Bowen Research Center to partner with state of Indiana; gets new name
The Bowen Research Center, which has served as the research division of the IU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, has been renamed the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy as it enters into a partnership with the state of Indiana to support the activities of a variety of state agencies and other organizations involved with health care and the health care workforce in Indiana.
On Wednesday Gov. Mike Pence announced the creation of the Governor's Health Workforce Council, which is charged with coordinating health workforce-related policies, programs, and initiatives within Indiana in order to reduce cost, improve access, and enhance quality within Indiana’s health system.
The council includes representatives from the Governor’s Office, Department of Workforce Development, Senate Health and Provider Services Committee, House Public Health Committee, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Commission on Higher Education, Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy, Anthem, Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana Rural Health Association, and Indiana Primary Care Association.
"The health workforce is at the intersection of health sciences, health care delivery, and population health. The Bowen Center is committed to informing health workforce policy through data management, community engagement, and original research in order to support, secure, and protect population health," said Hannah L. Maxey, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor and director of the Bowen Center.
For the past 18 months, the Governor’s Office worked with the Bowen Center on a project sponsored by the National Governor’s Association to help address health care provider shortages in Indiana. The goal of the project was to identify and develop a long-term strategy to ensure that Indiana has an accessible, well-trained, and flexible health workforce that is able to adapt to the ever-changing and growing needs of Hoosiers. The project resulted in a recommendation that the state establish an advisory council to coordinate health workforce policy efforts and establish a formal partnership for data exchange with the Bowen Center.
The center, created in 1991, was named in honor of Otis R. Bowen, M.D., former Indiana governor, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and a Family Medicine faculty member.
Androphy receives IGNITE grant
Elliot J. Androphy, M.D., the Kampen-Norins Professor and chair of the IU School of Medicine Department of Dermatology, has been awarded an IGNITE, or Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts, grant by the National Institutes of Health.
The grant will last three years, contingent upon achieving a set of predetermined milestones. Dr. Androphy has received $431,954 for the first year of the grant. The funding will allow him and his colleagues to test compounds to determine the best candidate to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that affects voluntary muscle movement.
"The IGNITE funding covers tests to determine the compounds' toxicity, if they reach the blood-brain barrier, how quickly they are metabolized, and other characteristics," he said. "My colleagues and I have done a lot of screening and validation, and a lot of the chemistry has been covered by other grants from the NIH. But we need to conduct these tests, which are very expensive."
Dr. Androphy said spinal muscular atrophy is caused by low levels of a protein called SMN, or Survival of Motor Neuron.
"Any treatments that increase SMN should mitigate the disease," he said. "Our goal is to increase SMN proteins in any number of ways. A significant part of the IGNITE grant will enable us to do this in mouse models."
For more information, read the full news release in IUSM Newsroom.
Eighth annual Hunger Banquet is set for March 5
Indianapolis physician Dr. Ellen Einterz will be the featured speaker Saturday, March 5, at the annual Hunger Banquet, sponsored by the IU School of Medicine Global Health Student Interest Group. The event will take place at 6 pm in the IUPUI Campus Center, room 450.
A campus tradition, the Hunger Banquet offers a firsthand look at the inequality that happens daily through a simulation that illustrates what it feels like to be on the other side of hunger. A highlight of the evening, Dr. Einterz will share perspectives from the 24 years she spent working in Cameroon and her more recent work treating Ebola patients in West Africa.
Student tickets are $10 each, and general tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased on the Hunger Banquet website. For more information about the event and to learn more about Dr. Einterz, visit inside.iupui.edu. With questions or ideas for future events, email the IUSM Global Health SIG.
Study: Weight Watchers expands diabetes prevention access
A new randomized controlled study conducted by IU School of Medicine researchers and published online this month in the American Journal of Public Health found that adults with prediabetes who followed Weight Watchers, a nationally available weight management program with a prediabetes-specific component, lost significantly more weight and experienced better blood glucose control than those following a self-initiated program using supplemental counseling materials.
“The findings suggest that Weight Watchers, a widely-available, empirically validated weight management program, could significantly expand access to effective diabetes prevention programs,” said lead investigator David Marrero, Ph.D., J.O. Ritchey Professor of Medicine, IUSM, and director of the Diabetes Translational Research Center at IU.
“The flexibility of the Weight Watchers model--with curriculum available online and at various locations, days, and times throughout the week--is compelling to those who need flexibility to accommodate today’s busy lifestyle,” Dr. Marrero said.
For more details on the study, read the full news release in IUSM Newsroom.
Frequent ER visits may reflect needed care for pediatric cancer patients
Children with cancer who visit emergency departments frequently may be doing so because it's an integral part of their care, not because they've received inadequate treatment before or are overusing such facilities, according to IU School of Medicine researchers.
Rather, such visits likely reflect the risk of infections and other complications of treatment. Age and some socio-economic factors may also play a role, said Emily L. Mueller, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of pediatrics.
In a paper published in the early-view, online issue of the journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer, Dr. Mueller and colleagues analyzed admissions and treatment information from visits to emergency departments at children's hospitals that contributed data to the Children's Hospital Association's Pediatric Health Information System database.
"The vast majority of children with cancer received some sort of intervention in the emergency department that they would not have been able to get by simply talking to a nurse or other health care professional on the telephone," Dr. Mueller said.
