Faculty and Staff News
Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative names chief informatics officer
Umberto Tachinardi, MD, has been named chief informatics officer for the Indiana University Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative, led by Indiana University School of Medicine. IU is investing $120 million in its effort to transform biomedical research, health care innovations and the delivery of health interventions in Indiana.
Tachinardi also will serve as professor of biostatistics and assistant dean for clinical research informatics for IU School of Medicine and as director of clinical research informatics for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and the Regenstrief Institute.
“Dr. Tachinardi will be a tremendous asset,” said Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, executive associate dean for research at IU School of Medicine and founding director of the Indiana CTSI. “He possesses a unique combination of technical expertise, administrative experience and leadership skills that will enable us to better utilize information and technology to provide insights into the vexing problems of individual and population health.”
He will have oversight and responsibility for the clinical and translational informatics elements for the IU Precision Health Initiative and IU School of Medicine.
Read the full Newsroom post for more on Tachinardi’s appointment.
Evening of the Arts is April 27
Plan to enjoy an evening of great entertainment at the 28th annual IU School of Medicine Evening of the Arts on Saturday, April 27. The variety show features performances by IU School of Medicine students, faculty and staff, and will be held at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., in downtown Indianapolis. A mixer and silent auction will begin at 7 pm, followed by the variety show at 8 pm. (Doors to the auditorium will open at 7:50 pm.)
Tickets can be purchased in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and paying with PayPal.
- Students, faculty and staff: $5 until Sunday, April 7; $8 until day of the show; $10 at the door
- Non-students and non-staff: $8 until Sunday, April 7; $10 until day of the show; $12 at the door
Indiana CTSI spring retreat to address obesity in rural Indiana
Obesity in Indiana is the focus of Indiana CTSI’s upcoming retreat in Bloomington. “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 on the Bloomington campus. The retreat will include presentations by top researchers and government officials from Indiana University, the Indiana State Department of Health, Ohio State University, Louisiana State University and the National Institutes of Health.
More Match Day 2019: Medical training gauntlet leads student to St. Louis
For most medical students, Match Day is the pinnacle of a rigorous four-year journey. But students in the highly selective Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) put in eight years before receiving the red envelope that reveals the next step in their training. When he opened his red envelope, Stefan Tarnawsky–soon to wield both an MD and PhD–was elated to find that he’s headed to St. Louis. There, he will complete his internal medicine residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and continue training in medical research at Washington University.
Whether gazing at the cosmos through his telescope or staring down the lens of a microscope, Tarnawsky is a very curious man. Perhaps it is that natural inclination to wonder about life’s little mysteries that inspired his path toward research. But it’s not what led him to pursue medicine.
Tarnawsky was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects nerve cells throughout the body, when he was a baby. He said that two decades of high-quality care and genuine compassion from his pediatrician, a physician-scientist, inspired him to become a doctor and help families like his.
Born and raised in Canada, Tarnawsky said that he was drawn to IU School of Medicine because of its leadership in pediatric research. During his training, he worked in the research laboratories of Mervin Yoder, MD, and Rebecca Chan, MD, at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research studying the mechanisms of a rare pediatric blood cancer called Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia or JMML. During his training, he helped develop animal models to better understand the origins of the disease and presented his findings at several national and international conferences.
Read more about Tarnawsky, one of six trainees to graduate from the MD/PhD dual degree program at IU School of Medicine this year, in this Spirit of Medicine Q&A.
Faculty aim to raise awareness of endometriosis and its symptoms
It’s a painful, chronic disease that affects millions of women worldwide, but many don’t even know they have it.
“It’s a real disease and it’s important not to blow off their symptoms as being normal menstrual cramps,” said Shannon Hawkins, PhD, MD, a faculty researcher with the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and vice president for translational research for the Endometriosis Association. “There’s a point where it’s not normal.”
Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus implants on other parts of the body, such as the bladder or bowels. It causes women to have extremely painful menstrual cycles. The symptoms can be varied depending on where the lining implants, but could include severe pelvic pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and more. In addition to these symptoms showing up during a woman’s monthly menstrual period, endometriosis can also lead to other health concerns, such as infertility or even some cancers.
Despite the potentially long list of symptoms a woman may have, getting an official diagnosis of endometriosis is extremely difficult. Learn why in this Faculty News blog post.
