Faculty and Staff News
New Evansville Health Sciences Center to benefit from $15 million gift
The rising Health Sciences Center in downtown Evansville, a collaboration of the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana and Indiana University, has received a $15 million gift from William and Mary Stone to officially name the facility the Stone Family Center for Health Sciences.
“With this magnificent gift to support our collective vision, Bill and Mary Stone are doing much more than adding their name to a building. They are helping to create a healthier, more vibrant community and leaving an indelible imprint on Evansville and the families who call the city and surrounding area home,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie.
“Indiana University is committed to fostering continued excellence in health sciences education and research, advancing health- and medicine-related opportunities for students and collaborating with our partners at the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana to transform the future of healthcare in the region,” he added.
Bill and Mary (O’Daniel) Stone are Evansville natives and 1973 graduates of Memorial High School. Bill founded Connecticut-based SS&C Technologies, Inc. in 1986 and has remained Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception. SS&C has a large Evansville office and has 22,500 employees located in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
“We remain committed to our hometown,” said Bill Stone. “Evansville is where Mary and I grew up and where we have extended family and friends. SS&C has a large and growing office here, and we look forward to helping this community grow in size, wealth and health. The health center is one key to unlocking the capabilities of Southwestern Indiana.”
Clarence Boone, MD, honored with room dedication at IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary
When Clarence Boone, MD, began medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine in 1952, he was one of only five African-Americans to do so. Of those, he was the only one to graduate in four years.
A well-known obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Boone pushed through adversity and blazed a trail in the Northwest Indiana medical community over an impressive 35-year career. The Gary doctor showed his deep commitment to IU and IU Northwest in a number of ways, from serving the IU Board of Trustees, IU Alumni Association, IU Northwest Chancellor’s Cabinet and IU Foundation Board of Directors to helping minorities succeed by cofounding the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club and raising funds for the Minority Scholarship Fund.
At a May 3 reception honoring the beloved doctor’s life of service and dedication to IU, university officials unveiled a placard introducing the newly named Dr. Clarence Boone Lecture Room on the second floor of the Dunes Medical and Professional Building on the Gary campus, home to IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary.
“IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary was founded in 1972 with four students and four faculty members,” said Patrick Bankston, the school’s associate dean. “I look around the room and very frankly, many of us would not be here if it weren’t for Dr. Clarence Boone. We owe a great debt of gratitude to a lot of folks who came before us whose perspicacity, whose vision, allowed us to be here today.”
Asked why he gave so tirelessly to IU as well as those pursuing medicine, Dr. Boone said he credits IU for being the foundation of what he is today. He explained that the reasons for his service are rooted in his own humble beginnings.
“When you come from a family of limited means, you work hard, you get the support of individuals in the community, and you succeed in life, then you can understand what support from the outside truly means,” Dr. Boone said. “I am here today because of what others have done to help me to get where I am. Therefore, I feel that I am obliged to go back and help others along the way.”
A Post-Tribune article includes remarks from community members about Dr. Boone’s contributions to the university and the profession.
Take note of INScope’s summer schedule
INScope will begin an abbreviated summer publication schedule following the May 24 issue. Weekly publication will resume on Thursday, Aug. 9. During June and July, INScope will be published on the following Thursdays:
As reminder, the deadline for news item submissions is Wednesday at noon for each Thursday’s issue. For more information, visit the INScope page on MedNet. News submissions should be emailed to email@example.com.
IU School of Medicine forms research collaboration with Lung Biotechnology PBC
The ability to artificially grow organs may seem futuristic, but IU School of Medicine researchers are closer to enabling that reality than you may think.
Burcin Ekser, MD, PhD, assistant professor of surgery at IU School of Medicine, and his research team are working to print 3D pig liver tissue from genetically engineered pig liver cells. Then, they use this 3D-printed tissue to develop new research models for xenotransplantation, or cross-species transplantation.
Dr. Ekser, who is director of the school’s xenotransplantation research lab, recently secured a four-year, $9 million sponsored research agreement from Lung Biotechnology PBC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation. Lung Biotechnology is a Maryland-based company focused on organ transplantation technologies, including through xenotransplantation.
