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Top News

  • Good turnout for online curriculum info sessions: recording and Q&A now available

    More than 100 IU School of Medicine faculty and staff members attended one of three new curriculum information sessions conducted in late June and early July. Hosted by members of the curriculum leadership team, the sessions provided up-to-date information about the school’s new curriculum, which launches with Phase 1 next month.

    Each session closed with time for faculty and staff to pose questions, which included requests for details on topics such as Phase 1 and new curriculum structure, faculty, assessment and remediation, and course evaluation and feedback.

    Facilitated through Adobe Connect, the presentation is available to view with slides and audio on IUSM’s curriculum renewal microsite. The Q&As from all sessions have also been compiled on the site and are available here

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  • IUSM receives $2 million gift from Eskenazi children to recruit top cancer researcher

    The children of Indianapolis philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi have made a $2 million gift to the IU School of Medicine that will be used to recruit a highly accomplished researcher focused on discovering new ways to treat, diagnose, and prevent cancer.

    The gift, to honor their parents, was inspired by Lois Eskenazi’s diagnosis with lung cancer several years ago. She sought treatment from IU oncologist Lawrence Einhorn, M.D., who is world-renowned for developing the cure for testicular cancer and also specializes in lung cancer.

    "At the initial diagnosis, the results weren’t good, but we were very lucky and it was operable, so it’s been a success story for us," said David Eskenazi, who made the gift along with his sisters, Sandra Eskenazi and Dori Eskenazi Meyers. "I understand that’s not the case for everybody. But it’s always getting better because of people like Dr. Einhorn, the individuals he works with at the IU School of Medicine, and the research they do. Year after year they’re making cancer more treatable and curable. My sisters and I are honored to be able to do something to recognize that."

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States. Dr. Einhorn, Distinguished Professor and Livestrong Foundation Professor of Oncology, will lead the search for a top-flight researcher focused on the disease. The individual will join a team of about 200 researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. (In a video, David Eskenazi and Dr. Einhorn discuss the gift and its impact.)

    The newly recruited faculty member will be known as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Professor in Hematology-Oncology.

    For more on the gift, visit the IUSM Newsroom.

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  • Interactive curriculum schematic now on microsite

    Providing a visual representation of the IU School of Medicine’s new curriculum, a schematic has been recently updated to include mouse-over course descriptions and other detail for Phase 1. Overall, the schematic is organized by calendar months and shows the courses, clerkships, and electives that comprise the three phases.

    View the schematic on the Curriculum Renewal microsite. 

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  • Potential changes in store for Teacher-Learner Advocacy Committee

    Allegations of mistreatment and concerns regarding professionalism can be found in any institution. At the IU School of Medicine, the Teacher-Learner Advocacy Committee (TLAC,) is working to address such allegations and to design a more formal plan to enhance the advocacy process.

    About TLAC

    TLAC was established in 1999 to uphold the professionalism of IU School of Medicine. This ad hoc committee specializes in responding to conflict and concerns within the school that can range from matters of miscommunication to serious allegations. Marly Bradley, M.D., J.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and chair of TLAC, describes the committee as a “fact-finding” organization. The committee does not police conduct, but rather researches and mediates issues once submitted.

    Once an issue is brought to the attention of TLAC, inquiries and discussions are initiated, resulting in a recommendation to the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development to implement. According to Dr. Bradley, many changes have been made to policy because someone was willing to bring a concern to TLAC. The group recognizes that initiating a case can be daunting, which is why TLAC regards anonymity as a top priority.

    Stefan Tarnawsky, an M.D./Ph.D. student involved in TLAC for four years, says, “It is so rewarding to see the diverse membership of TLAC working together to identify the policies that led to unprofessional situations. Furthermore, our diverse roles allow us to propose policy changes that can prevent future instances of unprofessional behavior.”

