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News to Use

  • IUSM Art Exhibit at IUPUI Campus Center gallery through Jan. 2

    The Seventh Annual IU School of Medicine Art Exhibit, including works by IUSM students, staff, faculty and alumni, will be on display in the IUPUI Campus Center Cultural Arts Gallery through Jan. 2.

    This exhibit features more than 60 works of of blown glass, concrete, oil and acrylic paint, needlework, photography and wool. In addition to contributors from IUSM, artists include members of the IU schools of nursing, dentistry and health and rehabilitation sciences, Fairbanks School of Public Health and employees of Roudebush VA, Eskenazi Health and IU Health.

    A Meet the Artists Reception will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. The exhibits and the reception are open to the public.

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  • Department of Biostatistics offers no-cost walk-in clinics

    The IU School of Medicine Department of Biostatistics will soon begin to host a no-cost weekly walk-in clinic. A biostatistician will be available to provide brief consultations on study design, sample size and power calculations, data analysis advice, interpretation of results and statistical software.

    If more in-depth (or potentially fee-based) support is needed, a biostatistician will guide you to the appropriate person.

    No reservations are required. This service is provided courtesy of the Department of Biostatistics and the Indiana CTSI Design and Biostatistics Program.

    For the time and location of the weekly clinic, visit the Department of Biostatistics website.

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Research News

  • IUSM researcher-founded startup teams with development firm

    An IU startup that won a $194,575 federal grant to develop a video game that treats emotional deficits linked to brain injuries has taken the next step toward that goal by partnering with a Broad Ripple design and development firm.

    In collaboration with EmotEd LLC -- along with faculty at the IU School of Medicine and the School of Informatics and Computing -- DeveloperTown has assembled a “wireframe” model of how EmotEd’s Emotion Builder platform will function. Planned applications go beyond the initial focus on traumatic brain injuries and include therapies for stroke patients, people with autism, schizophrenia sufferers and military veterans who experience post-traumatic stress disorder. 

    "It strategically positions us to conduct market research, build a comprehensive commercialization plan and, importantly, seek and ascertain investments," said Dawn Neumann, Ph.D., founder of EmotEd and assistant research professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the IU School of Medicine. "As a rehabilitation research scientist, my knowledge about software development is pretty limited. Working with DeveloperTown has opened my eyes and extended my original vision of the Emotion Builder exponentially."

    EmotEd seeks to treat disorders that stem from alexithymia, or difficulties in recognizing emotion. The model created by DeveloperTown as "very sophisticated," said Dr. Neumann, allowing potential investors to easily see EmotEd’s vision for treating emotion deficits and the value of its approach. She added that DeveloperTown’s expertise in software development and startup companies has "catapulted" expectations of what EmotEd can become and the level of product it hopes to deliver.

    DeveloperTown began working with EmotEd shortly after the company received a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer award from the National Institutes of Health in June. The grant has since been met with $50,000 in matching funds from Elevate Ventures, a nonprofit organization that provides state dollars to promising, early-stage entrepreneurs who have received funding through small business grants.

    Dr. Neumann also directs the IU Interactive and Functional Assessment of Communication and Emotion Center at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. 

    For more information, visit the IUPUI Newsroom.

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  • New grant focuses on pain, fatigue, other undertreated symptoms

    Symptoms like pain and fatigue account for 400 million appointments with physicians annually -- 50 percent of all visits in the United States -- but have received far less attention in research, training and, consequently, patient care than many diseases.

    A two-year, $670,000 grant from Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute supports a new randomized controlled study of sleep problems, pain, anxiety, depression and energy/fatigue, known as the SPADE symptom pentad.

    "These five symptoms are the bread and butter of primary care but have not received much attention from the research community or enough attention from clinicians," said  Kurt Kroenke, M.D., IUPUI Chancellor's Professor and professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and an investigator at the Regenstrief Institute and VA Center for Health Information and Communication, who is the principal investigator of the SPADE study.

    Dr. Kroenke will conduct a new study of 300 adult primary-care patients with one or more of the SPADE symptoms -- the five most prevalent, chronic, disabling and undertreated symptoms in clinical practice. These symptoms occur frequently in most medical and mental disorders; patients often have more than one of these symptoms. Dr. Kroenke and colleagues will investigate whether providing symptom scores to physicians improves patients' symptoms, and they will involve the dual perspectives of doctor and patient.