According to the latest data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, there are more than 110,000 people in the United States waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and each day, about 20 people die while waiting for a transplant.
“This alliance with Lung Biotechnology will greatly enhance our ability to accomplish our ultimate goal of providing an unlimited supply of organs to save human lives,” Dr. Ekser said. “It’s my passion because I’m a transplant surgeon; I don’t want anyone to die while they’re waiting for a transplantable organ.”
Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, IU School of Medicine’s executive associate dean for research affairs, said the collaboration with Lung Biotechnology aligns with the school’s goal to work with industry to speed the translation of scientific discoveries to patients.
“We want to make discoveries and conduct research that will help patients as quickly as possible,” Dr. Shekhar said. “One of the most effective ways to do this is to collaborate with private industry. Lung Biotechnology and its CEO Dr. Martine Rothblatt are great collaborators for IU School of Medicine to make this happen, and Dr. Ekser is a wonderful example of how our researchers can work within the public and private sectors to be innovative and develop real solutions for patients.”
New app to help survivors of TBI recognize and regulate emotions
A new app developed by an IU School of Medicine faculty member is designed to help survivors of traumatic brain injuries recognize and regulate their emotions--skills that are critical to maintaining relationships and quality of life but are often compromised in patients who have endured head traumas.
The app, called My Emotional Compass, is the result of years of research led by Dawn M. Neumann, PhD, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at IU School of Medicine and research director at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. It is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Patients with TBI frequently experience damage to regions of the brain and neural networks involved with processing emotions. As a result, many survivors have trouble identifying, labeling and expressing their emotions, a condition known as alexithymia. For example, patients may be unable to articulate that receiving a surprise gift made them feel happy and appreciative, or that being passed over for a promotion left them feeling frustrated and ashamed.
As many as 60 percent of individuals with moderate to severe TBI experience alexithymia, making it challenging to display empathy and respond in a socially appropriate manner in personal and professional relationships. Patients with mild TBI also experience this challenge.
There are no standard, evidenced-based interventions to treat these issues. The app and related research studies led by Neumann aim to begin filling this gap. My Emotional Compass is specifically designed to address alexithymia by helping patients interpret and put words to their own feelings.
“We need to re-teach individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury about emotions and give them an emotional vocabulary,” Neumann said. “It might sound simplistic, but the very act of labeling an emotion can help control it.”
IBJ highlights startup that breeds pigs for scientific research
CorVus Biomedical, LLC, a startup founded by IU School of Medicine’s Michael Sturek, MS, PhD, chair, Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, and Mouhamad Alloosh, MD, associate research professor, breeds and sells a rare breed of pig to facilitate scientific research in areas such as diabetes and obesity. In 2002, Drs. Sturek and Alloosh purchased 26 feral Ossabaw miniature pigs from Ossabaw Island, near the coast of Georgia. With a heart similar to humans, the breed has a special genetic mutation that may provide answers for fighting diseases.
The venture was featured last week in Indianapolis Business Journal. From the IBJ article:
CorVus’ customers include researchers at the Mayo Clinic, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Missouri and Texas A&M University.
“The pigs are quite useful,” said Dr. Lilach Lerman, who directs the Mayo Clinic’s renovascular disease research laboratory. “We’ve purchased a couple of dozen to research vascular disease on the kidney and heart. We had excellent results and published a paper. I expect we will buy more.”
Faculty and Staff News
Drs. Allen and Caine join other experts at national CDC public health meeting
Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for medical student education and associate professor of clinical medicine and infectious diseases, was invited to attend a recent conference at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Sponsored by the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, the meeting, Public Health and Primary Care: Partners in Prevention, brought together experts from clinical provider associations to exchange information about opportunities to enhance screening for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C viruses, select sexually transmitted diseases and latent tuberculosis infection within primary care settings and ensure appropriate treatment for those who are infected.