    Improvements

    Currently, concerns of mistreatment are referred to TLAC, with volunteer student and faculty members meeting monthly. Dr. Bradley says the group determined that formalizing their work through an Office of the Ombuds will even better meet the needs of learners, faculty, and staff. As part of the plan for the office, the trained ombuds will respond to concerns and ensure that all faculty and students have a confidential place to report issues that threaten the learning and professional environment.

    In reviews of the current model, students were either unaware of the service TLAC provides or they feared confidentiality would be breached. While this is not the case, a professional ombudsperson will reassure participants that identities will be kept completely confidential, there will be no retaliation, and that matters will be handled lawfully. TLAC will evolve into an advisory committee focused on enhancing professionalism and preventing concerns, while the ombuds will be reactive to the concerns when brought forward.

    Tarnawsky says he is looking forward to improving the advocacy process, “I hope the proposal for the ombuds office will build on this role and continue to provide a venue for students to advocate on their own behalf.”

    Report mistreatment

    Improving the grievances process is of upmost importance, TLAC organizers say, emphasizing that concerns will continue to be addressed in a timely way while the ombuds office takes shape. IU School of Medicine anticipates that the ombuds office will formally open in the fall of 2016.

    Once the ombuds office is launched, a new process for initiating a concern will be shared. Until then, concerns of mistreatment should be directed to: TLAC@iupui.edu. Concerns will be reviewed by the TLAC chair, and if it warrants, will be reviewed and discussed. Anyone reporting a concern and any reviews resulting from those reports are held in confidence. TLAC considers each review and then gives its recommendation to the executive associate dean of the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development to ensure the concern is addressed and resolved.

    Tarnawsky assures students that “throughout its deliberations, TLAC maintains the utmost respect for the anonymity of students and other IUSM members involved in a case. As such, students who contact TLAC are assured no retribution will result.”

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Remembering Panayotis Iatridis, M.D., and Alex Djuricich, M.D.

    The IU School of Medicine has lost two esteemed colleagues and friends with the recent deaths of Panayotis Iatridis, M.D., and Alex Djuricich, M.D.

    Dr. Iatridis, former assistant dean of the IU School of Medicine and director of the Northwest Center for Medical Education, passed away on July 9. Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1926, Dr. Iatridis later moved to Greece where he received an M.D. degree and doctorate in physiology from the University of Athens. Dr. Iatridis came to the United States as a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in the 1960s where he conducted research as a hematologist in blood coagulation and thrombosis. He moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, in 1972 to continue his research and teaching. While there, he established the Indiana University Northwest Center for Medical Education in Gary as a premier institution for medical education and was responsible for introducing problem-based learning into the medical education curriculum among other accomplishments.

    Read Dr. Iatridis’ full obituary here.

    Alexander Djuricich, M.D., died on June 14. Dr. Djuricich, professor of clinical medicine and clinical pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine, also served as associate dean for continuing medical education and program director for the medicine-pediatrics residency. He also was vice president for the Society of Academic Continuing Medical Education. Most recently, Dr. Djuricich worked in Boston for the New England Journal of Medicine as education editor. He had planned to return to the IU School of Medicine this month as a primary care provider at IU Health Epler Parke. At a memorial service held July 7 at the Riley Outpatient Center Auditorium with family members, friends and colleagues, Dr. Djuricich was remembered for his mentorship and enthusiasm as an educator and physician.

    Read IUSM Dean Jay Hess’ recent message to colleagues here.

    The IU School of Medicine extends its condolences to the Iatridis and Djuricich families. 

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  • Shekhar receives inaugural IURTC Outstanding Innovator Award

    Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., which helps IU faculty and researchers realize the commercial potential of their discoveries, has awarded the first IURTC Outstanding Innovator Award to Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D.

    Dr. Shekhar is the August M. Watanabe Professor of Medical Research and a professor of psychiatry, neurobiology and pharmacology at IU School of Medicine. He is also co-founder of Anagin LLC. Indiana University President and IURTC Chairman Michael A. McRobbie presented the award to Shekhar at the June 22 meeting of the IURTC board of trustees.

