Faculty and Staff News
Match Day is tomorrow
Celebrate Match Day with the Class of 2019 by tuning in to the live-streamed event on the IU School of Medicine Facebook page on Friday, March 15. Coverage will begin at approximately 11:35 am EDT with students opening their envelopes at precisely noon EDT to learn where they will spend the next part of their journey in medicine.
For those planning to attend in person, Match Day will be held in the IUPUI Campus Center, CE 450, on the IU School of Medicine-Indianapolis campus. Doors will open at 10:30 am, and visitor parking is available in the Vermont Street Garage.
Match Day is an annual event when fourth-year medical students from across the nation learn their residency details from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Additional information is available on the IU School of Medicine Match Day MedNet page.
Don’t forget to get social: Use #IUSM2019 and #MatchDay to share your Match Day experiences online.
Irish among us: Students from Ireland gain research experience at IU School of Medicine research labs
In March, it’s all things Irish. But for more than 10 years , the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research at IU School of Medicine has been lucky to host dozens of young researchers from Northern Ireland’s Ulster University. The graduate students work in Wells Center labs, gaining research experience and technical prowess while networking with their Indiana counterparts.
Anthony Firulli, PhD, the Carleton Buehl McCulloch Professor of Pediatrics, initiated the program at IU after working with Ulster students during the late 1990s and early 2000s when he was an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
"They're primarily working in cardiac development, but we have had students working in the Glick Eye Institute and labs associated with the IU Simon Cancer Center," Firulli said. "Ulster's director of the program, Dr. Christopher Mitchell, takes significant time with potential candidates identifying smart, adventurous, risk-taking, positive students and setting them up with interviews with faculty here."
Learn more about the research program, including insights from current participants, in News at IUPUI.
Braters to chair IU Center for Global Health development board
During more than a dozen visits over the past 24 years, Stephanie and Craig Brater have witnessed the transformative development of the health care system in western Kenya, and that experience will fuel more global health advances as they assume leadership of the Indiana University Center for Global Health development board.
Established in 2010, the IU Center for Global Health is improving the delivery and effectiveness of health care, training leaders in global health, and conducting groundbreaking research. The center’s signature program is AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare), a partnership between Kenyan and North American universities and academic health centers.
IU School of Medicine’s partnership with Moi University School of Medicine and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya began in 1990 and led to the creation of AMPATH in 2001. Dr. Brater served as dean of IU School of Medicine from 2000-13, and the Braters began visiting the partnership in 1995. Seeing the success of this partnership firsthand made the Braters fierce advocates, and they have led many groups of friends and colleagues on tours of the program’s clinical care, research and education programs in Eldoret, Kenya.
“Advancing global health is an example of institutional role modeling of professionalism—namely, placing the needs of others above your own. To be immersed in that environment is fulfilling and an example of what medicine and life in general should be all about,” said the Braters.
For more on the couple’s appointment and the center’s work in Kenya, visit the Newsroom.
Take note of shuttle schedule changes
To better meet the needs of riders, the IU Health shuttle service within the academic health center in downtown Indianapolis has updated its hours. Effective Monday, March 11, new shuttle hours are:
Monday - Friday, 6 am-8 pm
Saturday, 8 am-5 pm
Monday - Friday, 7 am-6 pm
Get information about shuttle routes and schedules or track shuttle locations in real time. To make special arrangements for large groups, carts, large equipment or special circumstances, call shuttle dispatch at 317.948.0975.
Save the date: IU Day is April 10
IU Day is on the way. Plan ahead to celebrate all things Indiana University on Wednesday, April 10. This fourth annual 24-hour celebration recognizes IU and the supporters who make the university’s world-class research and education possible. Learn more with this FAQ.
Researchers discover groundbreaking test for PTSD
A cutting-edge blood test discovered by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers could help more accurately diagnose military veterans and other people experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and potentially provide more precise treatments and prevention.
