News to Use

  • IU Center for Bioethics launches spring seminar series Jan. 16

    As part of its ongoing commitment to studying ethical issues in international health and research, the IU Center for Bioethics will convene an eight-part seminar series on Global Bioethics starting Jan. 16.

    The first session, “Introduction to Global Bioethics,” will be led by Eric Meslin, Ph.D., director of the IU Center for Bioethics. Each session will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Health Information and Translational Sciences (HITS) Building, Room 3139.

    Additional sessions are scheduled Jan. 30; Feb. 6 and 20; March 6 and 27; and April 10 and 24. Session leaders will include:

    • Fran Quigley, JD, clinical professor of law and founder of the Health and Human Rights Clinic at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law;
    • Bill Schneider, Ph.D., professor of history and Director of the Medical Humanities at the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI;
    •  Nic Terry, LLM, Hall Render Professor of Law and co-director of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law; and
    •  Ian S. McIntosh; Ph.D., director of International Partnerships in the IUPUI  the Office of International Affairs and associate director of the Confucius Institute at IUPUI.

    The series aims to provide a venue for in-depth discussion of emerging (and persistent) ethical issues in global health and identify gaps in knowledge and practice that present opportunities for research and collaboration. Discussions will draw upon academic literature, issues in the media and topics emerging on the ground. The series is aimed at faculty and affiliates of AMPATH and the IU Center for Global Health; of the Office of International Affairs; of the IUSM IRB and Research Administration offices; and faculty or students with an interest in international health ethics.

    Each seminar will be moderated by an expert IU faculty member. Those who are unable to attend in person may access all seminars and resources via archive at the IU Center for Bioethics website. The site will also provide access to a livestream of the presentations.

    This event is presented in partnership with the IUPUI Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program; the IU Hall Center for Law and Health; the IUPUI Office of International Affairs and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

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  • Annual IIPM visiting professor lecture -- Jan. 22

    Victor Nizet, M.D., will present the annual Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine Visiting Professor lecture from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in Walther Hall (R3), Room 203.

    Dr. Nizet is professor and division chief of Pharmacology & Drug Discovery in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of California-San Diego.

    He will present "Outside-the-Box Approaches to Combat Drug-Resistant Bacterial Pathogens."

    Questions to Cornelia Davis-Moore at

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Research News

  • IU study finds decisions about sex activate different brain regions in adolescent girls

    In a first-of-its-kind study, IU researchers have shown that teenage girls use different parts of their brain when making hypothetical low- and high-risk decisions about sex.

    In a pilot study reported Jan. 13 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers Devon J. Hensel, Ph.D., and an and Tom Hummer, Ph.D., both of the IU School of Medicine, analyzed the brain activity and self-reported behaviors of 14- and 15-year-old girls using a functional magnetic resonance image and 30 days of daily diary reports. 

    Recent studies have demonstrated the advantages of using functional MRI to understand how reward- and control-related regions of the brain are related to different risk behaviors, such as reckless driving or substance use, in adolescence. This is the first study to use functional MRI to link brain activity in mid-adolescent-aged females to their sexual decisions. 

    Using functional MRI -- a neuroimaging procedure that measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow within the areas of the brain -- Drs. Hensel and Hummer found teenaged girls spend less time making decisions about participating in risky behavior than they do when evaluating low-risk activities. They also determined that an area of the brain involved with controlling impulses and emotion is more engaged with high- risk sexual decision-making than with other high-risk decisions.

    Dr. Hensel is assistant research professor of pediatrics in the Section of Adolescent Medicine at the IU School of Medicine and assistant professor of sociology at IUPUI. Dr. Hummer is assistant research professor of psychiatry. 

    For more on the story, visit the IUSM Newsroom.

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  • IU, Regenstrief Institute publish paper on OPTIMISTIC

    A new study from IU and Regenstrief Institute researcher-clinicians reports on the first year of the implementation of OPTIMISTIC, an innovative program they developed and implemented to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations of nursing facility residents.

    The goal of OPTIMISTIC -- Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care -- is to improve care and communication within nursing facilities and between these facilities and acute-care institutions so problems can be caught and solved before transporting a resident to the hospital becomes necessary. The paper, "The OPTIMISTIC approach: preliminary data of the implementation of a CMS nursing facility demonstration project" appears in the January 2015 issue of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    Authors include OPTIMISTIC Co-Directors  Kathleen T. Unroe, M.D., , assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, and Greg A. Sachs, M.D., professor of medicine and neurology at the IU School of Medicine.  OPTIMISTIC is supported by a four-year, 2012 award of $13.4 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    For more on this study, visit the IUSM Newsroom.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • O'Brien named director of Continuous Quality Improvement

    Colleen O'Brien, JD, MPH, has been named director of Continuous Quality Improvement at the IU School of Medicine, effective Jan. 15. O'Brien will also serve as a vising assistant professor of clinical health policy and management at the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health.