    The study will be conducted in IU Health and Eskenazi Health primary-care clinics that serve a wide range of patients from diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds.

    For more on this study, visit the IUSM Newsroom

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  • Minute movements of autistic children, their parents provide clue to severity of disorder

    Imperceptible variations in movement patterns among individuals with autism spectrum disorder are important indicators of the severity of the disorder in children and adults, according to a report presented at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting Nov. 15-19 in Washington, D.C.

    For the first time, IU and Rutgers University researchers report developing a quantitative way to assess these otherwise ignored variations in movement and link those variations to a diagnosis.

    "This is the first time we have been able to explicitly characterize subtypes of severity in autism spectrum disorder," said Jorge V. José, Ph.D., vice president of research at IU and the James H. Rudy Professor of Physics in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. "We also have determined that a pattern exists in the movement variations in some cases between children with autism and their parents, leading us to surmise that genetics plays a role in movement patterns." 

    In a blinded study, Dr. José, who also is a professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the IU School of Medicine, and co-principal investigator Elizabeth B. Torres, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University, attached high-sensitivity movement sensors to the arms of study participants to track their micro-movements as they extended and retracted their hand to touch a specific spot on a touch screen.

    Using analytics they developed, Drs. José and Torres, together with Di Wu, a Ph.D. graduate student in Dr. José’s lab in the physics department at IU Bloomington, evaluated the local spikes in speed -- traditionally considered as noise in the data. The minute fluctuations in the speed of their movements, which the researchers called peripheral spikes or "p-spikes," normally occur at the onset or at the end of the arm extension exercise. The sensors recorded 240 movements per second for the 30 people with autism, eight healthy adults and 21 parents of children with autism tested. Drs. José and Torres said the p-spike patterns are useful in determining severity of the disorder.

    "These variations in the hand’s movement speed produced a pattern that clustered in specific regions of a graph that produced metrics we could use -- not only in children with autism but in their parents," Dr. Torres said.

    The finding suggests that genetics may play a role in p-spike patterns, added Wu, who reported the research at the November meeting, attended by over 32,000 scientists.

    For more on this study, visit the IUSM Newsroom.

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Student Showcase

  • IUSM-South Bend 'Stash Bash' raises $2,000 for St. Margaret's House

    IUSM-South Bend faculty and student recently raised $2,000 on behalf of St. Margaret’s House during a fall fund-raiser sponsored by the American Medical Women’s Association.

    Students, faculty, their family members and supporters of St. Margaret’s House attended the fundraiser's final event—Stache Bash—on Nov. 20.

    The event featured a dinner, a raffle for gift baskets and the crowning of the 2014 Stache Bash king, Mark Fraser, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in his second year of medical school. 

    Fraser bested a dozen other student contenders who had been growing facial hair since the beginning of the month. The Moustache King wins by virtue of money raised, as opposed to the quality of his facial hair.

    Stache Bash dinner fare was made possible through donations by Parisi's Italian Restaurant and Olive Garden.

    Supporters also included Hacienda RestaurantSelah Day Spa, South Bend Chocolate Co., Mike's Express Carwash, Let's Spoon, Down to Earth, Le Peep, Rein Juices, Culver's, Yummy Cupcakes, Woochi & Zing restaurants and Pulmonary Specialists of Northwest Indiana.

    This event was the fifth annual AMWA fund-raiser and the third to benefit St. Margaret’s House, a day center for women in children in need.

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  • Robert G. Oswalt remembrance

    The IU School of Medicine is deeply saddened to share that a member of the IUSM family, Robert G. Oswalt, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 27.  Robert was a fourth-year medical student at IUSM-Evansville. 

    "I am saddened to hear that Robert's truly inspirational story of his fight with Marfan syndrome has come to a close," said Danyal Fer, a fourth-year medical student and president of the Class of 2018. "On the face of adversity that would dissuade the vast majority from continuing the rigors of medical school, Robert fervently continued to pursue his medical education. He was well on his way to becoming an incredibly compassionate physician who would go on to contribute extensively in the fight for the health of all of his patients."

    Oswalt was also blogger for the IU School of Medicine, sharing his experiences as a student for young people considering careers in medicine. His blog will remain online through the end of the year for anyone who may wish to visit his posts or leave a comment.

    The School of Medicine will provide support and assistance during this difficult time. Students needing or requesting assistance may reach out to Suzanne Kunkle, Ph.D., director of Counseling Services and Wellness. Dr. Kunkle sees students and residents at IUPUI Campus Health, Coleman Hall, Suite 100, 1140 West Michigan Street or via tele-video sessions for students who are outside of Indianapolis. To schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Kunkle at or 317-274-8214. 

