Faculty and Staff News
Breakthroughs in two research priority areas published this week
IU School of Medicine researchers made news this week with significant scientific breakthroughs in two of the school’s research priority areas: triple negative breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The discoveries clear the way for the potential development of targeted therapies to treat these devastating diseases.
New promise for triple negative breast cancer treatment
Unlike the three most common forms of breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer has no currently approved targeted therapies for treatment. Xiongbin Lu, PhD, an IU School of Medicine researcher in the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research and his collaborators recently reported in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology several important findings related to triple negative breast cancer and its treatment future.
According to the paper now available online, TP53 is the most frequently mutated gene in triple negative breast cancer, meaning it is fueling the growth of this aggressive form of breast cancer. However, the problem with trying to target mutated TP53, specifically, is that it is not a druggable target, because of its potential toxicity--or ability to kill--nearby healthy cells. The team went hunting for an alternative target and discovered POLR2A. Using nano-technology, the team developed a modified version of POLR2A in the form of a “nano-bomb” that they delivered into cancerous cells, which significantly reduced tumor growth and left the healthy cells intact. Learn more about the study.
Breakthrough in potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease and CTE
Equally significant findings related to Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) were reported in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature by an international team of scientists, including IU School of Medicine researchers Bernardino Ghetti, MD, and Ruben Vidal, PhD. Together with their UK colleagues, Ghetti and Vidal discovered that the pathologies of CTE and Alzheimer’s disease are not the same. Their discoveries, which have major implications for treatment, dispel the long-held belief that the diseases had the same pathology.
Using cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), the researchers examined tau tangles extracted from the brains of an American football player and two professional boxers, all recognized neuropathologically as having suffered from CTE. What they determined is that the fold of the abnormal tau protein in CTE is different from the tau fold in Alzheimer’s disease. This same research team discovered the Alzheimer’s disease tau fold in 2017, a discovery which was featured on the cover of Nature.
The research team’s most recent findings could potentially lead to new and targeted treatments for both Alzheimer’s disease and CTE. Learn more about the study.
“It is a very proud day for the Indiana University School of Medicine, its researchers and the Indiana life sciences community,” said Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs, IU School of Medicine. “These breakthrough discoveries are the key first steps in developing targeted treatments for each of these diseases, where none have existed before. It is through scientific discoveries such as these that IU School of Medicine can lead the way towards developing precision approaches to treatment and prevention of such devastating diseases. My hearty congratulations to all of the teams involved.”
Apply this spring for physician-focused business programs through IU’s Kelley School of Business
As academic health centers grow into more complex systems, physician leaders must be able to execute a wider array of business decisions than ever before. In response to the growing demand for greater business acumen among physicians, IU School of Medicine has partnered with the IU Kelley School of Business on a series of leadership development programs aimed at optimizing faculty’s extensive medical expertise with insight into business and leadership, as they relate to healthcare.
“More is expected of today’s physicians than ever before, and much of the business acumen required to lead isn’t traditionally taught in medical school,” said IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, executive vice president for university clinical affairs. “Through this partnership with the Kelley Business School, IU School of Medicine is bridging that learning gap by equipping faculty with a greater understanding of the business aspects of medicine. The outcomes will improve patient care and system efficiency while also creating a pipeline of future physician leaders.”
Applications are now being accepted for the various offerings, which include educational opportunities for junior faculty and mid-career faculty, and the two-year Kelley Physician MBA Program, a degree specifically designed for physician leaders.
Application deadline is Monday, April 15, for:
Application deadline is Wednesday, May 15, for:
Search underway for associate dean for wellness, chief wellness officer
IU School of Medicine and IU Health Physicians are looking for an accomplished physician executive to develop a vision and wellness strategy for the school and practice plan. The associate dean for wellness at IU School of Medicine will also serve as chief wellness officer for IU Health Physicians, fostering wellness to mitigate burnout among learners, faculty, physicians and advanced practice providers employed by IU School of Medicine and/or IU Health Physicians.
Information about key responsibilities and minimum qualifications is available. The position will be open until filled.
