Faculty and Staff News
Anatomy and physiology merger to foster new collaborations
Two of IU School of Medicine’s basic science departments are merging to foster increased collaboration among disciplines and respond to the evolving manner in which medical education is delivered.
The Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology will officially join with the Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology effective Monday, July 1. The unified department, to be called the Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology, will be led by Kathryn J. Jones, PhD.
The merger was approved by faculty in both departments earlier this year and by the IU Board of Trustees at its June meeting.
“This realignment will bring together our faculty experts from related disciplines and inspire them to collaborate on research and education initiatives in new and innovative ways,” said IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA. “The move is also consistent with changes occurring at other medical schools nationwide, particularly as anatomy and physiology are taught as part of a systems-based integrated medical curriculum."
For more on the benefits of the merger, read the full Newsroom.
Bogdewic retirement prompts several organizational changes
Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, announced changes to the school’s organizational structure intended to further promote a culture of wellness and respect.
Effective Monday, July 1, Mental Health Services will become a unit of Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity, and the Ombuds Office will report directly to the dean. The changes are prompted by the retirement of Executive Vice Dean Stephen P. Bogdewic, PhD, who had supervised both offices.
“Steve’s nearly three decades of experience with the school made him uniquely qualified to help develop and champion these important programs,” Hess said. “He provided an extraordinary service to the IU School of Medicine community that will benefit faculty and learners for many years to come. As he retires, we thoughtfully considered how best to ensure these programs continue to receive the level of executive support necessary to thrive and flourish.”
Other aspects of Bogdewic’s portfolio, such as responsibility for strategic planning, are being distributed among other members of the school’s leadership team.
For more details on the changes, read the Strategic Voices blog post.
School launches Scholarly Concentrations Priority Placement Program
IU School of Medicine is launching a new admissions opportunity that will enable students to secure placement in a unique educational program that explores critical issues in health care.
Students accepted to IU School of Medicine through the new Scholarly Concentrations Priority Placement Program will learn of their admission in December—earlier than many applicants.
Applicants are eligible to apply for priority placement at any of the school’s eight regional campuses outside of Indianapolis. Each campus offers at least one scholarly concentration in topics such as Quality and Innovation in Health Care; Ethics, Equity and Justice; Biomedical Engineering and Applied Medical Technology; Human Sexuality and Health; and others.
“This is an exciting opportunity for students who plan to pursue a career in medicine to develop knowledge and make connections that will help them tackle some of the most pressing problems in health care,” said Paul M. Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement. “We are looking for students who are excited about the prospect of supplementing their clinical work with scholarly activity that will benefit their future patients, health systems and health care overall.”
For more on the program, visit the Newsroom.
Zakeri named director of IU School of Medicine CME division
The IU School of Medicine Division of Continuing Medical Education, a leading provider of CME offerings to health care learners in all 50 states, has a new director. Bita Zakeri, PhD, HBA, MA, joined the CME division on June 24, after serving for a year as project manager for Paul M. Wallach, MD, IU School of Medicine executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement. Zakeri was responsible for oversight and implementation of educational initiatives across the school’s nine campuses.
“With a strong background in educational program design, development and evaluation, Bita brings to this role the expertise necessary to continue to expand and improve IU School of Medicine’s robust CME program,” said Michelle Howenstine, MD, senior associate dean, graduate medical education and continuing medical education. “Managing the delivery of nearly 550 live offerings annually—along with even more series and online CME programs—is no easy task, and we look forward to Bita’s leadership of an exceptional team of professionals who have made our program so highly regarded in recent years.”
Prior to joining IU School of Medicine, Zakeri served as research lead in continuing professional development curriculum design and education at McMaster University. An alumna of Indiana University, she earned a doctorate in literacy, culture and language education from IU in 2017. She completed a master’s degree in English literature from Southern Illinois University in 2008 and earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and multimedia at McMaster University. She was an adjunct faculty member both at Indiana University Bloomington and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Zakeri succeeds Kurt Snyder, JD, who departed IU School of Medicine last August to lead the CME office at Stanford University.
