Faculty and Staff News
Three IU School of Medicine faculty named distinguished professors
Michael J. Econs, MD, Sharon M. Moe, MD, and Michael A. Weiss, MD, PhD, MBA, have been appointed Indiana University distinguished professors, the highest academic rank for scholars and researchers at IU. The appointments were approved by the university’s board of trustees on Thursday, December 6.
Econs, the Glenn W. Irwin Jr. Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, is a leading geneticist in metabolic bone diseases whose research focuses on rare and poorly understood disorders such as X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets and autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets. His research has played a crucial role in the discovery of the genes responsible for both of these disorders.
Moe’s translational research focuses on mineral metabolism and chronic kidney disease. Considered one of the most influential scientists in her field, she has served on the editorial board of six journals in nephrology or kidney diseases and on 24 National Institutes of Health study sections. Moe is the Stuart A. Kleit Professor of Medicine and professor of anatomy and cell biology.
Weiss’ work in molecular biomedical research focuses on insulin signaling and its relation to diabetes mellitus, and sex determination and its relation to genetic infertility syndromes. Research in his lab has led to understanding a newly recognized syndrome of diabetes and, in the area of sex determination, to the understanding of structure and dynamics of many critical proteins. Weiss is the Robert A. Harris Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
For more on the distinguished professor appointments, including the other seven recipients of the prestigious designation, read News at IU.
Direct from the Dean: Hess talks technology and why new CIO role is vital
From IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA:
“You may have read the recent announcement about our new CIO and executive associate dean. And you may have wondered why the school needs another top administrator on the sixth floor of Fairbanks Hall.
It’s a good question. In short, we can’t afford not to have someone in this role.
It is no secret that technology is changing the way we do everything, from how we shop and consume news to how we interact with one another. And medicine and higher education are no exceptions. If we want to be a great medical school, we need to harness the power of technology and big data. In fact, this is so critical that we made it a priority of our new strategic plan to ‘establish IU School of Medicine as a national leader in the innovative use of information technology.’”
Find out more in the dean’s monthly column about the school’s vision for IT, including priorities for seamless communication across the nine campuses, predictive analytics, and measurement and benchmarking.
Faculty to deliver presentations across Indiana as Bicentennial Professors
Six IU School of Medicine faculty are among 25 university faculty to be named Bicentennial Professors by the Indiana University Office of the Bicentennial. Faculty representing IU School of Medicine are:
Virginia A. Caine, MD, associate professor of medicine
Graham Carlos, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine
Aaron E. Carroll, MD, associate dean for research mentoring and professor of pediatrics
Janine M. Fogel, MD, assistant professor of clinical family medicine
Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD, Chancellor’s Professor and John A. Campbell Professor of Radiology
Paul M. Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement, and the Delores and John Read Professor of Medical Education and professor of medicine
IU's Bicentennial Professorships program is part of the university's continued commitment to public outreach and community engagement. Each Bicentennial Professor will travel around the state delivering public presentations at community forums that describe--in an engaging and accessible manner--some of their research or professional activities.
Speaking engagements will be arranged by the Office of the Bicentennial in cooperation with Indiana community leaders, with the aim of reaching all of Indiana's 92 counties. Bicentennial Professors come from every IU campus.
"In the late 1800s, Indiana University began to expand its educational mission beyond the Bloomington campus, and IU faculty traveled to all parts of the state to provide Indiana residents with lectures on art, science, the professions and medicine," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "Today IU reaches all parts of Indiana though its many campuses and facilities and also reaches a global audience through IU Online. As part of its bicentennial celebrations in 2019-20, IU will be reviving this earlier tradition of fulfilling our public mission by connecting directly with Hoosiers all across our state."
News at IU has more on the Bicentennial Professorships program and the other faculty participating.
IU School of Medicine helps break ground on 16 Tech Innovation District
Representatives from Indiana University School of Medicine joined business, government and community leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking of the 16 Tech Innovation District, a 60-acre community that will take shape on the near west side of Indianapolis.
16 Tech is designed to spark innovation and collaboration by bringing together the best minds in Central Indiana from the life sciences, tech, advanced manufacturing and engineering fields. IU School of Medicine will be one of the inaugural tenants in the district’s first new building, which is expected to be complete in mid-2020.
Learn more about how 16 Tech will focus on building a community of innovators in this Research Updates blog post.
Free shuttle to replace People Mover service in February
Indiana University Health announced this week that it will discontinue People Mover service in February 2019. The health system is launching a free shuttle service for those needing to travel to and from IU Health downtown facilities. The shuttles will be more reliable and flexible and offer other benefits to riders, including an online tracker that will show shuttle locations in real time.
In a memo to team members IU Health leaders said a number of factors influenced the decision to discontinue People Mover service:
“The current People Mover system costs roughly $12 per ride to operate—almost twice what it would cost for an Uber ride across the same distance. With the shuttle service, both the cost per rider will go down, as will the overall costs to maintain the system. Finally, shuttles are also a better environmental choice, as they would run on compressed natural gas or propane fuel, which would have an overall smaller carbon footprint than the massive quantity of electricity required to currently run the People Mover.”
