News to Use

  • IUSM Emergency Medicine Residency Program places first in national physician's survey

    Three residency programs at the IU School of Medicine have placed highly in a new physician-based review of postgraduate medical training programs.

    The first-ever large-scale survey of physicians on the quality of postgraduate training programs across the country was conducted by Doximity, an online network for physicians, which announced the results in U.S. World and News Report.

    The IU School of Medicine residency programs that placed in the top 20 nationwide are:

    "We're very excited about these rankings and think they recognize something that we've known internally for a very long time, which is that ours is a superb residency program," said Cherri Hobgood, M.D., chair and Rolly McGrath Professor of Emergency Medicine at the IU School of Medicine. "It's a testament to the fact our residency is a long-standing program recognized for educational excellence. That we've got one of the best residency training programs in the country isn't a secret to us, and now it's clear it's not a secret to everyone else too."

    The program's strengths included a nearly 40-year history, status as one of the largest residency programs in the country, and access to a remarkably wide range and number of patients through level-1 trauma centers at IU Health Methodist Hospital, the Lois & Sidney Eskenazi Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

    "There are a lot of unique challenges in the training of emergency physicians," Dr. Hobgood said. "It's a very unique skill set and requires both a depth and breadth of medical knowledge. Our decision-making is also very rapid, so you need to train your mind to be highly focused and attentive to detail.

    She also credited the talent, dedication and mentorship of the department's 85 full-time and volunteer faculty, who embody the values and abilities needed to train the next generation of physicians in the high-intensity field.

    The program attracts applicants from across the country and provides leaders to academic departments and hospital divisions across the U.S., with alumni represented in all 50 states, she said.

    Doximity's report was based upon a survey of 18,695 site users who completed a U.S. residency in internal medicine. A total of 9,174 nominations were submitted by 3,410 internists.

    To see the complete report, visit Doximity's Residency Navigator.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Oxford to step down as executive director of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute on July 1

    Gerry S. Oxford, Ph.D., executive director of the Paul and Carole Stark Neurosciences Research Institute and professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the IU School of Medicine, will step down from his role as executive director of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, effective July 1, 2015. 

    Dr. Oxford will retain his position as professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the IU School of Medicine through the end of 2016.

    Dr. Oxford joined the IU School of Medicine in 2003 as a professor and executive director of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute. Prior to IU, he was a distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also served as director of the neurobiology graduate program for 15 years.

    As executive director of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Dr. Oxford has facilitated the recruitment of over 20 new neuroscience faculty to the IU School of Medicine, restructured and expanded the neuroscience doctoral program, served as co-director of the inaugural BioCrossroads neuroscience initiative and helped launch the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund. He also lead the development of the thematic program and laboratory design for the newly opened IUSM Neuroscience Research Building, serves on the steering committee of the IU Health Neuroscience Center, and co-leads the neuroscience component of the IU Health/IUSM Strategic Research Initiative.

    “It has been my distinct privilege to serve as the inaugural director of the Stark Institute and foster the growth of neuroscience at IU School of Medicine," Dr. Oxford said.  "It is an exciting time for neuroscience at IU and the momentum reflected in the development of the neuroscience center will propel us to a position of national prominence in basic and translational research.”

    As a researcher, Dr. Oxford has over 40 years' experience in multidisciplinary investigations of ion channels and receptors, for which he has received almost continual support from the National Institutes of Health. His lab has contributed significantly to the understanding of sensory neuron properties related to pain and is one of the foremost in the study of "functional selectivity" of dopamine receptors.

    Dr. Oxford holds a doctorate in physiology from Emory University and bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry from Elon University. He served as a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology at the Duke University School of Medicine.

    He also has been a president of the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs and of the Society of General Physiologists. 

    A search committee chaired by Tatiana Foroud, Ph.D., professor of medical and molecular genetics and director of Hereditary Genomics Division, and Mary Dankoski, Ph.D., executive associate dean of faculty affairs and professional development, will begin screening applicants for the director of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute shortly.