A study led by psychiatry professor Alexander Niculescu, MD, PhD, and published this week in the high-impact Springer Nature journal Molecular Psychiatry, tracked more than 250 veterans in over 600 visits at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis to identify molecules in the blood that can help track stress intensity. The researchers used a careful four-step approach of discovery, prioritization, validation and testing. According to Niculescu’s findings, the blood test can accurately identify people who are at risk of stress disorders or are experiencing them severely.
“PTSD is a disorder that affects a lot of veterans, especially those involved in combat. They deserve our gratitude and the very best care, and we are making every effort to deliver that. It’s also an underappreciated and underdiagnosed disorder among the civilian population, whether it be the result of abuse, rape, violence or accidents,” said Niculescu, who worked with other Department of Psychiatry and VA researchers on the study, as well as collaborators at The Scripps Research Institute and University of California Irvine. “Countless people are underdiagnosed with stress disorders, which may manifest themselves by drinking more, other addictions, suicide or violence. Our research has broader relevance for not just veterans but the general public.”
Learn more about the decade-long study in this Newsroom post.
$10 million NIH grant to help investigators build good bones and strong muscles
More than a billion people worldwide struggle with musculoskeletal conditions. From arthritis to back pain, these ailments are the second-leading cause of disability, and have the fourth-greatest impact on the overall health of the world population, according to the United States Bone and Joint Initiative.
Investigators at the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health at Indiana University School of Medicine are working to drive those numbers down, particularly among the aging population, with the support of a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The five-year grant award from the National Institute on Aging at the NIH is expected to total more than $10.4 million. It will support research by IU School of Medicine investigators, along with their counterparts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and University of Texas at Arlington.
Center director Lynda Bonewald, PhD, will lead the multi-institution study aimed at showing how communication between muscle and bone can affect overall health. The team is particularly interested in developing therapies for osteosarcopenia, a condition marked by the loss of both bone density and muscle mass and which is common among older people.
“Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of medical costs in this country. It’s more than if you combine cancer and heart disease,” said Bonewald, who was tapped by IU School of Medicine in 2016 to build the Center for Musculoskeletal Health. “What we hope to accomplish is to understand muscle and bone crosstalk so we can develop new therapeutics that will prevent osteosarcopenia.”
For more on the NIH-funded research, read the Newsroom post.
TV host Trebek's diagnosis shines light on pancreatic cancer
The recent announcement by longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer has placed the disease squarely in the spotlight for many Americans. A fixture in living rooms across the country, the game show host is one of about 1.6 percent of Americans who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute. Of those diagnosed, only 8.5 percent of patients survive five years.
Due to several factors including an absence of early symptoms, pancreatic cancer often goes undiagnosed until it is advanced, which greatly reduces treatment options.
“Chemotherapy slows the progression of the disease, but it is not a cure,” said Evan Fogel, MD, professor of medicine. “The only potential cure for pancreatic cancer is surgery, and 85 percent of patients are not candidates for surgery because the cancer has already spread.”
Researchers continue to seek more reliable tools for diagnosing pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer earlier. Fogel speaks with optimism when discussing the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Consortium for the Study of Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer (CPDPC). He leads IU School of Medicine’s association with the group of only 10 member institutions.
The mission of the consortium is to develop tools for early diagnosis and treatment of chronic pancreatitis and its complications, including pancreatic cancer. People with chronic pancreatitis have a tenfold greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer. However, there is no magic safeguard against pancreatic cancer because anyone can develop the disease. A few risk factors have been identified, including cigarette smoking. People who smoke are twice as likely as nonsmokers to get pancreatic cancer. Other studies have identified obesity and inactivity as risk factors, as well as a diet high in fat and smoked or processed meats.
“The only way to beat pancreatic cancer is to diagnosis it earlier,” Fogel said.
For more on IU School of Medicine’s work to fight the deadly disease, read this Spirit of Medicine blog post.
IU researchers study long-term effects of alcohol on liver
More than half of Americans ages 18 and older drink alcohol regularly, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And while for any single person there are a variety of factors--genetics and the environment among them--that can turn social drinking into something more dangerous, alcohol remains the nation’s third leading cause of preventable death, claiming an estimated 88,000 lives each year.