Dr. Allen represented the American College of Physicians (ACP), the national organization that represents the 148,000 internal medicine providers and the adult patients they serve in the United States. He serves on the ACP Board of Governors as the governor of the Indiana ACP chapter.
Virginia Caine, MD, director of the Marion County Public Health Department and associate professor of medicine in the Infectious Disease Division, also represented Indiana at the meeting. She served as representative of the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing African-American physicians and their patients in the United States. Dr. Caine serves as chair of the association’s board.
Missed the Spring Faculty Meeting? Check out these highlights.
Were you unable to attend the Indiana University School of Medicine Spring Faculty Meeting on May 1? Never fear! Faculty Steering Committee President Dan Rusyniak, MD has some highlights to share from the meeting. Read his Spring Faculty Meeting highlights blog post for a refresher or to see what you missed.
Two new IU Simon Cancer Center leadership positions now open
Indiana University Health and IU School of Medicine, in conjunction with the IU Simon Cancer Center, are accepting applications for two new executive positions, which are open to current employees of IU School of Medicine or IU Health.
Executive Medical Director
The executive medical director will oversee all operations related to Cancer Services and chair the Cancer Executive Committee (CEC) which functions as the shared governance body. Key responsibilities include optimizing multidisciplinary cancer services within all areas across hospitals; enhancing access to cancer care services through improved ease of referral and design/implementation; and providing strategic and operational planning and design of the future Adult Academic Medical Center and IU Health North Cancer Center programs and facilities including staffing, policies, procedures and management. Full position description is available.
This position will lead the transformation of the system-wide oncology service line in conjunction with the director of the IU Simon Cancer Center, IU Health chief medical officer and the president of IU Health Physicians with an initial focus on metropolitan Indianapolis (Metroplex) cancer services concentrated at the Adult Academic Health Center. The executive will work collaboratively with the hospital presidents, chief operating officers, IU School of Medicine department chairs in the Indianapolis region. The physician-in-chief will have clear role in the budgetary process as well as the workforce and infrastructure development for all cancer-related activities within the AHC and the Metroplex. Full position description is available.
Deadline to apply for these positions is Friday, May 18.
Seven retiring faculty members approved for emeritus status
Seven retiring IU School of Medicine faculty members have been approved for emeritus titles. This designation may be awarded upon retirement from IUPUI to faculty members and others as recognition of “substantial contributions to the university in the fields of teaching, research and/or service.” Emeritus titles were recently approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson for:
Eric Awwad, MD--Professor Emeritus of Clinical Radiology & Imaging Sciences--Clinical Professor Emeritus, June 1, 2018
James Brokaw, PhD, MPH--Professor Emeritus of Anatomy & Cell Biology, July 1, 2018
Kenneth Buckwalter, MD--Professor Emeritus of Radiology & Imaging Sciences, July 1, 2018
Jesus Dominguez, MD--Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Aug. 1, 2018
David Jones, PhD--Associate Research Professor Emeritus of Medicine, May 1, 2018
Robert Tarver, MD--Professor Emeritus of Radiology & Imaging Sciences, July 1, 2018
Frank Witzmann, PhD, MS, BA--Professor Emeritus of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, July 1, 2018
IU School of Medicine congratulates these faculty members and acknowledges their many contributions to the school, campus and university.
One week left to nominate colleagues for new staff awards
Friday, May 18, is the deadline to nominate colleagues for two new staff awards honoring IU School of Medicine staff members Deb Cowley and Lynn Wakefield, who retired earlier this year. These annual awards--the Lynn Wakefield Unsung Hero Staff Award and the Deb Cowley Staff Leadership Award--recognize IU School of Medicine staff members for exemplary performance in key areas. Descriptions and submission guidelines for these and other school-wide faculty and staff awards are available.
Apply by May 14 for the AMA Global Health Challenge contest
The American Medical Association (AMA) and the AMA Insurance Agency announced the launch of the 2018 AMA Global Health Challenge--an essay and video contest giving a team of physicians-in-training and students of other health care professions an opportunity to travel abroad to provide health care for underserved patients. The winning team will work alongside Timmy Global Health to care for populations in Ecuador, Guatemala or the Dominican Republic. More information about the opportunity and how to apply is available. Application deadline is Monday, May 14.
