Robert Pascuzzi, MD, to serve as interim chair of neurosurgery
Robert M. Pascuzzi, MD, IU School of Medicine’s longtime chair of the Department of Neurology, will assume additional responsibilities as interim chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery effective Friday, February 1. He succeeds Nicholas Barbaro, MD, who is stepping down after seven years of leadership of the department.
“Bob is a highly respected leader who has forged strong relationships with faculty throughout the neurosciences departments,” said Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA. “He is beloved by residents and a champion for his patients, and I am confident he will partner with our neurosurgery faculty, staff and residents to ensure we continue to successfully fulfill all aspects of our mission.”
Pascuzzi steps into the interim role as IU School of Medicine and IU Health Physicians continue to move forward with building and integrating a neurosurgical practice into IU Health Physicians by January 1, 2020. The integration is intended to ensure the delivery of highly coordinated care and to maximize alignment of clinical, research and educational missions.
Over the past seven years, more than 60 physician groups have been brought into IU Health Physicians, the clinical practice home for IU School of Medicine faculty physicians. Leadership from both the school and practice plan have articulated a goal to make IU Health Physicians the Midwest’s premier academic multi-specialty physician group.
“I am confident that Bob’s extensive experience and collaborative nature make him the right person to help navigate the department through this transition,” Hess said.
As interim chair, Pascuzzi will recruit faculty, ensure continuity in the neurosurgical residency program, and ensure continued excellence in research and clinical endeavors. The school will open a national search for a permanent successor as soon as possible.
Pascuzzi will retain his responsibilities as chair of the Department of Neurology.
An IU School of Medicine graduate, Pascuzzi completed his neurology residency and fellowship training at the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty at IU School of Medicine in 1985, was named acting chair of the Department of Neurology in 2003 and permanently assumed the leadership role in 2004.
Remembering Tony Frimpong: Service in Indianapolis is February 6
A remembrance service to celebrate the life of Tony Frimpong, a fourth-year medical student who passed away in December, will be held at 5 pm, Wednesday, February 6, in Ruth Lilly Learning Center Conference Rooms A&B, 705 Riley Hospital Drive.
Students may request to leave clinical and course activities early as an excused absence to attend the service. They should communicate with their course or clinical leaders in advance to confirm schedule changes. Faculty are asked to support students who wish to attend the service by excusing them from required courses and clerkships.
A celebration of life service was held earlier this month in West Lafayette--Frimpong’s home campus.
Research, breakthroughs and precision health: A Q&A with Anantha Shekhar
Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, began wondering how the human brain works as a teenager--when he saw how a tumor changed the personality and eventually took the life of a close friend. Shekhar graduated from medical school in India before coming to IU in the late 1980s for his residency in psychiatry and a PhD in neuroscience. He joined the faculty in 1989. Today he oversees all research activities at IU School of Medicine. In this Strategic Voices Q&A, find out more about Shekhar, including his thoughts on precision health and addressing the monumental issue of addiction.
Review IU School of Medicine’s adverse weather policy
Subzero temperatures this week caused cancellations at Indiana University campuses across the state. With several weeks of winter still ahead, now is a good time to review the IU School of Medicine Adverse Weather Policy for details on how inclement weather impacts students, faculty, staff and residents at the school’s nine campuses. Find information about campus operations, campus-wide cancellations, delays and closures through IU-Notify emergency alerts and local radio stations.
National Cancer Institute site visit is Tuesday, February 12
The National Cancer Institute will conduct an intensive site visit at IU Simon Cancer Center on Tuesday, February 12. During the visit, Patrick Loehrer, MD, cancer center director, will present an overview of the center and review its six essential characteristics: facilities, organizational capabilities, transdisciplinary collaboration and coordination, cancer focus, institutional commitment and his role as center director.
Leaders of the cancer center’s four research programs--Cancer Prevention and Control, Experimental and Developmental Therapeutics, Hematopoiesis and Hematologic Malignancies, and Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis--also will present overviews of their respective programs.