Initial route information will be available in the coming weeks. FAQs provide additional details.
Reminder: INScope is taking a holiday break
Coinciding with holiday and semester schedules, INScope will not be published in late December and early January. The last issue of 2018 will be distributed on Thursday, December 20. Publication will resume in the new year on Thursday, January 10.
Two pivotal projects help enable success of IU Precision Health Initiative
Thanks to two important projects, IU School of Medicine, IU Health and the patients they serve will get to experience the full potential of IU’s Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative: the universal consent and integrated biobank projects.
DNA, or genetic information, is at the heart of the IU Precision Health Initiative and central to both projects.
“DNA is necessary to identify new biomarkers and disease targets that will eventually lead IU clinical researchers to treatments, cures and preventative measures,” said Jonathan Gottlieb, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for IU Health.
What you may not have heard about until now, is how IU Health and IUSM are going to achieve their bold goals of banking tens of thousands of DNA samples.
Beginning in October of 2018, IU School of Medicine and IU Health teamed up to conduct a universal consent pilot project at IU Health North Hospital. “The Universal Consent Pilot Project allows IU Health and IU School of Medicine clinical researchers to collect an extra vial of blood from patients already scheduled for a blood draw, to use for research purposes,” said Brenda Hudson, who is leading the project. “The goal of the pilot is to understand how many patients are willing to participate in research by donating a blood sample. Over the span of one month, nearly 100 patients at IU Health North participated in the universal consent pilot.”
Encouraged by the results of the pilot, the universal consent project team has launched a second pilot at IU Health University Hospital. The pilot will add another facet to the universal consent project: patients will have the opportunity to join All IN for Health, a digital community that allows participants to utilize resources for good health and participate in clinical studies. Throughout 2019, additional IU Health hospitals will join the Universal Consent Pilot Project.
Eighteen months ago, another project critical to the success of the IU Precision Health Initiative, known as the Integrated Biobank Project, got underway. Biobanks are literally secure locations (or “banks”) in which biological samples, like blood, are stored.
The Integrated Biobank Project began with an assessment of all Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Health biobanking facilities, of which there are many. The project team then established a governance committee to create a standard operating procedure that allows for the efficient collection of biosamples across all of the biobanking facilities. “Through the Integrated Biobank Project, all biobanking facilities at IU School of Medicine and IU Health will be able to process and store biosamples for future research as well as link the samples to a patient’s de-identifiable medical data on a broad scale, including samples that come in through the universal consent project,” said Brooke Patz, director of the integrated biobank project.
“Discovering genetic causes of diseases requires standardized collection, processing and storage of biosamples,” said Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, principal investigator for the IU Precision Health Initiative and executive associate dean for research affairs at IU School of Medicine.
Pathway to prevention? Researchers make strides with leukemia, cardiovascular disease
A significant portion of people over the age of 50 have mutations in their blood cells that are associated with leukemia. However, only a small percentage of these otherwise normal people go on to develop leukemia. It is unclear what leads to the development of leukemia in the small portion of people who have pre-leukemic mutations, but Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have found that inflammation can have a big impact on the function of these cells.
In a study published in the journal “Cell Stem Cell”, IU researchers found that inflammation can play a significant role in the growth and survival of stem cells bearing pre-leukemic mutations, such as TET2.
The TET2 mutation in stem cells and progenitor cells results in high levels of expression of a long non-coding RNA called Morrbid. The study demonstrated that Morrbid allows pre-leukemic cells to survive and spread in response to inflammation and can induce the development of clonal hematopoiesis.
“Not only does clonal hematopoiesis due to pre-leukemic mutations increase the risk of blood-related cancer, these mutations have also been associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, suggesting an association between mutations in blood cells and chronic disease,” said Reuben Kapur, PhD, lead investigator of the study. “So it’s in our best interest to stop its progression.”
Learn more about the published study and its importance in the Newsroom.
Faculty and Staff News
Kraus named emeritus professor
Michael Kraus, MD, who retired from IU School of Medicine on December 1, has been approved for the emeritus title of professor of clinical medicine.
Joining IU School of Medicine in 1992, Kraus has provided more than 20 years of clinical leadership for the division of nephrology. Most recently, he served as service line leader for clinical nephrology and medical director of both acute dialysis and home dialysis services at IU Health University Hospital and the IU Health system. Kraus also served IU Health as the chair of the Professional Standards Committee from 2004 through 2017. In addition to his clinical leadership, he has been recognized for patient care and was named to Indianapolis Monthly’s “Top Doctors” list 14 times. Nationally, Kraus has appeared on the “Best Doctors in America” list for nearly two decades. He is the author of 60 peer-reviewed articles and 12 book chapters.
Emeritus 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." Kraus’s emeritus status was approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson. IU School of Medicine congratulates Kraus and appreciates his contributions to the school and university.