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Research News

  • IU scientists report that blocking one gene could aid social behavior in some forms of autism

    IU scientists have reported in journal Nature Neuroscience that blocking a single gene active in the brain could provide a means to lessen behavioral problems among children with a common genetic disease, many of whom are also diagnosed with an autism disorder.

    The genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis type 1, is one of the most common single-gene diseases, affecting about 1 in 3,000 children worldwide. As many as one in five cases of autism may be associated with the same biochemical defects seen in neurofibromatosis type 1, according to Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D., Raymond E. Houk Professor of Psychiatry, an author on the study.

    Using a mouse model of neurofibromatosis, IU scientists found mice with the disease had problems with long-term social learning, including remembering important social cues involving interactions with other mice. Tests also showed that neurochemical pathways between structures of the brain involved with social behavior were disrupted by the neurofibromatosis mutation. However, blocking the activity of another gene -- called Pak1 -- improved social behaviors of the mice. Mice bred to have both the neurofibromatosis mutation and the deletion of the Pak1 gene engaged in social behavior similar to normal mice. In addition, mice with the neurofibromatosis mutation that were injected with a compound known to block Pak1 gene activity had normal social behavior restored.

    The findings could lead to novel approaches to treating behavioral problems that are seen in NF1 patients and some patients with autism spectrum disorders, according to D. Wade Clapp, M.D., Richard L. Schreiner Professor of Pediatrics, who is also an author on the study. Additional scientists on the study were Andrei I. Molosh, Philip L. Johnson, John P. Spence, David Arendt, Lauren M. Federici, Cristian Bernabe, Steven P. Janasik, Rajesh Khanna, Chirayu Goswami, Weiguo Zhu, Su-Jung Park and Lang Li of the IU School of Medicine; and Zaneer M. Segu and Yehia S. Mechref of the Department Chemistry, METACyt Biochemical Analysis Center at IU.

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  • IU-Regenstrief system improves developmental delay screening and surveillance

    A new study from IU School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute researchers reports that a computerized clinical decision support system is helping parents answer such questions.

    The system, which they developed to automate pediatric care guidelines, significantly increased the number of children screened for developmental delay at 9, 18 and 30 months of age, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The physician decision support system also significantly improved developmental delay surveillance by eliciting concerns from parents at other visits to the pediatrician. It also increased the number of children who ultimately were diagnosed as having developmental delay and who were referred for timely services at an earlier age.

    The Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation system, known as CHICA, helps pediatricians comply with clinical guidelines for their patients in the short time allotted for preventive care. CHICA prioritizes (from among the hundreds of questions programmed into CHICA) the 20 most important questions for a specific patient based on the child's age, medical history and outcomes of past appointments. Originally paper-based, and now presented to parents on tablet computers, the English- or Spanish-language questionnaire is completed in the waiting room before seeing the physician.

    The study, which was performed at four primary care pediatric clinics in the Eskenazi Medical Group, appears in the September 2014 issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

    For more information, visit the IUSM Newsroom.

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  • Nominations sought for IUSM Faculty Awards -- deadline Oct. 15

    New faculty awards for teaching, mentoring, and community engagement are being launched this year. Each awardee will be recognized with a monetary award and certificate at the spring faculty meeting. The Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development encourages all faculty, staff, and learners to nominate their colleagues, mentors and teachers. 

    "It’s important that all faculty members know that their work is valued, and this new awards program offers an opportunity to recognize our outstanding teachers and mentors," said Mary Dankoski, Ph.D., executive associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development.