Faculty member sees clear mission in career
April Jones, OD, has always felt a calling to help people see. It’s what led her to be an optometrist in the first place and what she loves most about her job. Every day she meets people in need and is able to help them, to bring relief to the fear and anxiety they might have about vision problems they’re experiencing.
Sometimes that calling takes her across the world, where she’s able to assist those less fortunate.
Jones, an optometrist and assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology in the IU School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology, recently returned from a volunteer trip to Africa with an international nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those with limited access to eye care.
The group, Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH), is a non-governmental organization that relies on the goodwill of its physician-members to operate clinics on mission trips around the globe. Chapters of VOSH regularly travel to parts of the world where residents don’t receive consistent eye care due to financial constraints, lack of transportation or an insufficient number of local doctors.
“To live in the world with so much technology, it’s unbelievable that there are people who can’t see just because they need glasses,” Jones said. “I feel extremely lucky that I could help so many people in such a meaningful way.”
To learn more about why Jones is looking forward to her next trip, read this Spirit of Medicine blog post.
February research awards total more than $11 million
Research Summary Table Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Nicholas Anton Association For Surgical Education New Using augmented mental imagery to enhance robotic performance 1/1/19 12/31/20 $25,000 Chenleng Cai National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New T-box transcription factor Tbx2 in coronary vascular development and disease 3/1/19 12/31/19 $477,249 Larry D. Cripe Leukemia And Lymphoma Society New Retrospective Real World Study of AML Patients Phase I 2/1/19 10/31/19 $281,125 Linda A DiMeglio Benaroya Research Institute At Virginia Mason Renewal (not prev committed) Immune Tolerance Network- EXTEND 2/1/19 1/31/20 $74,976 Rob Dimmitt Indiana University Health New Helping Those Who Help Others: A Hands Free Speech Enabled Clinical Assistant Giving Real Time Answers at the Point of Care 5/1/18 4/30/20 $150,000 Molly Duman Scheel National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Functional assessment of the regulation of mosquito sexual dimorphism by non-coding RNAs 2/1/19 1/31/20 $236,250 Eric S Ebenroth Riley Children's Foundation New Susan P Murphy Fund for Pediatric Cardiology Research 1/1/19 12/31/19 $45,000 Anthony B Firulli National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Weinstein Cardiovascular Development Conference 5/1/19 4/30/20 $30,000 Monika Fischer University Of Wisconsin New Fecal Microbiota Transplant for Treatment of C. difficile Infection in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients 9/15/18 8/31/19 $138,834 Tatiana M Foroud Michael J Fox Foundation For Parkinsons Research Renewal (not prev committed) Indiana University Genetics Biobank and Michael J Fox Foundation Fox Bionet Study 1/1/19 12/31/19 $173,860 Tatiana M Foroud Lumind Foundation New Down Syndrome Biorepository 2/7/19 12/31/19 $56,747 Tatiana M Foroud Michael J Fox Foundation For Parkinsons Research Renewal (not prev committed) Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative Wide Spread Recruitment Initiative (PPMI WRI) 1/1/19 12/31/19 $826,142 Mark W Geraci National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Role of TSG-6 mediated hyaluronic acid cross-linking in acute lung injury 2/1/19 1/31/20 $50,016 Flora Hammond Craig Hospital (colorado) New Characterization and Treatment of Chronic Pain after Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury 9/30/18 9/29/19 $16,500 Eri Hashino Northwestern University New Stem Cell Regeneration of Human Spiral Ganglion Neurons toward Hearing Restoration 9/30/18 9/29/19 $87,096 Marimar Hernandez-Perez Jdrf New Role of 12-HETE/GPR31 axis in Islet Beta Cell Health and Autoimmune Diabetes 3/1/19 2/29/20 $62,640 T George Hornby Us Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Mechanisms and Efficacy of High-Intensity Variable Training in Patients with Incomplete SCI 9/30/18 9/29/22 $2,369,447 Chandy C John National Institute Neurological Disorders & Stroke Renewal (not prev committed) Malarial Impact on Neurobehavioral Development (MIND) 2/1/19 1/31/20 $537,648 Rachel Adria Katzenellenbogen National Cancer Institute New HPV E6 and NFX1-123 in differentiation, cell regulation, and cancer 9/1/18 5/31/19 $314,843 