IU School of Medicine CME is the designated provider of physician CME credit for Indiana University Health statewide and the school’s nine statewide campuses. The program has provided credit to nearly 71,000 physician learners and more than 32,500 non-physician learners. Offering continuing education for a diverse range of health care professionals, IU School of Medicine CME is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
May research awards total over $9.5 million
Research award amounts Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Elliot J Androphy National Institute Neurological Disorders & Stroke Renewal (not prev committed) The COPA vesicle protein and pathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy 5/15/2019 4/30/2020 $386,779 Tatsuya Aonuma American Heart Association Incorporated New The axis of long noncoding RNA MIAT and microRNA-150 in acute myocardial infarction 4/1/2019 6/30/2020 $67,370 Teresita M Bellido National Institute Arthritis Musculoskeletal Skin Renewal (not prev committed) Glucocorticoid-induced Atrophy in Bone and Muscle 6/1/2019 5/31/2020 $346,500 Cynthia Diane Brown Cystic Fibrosis Foundation New Treatment Preferences of CF Patients on CFTR Modulators 4/1/2019 3/31/2020 $51,281 Joan M Cook-Mills National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Tocopherol regulation of the development of responsiveness to allergen early in life 4/24/2019 5/31/2020 $13,597 Richard Dahl Rally Foundation For Childhood Cancer Research New Mirn23a/b MiRNAs: Novel Pediatric Leukemia Tumor Suppressors 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $25,000 Richard Dahl Rally Foundation For Childhood Cancer Research New Mirn23a/b MiRNAs: Novel Pediatric Leukemia Tumor Suppressors 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $25,000 Melissa L Fishel Us Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Exploring a novel signaling node for therapeutic efficacy in MPNST 6/1/2019 5/31/2021 $154,047 J Dennis Fortenberry University Of Alabama Birmingham New STI CTG TA1 TO13 - Protocol Development, Implementation and Analysis for Development and Validating an easy to administer instrument to define Penicillin (B-lactam) allergy status in STD outpatients 9/21/2018 6/30/2019 $5,754 Laura Sue Haneline Riley Children's Foundation New Neonatal Medicine Research Fund-RCF Fund 2622 5/1/2019 4/30/2020 $3,500 Tom Hummer National Institute Of Mental Health New Virtual Reality to Improve Social Perspective Taking in Youth with Disruptive Behavior Disorders 5/15/2019 4/30/2020 $796,274 Rachel Adria Katzenellenbogen National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Cellular RNA binding and regulation by NFX1-123 and its perturbation by high risk human papillomavirus E6 6/1/2019 5/31/2020 $6,312 Rachel Adria Katzenellenbogen Grace M. Showalter Trust New Showalter Scholar - Rachel Katzenellenbogen 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $25,000 Weiming Mao National Eye Institute New Cross-talk between TGF-beta and Wnt pathways in the trabecular meshwork 7/16/2018 6/30/2019 $378,869 Weiming Mao Grace M. Showalter Trust New Showalter Scholar - Weiming Mao 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $25,000 Thomas W McAllister Henry M Jackson Foundation New Service Academy Longitudinal mTBI Outcomes Study - A Prospective Cohort Study 7/1/2018 6/30/2022 $4,964,781 Kathryn Nevel Ecog-acrin Cancer Research Group New Change in Relative Cerebral Blood Volume as a Biomarker for Early Response to Bevacizumab in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma 3/1/2019 2/28/2023 $35,200 Kathleen M. O'Neil Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia Renewal (not prev committed) Urinary HER2 as a biomarker for lupus nephritis 10/1/2018 9/30/2019 $10,000 Eric Scott Orman Duke University Renewal (not prev committed) PAL-LIVER (¿Palliative Care in the Treatment of End Stage Liver Disease: A RandomizedControlled Trial¿) (Year 2) 1/1/2019 12/31/2019 $150,000 Jeni Prosperi American Cancer Society, Incorporated New APC regulation of doxorubicin resistance in breast cancer 7/1/2019 6/30/2023 $792,000 Jamie L Renbarger St. Baldrick's Foundation New One-on-one exercise program in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors with a certified clinical cancer exercise specialist 5/20/2019 8/2/2019 $5,000 Sashwati Roy Ohio State University New Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Oral Therapy on Healing of Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers in Older Adults 10/1/2018 4/30/2019 $22,308 Don Jay Selzer Foundation For Surgical Fellowships New Bariatric/MIS Fellowship Grant 8/1/2020 7/31/2021 $20,000 Asif A Sharfuddin Vanderbilt University Medical Center New APOL1 and Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Vanderbilt Clinical Center 11/19/2018 5/31/2019 $9,085 Todd C Skaar National Institute Of General Medical Sciences New MIRA-Regulation of drug metabolizing enzymes 5/1/2019 4/30/2020 $496,125 William J. Sullivan University Of California, San Francisco New Discovery of Novel Antimalarial Leads Targeting Translational Repression in Multiple Parasite Life Stages 2/1/2019 1/31/2020 $58,275 William J. Sullivan Grace M. Showalter Trust Renewal (not prev committed) Disrupting RNA modification as a novel treatment for parasitic infection 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $60,000 Ronald C. Wek Grace M. Showalter Trust Renewal (not prev committed) Translation and Stress Regulatory Pathways in Health and Disease 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $60,000 Lei Yang National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Transcriptional Factor SOX2, LncRNA HBL1, microRNA1 and PRC2 Epigenetic Complex Compose a Network to Orchestrate Cardiac Differentiation from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $501,960 Nicholas Joseph Zyromski Foundation For Surgical Fellowships New Foundation for Surgical Fellowships HPB Fellowship grant 8/1/2020 7/31/2021 $20,000
IU School of Medicine one of five sites chosen to participate in IGNITE trials
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced Indiana University School of Medicine as one of five prestigious sites that will share $42 million in grant funding over the next five years for the second phase of the Implementing Genomics in Practice (IGNITE) network clinical trials. The Indianapolis site is led by Co-Principal Investigators Todd Skaar, PhD, professor of medicine, and Paul Dexter, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine and a member of the Regenstrief Institute.