    For more, visit the IUSM Newsroom

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  • Sevilla-Martir is first to hold professorship in underserved Indiana patients

    Javier F. Sevilla-Martir, M.D., has been recommended to become the first holder of the yet-to-be-named professorship in underserved Indiana patients, pending IU President Michael A. McRobbie’s approval. In addition to holding the title of professor of underserved Indiana patients, Dr. Sevilla-Martir will retain his titles of assistant dean for diversity affairs and professor of clinical family medicine.

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  • Schwartz to serve as IU Center for Bioethics interim director

    Peter H. Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine, and director of the Bioethics and Subject Advocacy Program at Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (Indiana CTSI), has been named interim director of the IU Center for Bioethics.

    Faculty at the center conduct research, teach, and provide service in ethics and related fields. Founding director Eric Meslin, Ph.D., led the center from 2001 until early 2016.

    In the upcoming months, Dr. Schwartz will lead a needs assessment and strategic planning process for the center that will engage stakeholders from across the university and affiliated health systems.

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  • Three new faculty members join Wells Center for Diabetes Research

    The Wells Center for Diabetes Research, IU School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, welcomes the following new faculty members:

    Amelia Linnemann, Ph.D., joins the Pediatric Diabetes Research Group as an assistant professor from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Linnemann completed her Ph.D. at Wayne State University. Her research focuses on the core concepts of inflammatory mediators promoting β cell growth and survival in childhood type 1 diabetes

    Hongxia Ren, Ph.D., joins the research team as an assistant professor in the field of energy balance and glucose metabolism. She is currently supported by an NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) award (NIDDK) to study the glucose regulatory function of Gpr17 in the central nervous system. She received her training at the University of Michigan and at Columbia University.

    Kok Lim Kua, M.D., joins the Pediatric Diabetes Research Group as an assistant professor studying how changes in fetal environment in maternal diabetes lead to development of diabetes in children. Dr. Kua trained in pediatrics at the University of South Alabama and did his fellowship at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.  

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  • Busha and Goldman named assistant deans for graduate medical education

    Michael E. Busha, M.D., MBA, assistant professor of clinical family medicine, and Mitchell Goldman, M.D., professor of internal medicine, have been selected as assistant deans of graduate medical education (GME). Dr. Busha, whose appointment was effective July 1, will lead a team of professional faculty and support staff to oversee the development and accreditation of newly established IU School of Medicine GME programs in Indiana.

    Beginning Aug. 1, Dr. Goldman will lead a team of professional faculty and support staff to manage GME educational programs and provide oversight for the development and implementation of the educational programs within the clinical learning environment, as well as the integration of GME with IUSM hospital affiliates. 

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  • Harris named John F. Williams, Jr., M.D., chair

    Effective July 16, Lisa E. Harris, M.D., will become the third holder of the John F. Williams, Jr., M.D., Chair. In addition to this title, Dr. Harris retains her current titles of associate dean for Eskenazi Health Affairs and CEO of Eskenazi Health; and professor of medicine.

    The John F. Williams, Jr., M.D., Chair was established in 1998 by the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana, when Dr. Williams retired from his position as director of the William N. Wishard Memorial Hospital. The chair is intended to support the IU faculty member who is the director of the hospital, which is now the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital. 

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  • Fridell named chief of abdominal transplant surgery

    Jonathan Fridell, M.D., professor of surgery, has been appointed chief of the division of abdominal transplant surgery in the IU School of Medicine Department of Surgery. He has served as the interim chief since March 2016. Dr. Fridell completed his undergraduate studies, medical school, and general surgery residency at McGill University in Montreal. He joined the faculty at Indiana University in 2002.  

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Student News

  • SRPinAM participants to showcase work on July 28

    The Student Research Program in Academic Medicine (SRPinAM) and affiliate programs will host a poster session from 2 to 5 pm, Thursday, July 28, in the Medical Science Building atrium. Some 80 medical students conducting research between their first and second years of medical school will conclude their summer research activities presenting their work. 