Research awards in March total more than $3.9 million
March 2019 Grant Awards Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Bozic, Molly A Seattle Children's Research Institute New Multicenter study of patient-reported gastrointestinal symptoms in people with Cystic Fibrosis (GALAXY). 3/21/2019 3/20/2021 $25,637 Choi, Jennifer Nicole University Of Michigan New Using Learning Curves to redefine training requirements in General Surgery 8/1/2018 7/31/2019 $5,000 Considine, Robert V. Purdue University Renewal (not prev committed) The role of almonds consumed as a breakfast and snack by adults with different body fat distributions on indices of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 $83,500 Cook-Mills, Joan M Northwestern University New The pathogenic mechanism of anti-phosphatidylethanolamine antibodies 9/1/2018 6/30/2019 $20,962 DiMeglio, Linda A University Of South Florida New Data Coordinating Center for Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet (UC4) 8/1/2018 7/31/2019 $36,044 Firulli, Anthony B National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Transcriptional regulation of cardiac conduction system morphogenesis 3/1/2019 2/29/2020 $671,515 Foroud, Tatiana M Michael J Fox Foundation For Parkinsons Research New PPMI Compliance Study 1/1/2019 12/31/2019 $203,694 Hammond, Flora Memorial Hermann Health System Renewal (not prev committed) Multicenter Evaluation of Memory Remediation after traumatic Brain Injury with Donepezil (MEMRI-TBID) 9/30/2018 9/29/2019 $30,000 Imler, Timothy D University Of Kansas Medical Center Research Insti New PCORnet 2.0/PCRnet Clinical Research Network Infrastructure 11/1/2018 9/30/2020 $197,956 Jin, Xiaoming Us Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Pharmacological enhancement of cortical activity for controlling chronic pain 4/1/2019 9/30/2020 $304,597 Kapur, Reuben National Cancer Institute Renewal (not prev committed) Role of Shp2 in FLT3-ITD induced leukemogenesis 2/11/2019 1/31/2020 $374,063 Kline, Jeffrey Allen National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Design and planning of a multicenter adaptive dose selection trial of fibrinolytics for acute submassive pulmonary embolism 3/1/2019 2/29/2020 $206,059 Monfared, Sara Society Of Amer Gastrointestinal & Endoscopic Surg New Assessing Differences in Ergonomic Strain Between Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery and Identifying Novel Methods for Reducing Ergonomic Risk 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $45,146 Rowan, Courtney Marie University Of Pennsylvania New PROSpect ¿ Prone and Oscillation Pediatric Clinical Trial 6/15/2018 5/31/2019 $14,500 Sen, Chandan K National Institute Of General Medical Sciences New Novel Regulators of Wound Angiogenesis 9/1/2018 12/31/2019 $60,341 Sen, Chandan K National Institute Of Nursing Research New Wound Healing Endpoint and Recurrence 2/21/2019 2/28/2019 $209,659 Spaeth, Jason Michael National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Pdx1 transcriptional activity and beta-cell function are dynamically modulated by coregulators in physiological and pathophysiological conditions associated with Type 2 diabetes 1/1/2019 8/31/2019 $84,448 Sullivan, William J. National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Epitranscriptomics in the AIDS-opportunistic pathogen Toxoplasma gondii 3/8/2019 2/29/2020 $193,487 Tepper, Robert S. National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Physiological Phenotyping of Respiratory Outcomes in Infants Born Premature 3/1/2019 2/29/2020 $795,053 Tuuli, Method National Institute Of Child Health, Human Devl. New Prophylactic Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Obese Women at Cesarean: Multicenter Randomized Trial 9/3/2018 8/31/2019 $388,154 Vreeman, Daniel J Regenstrief Institute, Inc. Renewal (not prev committed) Linking Complex Disease and Exposure Data to Established Data Standards 9/1/2018 8/31/2019 $15,315
Could lettuce help save a life? IU researchers think so
Eat your vegetables. Research at Indiana University School of Medicine is putting a new spin on a familiar dinner table entreaty, offering hope to many patients with hemophilia.
Investigators in the Department of Pediatrics are working to help the 6,600 people in the United States—and others around the world—whose immune systems reject treatment for hemophilia. And one of their leading solutions may surprise you: lettuce.
But not just any lettuce. Roland Herzog, PhD, and his team in the Gene and Cell Therapy Program at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research are collaborating with investigators at the University of Pennsylvania to create a specially engineered version of the produce.
What is hemophilia?
Most people have proteins in their blood plasma that promote clotting when they start to bleed. These proteins, called clotting factors, are necessary to prevent prolonged bleeding. For people with hemophilia, whose blood contains less than 50 percent of one of the essential clotting factors, an excessive internal or external bleed can be life-threatening.
While there is no cure for hemophilia, clotting factor replacement therapy is the most common treatment. It involves injecting a concentrate of one of the clotting factor proteins back into the body. Depending on the severity of the condition, replacement therapy may be necessary up to three times a week in order to be effective. Unfortunately, this treatment only works for two-thirds of patients.
In this Pediatrics blog post, learn how the new therapy—derived from genetically engineered lettuce plants—may be the answer for patients who don’t respond to traditional clotting factor replacement therapy.