    The director of Continuous Quality Improvement serves the primary resource and functional lead of the IU School of Medicine's executive committee on the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which is responsible for the accreditation of medical education programs across the country. This includes service to the LCME Executive Project Lead, LCME faculty leaders and self-study committees and subcommittees, including senior-level faculty and staff. Additional duties include creating, executing and monitor ongoing Continuous Quality Improvement efforts at the school. The position works closely with the Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs at the IU School of Medicine.

    O'Brien also serves as a patient safety and quality advisor to the Indiana Hospital Association and a research consultant at the Richard L. Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center and Eskenazi Health System. She is an improvement leader fellow with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement member of the common cause work group for the Indianapolis Patient Safety Coalition. 

    Previously, O'Brien served as an attorney with the Indiana Court of Appeals and director of trial court management with the Indiana Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration.

    She holds a law degree from the IU School of Law, a master's of public health from the IU School of Public Health and a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois.

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  • Vonderheit named director of strategic communications

    Holly Vonderheit was named director of strategic communications at the Indiana University School of Medicine on Jan. 12. 

    Vonderheit will oversee communications and marketing activities both internal and external to the IU School of Medicine, including coordinating activities, communications and strategic marketing plans among the departments within the school to ensure visual identity, consistency of core messages and implementation of formal communication programs.

    She previously served nines year at Indiana University Health, fulfilling leadership roles in marketing, public relations and internal communications. In addition to overseeing marketing for Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, Vonderheit was part of the core team that led the rebranding from Clarian to IU Health in 2011. Following the rebranding effort, she served as vice president of marking and community relations at IU Health Bloomington Hospital.

    Prior to joining IU Health, Vonderheit was vice president of communications and administration at the Riley Children's Foundation. She has also held positions related to promoting the City of Indianapolis and as newspaper reporter in Muncie and Huntington, Ind.  

    Vonderheit holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and master's degree in public relations from Ball State University. She has been an adjunct graduate course instructor at the IU School of Journalism and IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

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  • Bowman named alumni relations director

    Ryan Bowman was named director of alumni relations at the IU School of Medicine on Jan. 12.

    The director of alumni relations is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of a comprehensive strategy to engage the IU School of Medicine alumni community, which includes more than 20,000 living alumni.

    Bowman will serve as an ambassador of the IU School of Medicine, connecting with alumni and providing opportunities for them to become involved in the life of the school. Duties include building strong alumni connections to the School of Medicine, including its eight regional campuses; working with department chairs to plan programs and engagement opportunities; promoting membership in IU Alumni Association; and planning events, including the annual IUSM Reunion Weekend. The position is a part of the IUSM Office of Gift Development.

    Bowman previously served as director of alumni relations and campus ceremonies at IU Kokomo, where he was responsible for overseeing all functional areas of the Office of Alumni Relations and developing and implement strategies designed to engage over 12,000 alumni with campus. He holds a master's degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, and a bachelors' degree from Ball State University.

    Jayme Little, who previously managed alumni program for the IU School of Medicine, will continue his role as director of alumni programs in the IUPUI Office of Alumni Relations and serve as IUSM Alumni Association liaison to the IU Alumni Association.

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Student Showcase

  • Todd B. Taylor scholarship award recipients named

    Three IU School of Medicine were recently named recipients of the 2014 Todd B. Taylor Award.

    Mark Hood, Lesley Jackson and Mary Mattern will each receive $1,220 in scholarships in recognition for their service to the school.

    Taylor Award recipients must be third- or fourth-year medical students in good academic standing who have demonstrated leadership skills through service as an officer, class representative, center representative or committee chair for the Medical Student Council or class for a minimum of two years.

    This scholarship was established by the Class of 1985 in 2010 to encourage medical students to participate in leadership roles with the IUSM during their years at the school. 

    The award is named in honor of Todd B. Taylor, M.D., a graduate of the IU School of Medicine and physician executive at the Microsoft Corporation Health Solutions Group who is an internationally recognized advocate for healthcare information technology.

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  • Reminder: Second Year Show Jan. 16

    The first IUSM Second Year Show, or "2YS," a Saturday Night Live-themed show with an insider perspective into medical school life, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16 at the Madame Walker Theater in Indianapolis. Attendance is open to all.