The IGNITE studies use patients’ genomic information to help guide the provider’s selection of drug therapies. The overall hypothesis of IGNITE is that a patient’s outcome should improve when treatment is genetically directed.
Skaar is also director of the IU Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative’s Pharmacogenomics Program.
“The IGNITE trials will provide valuable insights that, together with our pharmacogenomics’ efforts in the Precision Health Initiative, are expected to improve our ability to safely and effectively treat common diseases across the state of Indiana,” said Skaar.
Specifically, the IGNITE trials will recruit a total of 2,000 patients from Indiana University Health and Eskenazi Health. The first study of 1,000 patients is focused on improving hypertension control in African American patients. Individuals of African American descent with hypertension are more likely to progress to chronic kidney disease than their European or Asian counterparts. This study will determine whether early access to relevant genomic data helps to improve their blood pressure control and outcomes. In the second study, 1,000 patients suffering from acute pain, chronic pain or depression will be assessed to determine if genetic-guided therapies improve their response to opioids and antidepressants.
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative picks IU team for Human Cell Atlas award
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recently announced that a team of IU School of Medicine researchers is joining a select group of scientists, computational biologists, software engineers and physicians as winners of the CZI Seed Networks for the Human Cell Atlas awards.
The research group is led by Harikrishna Nakshatri, PhD, the Marian J. Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research. Joining him as co-principal investigators are Yunlong Liu, PhD, T. K. Li Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics, and Anna Maria Storniolo, MD, professor of clinical medicine and founder and executive director of the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank. All are researchers at the IU Simon Cancer Center and the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is awarding $68 million in funding to support the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) and its selection of 38 collaborative science teams to launch the Seed Networks projects. The HCA is a global effort to create a reference map of all cell types in the human body—with a goal of generating a fundamental reference for biomedical research. Mapping the healthy breast at the single-cell level has been a focus of Nakshatri’s group for years, and the support of $750,000 over the next three years from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will help further that effort.
For more on the award and the team’s research, visit the Newsroom.
Funding to help researchers study link between high blood sugar and cancer
It is well understood that people with diabetes have an increased risk for a number of other health complications—including cancer. Last year, when IU School of Medicine researchers demonstrated that inflammation can increase risk for leukemia, they wondered if it was also the culprit that placed people with diabetes at a higher risk for blood cancer. Now, a large research grant will help them find answers.
Reuben Kapur, PhD, has been awarded $2.3 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study the progression of preleukemic stem cells—those bearing certain mutations associated with leukemia—to full-blown cancer in the context of diabetes. They will use the funds to examine and assess cancer progression under conditions of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, in animal models over the next four years.
“Insulin regulates blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes—whose bodies don’t make a sufficient amount of insulin—can easily become hyperglycemic,” said Raghu Mirmira, MD, PhD, diabetes researcher and collaborator for the study. “Over time, hyperglycemia can cause damage to cells and tissues, putting people with diabetes at higher risk for developing other health issues.”
Kapur said that his team hypothesizes that hyperglycemia in blood stem cells and progenitor cells can destabilize the expression of tumor suppression genes, which prevent cancer development.
“When expression of tumor suppressors is lost or destabilized, cells grow uncontrollably and can eventually lead to cancer,” said Kapur. “Our early data suggest that a tumor suppressor called TET2 gets destabilized when exposed to high glucose.”