    This is a great opportunity for incoming first-year medical students and continuing medical students to see what their classmates have been working on in their laboratories over the summer. 

    The posters will be reviewed by a panel of faculty that will decide who will be selected for the Oral Presentation Competition on Sept. 1. Those selected for the oral presentations will compete for scholarship prizes. The prizes will be announced on Friday, Sept. 2.

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  • Nuclear medicine technology students receive accolades

    Sarah Pigmon, a 2016 nuclear medicine technology program graduate, presented her research at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting in San Diego earlier this month. Competing against 45 other students, she placed second for her research, “The Necessity of Using Heparin in an UltraTagTM Kit when Tagging Blood for a Nuclear Medicine Study.” Pigmon also submitted her research for publication in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology.

    Shelby Bryant, a senior in the program, was elected to the National Council of Representatives for the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. She will serve as the national student representative. Only one student is chosen every two years to serve in this position. Bryant will attend the mid-winter meeting in Phoenix and the annual meeting in Denver next year. 

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  • Addo earns Harvard master’s degree

    Jenn Addo, a student at IUSM-Northwest-Gary took a year off of medical school to study public health at Harvard University. In May, she earned a master’s degree and will return to Indiana this fall to complete her last year of medical school.

    For more on Addo’s experience, read this article.

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  • Student volunteers needed for Indiana Black Expo and other events

    The Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Center is looking for student volunteers for several upcoming events. 

    • Thursday--Sunday, July 14--17: Minority Health Fair at Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration 
    • Saturday, July 23; 10 am to 2 pm: Shalom Health Care Center Annual Health Fair, 3400 Lafayette Rd., in Indianapolis   
    • Saturday, July 30; 1 to 4 pm: Neighborhood community day sponsored by small church; Drexel Gardens, 220 S. Beulah Ave., in Indianapolis  
    • Saturday, Sept. 24; 10 am to 4 pm: Straight Answer Saturday at North United Methodist Church (38th and Meridian streets in Indianapolis)

    With questions or to sign up, contact Donna Wert at dwert@iupui.edu or 317-963-7297.

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Research News

  • Virtual tissue technology reveals new drug target in kidney disease

    Using virtual tissue technology, IU researchers have identified a potential new drug target in the fight against polycystic kidney disease, an illness with no effective FDA-approved treatment that affects 200,000 people per year in the United States.

    The study appears in the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell. It reveals that errors in how cells stick together give rise to two forms of kidney cysts.

    These cysts can cause an adult kidney -- normally about the size of a fist and weighing less than a pound -- to grow to the size of a football that weights 20 to 30 pounds. Currently, only dialysis or a kidney transplant can delay death from the disease.

    "This is the first study to show the actual cell behaviors caused by mutations in genes causally linked to polycystic kidney disease, an important new step in the path towards treatment," says Robert L. Bacallao, M.D., associate professor of medicine at IUSM.

    For more, visit the IUSM Newsroom

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  • Hearing loss may occur after cisplatin therapy for testicular cancer

    Many testicular cancer survivors experience hearing loss after cisplatin-based chemotherapy, according to IU researchers.

    Led by Lois B. Travis, M.D., Sc.D., the Lawrence H. Einhorn Professor of Cancer Research at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, the research team studied for the first time the cumulative effects of cisplatin-based chemotherapy on hearing levels in testicular cancer survivors through comprehensive audiometry measurements. They found that increasing doses of cisplatin were associated with increased hearing loss at most of the tested frequencies, involving 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 kHz.

    The research was published online June 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

    "In addition to hearing loss, about 40 percent of patients also experienced tinnitus (ringing-in-the-ears), which was significantly correlated with reduced hearing," Dr. Travis, also director of the cancer center's Survivorship Research Program, said.