Rachel Adria Katzenellenbogen Seattle Children's (hospital) New HIV integration-mediated modulation of immune regulation in HPV-associated cancers 9/1/18 8/31/19 $20,618 Savita Khanna Ohio State University New Target Aberrant Epigenetic Events in the Treatment of Sepsis 1/1/19 3/31/19 $15,000 Amelia K Linnemann Augusta University New Longitudinal Intravital Imaging of Biosensor-labeled ß-cells and Hepatocytes in Diabetic Mice 11/1/18 6/30/19 $74,767 Natascia Marino Pepperdine University New Mammary tissue host-microbiome interactions in breast cancer development 9/30/18 9/29/21 $25,279 Larry Wayne Markham Vanderbilt University Medical Center New Development of a Multimodal Biomarker Platform for Predictive Risk Stratification of Cardiac Disease in Duchenne Muscluar Dystrophy 9/24/18 8/31/19 $22,600 Ulrike Mietzsch University Of California, San Francisco New HEAL-EEG ¿ Neurophysiologic measures of Epo treatment for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) 9/30/18 6/30/19 $12,403 Kelly Nicole Holohan Nudelman University Of California, San Diego New A Phase 2 Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of BHV-4157 in Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer Disease 4/1/18 9/30/20 $431,741 Shannon Leigh Risacher National Institute On Aging New Multi-Domain Sensory Measures as Biomarkers of Alzheimer¿s Disease in Preclinical and Prodromal Stages 2/15/19 11/30/19 $611,139 Sashwati Roy Metis Foundation New Electroceutical dressing against traumatic and burn wound biofilm infection 9/30/18 9/29/19 $603,853 Andrew J Saykin Duke University New Metabolomic Signatures for Disease Sub-classification and Target Prioritization in AMP-AD 1/21/19 8/31/19 $113,400 Jodi Lynn Skiles Teen Cancer America New Indiana University Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) Program at IU Health 2/5/19 2/4/22 $268,862 Jodi Lynn Skiles Children's Hospital Of Los Angeles New Eliminating Total Body Irradiation (TBI) for NGS-MRD Negative Children with B-ALL (Endrad) Trial 1/17/19 9/30/20 $16,000 Jodi L Smith Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Riley Children's Endowment Grant #18-A104 Seizure Surgery Multidisciplinary 4/1/19 3/31/20 $25,000 Edward F. Srour National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New CD166 Regulates Human and Murine Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function and the Hematopoietic Niche 2/1/19 12/31/19 $354,375 Dimitrios Stefanidis Indiana University Health Renewal (not prev committed) Advances in Medicine (AIM) Fostering Skill Building for Surgeons Project Period 3 7/1/18 6/30/19 $20,000 Method Tuuli National Institute Of Child Health, Human Devl. New Prophylactic Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Obese Women at Cesarean: Multicenter Randomized Trial 9/3/18 8/31/19 $523,567 Bree Ashley Weaver Health And Hospital Corporation Of Marion County Renewal (not prev committed) Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center (MATEC) Program 7/1/18 6/30/19 $12,221 Julie L Welch University Of Pittsburgh New University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute 6/1/18 5/31/19 $38,397 Lei Yang National Institute Of Child Health, Human Devl. New Identification of Novel Human LncRNAs Controlling Human Cardiogenesis https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-042.html 2/1/19 1/31/20 $250,399 Stephanie Ware American Heart Association Incorporated New The Role of MCTP2 in Cardiovascular Development 1/1/19 12/31/20 $53,688 Kenneth E. White National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Changes in phosphate metabolism cause pathologic cardiac remodeling in chronic kidney disease (CKD) 2/1/19 1/31/20 $599,299 Kara K Wools-Kaloustian Albert Einstein College Of Medicine Of Yeshiva Uni Renewal (not prev committed) Central Africa International Epidemiologic Database to Evaluate AIDS 7/1/18 6/30/19 $11,992 Bryan K Yamamoto Phrma Foundation New A New Mechanism of Serotonin Transporter Regulation by Simvastatin and the Isoprenylation Pathway 1/1/19 12/31/19 $21,000 Lei Yang National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Toward Regeneration of Whole Bioartificial Human Heart 1/1/19 6/30/19 $914,569 Ji Zhang American Society Of Hematology New Impact of metabolic adaptation on leukemia therapy and oncogenic signal 7/1/19 6/30/21 $150,000
Faculty and Staff News
April 19 is deadline to nominate colleagues for two staff awards
IU School of Medicine annually accepts nominations for a number of faculty and staff recognition awards. Nominations for two of the staff awards are due Friday, April 19:
- The Deb Cowley Staff Leadership Award honors a professional staff employee who demonstrates a contribution to faculty assistance, coaching and/or development.