Faculty and Staff News
Check out the agenda for April 30 Spring Faculty Meeting
The IU School of Medicine Spring Faculty Meeting will be held from 4:30-6 pm, Tuesday, April 30, in Walther Hall (R3), room C203, on the Indianapolis campus. Agenda items for the spring meeting include:
- Faculty Steering Committee update: Brittney-Shea Herbert, PhD, president of the faculty
- 2019-2020 Faculty election results: Rafat Abonour, MD, president-elect of the faculty
- Trustees Teaching Award recognition: Paul Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement
- Update from the Dean: Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, executive vice president for university clinical affairs, and dean, IU School of Medicine
- Question and answer session
Residents and fellows: Clinical teaching workshop is April 18
The IU School of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education is hosting a teaching workshop for residents and fellows. “Clinical Teaching—Beyond the Basics” will be held from 1-4 pm, Thursday, April 18, in the Medical Library, IB 224 and 225. Register no later than Friday, April 12, by calling GME at 317-274-8282. Refreshments will be served.
Institutional research grants available from the American Cancer Society
The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center announces the availability of funds for new pilot projects to assist new investigators who hold the rank of assistant professor, research assistant professor or assistant scientist. Investigators with an active national competitive research grant (i.e., NIH, NSF, ACS), regardless of topic, are not eligible. Funding is through the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACSIRG), which provides support for beginning investigators to enable them to initiate an independent research program.
The purpose of the ACSIRG program is to attract new investigators from Indiana University into cancer research and to provide support for new pilot studies that will produce preliminary data for the investigator to develop into studies that will compete successfully for external, national funds from both federal and private sources.
More information is available. Further details and application materials may be requested by contacting Crystal Munson, translational research coordinator, at email@example.com. Application deadline is Saturday, June 1.
Learn the fundamentals of Agile Implementation at April bootcamp
The IU School of Medicine Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science is hosting an Agile Implementation (AI) Bootcamp from 9 am-4 pm, Tuesday April 23 through Thursday, April 25.
The bootcamp is a three-day, Continuing Medical Education-accredited course aimed at helping participants identify the right opportunities, assemble effective teams, implement evidence-based solutions and sustain improvement. Attendees will learn how implementation science integrates with quality improvement principles to improve population health outcomes and will leave with the tools to help navigate this complicated process.
Agile Implementation is a proven evidence-based change methodology designed specifically to improve healthcare. Registration and future bootcamp dates are available.
Take advantage of free skin cancer screenings on May 6
Whether or not you’re a sun seeker, don’t miss the chance to get a free skin cancer screening on Monday, May 6. The IU School of Medicine Department of Dermatology, in cooperation with the American Academy of Dermatology, is offering the free exams as part of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Screenings will be available from 7-9 am at IU Health University Hospital, Eskenazi Health Dermatology Clinic and Coleman Hall. Appointments are needed. To schedule, call 317-916-3525.
April 9 “Negotiating the Divide” event to address gender pay gap
The annual “Negotiating the Divide” event for women in medicine and science will be held from 5:30-8 pm, Tuesday, April 9, in Fairbanks Hall, (FS), Room 1110. The discussion brings together industry professionals, established physicians, faculty, residents, students and scientists to discuss pay discrepancies, negotiation skills and to empower female leadership in medicine and science.
This annual event is held each year near Equal Pay Day—the day women must work into the new year to make the same as their male colleagues. Featured speaker is Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech and former lieutenant governor of Indiana. The event is sponsored by the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at IU School of Medicine. Registration is available.
HANDS in Autism offers summer training opportunities for the community
The HANDS in Autism Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center is offering workshops for school personnel and community members. Opportunities include:
- Intensive Summer Training for school personnel, community service providers, administrators and consultants working with preK-12 students with ASD and a range of disabilities
- Mastering Core Skills in Employment and Vocational Rehabilitation Supports for employment providers, coaches, educators and specialists in community, work and school settings (three-day intensive training)
Caine receives IUPUI Bepko medallion
Virginia Caine, MD, has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Gerald L. Bepko IUPUI Community Medallion. The award, created in 2003, honors a person who has made significant and ongoing commitment to community engagement. Caine, director of the Marion County Health Department, will receive the award during the Bringle-Hatcher Civic Engagement Showcase Conference on Tuesday, April 9, at the IUPUI Campus Center.
Bahamonde named founding dean of IU School of Health & Human Sciences
Rafael Bahamonde has been appointed founding dean of the IU School of Health & Human Sciences, effective July 1, subject to formal approval by the IU Board of Trustees. Bahamonde has served as interim dean of the school since it was officially established in July 2018 as a result of the merger of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, or PETM. Prior to Bahamonde's tenure as interim dean of the new school, he served as interim dean of PETM. He has served on the IUPUI faculty since 1996.