Carpenter earns Fulbright fellowship to evaluate burn care in Kenya
Kyle Carpenter, general surgery resident, has been awarded a fellowship through the Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S government. Carpenter will travel to Eldoret, Kenya, to assist in the study of burn injuries and their care at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. This work will include the creation of a burn registry at the hospital, the assessment of its current capacity for burn care and the comparison of its current provision of care to standards for essential burn care delivery established under the World Health Organization.
Faculty invited to Military Match Day celebration on Friday
Faculty with a military background are invited to join fourth-year medical student service members at the second annual Military Match Day celebration from 6-8 pm, Friday, December 14. MS4s in the Army, Navy and Air Force received their military match results on Wednesday, December 12. Held along with fellow military medical students and faculty from Marian University, the celebration will take place at Sun King Brewery, 135 N. College Avenue, in Indianapolis. The event is sponsored by the Military Medicine Student Interest Group. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register for upcoming promotion and tenure information sessions
Aspects of the promotion and tenure process will be covered during a series of information sessions beginning Thursday, February 7. Each year, IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity partners with the school’s promotion and tenure committee to offer these special sessions.
Here are the dates for the spring semester sessions:
Thursday, February 7: General overview
Monday, February 11: Documenting your work
Thursday, February 14: Personal statement
Wednesday, February 20: Preparing your CV
Thursday, February 21: eDossier nuts and bolts
Registration is available for each session.
Reminder: Trustees Teaching Award nominations are due January 18
Each year the Indiana University Board of Trustees recognizes excellence in teaching through the prestigious Trustees Teaching Award. More than 50 IU School of Medicine teachers are expected to receive the award this year. Nominations for the 2019 awards are due Friday, January 18.
Tenured and tenure-track faculty and librarians engaged in teaching are eligible, as are full-time clinical faculty and full-time lecturers whose primary duties are teaching, including IU School of Medicine faculty who may be located at medical centers or be paid by institutions other than Indiana University (e.g., IU Health Physicians, Eskenazi Health, Purdue University, Veterans Affairs, Ball State University, etc.).
Save the date: RESPECT Center conference is March 1
Registration is open for the IUPUI RESPECT Center 2019 conference, “Let’s Talk Palliative Care: A Holistic Approach,” which will be held from 7:30 am-4 pm, Friday, March 1, at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana. Keynote speaker is national palliative care expert J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH, professor, University Washington Medical School. Sessions feature regional experts in pediatric, oncology and geriatric palliative care and end-of-life issues. More details and registration are available.
Apply by January 18 for diabetes-related research funding
The Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Pilot and Feasibility program fosters the development of new diabetes-related investigators and provides seed support for innovative, high-risk projects.
Investigators at Indiana University, IUPUI, Purdue University, Ball State University, University of Notre Dame, University of Cincinnati, Emory University and the Indiana Biomedical Research Institute are eligible to apply. The program is directed at new investigators and established investigators new to diabetes-related research. The program will also consider established diabetes investigators pursuing high-impact/high-risk projects or projects that are a significant departure from their usual work.
More details are available. Application deadline is Friday, January 18.
Research enhancement grant funding is available; apply by January 16
The IU School of Medicine Research Enhancement Program is designed to stimulate research productivity at the statewide regional campuses, including the Bloomington Medical Sciences Program. All full-time center/medical sciences faculty, regardless of tenure status, having an appointment of assistant/associate/full professor or assistant/associate/full scientist at time of submission, are eligible to apply for a Research Enhancement Grant. Primary appointment must be in IU School of Medicine.
More information and application submission details are available. Application deadline is Wednesday, January 16.
Biomedical research grant application deadline is January 16
The Biomedical Research Grant program is open to all full-time IU School of Medicine faculty, regardless of tenure status, who have an appointment as assistant/associate/full professor or assistant/associate/full scientist. Research projects that will benefit from this grant program include projects of investigators new to IU School of Medicine who do not yet have extramural funding and who need support to acquire the preliminary data necessary to compete for extramural funding; and research projects of established IU School of Medicine investigators who are between funding periods from extramural sources.
Application deadline is Wednesday, January 16. More details are available.
IU Health’s Murphy pens article in support of “smart public policy” to discourage smoking
Indiana University Health is one of more than 100 organizations seeking to help reduce Indiana’s higher-than-average smoking rate--and the incidence of smoking-related health problems--by taking part in the Raise It for Health Coalition. The coalition is calling for Indiana legislators to increase the state’s cigarette tax (by $2 per pack)--something Indiana hasn’t done in 11 years. IU Health President and CEO Dennis Murphy addresses the issue and why “smart public policy” can save lives in this IBJ Viewpoint column.
Eskenazi Health marks anniversary on current site
This month Eskenazi Health celebrates the five-year anniversary of the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus. The historic move from Wishard Hospital to the Eskenazi Health campus occurred on December 7, 2013.
Since opening in 2013, there have been nearly 90,000 patients admitted to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital; nearly 10,000 babies born in the Sablosky Family Labor & Delivery Center, including 151 sets of twins and one set of triplets; nearly half a million patient visits to the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department; and nearly 4 million outpatient visits, including patient visits to Eskenazi Health Center and Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health locations throughout Indianapolis.