Four to six weeks after the site visit, the cancer center will receive a draft summary statement. In April or May, the NCI’s review committee, having received feedback on the draft from cancer center leadership, will produce the final summary statement for the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB). The NCAB will issue the final summary statement in May or June before the new funding cycle begins in September.
As an NCI-designated cancer center, IU Simon Cancer Center is among an elite group of just 70 centers across the country. Like other NCI cancer centers, IU Simon Cancer Center focuses on the rapid translation of research discoveries to directly benefit people with cancer.
Medical library will be closed on February 2 and 9
The Ruth Lilly Medical Library will be closed on Saturday, February 2, and Saturday, February 9, for planned electrical work in the Medical Research and Library Building (IB). During these two weeks, the 24-hour study area also will be closed from 9 pm Friday (February 1 and 8) until the library re-opens on Sunday (February 3 and 10) at noon.
Living in Kenya expands medical student’s views of global health
The internet may have brought people on Earth closer together, but it is a still a wide world of wonder and opportunity. Third-year medical student Helen Wu Li is taking it all in. Her experiences in Africa last year as a Slemenda Scholar and this year as Doris Duke Fellow have changed her view of the world. These experiences just might lead her to initiate some big changes in the field of global health.
Read about Li’s time in Kenya and how it’s changed her view of health around the world in this Global Health blog post.
Pediatric faculty member earns NIH award to expand research
As an assistant professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine, Megan McHenry, MD, already had a life full of children. Last fall, it quickly went from being full to overflowing.
In September, McHenry welcomed twins who made her the mother to four children under age four. Two weeks later, she received a K23 research award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to significantly expand her pediatric neurodevelopmental research in Kenya.
Many people would be exhausted just reading those two sentences together, but McHenry was thrilled to learn of her research award while still adjusting to her two new family members. “Part of me wanted to jump to the computer to get started, but I really wanted to enjoy the early days with the babies,” McHenry said.
McHenry’s research will instead commence later this year and will be conducted as part of IU’s participation in the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) partnership in Kenya. The research aims to identify appropriate brain development screening instruments for use in HIV-exposed Kenyan children. Children born to HIV-infected mothers are more likely to have neurodevelopmental delays than children not exposed to HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than one million children are born to HIV-infected mothers annually, but early identification and referral to intervention are not routinely provided.
To learn more on McHenry’s research, read this Global Health blog post.
Finding Inspiration and Resilience in Medicine (FIRM) conference is February 6
Plan to attend the 2019 Finding Inspiration and Resilience in Medicine (FIRM) conference, a free, one-day conference focused on promoting wellness and resilience, and preventing burnout in medical trainees and doctors. The conference will be held from 10 am-4:30 pm, Wednesday, February 6, in the Van Nuys Atrium and Emerson Hall. Free, long-sleeved T-shirts and lunch will be provided. Registration deadline is Sunday, February 3. View a list of speakers.
February 20 History of Medicine Talk to focus on lessons in medical humanities
“From the Gallows to the Dissection Table: Lessons in Medical Humanities” is the topic of the History of Medicine Talk from noon-1 pm, Wednesday, February 20, in the Emerson Hall Auditorium. Featured speaker is Rebecca Messbarger, PhD, professor of Italian and founding director of medical humanities, Washington University. The History of Medicine Talks series is co-sponsored by the Ruth Lilly Medical Library, the IU School of Medicine Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, History of Medicine Student Interest Group, the John Shaw Billings History of Medicine Society and the Medical Humanities Program.
Sign up for February medical library classes
The Ruth Lilly Medical Library offers a wide variety of classes for IU School of Medicine students, faculty and staff. The February class schedule is now available and includes the following courses:
- Mobile Resources
- Tech Talks: 3D Printing in Health Care
- Love Your Data
- EndNote Basics
- Introduction to Systematic Reviews
Child psychiatry conference to focus on management of suicide risks in youth
The 42nd annual Arthur B. Richter Conference in Child Psychiatry will be held on Friday, March 8, at the Ritz Charles in Carmel. This year topic is “Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk in Children and Adolescents.” Registration is now available.