    Additionally, JagsCARE is a team of individuals from across the campus community that has been trained to work with individuals impacted by a traumatic event. The team is available to provide immediate and short-term support to meet the emotional and psychological needs of individuals in the IUPUI Community (faculty, staff and students) impacted by a traumatic event. The goal is to assist individuals in coping with the stress and identifying the skills needed to move forward in a healthy way. The specific type of support will be tailored to address your specific needs or concerns. To arrange such a session for a class or for a group of faculty or staff, contact Julie Lash, Ph.D., in Counseling and Psychological Services at 317-274-2548. 

    Funeral services were held Dec. 3. Memorial contributions may be made to The Marfan Foundation at Online condolences may be shared with the family at

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Coppoc honored as Sagamore of the Wabash at retirement reception

    Gordon L. Coppoc, DVM, Ph.D., was named a Sagamore of the Wabash at a reception Dec. 4 honoring him for his decades of academic service to IU and Purdue University. Dr. Coppoc will retire at the end of the year as associate dean of the IU School of Medicine, director of the IU School of Medicine-Lafayette and a tenured faculty member at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Basic Medical Sciences.

    In recognition of his service, Dr. Coppoc was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, which was presented by Sen. Ron Alting. R-Lafayette; Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette; and Rep. Randy Truitt, R-West Lafayette. The Sagamore of the Wabash award is a high civilian honor granted only by the governor of Indiana. It is bestowed as a personal tribute to those who have rendered distinguished service to the state or governor.

    Dr. Coppoc joined the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine in 1971 as an assistant professor of veterinary pharmacology. He was department chair from 1979 to 2008 retaining that position through a merger of two departments to form what is now the Department of Basic Medical Sciences. He joined the IU School of Medicine faculty when he began teaching medical pharmacology 34 years ago, and he was named director in 1998.

    Since he joined the faculty at the state's two largest universities, Dr. Coppoc has taught 544 medical students and 3,000 veterinary students.

     Present at the retirement reception to honor Dr. Coppoc were Craig Brater, M.D., dean emeritus of the IU School of Medicine; Peter Nalin, M.D., executive associate dean of the IU School of Medicine; Regina Kreisle, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the IU School of Medicine-Lafayette; Willie Reed, DVM, Ph.D., dean of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine; and Laurie Jaeger, DVM, Ph.D., chair of the Purdue Department of Basic Medical Sciences. 

    For more information, visit the IUSM Newsroom.

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  • Staff member retires after 38 years of service to IU

    Byron "Leo" Thompson, assistant to the associate dean of medical student affairs at the IU School of Medicine, officially retired after 38 years of service to IU on Nov. 26.

    A retirement reception for Thompson, who was affectionately known around the school as the "microscopes guy," was held Nov. 18 in the VanNuys Medical Building atrium.

    During his nearly four decades at the school, Thompson managed the school's microscope technology, including serving as a contractor liaison to third-part vendors such as Fisher Scientific, as well as served as a building coordinator, managing room reservations for nine buildings, card ID accesses, and student mailboxes, keys, lockers and pagers. He was also an assistant to the associate dean on special projects and a floor warden and fire warden, engaging in continuity and emergency planning.

    In retirement, Thompson plans to purchase an RV, travel to California and perform in his rock band.

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  • Young investigator awards in clinical-translational research applications due Jan. 21

    Applications for the Indiana CTSI's Young Investigator Awards in Clinical and Translational Research are due 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21.

    These awards are designed to provide promising junior investigator faculty with the opportunity to be mentored in research-intensive multi-disciplinary settings toward the goal of developing careers in clinical-translational research.

    Eligible candidates are clinician-scientists with a doctoral degree (physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, veterinarians, allied health care professionals, etc.) or basic scientists with a Ph.D. engaged in translational research with high potential for early translation into impacting patient care.

    Benefits include partial salary support, as well as tuition and fees for required and elective coursework, pilot research monies and travel funds.  Awards will begin May 1.

    Complete application guidelines are online. To apply, visit the Indiana CTSI grants portal and enter your institutional username and password. Applications instructions are located under " CTSI Young Investigator Award in Clinical - Translational Research - 2015.01 (KL2)."