Excessive alcohol consumption takes a particular toll on the liver, with effects ranging from fatty deposits that may cause few to no symptoms to cirrhosis and severe liver failure that require organ transplant or lead to death. Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine are studying one of the more serious and deadly forms of liver disease associated with heavy drinking--liver dysfunction and failure referred to as alcoholic hepatitis.
“Any person who drinks enough over a period of time will get a fatty liver from such drinking, but at this stage it is 90 to 95 percent reversible within 12 weeks if the person stops drinking,” said Naga P. Chalasani, MD, IU School of Medicine associate dean for clinical research and division chief of gastroenterology and hepatology. “If drinking continues, a small percentage of people will get this very florid alcoholic hepatitis with high mortality; 30 percent of people die within three months--many of whom, more recently, are individuals younger than 35.”
Faculty and Staff News
Nalin departing for position at University of Minnesota Medical School
Peter Nalin, MD, FAAFP, who is currently leading the Bloomington campus as its associate dean and interim director, will depart Indiana University School of Medicine in June to assume leadership roles at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
In Indiana, Nalin previously served as family medicine residency director and associate dean for graduate medical education. From 2014-2018 as the school’s executive associate dean for educational affairs, Nalin helped steer the school through its successful reaccreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and the rollout of a new curriculum for medical education.
“We wish Peter the best of luck in this new endeavor and thank him for his service,” said Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA. “Since joining our school in 2001, he has been an advocate for students and has been driven by a commitment to helping medical students, residents and other learners thrive both during their time at the school and throughout their careers.”
In Minnesota, Nalin will serve in the newly created role of associate dean for rural medicine and serve as the new head (chair) of the Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health on the Duluth campus.
Search underway for cardiology leader
The IU School of Medicine Department of Medicine and Indiana University Health are looking for a cardiology leader to serve as cardiology division chief at the school and vice president of the IU Health Cardiovascular Institute (CVI). The individual will lead the newly formed IU Health CVI to implement and oversee cardiac services. The successful candidate will have a strong background in academic leadership across the tripartite clinical, education and research missions. Additional qualifications include a national reputation in cardiology, a record of scholarship in the discipline and documented success in strategic initiatives.
Priority application review deadline is Monday, April 22. Position description and additional information are available.
Tips to avoid bias in recommendation letters
Did you know that in reference letter writing, comments about women are seven times more likely to mention personal life? Or that the average recommendation letter for men is 16 percent longer than letters for women?
As the season approaches for students to request letters of recommendation, IU School of Medicine Medical Student Education has developed this informational tool for avoiding bias in letters of recommendation and other reference writing.
Clinical Learning Environment Review begins next Tuesday at IU Health Methodist Hospital
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) will conduct a Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital March 19-21. The CLER Program is a component of the ACGME’s New Accreditation System (NAS). Through this program, field representatives (site visitors) visit the major participating sites of institutions responsible for training residents and fellows to assess the clinical environments in which clinical training occurs. The evaluation focuses on six areas: health care quality, supervision, patient safety, professionalism, well-being and care transitions.
The field representatives conduct a series of group meetings and walk rounds. Walking rounds allows the CLER team to visit the clinical areas within the clinical learning environment. The walking rounds are not tours; they serve as opportunities for the site visitors to speak with individuals in the learning environment.
New this year is Operative and Procedural (OP) Sub-protocol: The OP sub-protocol will consist of meetings with the operative services leadership, quiet observations of the process of care, one-on-one and impromptu small group interviews, and scheduled small group interviews with scrub and circulating nurses.
IU Simon Cancer Center opens call for Cancer Research Day abstracts
The IU Simon Cancer Center is now accepting abstracts for posters to be presented at Cancer Research Day, which is Wednesday, May 15.
