  • IU Simon Cancer Center summer research program seeks applications

    High school and college students interested in gaining hands-on experiences in cancer research are encouraged to apply for the 2015 Summer Research Program at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

    The annual Summer Research Program, held in partnership with the IUPUI Center for Research and Learning, places students with a mentor physician or researcher for nine weeks, June 1 to July 24. Students work with faculty who are conducting studies in the most progressive areas of cancer research.

    The program’s primary goal is to increase the number of underrepresented populations engaged in basic, clinical, and prevention and control cancer research by providing positive and meaningful first-hand exposure to those fields.

    Each student receives a stipend of $3,200. Students are responsible for their own housing and transportation arrangements.

    Students are selected based on interest in biomedical or behavioral science, academic performance and personal interviews. High school students who participate must have completed at least their junior year and have maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Undergraduates in the program must have completed 24 hours of college credit, be majoring in a biomedical or behavioral science, and have maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.2.

    Applications are due Friday, Feb. 27. Finalists will be invited to campus for an interview in April. For more information, visit the IUSCC Summer Research Program Web page.

    Questions to crlstaff@iupui.edu.

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Grants

  • Grants and Awards -- November 2014

    IU School of Medicine researchers earned more than $6.7 million in grants and awards -- excluding commercial projects -- in November 2014

    Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date 0
    Byron E. Batteiger, M.D. University of Alabama-Birmingham New A randomized, open-label phase 2 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a single dose of oral AZD0914 compared to intramuscular ceftriaxone in the treatment of male and female subjects with uncomplicated gonorrhea 8/22/2014 12/21/2015 $180,472
    Gabriel Timothy Bosslet, M.D. Association of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Program Directors New Development and internal validation of an objective scoring tool for Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship candidate screening and selection using a simplified analytic hierarchy process. 11/1/2014 10/31/2015 $20,000
    Nadia Carlesso, M.D., Ph.D. University of Notre Dame New Indiana CSTI Notre Dame: Development of quantitative intravital imaging of the bone marrow vascular niche after irradiation injury 7/1/2014 6/30/2016 $13,500
    Nadia Carlesso, M.D., Ph.D. MPN Research Foundation New Impact of the infamed bone marrow niche on the progression of myeloproliferative neoplasia and marrow fibrosis 10/1/2014 9/30/2015 $100,000
    Tatiana M. Foroud, Ph.D. Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research New Access Data and Biospecimen Program 9/1/2014 8/31/2016 $429,119
    Richard Brian Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D. Alpha Omega Alpha New Boys and Girls Club-IU School of Medicine Partnership Program 4/1/2014 3/31/2015 $5,000
    Patrick J. Loehrer, M.D. Walther Cancer Foundation, Inc. New Center Directors Developmental Funds Award 10/15/2014 10/15/2015 $100,000
    Thomas W. McAllister, M.D. U.S. Department of Defense New THE NCAA-DOD Grand Alliance: Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium 9/15/2014 9/14/2017 $5,000,000
    Kathleen M. O'Neil, M.D. University of British Columbia New Chronic childhood vasculitis: characterizing the individual rare diseases to improve patient outcomes (Pediatric Vasculitis Initiative or PedVas) 1/1/2013 1/31/2017 $6,085
    George F. Parker, M.D. Duke University New Implementation and effectiveness of a "dangerous personsa" gun-seizure laws in Connecticut and Indiana 6/1/2014 5/31/2015 $18,070
    George Earl Sandusky, DVM, Ph.D. Purdue University New Developing novel therapeutic strategies for castration-resistant prostate cancer 9/1/2014 8/31/2017 $74,997
    Andrew J. Saykin, O.D. University of Washington Renewal National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $26,000
    Karina A. Serban, M.D. Alpha-1 Foundation New Endothelial-monocyte interactions modulated by A1AT 10/1/2014 9/30/2017 $225,000
    Henrique Serezani, Ph.D. National Institute Allergy and Infectious Diseases New LTB4 and the control of methicilin resistant staphylococcus aureus infection 11/7/2014 10/31/2015 $78,000
    Kathleen T. Unroe, M.D. American Federation for Aging Research New Delivering hospice and palliative care services to nursing home patients 9/1/2014 5/31/2015 $10,000
    Sarah Elizabeth Wiehe, M.D. Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation New Changing environmental influences on adolescent alcohol use and risk behaviors 8/1/2014 6/30/2015 $26,977
    Xiao-Ming Xu, M.D., Ph.D. Craig H. Neilsen Foundation New Schwann cell migration-mediated axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury 7/1/2014 8/30/2015 $200,000
    Mervin C. Yoder, M.D. University of Maryland New National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute progenitor cell biology consortium administrative coordinating center 8/1/2014 4/30/2015 $195,000

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Kudos

  • IUSM researchers present at American Society of Hematology

    Over 20 members of the IU School of Medicine were recently among the oral and poster presentations at the 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, including Wei Li, Ph.D., assistant research professor of pediatrics, who delivered the plenary presentation.

     Oral presenters:

    • Donna Cerabona, an M.D./Ph.D. student  at the IU School of Medicine
    • Sisi Chen, a Ph.D. student at the IU School of Medicine
    • Joydeep Ghosh, a Ph.D. student in microbiology and immunology
    • Christen L. Mumaw, a laboratory manager in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (currently affiliated with Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology)
    • Pratibha Singh, Ph.D., a research associate in microbiology and immunology
    • Linlin Xu, a Ph.D. student in microbiology and immunology

    Poster presenters

    • Mohammad Abu Zaid, MBBS, a fellow in internal medicine (hematology/oncology)
    • Maegan L. Capitano, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology  (two posters)
    • Xinxin Huang, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in microbiology and immunology
    • Muhammad Rizwan Khawaja, M.D., volunteer clinical assistant professor of OB-GYN at IUSM-Terra Haute
    • Noriyoshi Kurihara , DDS, Ph.D., a senior research professor of medicine
    • XingJun Li, M.D., Ph.D., assistant research professor of pediatrics
    • Heather A. O'Leary, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in microbiology and immunology
    • Charlie Mantel, research associate in microbiology and immunology
    • Kobayashi Michihiro, M.D., Ph.D., assistant research professor of pediatrics
    • Susanne Ragg, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics
    • Sonia Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Ph.D., assistant research professor of pediatrics
    • Rebecca Silbermann, M.D., assistant professor of medicine
    • Stefan Pasichnyk Tarnawsky, an M.D./Ph.D. student at the IU school of Medicine
    • Toshiyuki Yoneda, Ph.D., DDS, senior research professor of medicine

    The 56th ASH meeting took place from Dec. 6 to 9 in San Francisco.

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Around Campus

  • New York Street conversion public meeting

    IUPUI will host a public meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, in the IUPUI Campus Center Room 450A to discuss the planned conversion of New York and Michigan to two-way streets.

    The meeting will begin with a quick PowerPoint overview and then break for an open house format to share plans up-close. 

    Public parking is available in the Vermont Street garage at 1004 W. Vermont St.

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