    Questions to Donna Burgett at

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  • Postdoctoral training awards in translational research applications due Jan. 30

    Applications for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute postdoctoral training awards in translational research are due 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30.

    These awards are aimed at postdoctoral students whose research is at any point along the translational research spectrum. Candidates must have received a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution with no more than three years combined experience as a postdoctoral fellow in academia or industry.

    Funding is for two years with the second year of funding contingent upon review. Benefits include salary support and health insurance. Awards will start July 1.

    Complete application guidelines are online. To apply, visit the Indiana CTSI grants portal and enter your institutional username and password. Applications instructions are located under "CTSI Postdoctoral Training Awards in Translational Research - 2015.01 (TL1)."

    Questions to Andrew Bullock, Ph.D., at

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  • Applications sought for spinal cord and brain injury research -- due Feb. 9

    Applications are sought for the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund, a state grant program established in 2007 to support research related to treatment and cure of spinal cord and brain injuries.

    Proposals should be related to research on the prevention, treatment and cure of spinal cord and brain injuries, including acute management, medical complications, rehabilitative techniques and neuronal recovery.

    Eligible applicants must be based in Indiana and have the education, skills, knowledge and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research. (This includes public and private universities, nonprofit organizations and business.) Collaborations are encouraged with Indiana-based researchers as well as researchers located outside the state of Indiana, including researchers in other countries. 

    The maximum requested amount per application should not exceed $80,000 per year for up to two years ($160,000 maximum). Proposed projects should not exceed two years.

    Complete application guidelines are online. To apply, visit the Indiana CTSI grants portal and enter your institutional username and password. Applications instructions are located under "Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund Grant - 2015.02 (SCBI)."

    Applications are due 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9. Questions to Julie Driscol at

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  • IU pathologist receives outstanding service award

    Gail H. Vance, M.D., Sutphin Professor of Cancer Genetics and interim chair of medical and molecular genetics at the IU School of Medicine, has been honored for her work in genomics with the College of American Pathologists Outstanding Service Award.

    Dr. Vance is director of the Division of Diagnostic Genomics in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and director of the Indiana Familial Cancer Program at the IU School of Medicine. The Indiana Familial Cancer Program provides genetic counseling, risk assessment and genetic testing to individuals with an elevated risk for developing cancer.

    "We are pleased to award Dr. Vance the CAP Outstanding Service Award in recognition of her significant efforts on the CAP genomics strategy and her work on behalf of genomic and molecular regulatory and legislative issues," said Gene N. Herbek, MD, president of the College of American Pathologists.

    As the leading organization with more than 18,000 board-certified pathologists, the College of American Pathologists serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide.

    Dr. Vance accepted the award Sept. 10 at the 2014 College of American Pathologists annual conference in Chicago.

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  • IUSM professor among IU's AAAS fellows

    Edward J. Berbari, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, is one of the three IU faculty members recently named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a distinction that recognizes outstanding contributions to the progress of science and research.

    Dr. Berbari is also professor and chair of biomedical engineering and a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. He has conducted research in cardiac electrophysiology for over 40 years, with special interests in high-resolution electrocardiography, cardiac mapping and biophysical modeling. He served on the Whitaker Foundation Fellowship Award Committee for six years and the National Institutes of Health Surgery and Bioengineering Study Section for five years.

    AAAS fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the Nov. 28 issue of the journal Science. New fellows will be recognized Feb. 14 during the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, Calif.

    Dr. Berbari is among 401 AAAS members who were awarded the honor because of their efforts to advance science or its applications. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon association members by their peers.

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Around the State

  • IUSM-Evansville celebrates annual holiday reception

    Over 160 guests recently attended the IU School of Medicine-Evansville's annual holiday cocktail reception with guest of honor, Jay Hess, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and vice president for university clinical affairs at IU.

    The event, held Nov. 14 at the Old Post Office in downtown Evansville, was a evening of excitement over the expansion of the Evansville campus and its growing student population. Dr. Hess gave an update on the IU School of Medicine, including comments about the upcoming groundbreaking for the new IUSM-Evansville campus in downtown Evansville. 

    Additional guests included Dr. Steve Becker, M.D., director of the IU School of Medicine-Evansville and associate dean at the IU School of Medicine; Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D., representative for Indiana's eight congressional district; Rep. Suzanne Crouch, a member of the Indiana State House of Representatives, Lloyd Winnecke, mayor of Evansville. Dr. Bucshon is also a graduate of the IUSM-Evansville.

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