Students, fellows and faculty conducting cancer research at IUPUI, Indiana University-Bloomington, Purdue University and the Harper Cancer Research Institute, a collaboration between IU School of Medicine and the University of Notre Dame, are eligible to present at Cancer Research Day.
Abstracts should be submitted in one of the following research categories:
- Basic science
- Population science/epidemiology
- Translational/clinical research
Abstracts will be divided and compared by the following groups within each research category:
- Clinical nurse
- Graduate student
- Medical student
- Post-doctoral/medical fellow
- Research technician
- Undergraduate students
- Faculty (not eligible for cash award)
Visit Cancer Research Day for all of the details and to complete the online abstract submission form. The deadline to submit the form is Monday, April 15, at 5 pm.
All posters, except those from faculty, will be judged for cash awards dependent upon the number of submissions for each category.
Cancer Research Day is an annual event that aims to increase understanding and awareness of IU Simon Cancer Center research endeavors and encourage collaboration with other cancer research institutions in Indiana.
Plan now to attend April 24 Indiana CTSI spring retreat at IU Bloomington
Researchers and the public are welcome to attend the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s (CTSI) spring retreat, focused on curbing obesity in the state.
This year’s event, “Addressing the Obesity Problem in Rural Indiana: New Paradigms, Research, Directions and Opportunities to Improve Health Outcomes in Indiana Communities,” will be held from 8 am-3 pm, Wednesday, April 24, in Franklin Hall, 601 E. Kirkwood Avenue, in Bloomington. It will include lectures by top researchers and government officials from IU, the Indiana State Department of Health, The Ohio State University, Louisiana State University and the National Institutes of Health.
Abstract deadline extended for Collaborating Across Borders VII October conference
The Collaborating Across Borders VII (CAB VII) conference will be held in Indianapolis October 20-23. The CAB conference series is the premier signature event for the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (CIHC), in partnership with the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative (AIHC), and is focused on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Launched in 2007, the series provides a way for educators, clinicians, researchers, policymakers and students from both sides of the border to engage in rich, productive dialogue.
Students, residents and fellows are welcome to be co-authors on any submission and/or reviewers of submissions if they are AIHC/CIHC members. CAB VII has a separate call for poster submissions exclusively for trainees. Abstract submission has been extended until Sunday, March 31, due to an exciting opportunity for CAB VII presenters to be featured in a special edition of the Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice.
This year’s conference, “Crossroads of Collaboration” brings together a wide range of submissions focused on improving health outcomes. Four broad tracks--education, leadership, practice and policy--were chosen to ensure a variety of ideas, perspectives and strategies are shared.
More information about the CABVII conference in Indianapolis is also available.
Questions? Email Kelsey Binion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 28 is deadline to apply for pilot funding for research use of core facilities
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) pilot funding promotes the use of technologies and expertise offered by the Indiana CTSI core facilities available at all partner institutions. Successful proposals will demonstrate outstanding scientific merit that can be linked to generating extramural funding or novel intellectual property. Success of the program will be viewed, in part, by the fostering of new funded grants or providing significant contributions to grant renewals.
Proposals must use a CTSI-designated core facility. Application details are available; deadline to apply is Thursday, March 28.
Apply by April 1 for Indiana CTSI core equipment grants
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) is seeking proposals from CTSI-designated IU School of Medicine cores that are requesting support for the purchase of equipment. Funding is available for equipment to enhance the research environment and contribute to the research mission of the school and Indiana CTSI.
Submission deadline is Monday, April 1. Learn more.
IU School of Medicine programs honored by U.S. News
U.S. News & World Report issued its Best Medical Schools rankings this week. IU School of Medicine was recognized for its programs in primary care, research, family medicine and pediatrics.
IUPUI reduces campus speed limit
If you’re driving on the Indianapolis campus, you’ll need to slow down. Speed limits for the entire IUPUI campus have been reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph. The lowered speed limit is now in effect for all streets located between 11th, New York and West streets and White River Parkway. The speed reduction is a part of IUPUI’s pedestrian safety and driver education campaign, Busy Campus, Busy Streets.