    The event, which will feature both live and video-taped skits, is a class-wide effort that aims to create a new tradition at the IUSM as well as build connections between students, faculty and alumni throughout the state of Indiana. Performers span all nine IUSM campuses, as well as the Marian University Osteopathic Medical School, uniting medical students across the state. First year medical students will also perform a skit. Additional participants in planning the show include the IU Alumni Association and Office of Gift Development.

    Tickets are available online. 2YS ticket prices are $11 for students and $21 for general admission (advanced sales only). The price at the door will be $15 for students and $25 for general admission. 

    In addition, 2YS will present MedTalks on Saturday, Jan. 17, in the Ruth Lilly Learning Center at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, a TEDTalk-style event with six 15-minute presentations by a wide range of physicians, professors and medical specialists. Admission is free. 

    Questions to Rachel Frantz Johnston at

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  • Abstracts sought for Children's Health Services Research Symposium

    Abstracts are sought for the third annual Children's Health Services Research Symposium on March 9 to 11 at the Health Information and Translational Sciences Building.

    This two-and-a-half-day symposium will focus on health care innovations and emerging areas of health services research, and brings together pediatric health services researchers and fellows from across the world for talks by luminaries in the field, as well as new talent, in a forum that emphasizes conversation and networking. The agenda also includes a debate, poster presentations and breakout sessions to assist with career development.

    Additional activities include Special Interest Group dinners hosted by IUSM faculty and a gala event at the Indiana State Museum.

    Junior faculty and fellows are encouraged to submit abstracts for review. Abstracts are limited to 250 words and must include background, objectives/aims, methods, results and conclusions.

    Submissions are due Sunday, Feb. 1. Submit applications to Katrina Coppedge at

    This event is limited to 100 people. CME credit is available. To register for the symposium, visit IUSM's Live Courses and Conference website.

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  • Indiana CTSI Young Investigator Award 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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  • IUSM researcher honored in national imaging competition

    Ruben M. Sandoval Jr., has earned an honorable mention in the 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition. More than 2,400 entries were submitted from 68 countries to the competition.

    Entitled 3D-DistalTubule750x750, the multiphoton microscopy image of a living kidney shows the microvasculature in green, distal tubule lumen in red and the nuclei in cyan.

    This is not Sandoval's first submission to the Olympus BioScapes competition. In 2005, he earned a second place with a microscopy image of a 3D intravital surface glomerulus and an honorable mention for a movie of renal filtration. In 2004, he received a 16th place in the Nikon Small World competition. The 2014 submission, plus these previous works, are viewable online.

    IUSM students and employees might recognize Sandoval's work, which has been exhibited in the annual IUSM Art Exhibition, and his multiphoton fluorescence image of the kidney of a living rat was featured on the IUSM Scientific Inquiry, Artistic Impression exhibit event poster in 2013.

    Three of Sandoval’s kidney intravital images, turned into artwork through a repeated tessellation process, are on permanent display in Spitzberg Hall in the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute.

    Sandoval is a research associate in the Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy in the Division of Nephrology at IUSM. 

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Around Campus

  • Intercampus shuttle system officially launches

    The Campus Commute intercampus shuttle system officially launched Jan. 12, completing a test phase begun Dec. 1.

    The intercampus shuttle system expands transportation options for faculty, staff and students traveling between IUPUI and IU Bloomington with four trips from each campus Monday through Friday. IUPUI stops will be at the IUPUI Campus Center and the Indiana Statehouse. IU Bloomington shuttle stops are at the Indiana Memorial Union circle drive and the northwest corner of Memorial Stadium's Purple Lot (Gate 10 off of the 45/46 Bypass). A full schedule is online.

    One-way ticket prices are:

    • $7 for tickets purchased in advance at the JagTag Office in the IUPUI Campus Center or by IU employees on the Campus Commute website using the discount code.
    • $8.50 for IU employees buying reserved seating online using a discount code.
    • $10 for non-reserved seats purchase online at or on the bus.
    • $11.50 for reserved seats purchased online at or on the bus.

    Only credit cards will be accepted for tickets purchased on the bus. University employees will be able to use an IU discount code to handle ticket expenses for business travel. IU travelers and IU travel arrangers will be provided with a code to purchase discounted tickets.

    Shuttles are handicap accessible, and amenities include Wi-Fi access, DirecTV, electrical outlets, reclining seats, lavatory services and DoubleMap, a real-time interactive map to help riders track the buses. 

    For more information, visit the Shuttle FAQ.

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