- The Lynn Wakefield Unsung Hero Staff Award recognizes staff employees who demonstrate outstanding reliability in the execution of duties without expectation of recognition.
Nominations for these faculty awards are due Saturday, June 1:
Application details and the names of past recipients are available at the links above.
Cardiology leadership position now open
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.
PLUS program supporting underrepresented minorities now accepting applications
A new program for underrepresented minorities (URM), PLUS (Program to Launch URM Success) is designed to support the career development of minority faculty in academic medicine. PLUS is a two-year cohort program, structured around two pillars--leadership and scholarship--and bolstered by networking, advising, career coaching and wellness programming that is tailored to meet the needs of underrepresented minority faculty.
In addition, PLUS helps IU School of Medicine departments and units retain and promote high-talent faculty from underrepresented groups who have the expertise and skills to enhance the school’s institutional mission.
Herring named emeritus professor
B. Paul Herring, PhD, has been approved for the emeritus title of professor of cellular & integrative physiology. The emeritus appointment will be awarded on May 1, 2019, when Herring retires. He has served on the IU School of Medicine faculty since 1992.
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." Herring’s emeritus status was approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson. IU School of Medicine congratulates Herring and appreciates his contributions to the school and university.
Indiana CTSI spring retreat in Bloomington to focus on obesity in rural Indiana
“Addressing the Obesity Problem in Rural Indiana: New Paradigms, Research, Directions and Opportunities to Improve Health Outcomes in Indiana Communities” is the focus of Indiana CTSI’s upcoming retreat on the Bloomington campus.
Addressing ways to curb obesity in the state, the spring retreat 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.
Apply by April 15 for IU Simon Cancer Center Wright scholarship fund
The IU Simon Cancer Center William J. Wright Scholarship Fund supports second- and third-year medical students conducting cancer research and who wish to pursue a career in the care of patients with cancer. The scholarship fund program awards students who have displayed strong humanistic qualities throughout their medical school career.
Students are expected to devote at least two months of their school year to a project that will further the care of patients with cancer, including a formal basic, translational or clinical science research project; quality improvement project; health outcomes research, or cancer awareness program. Students need to identify a mentor and a research project, which should be included in the application. Awardees will be required to attend Cancer Research Day on Wednesday, May 15.
More information and the application are available. Application deadline is Monday, April 15.
Learning Health System Young Investigator Award applications due May 13
IU School of Medicine, Indiana University Health and the Regenstrief Institute seek applicants for the Learning Health System (LHS) Young Investigator Awards. These awards aim to train faculty to improve patient care and health system operations through the systematic generation, adoption and application of evidence. Clinicians and health system leaders work together to ensure that evidence is updated, disseminated to clinical teams and communicated to patients in ways that support shared decision-making. Learning health systems are essential as the health care landscape becomes increasingly characterized by rich sources of information that are available in digital formats, programs and applications.
More information and the application are available. Application deadline is Monday, May 13.
Cancer Research Day abstracts due April 15
The IU Simon Cancer Center is now accepting abstracts for posters to be presented at the May 15 Cancer Research Day.
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.
Kovacs is new American College of Cardiology president
Richard Kovacs, MD, the Q.E. and Sally Russell Professor of Cardiology, is the newly installed president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). He is the seventh IU School of Medicine faculty member to assume this role.
“I am honored to serve as president and spend the next year leading the ACC in realizing its vision and strategic goals,” said Kovacs.