Although the data available for the study is not conclusive, "we suspect that treatment in the emergency department is a fundamental part of the care needed by children with cancer," Dr. Mueller said.
Leffel and Nowaskie honored with Taylor Excellence in Diversity Award
IU School of Medicine students Chelsey Leffel and Dustin Nowaskie are winners of the 2016 Joseph T. Taylor Excellence in Diversity Award. Recipients of this award--open to faculty, staff, and students--are recognized for engaging in behaviors that embrace diversity across campus. Dr. Taylor was the first dean of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Leffel and Nowaskie were honored during the award ceremony this afternoon.
IUSM-Fort Wayne students make February brighter for pediatric patients
Students at IUSM-Fort Wayne participated in several activities to mark "Wellbruary" -- the 29 days of February -- which focus on promoting wellness. In addition to the weekly wellness topics, students worked on two service projects for pediatric patients. They made valentines for all of the pediatric patients at both hospital systems in Fort Wayne and delivered them on Feb. 14. Students also made no-sew blankets for hospitalized children as part of the 29 days of February events.
Apply by March 1 for AAMC women's professional development seminar
Faculty members are encouraged to apply or nominate a colleague for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, which will be held July 9-12 in a city yet to be disclosed. The seminar targets women at the assistant professor level who have been in academic medicine for one to two years, but no longer than six years.
The IUSM Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development will handle applications and cover the cost to send two women faculty members to this seminar. Email nominations to Lauren Maric at email@example.com by 4 pm, Tuesday, March 1. Nominations should include the applicant's or nominee's CV and a brief statement describing how the seminar will enhance her career.
Friday is last day to register for palliative care conference
The final day to register for this year's RESPECT Center palliative/end-of-life care conference, “Let’s Talk Palliative Care,” is this Friday, Feb. 26. The conference will be held on Friday, March 4, at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Ind. Visit cme.medicine.iu.edu to register; scroll down to March 2016 events. More conference information is available on the RESPECT Center website or contact Laura Holtz at 317-274-9114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
International research grant applications due April 30
IUPUI faculty can apply for grants of up to $3,000 to enhance international research and collaboration activities with any of IUPUI’s partner institutions through the International Partnership Research Development Fund. Funded by the Office of International Affairs, grant money can be used for travel to partner universities and project sites, and to host meetings or workshops. Research topics given priority include life sciences, global health, urbanization, interdisciplinary work, sustainability, and others. The Spring 2016 application deadline is April 30.
More information and application guidelines are available.
Apply for American Cancer Society research grants by May 1
The IU Simon Cancer Center is pleased to announce the availability of funds for new pilot projects to assist investigators holding the ranks of assistant professor, research assistant professor, or assistant scientist but without an active (i.e., NIH, NSF, ACS) national competitive research grant. Part of the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant, these funds provide support for beginning investigators to initiate their independent research program.
Interested faculty from all IUSM campuses are encouraged to apply by May 1. Details and application submission guidelines are available here.
IBRI announces $100 million in grants to address metabolic disease and poor nutrition
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), an independent, nonprofit applied biosciences research institute, announced on Wednesday two new grants totaling $100 million from Lilly Endowment Inc., and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. The grants will support IBRI’s charitable, educational, and scientific activities addressing metabolic disease and poor nutrition. With these grants, IBRI now has achieved almost half of its three-year fundraising target of approximately $350 million from philanthropic sources, government grants, and industry contributions to sustain its development plan and research goals. IBRI is currently housed in the IU School of Medicine's Biotechnology Research and Training Center building, and IUSM is one of the entities providing initial funding for the institute.
Of the new grants, David Broecker, president and CEO of IBRI, commented: “This is a monumental achievement for the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and for the global life sciences research community. We are grateful for the support of Lilly Endowment, and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, as well as our other partners, and believe these contributions underscore the significance of our vision to build a world class research institute that will serve as a catalyst for accelerating research and innovation.”
A portion of Lilly Endowment’s $80 million grant is subject to matching conditions -- $45 million of the grant is unconditional, while the remaining $35 million is subject to dollar-for-dollar matching conditions to encourage contributions from life sciences businesses and their foundations. The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation contributed $20 million, which qualifies for the Endowment’s match, bringing total committed funding from these grants currently to $85 million. The $15 million balance of the Endowment’s grant remains to be matched. This grant is the Endowment’s second-largest grant ever.
IBRI’s goal is to build a world-class organization of researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs that will catalyze scientific and translational activities, resulting in solutions. Initial funding has been provided by the State of Indiana, Lilly Endowment, Eli Lilly and Company, the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Dow AgroSciences, Roche Diagnostics, Indiana University Health, and the Indiana University School of Medicine. IBRI is looking to expand its partnerships with life sciences companies and philanthropic organizations worldwide to increase the potential for research, discovery, and collaboration.
For more information, visit indianabiosciences.org.
Indy – Culture & Conversation March 24 event to explore everyday bias
Mark your calendar for the next Culture & Conversation lunchtime discussion event, Everyday Bias, at 12:30 pm, Thursday, March 24, in the Van Nuys Medical Science Building, room B11. Lunch will be provided for those who register for the event. Culture & Conversation is a series in which students, faculty, and staff discuss current events and culturally relevant issues. For more details, visit faculty.medicine.iu.edu.