Visit the Newsroom for more details on the research.
Researchers learn dangerous brain parasite “orders in” for dinner
IU School of Medicine researchers have discovered how a dangerous parasite maintains a steady supply of nutrients while replicating inside of its host cell: it calls for delivery.
Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite capable of infecting any animal, including humans. Up to one-third of infections in people happen through contact with cat waste or contaminated food or water. Although the parasite only causes acute disease in immune compromised persons, the infection is permanent and has been associated with neurological diseases such as schizophrenia and rage disorder.
The parasite can invade virtually all types of cells in the body. Once inside, it begins to divide exponentially, a process that requires a great deal of resources. The parasite extracts most of the nutrients it needs for replication from its host cell, including essential amino acids like arginine. Because arginine is quickly depleted from the host cell, researchers wanted to learn where the parasite gets more of the amino acid to fuel its expansion into the hundreds.
In a collaborative study funded by the National Institutes of Health, microbiology and immunology professor Bill Sullivan, PhD, and biochemistry and molecular biology professor Ronald Wek, PhD, identified a cellular starvation stress response that occurs within two hours after Toxoplasma infection. The study was led by Leo Augusto, a postdoctoral fellow in the Sullivan and Wek laboratories, who used a variety of mutant host cells to discern that a protein called GCN2 becomes activated as parasites consume the host cell’s arginine supply.
Read more about the research in the Newsroom.
Faculty and Staff News
Personalized emails to detail compensation for new fiscal year
All benefits-eligible Indiana University School of Medicine faculty and staff will soon receive information about their compensation for the fiscal year that begins on Monday, July 1.
As part of a new university process, each employee will receive a personalized email that includes the employee's base salary, health and welfare information, retirement benefits, and IU tuition benefit. For clinical faculty, the amount indicated only represents the portion of compensation funded by the university. Additional compensation for clinical activities will not be reflected in the message.
While departments and units will still inform employees of any pay changes before the new fiscal year starts, the new notification will include more information. It will replace the salary letter notices some employees have received in the past.
Staff and faculty with 12-month appointments should expect to receive the more comprehensive notification in July.
Employees who would like to check their information throughout the fiscal year can do so at any time through the "Employee Center" app in One.IU by clicking on the "total rewards" button.
MedConnect app replaces IUSM Mobile: What you need to know
What’s new with IU School of Medicine’s mobile app? For starters, it’s all new. The school recently launched MedConnect, which replaces IUSM Mobile. If you have IUSM Mobile downloaded on your phone, when you launch the app, you’ll see a message that the app is retiring and a quick link to your phone’s app store to download MedConnect. It’s quick and easy and will enable you to take advantage of some new and improved functionality, including an app that’s more task oriented with capability to filter by regional campus.
While the initial release of MedConnect is learner focused, the plan is to add more content and features for faculty, staff and learners in the future.
Have ideas or suggestions for MedConnect? Tap the drop-down menu at the top right of the app’s homepage and scroll to “Send Feedback.”
Trippel named emeritus professor
Stephen B. Trippel, MD, has been approved for the emeritus title of professor of orthopaedic surgery and anatomy and cell biology. The emeritus appointment will be awarded on Monday, July 1, when Trippel retires.
Joining IU School of Medicine in 2001, Trippel served as professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery through 2003. He has been an active member of the faculty for the past 16 years, seeing patients at Roudebush VA Medical Center and Eskenazi Health, while continuing the research that has produced more than 40 published peer-reviewed articles and 20 book chapters. Through his entire career, Trippel has spent a considerable amount of time teaching and has continued to receive some of the highest marks in evaluations from both residents and medical students.
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." Trippel’s emeritus status was approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson. IU School of Medicine congratulates Trippel and appreciates his contributions to the school and university.
Residents selected for Global Health Residency Track
New residents from ten diverse specialties have been selected to join the IU School of Medicine Interdepartmental Global Health Residency Track coordinated by the Indiana University Center for Global Health.
The interdepartmental Global Health Residency Track is a co-curricular, optional track for medical residents while they complete their specialty training. The global health track engages highly motivated residents to better understand the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to health and disease throughout the world. The program equips residents to address health disparities and encourages long-term commitment to global health issues domestically and internationally.
The 22 new residents in the track will join the classes ahead of them to make 61 residents and fellows in the global health track.