    Although this study was conducted in patients with testicular cancer, the authors point out that the general conclusions are likely applicable to patients with other types of adult-onset cancers that are commonly treated with cisplatin. They indicate that it will be important to follow patients given long-term cisplatin-based chemotherapy to better understand the extent to which the natural aging process may further add to hearing deficits, as it does in the general population.

    To learn more, visit the IUSM Newsroom

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Opportunities

  • Apply for yearlong spiritual and religious dimensions in healthcare program

    Integration of Spiritual and Religious Dimensions in Healthcare is now accepting applications for its 2016-17 program. Funded by the IU Health Values Fund, the program explores the role that spirituality plays in enhancing professional engagement. Participants are drawn from fields including medicine, nursing, social work, chaplaincy, and hospital administration.

    The program consists of a year-long series of monthly, two-hour evening discussions centered on essential readings that explore the relationship between spirituality and engagement. It provides participants with an opportunity to network with other health professionals, develop approaches to enhancing engagement, and discuss with others the role of spirituality in professional life.

    To apply, visit bit.do/spiritualityandengagement. With questions, contact Richard Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D., at rbgunder@iu.edu. Completed application should also include CV or resume. Applications will be accepted until 5 pm, Friday, July 22.   

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  • Submit proposals for upcoming Indiana Public Health Conference

    Researchers are invited to submit proposals for the annual Indiana Public Health Conference, which is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15. This year’s theme is “The Future of Public Health: The Integration of Policy, Practice and Research.” Proposals should reflect the best practices and innovative research that emphasize multidisciplinary approaches to complex issues through a health equity lens. Highlighted topics may include: infectious disease, environmental health, health equity, poverty, education, access to care, and more.

    Submit abstracts to JoBeth McCarthy, IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, at jomccart@iu.edu. Note that the submission deadline has been extended to Wednesday, July 20.

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  • Abstract submission deadline extended for IU Center for Diabetes & Metabolic Diseases symposium

    Join diabetes, metabolism, and obesity researchers on Friday, Aug. 5, for the second annual diabetes and metabolic diseases research symposium in Walther Hall on the IUPUI campus. The deadline to submit abstracts for the conference has been extended to Monday, July 18.

    Featured speakers at the full-day event are Charles Burant, M.D., the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Metabolism at the University of Michigan, and Juleen Zierath, Ph.D., professor of integrative physiology at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

    There is no charge for either the registration or abstract submission, but advance registration is required. To register and to submit an abstract, visit the 2016 Research Symposium website.

    With questions, email the center at islets@iu.edu.

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  • Next accent modification class begins Aug. 10

    International medical professionals are invited to enroll now for the upcoming accent modification (AEI) course, which begins Wednesday, Aug. 10. A two-instructor model is being introduced for more one-on-one time with participants. The class meets on 11 consecutive Wednesdays from 5:15 to 7:15 pm, at IU Health Methodist Hospital. The goal of AEI is to improve participants' spoken communications with colleagues, patients and staff through modification not elimination of their international accents.

    For more information and to register, visit faculty.medicine.iu.edu

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Kudos

  • Rink earns Pioneer Surgeon Award

    Richard C. Rink, M.D., the Robert A. Garrett Professor of Pediatric Urologic Research and professor of urology, received the 2016 Pioneer Surgeon Award at the CARES Foundation’s gala in New York City last month. Dr. Rink was honored for his innovations in surgery for patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, one of the most complex problems in pediatric urology.

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  • Katz honored as new ASA Fellow

    Barry Katz, Ph.D., chair, IUSM Department of Biostatistics and professor of biostatistics, has been named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation’s preeminent professional statistical society. Dr. Katz also is the chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. 

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  • West Lafayette lead advisor selected for professional award

    Brooke Linn, M.F.A., lead advisor, IUSM – West Lafayette, was recently selected as a “Top 10 Young Professional Under 40” at the annual Tippy Connect Young Professional (TCYP) Luncheon. TCYP is under the umbrella of the Greater Lafayette Commerce organization. Linn has been the lead advisor at the West Lafayette campus since November 2015.

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