    The awards are supported by the IUSM Faculty Community Relations Committee, the IUSM Faculty Development Coordinating Committee, and the IUSM Teaching Awards Committee. Nominations for each award are due Wednesday, Oct. 15, to

    • Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Awards: Mentoring among faculty at IUSM is a crucial element in sustaining a vital faculty community, promoting faculty development, and increasing faculty retention.  The  Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Awards underscores our commitment to endorse mentoring among our faculty. These awards recognize the outstanding mentoring efforts of one clinician and one basic scientist each year that actively mentor other faculty members and learners. 
    • Inspirational Educator Award: The purpose of the inspirational educator award is to recognize faculty who inspire their learners and motivate them to work hard and achieve more than they thought possible on their own. This prestigious award acknowledges the time and dedication faculty take to be exceptional teachers. 
    •  Outstanding Community Engagement Award: The Faculty Community Relations Committee Award for Outstanding Community Engagement was established to recognize and encourage exceptional community engagement by IUSM faculty in activities such as, but not limited to, volunteerism, community based learning or research, outreach, partnerships, and curricular engagement. 
    • Scholar Educator Award: The purpose of the scholar educator award is to recognize faculty who go beyond simply teaching and approach education in scholarly manner. This prestigious award acknowledge faculty who approach teaching and learning from a scholarly lens.

    For more information, visit the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development awards Web page.

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  • IUSM-Terre Haute scientist receives inaugural immunology fellowship

    Steven Templeton, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the IU School of Medicine-Terre Haute, has been named a recipient of the inaugural American Association of Immunologists Careers in Immunology Fellowships.

    The award, established in 2014, is designed to advance the careers of American Association of Immunologists member scientists by providing stipends to predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. The beneficiary of this fellowship is Nansalmaa Amarsaikhan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at the IU School of Medicine-Terre Haute.

    Dr. Templeton's lab advances to research on respiratory fungal exposures, which contribute to a number of disease states, including asthma, allergic rhinitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis (farmer’s lung). His research focuses on immune responses to Aspergillus fumigatus, an opportunistic human pathogen that can cause invasive infection in immune suppressed individuals.

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  • IUSM grants and awards report -- August 2014

    IU School of Medicine researchers earned about $4.3 million in grants and awards -- excluding commercial projects -- in August 2014:

    Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars
    Elliot J. Androphy, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases New Host control of viral protein function: phosphorylation in the papillomavirus E2 transactivating domain 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $26,901
    Elliot J. Androphy, M.D. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke New Toward drug treatment of spinal muscular atrophy: mechanism of action 8/15/2014 7/31/2015 $260,650
    Jeffrey Owen Anglen, M.D. Johns Hopkins University New Outcomes following severe distal tibia, ankle and/or foot trauma: comparison of limb salvage vs. transtibial amputation protocol (OUTLET Study) 4/1/2013 9/28/2015 $90,000
    Janice S. Blum, Ph.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Renewal Immunology and infectious diseases 8/1/2014 7/31/2015 $283,790
    David L. Boone, Ph.D. Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of American Inc. New Functional studies of ATG16L1 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $2,500
    Jinhui Chen, M.D., Ph.D. Indiana State Department of Health New TBI reshapes neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus 7/1/2014 6/30/2016 $120,000
    D. Wade Clapp, M.D. Fox Chase Cancer Center New Testing the pharmacologic and genetic role of P21 activated kinase inhibition on Schwannoma formation using a novel genetically engineered murine model that closely phenocopies human NF2 disease 5/15/2014 5/14/2017 $116,797
    Simon J. Conway, Ph.D. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Renewal Molecular mechanisms of neural crest-related heart defects 8/1/2014 7/31/2015 $390,000
    Alexander L. Dent, Ph.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases New The role of follicular helper T cells in HIV prime boost vaccination 8/1/2014 7/31/2015 $602,544
    Linda A. DiMeglio, M.D. Jaeb Center For Health Research Inc. New T1D exchange clinic registry celiac disease additional data collection 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $2,501
    Monika Fischer, M.D. University Of Michigan New Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) induces changes in the gut microbiome that lead to UC flares 6/16/2014 6/15/2015 $10,450
    J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases New Development of the vaginal microbiome in young black women 8/15/2014 7/31/2015 $772,643
    Holly Jo Garringer, Ph.D. Grace M. Showalter Trust New Dendritic dysfunction caused by amyloid peptides 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $60,000
    David A Haggstrom, M.D. Harvard University New Explaining variations in end-of-life care intensity 7/31/2014 7/30/2015 $17,036
    Jay L Hess, M.D., Ph.D. University Of Michigan New Targeting the HOXA9 axis in acute leukemia 10/1/2013 6/30/2014 $32,338
    Michael Joe Hobson, M.D. Washington University New Age of blood in children in pediatric intensive care units trial 7/1/2013 5/31/2015 $41,276
    Michihiro Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D. Grace M. Showalter Trust New Targeting PRL2 in acute myeloid leukemia 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $60,000
    Yan Liu, Ph.D. St. Baldrick's Foundation New Targeting PRL2 phosphatase in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $110,000
    James F. Malec, Ph.D. National Institute Of Child Health, Human Devl. New Effectiveness and Patient Selection in Post-Hospital Brain Injury Rehabilitation 8/15/2014 4/30/2015 $78,000
    Jean P. Molleston, M.D. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Renewal Continuation of ChiLDReN, the Childhood Liver Disease Research Network--Indiana University 8/15/2014 5/31/2015 $400,335
    Grzegorz Nalepa, M.D., Ph.D. Riley Children's Foundation New Barth Syndrome Research Fund 6/1/2014 6/30/2015 $6,993
    Jason M. Organ, Ph.D. University Of California, San Diego New Hindlimb muscle function and quality in a rat model of progressive kidney disease 6/1/2014 5/31/2015 $25,000
    Sonia Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Ph.D. Grace M. Showalter Trust New "SKP2 as a novel therapeutic target for childhood T-cell leukemia" 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $60,000
    Ahmad R. Safa, Ph.D. Purdue University New Neurotrophin-secreting muscle stem cell therapy for laryngeal paralysis 3/1/2014 2/28/2015 $94,444
    Andrew J. Saykin, O.D. Indiana State Department of Health New Indiana TBI genetics, biomarker and imaging neurorepository 1/1/2014 12/31/2015 $120,000
    Johnathan David Tune, Ph.D. American Heart Assoc-greater Midwest Affiliate New Cardioprotective mechanisms of apelin therapy in left ventricular hypertrophy 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $46,796
    Fletcher A. White, Ph.D. Indiana State Department of Health New HMGB1-RAGE inflammatory pathway in traumatic brain injury-induced cerebral edema 7/1/2014 6/30/2016 $120,000
    Sarah Elizabeth Wiehe, M.D. American Academy Of Pediatrics New Health barriers among adolescent Burmese refugees 6/12/2014 12/12/2014 $3,000
    Mingjiang Xu, M.D., Ph.D. Grace M. Showalter Trust New Showalter Scholar - Mingjiang Xu 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $25,000
    Xiao-Ming Xu, M.D., Ph.D. Wings For Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation Renewal Novel bioengineered hydrogel combinational therapy for traumatic spinal cord injury 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $36,820
    Mervin C. Yoder, M.D. Riley Children's Foundation New Yoder Lab Fund 7/1/2014 6/30/2015 $262,309

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Around Campus

  • World Health Day Walk to fight heart disease

    Join IUPUI faculty, staff and students in a walk for World Heart Day to demonstrate commitment to reducing preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease. The walk will begin at 11:45 a.m. Monday, Sept. 29, starting at IUPUI’s Wood Plaza Fountain, 815 W. New York St.

    The 1.1-mile walk, which will follow the Cultural Trail to end at Monument Circle, will be led by Paul Halverson, Dr.PH, founding dean of the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. A brief program at the conclusion of the walk will feature local celebrities and VIPs, including Indianapolis first lady Winnie Ballard.

    For more information, visit the Inside IUPUI website.

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