Apply by July 15 for AAMC Mid-Career Minority Faculty Leadership Seminar
Mid-career minority faculty interested in developing leadership competencies in academic medicine may apply for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Mid-Career Minority Faculty Leadership Seminar to be held October 10-12, in Washington, DC. This seminar is designed for associate professor-level faculty who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups.
Applications should include curriculum vitae and a brief statement about how the seminar will provide career enhancement. Applicants must be an associate professor at an AAMC member institution. Self-nominations are welcome. All nominations should be emailed to email@example.com by Monday, July 15.
Save the date: Mark Brothers Award lecture is September 10
Amy Shiu Lee, PhD, recipient of the Mark Brothers Award, will present "Critical role of the unfolded protein response regulator GRP78/BiP in cancer” on Tuesday, September 10, in Walther Hall (R3), Room 203.
Lee is the associate director for basic research and professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on the mammalian stress response and molecular chaperones. Lee’s lab has made numerous discoveries in understanding how these genes are regulated and their role in the development of human diseases.
The Mark Brothers Award was established in 1997 in honor of Dr. Guey C. Mark's older brothers who emigrated from Canton, China. They settled in South Bend, Indiana, where they built a successful restaurant business. Due to their reverence and respect for higher education, Mark’s brothers supported his pursuit of a career in medicine.
Registration is available for the lecture and a reception immediately following.
July 1 is deadline to apply for PHI’s Precision Diabetes Program
The Precision Health Initiative’s (PHI) Precision Diabetes Program seeks proposals for pilot projects from Indiana University investigators who want to utilize, build upon and enhance the current research being conducted by this team. Applications should focus on understanding the risk and/or optimizing the treatment of gestational diabetes in pregnant women. The purpose of this grant is to allow researchers passionate in the field of diabetes and/or personalized medicine to pursue their interests while contributing to and strengthening the merit of the overall PHI diabetes project.
Two pilot projects will be selected annually, and each is limited to $10,000 (total cost) for one year, with the potential for reevaluation and additional funding after the first year.
More details are available. Visit Indiana CTSI to download the application and for full award description. Application deadline is Monday, July 1. Completed applications should be emailed to David Haas, MD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit LOIs by Monday for alcohol use disorders research funding
The Indiana Alcohol Research Center is soliciting proposals for pilot projects from investigators who want to develop research on alcohol use disorders. Applications pertinent to basic mechanisms and genetic underpinnings of alcohol preference or compulsive drinking and tolerance are welcome. Previous experience in research on alcoholism is not required. Letters of intent are due Monday, July 1, and full applications are due Sunday, September 1. Eligibility and submission details are available.
Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter earns honorable mention
The IU School of Medicine chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society received an honorable mention from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in recognition for its activities this past year. The chapter, whose members are fourth-year medical students, was honored for its involvement in the school’s White Coat Ceremony, members’ advocacy efforts and its role in helping to integrate principles of humanism into the school’s curriculum.
“We advocated for mental health, physician burnout and suicide awareness and prevention this year, in hopes of normalizing the conversation and bringing awareness and tools to medical students and healthcare providers,” said Chanelle Benjamin, MD, Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter president for 2018-19. “It’s a critical issue in which we all share responsibility for one another.”
“Receiving the honorable mention this year was due, I believe, to our chapter officers and members who really moved the organization into service and action,” said Jerry Rushton, MD, MPH, the chapter’s faculty advisor. “They accomplished so many different things and kept momentum throughout the year, which is not easy for busy senior medical students.”
The Gold Humanism Honor Society “recognizes students, residents and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors and leaders in medicine.” The society has more than 150 chapters and 30,000 members in training and practice across the nation.
IU Genetic Testing Laboratories accredited by the College of American Pathologists
The IU Genetic Testing Laboratories in the Division of Diagnostic Genomics, IU School of Medicine Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, was awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP). The accreditation was based on a recent on-site inspection conducted by CAP representatives, which included practicing pathology and laboratory medicine professionals.
The U.S. government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program. During the CAP accreditation process, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.
Riley ranks in nine U.S. News & World Report pediatric categories
In the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of top pediatric hospitals, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health ranked in nine pediatric specialties, and remains the only nationally ranked children’s hospital in Indiana.
Eight specialty programs ranked in the top 25 with Riley at IU Health’s Cardiology and Heart Surgery and Urology programs ranked in the top 10. Riley specialties recognized in the 2019-20 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals include:
- Cardiology and Heart Surgery
- Diabetes and Endocrinology
- Gastroenterology and GI Surgery
- Neurology and Neurosurgery