MS4/GQ update: Pick up your commencement parking passes
Congratulations, MS4s, free commencement parking awaits. Although the class finished just short of the 80 percent goal, IU School of Medicine is honoring the offer of free commencement parking for all class members due to high participation in the Graduation Questionnaire so far. Parking passes can be picked up today and tomorrow from 8 am-5 pm in the Van Nuys Medical Science Building, Room 160.
As for the GQ, reminders from the Association of American Medical Colleges will be sent on June 1 and June 6 for those how have not completed the survey. Be sure to complete the survey; your input is important to improving the student experience at IU School of Medicine.
Apply for IU Simon Cancer Center’s Hester scholarship by June 1
The IU Simon Cancer Center Merilyn Hester Scholarship fund was created to assist medical and/or PhD students pursuing degrees in biomedical sciences who have demonstrated an interest and potential for conducting pediatric hematology or pediatric oncology research and who have not received any other type of scholarship or grant for the upcoming academic year. Successful applicants are students who have a strong academic record, have outstanding character and well-defined professional goals. One recipient will be selected this year to receive $8,000 in scholarship funding. The application includes complete guidelines and requirements. Deadline to apply is Friday, June 1.
Memory University explores caregiver health and well-being
The Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center presents Memory University 2018, a program for research partners and others interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Sessions focused on “Caregiver Health and Well-Being: Maintaining Yours and Theirs” will be held from 1:30 to 3 pm on Friday afternoons from June 1-29 and will feature a different topic each week. The sessions take place in Goodman Hall Auditorium, IU Health Neuroscience Center, 355 W. 16th St. Attendance is free, but advance registration is required. For more information, call 317-963-5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Popular Communicating Science Series returns May 31
The Communicating Science Series is a three-session series designed to train participants to communicate complex scientific topics more effectively to non-experts such as patients, learners, lawmakers and funders. Back by popular demand, the program is free and open to all IU School of Medicine and IUPUI faculty and graduate students. Registration is available. Session dates and topics include:
Thursday, May 31: Connecting with your audience
Thursday, June 7: Distilling your message
Wednesday, June 13: Media training for scientists and physicians
Eskenazi Health burn center re-verified by the ABA
The American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons have re-verified the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health as a recognized adult burn center. This designation recognizes the team’s dedication to providing the highest level of care for burn patients. The verification report also included a special commendation for the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center’s commitment to excellence and to providing quality burn care to its patients--a rare mark of distinction given to few burn centers across the country.
Dr. Lehman honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash
Glenn A. Lehman, MD, was honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash at the 21st Annual GI Course Update on Friday, May 4. Since the 1940s, the Sagamore of the Wabash has been the one of the highest honorary awards issued by an Indiana governor. The award is presented to only a few Hoosiers each year and recognizes dedicated individuals for outstanding service to the state of Indiana.
As a professor of medicine and radiology at Indiana University School of Medicine, Dr. Lehman has attracted learners from all corners of the world and has personally overseen the training of more than 100 gastroenterology fellows--many of whom continue to practice in Indiana today.
Dr. Grimes delivers University of Findlay commencement address
Jaison Grimes, MD, assistant professor of clinical neurology, was the keynote speaker at the May 5 commencement ceremonies at his alma mater, the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio. Dr. Grimes, the seventh member of his family to attend the university, graduated in 2002 with a biology/pre-medicine degree. Read more about Dr. Findlay's speech, which covered everything from ramen noodles to leading a balanced life.
Anatomy faculty earn prestigious awards
Two IU School of Medicine anatomy faculty members received distinguished awards at the 2018 Experimental Biology/American Association of Anatomists (AAA) meeting last month.
Jason Organ, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy & cell biology, received the AAA Basmajian Award. Valerie Dean O’Loughlin, PhD, professor of anatomy, IU School of Medicine-Bloomington, earned the AAA Henry Gray Distinguished Educator award and was elected as a 2018 Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists.