News to Use

  • Dean Hess kicks off re-accreditation process

    In letters to students, faculty and staff, Jay Hess, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine, detailed preparation toward the school’s pursuit of re-accreditation.

    “This is an all hands-on-deck opportunity to engage faculty, students and staff in a rigorous institutional review that will lead to enhancing the educational process for our learners,” Dr. Hess wrote. “The LCME review is the start of what we plan to be an ongoing improvement assessment that will continue to enrich our programs for years to come.”

    Read the dean’s full letter to faculty and staff, which includes the “Road to Accreditation” icon used to designate materials and messages pertaining to the process. 

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  • Traumatic brain injury the subject of upcoming Frew Lecture

    Shelly Timmons, M.D., director of Neurotrauma for Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, will present the 13th annual Frew Lecture “Traumatic Brain Injury: Harnessing Technological Innovation to Advance Care” from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, in Goodman Hall (R3) Auditorium.

    Dr. Timmons earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria in 1991. She completed her residency in neurological surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center-Memphis from 1991 to 1997. She later earned a Ph.D., also at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Prior to assuming her current position, Dr. Timmons practiced for 13 years as a neurological surgeon with Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis. 

    Physicians, residents, medical students, nurses and other clinical staff are encouraged to attend the lecture. For more information, view the event flyer or call Erin Palmer at 317-396-1254. 

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Research News

  • Treatment improved function, decreased pain in veterans

    Although U.S. military veterans who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan are more likely to suffer chronic pain than veterans of any other conflict in American history, little headway has been made in helping them manage the often debilitating effects of chronic pain. A new study by researchers from the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, the Regenstrief Institute and the IU School of Medicine reports that a stepped-care strategy improved function and decreased pain severity, producing at least a 30 percent improvement in pain-related disability.

    "Pain is disabling and interferes with daily living as well as the ability to work," said Matthew Bair, M.D., the VA and Regenstrief Institute investigator and IU associate professor of medicine who led the randomized controlled ESCAPE trial -- short for Evaluation of Stepped Care for Chronic Pain. "It is a critical health issue among veterans, many of whom had multiple, often lengthy deployments.

    "Many have significant long-term pain. We know that medications alone are only modestly successful in helping them; current pain treatments haven't made much of a dent. The decrease in pain severity and 30 percent improvement in pain-related disability we achieved in the ESCAPE study are clinically significant, and we found that improvement lasted for at least nine months."

    ESCAPE studied 241 veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn who suffer from musculoskeletal pain of the back, knee, neck or shoulder. Dr. Bair and colleagues developed a two-step program combining analgesics, self-management strategies and cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Dr. Bair is an internist who treats veterans in primary care and is a health services researcher. Previously he served for eight years as a U.S. Army physician.

    For more information, visit the IUSM Newsroom

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  • Study finds natural language processing accurately tracks colonoscopy quality

    An accurate system for tracking the quality of colonoscopies and determining the appropriate intervals between these procedures could contribute to both better health outcomes and lower costs. Clinician-researchers from the Regenstrief Institute have created and tested such a system in the nation's first multiple institution colonoscopy quality measurement study utilizing natural language processing and report that it is as accurate but less expensive than human review.

    Natural language processing, a linguistic technique using sophisticated software to extract meaning from written language, allows a computer to rapidly "read" and "understand" the free text of reports prepared by the gastroenterologists who perform colonoscopies and the free text reports of pathologists who analyze the composition of growths removed from the colon.  

    "We found that rapid and inexpensive natural language processing, which utilizes free-text data that was previously unusable for efficient computer-based analysis, was extremely accurate in measuring adenoma detection rate during colonoscopy," said Timothy Imler, M.D., a Regenstrief Institute investigator and IUSM assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, who led the study. "The presence of adenomas in the colon is predictive of a patient’s risk of later developing colon cancer, and the detection rate has been identified as the critical measure of a high-quality endoscopist, the specialist who performs colonoscopy."

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Grannis named associate director of Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics

    Shaun Grannis, M.D., has been named the associate director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute. A clinician-informatician, he retains his appointments as a Regenstrief Institute investigator and an associate professor of family medicine at the IU School of Medicine. 

    Dr. Grannis is an internationally respected expert in public health informatics and biosurveillance who has developed innovative methods to track and share data from disparate sources on disease and other outbreaks while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of this information critical to public health syndromic surveillance.

    The Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics is among the most comprehensive medical informatics laboratories in the United States possessing one of the largest collections of rich clinical data in the country. The center's research and development work in health information exchange has made Indiana one of the most health-wired states in the country and a national model for health data exchange.

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Student Showcase

  • Matching for Residency

    The 2015 Match Day program will be Friday, March 20, in the IUPUI Campus Center, Room 450. The doors open at 11 a.m. and the moment everyone is awaiting -- the opening of the envelopes -- will begin at noon.

    Students, faculty and family are invited to the celebration but for those who cannot attend, a live feed will be available. The after party for students and guests will be at the Mavris Arts & Events Center, 121 S. East St., Indianapolis. 

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  • Informatics resources 'boot camp' set for April 21

    Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Regenstrief Institute are sponsoring “Boot Camp: Informatics Resources for Research” Tuesday, April 21, at the Health Information and Translational Sciences Building.

    The purpose of the Boot Camp is to inform investigators about the rich informatics resources available for research through the Indiana CTSI and the Regenstrief Institute. Topics include:

    • Overview of the Indiana CTSI and the Regenstrief Institute’s collaborative relationship and available resources
    • Introduction to research/navigating CTSI resources
    • ResNet/subject recruitment
    • OnCore/Clinical Trials Management System
    • Indiana Biobank
    • Data resources/access to data/navigating Regenstrief resources
    • Informatics tools overview and demonstration

    View the event flyer for more information. Register for the boot camp online.

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  • HANDS in Autism seeks students for research, independent study

    Students interested in gaining research and/or clinical programming experience may apply for practicum or independent study opportunities with HANDS in Autism, a training and resource center that provides support and resources to the community through direct services, consultation and training. Opportunities for students in a variety of disciplines are available for summer and fall 2015 and spring 2016.

    Research opportunities with the organization may include studies centered on the psychometrics of implementation measures; community needs assessments and evaluation; program evaluation; implementation research on evidence-based practices and comprehensive programs; single case studies; market analyses; and/or behavioral coding related to parent and professional training. Involvement could include participation in projects regarding statewide gap analyses related to autism services, as well as program evaluation of statewide intervention projects. 

    Clinical programming will involve primarily direct training of functional and adaptive skills necessary for success in educational or vocational environments with interventions informed through data-driven decision making processes. Programming occurs Mondays and Fridays throughout the year. Community visitations, workshops, groups and other programming opportunities will also be available to students depending on their schedules.

    Students interested in these opportunities should contact Naomi Swiezy, Ph.D., at or Tiffany Neal, Ph.D., at

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  • Wright Scholarship application deadline is April 27

    The William J. Wright Scholarship is awarded to third- and fourth-year medical students, physicians in cancer-related post-doctoral training programs, and medical doctors employed by the IU School of Medicine pursuing cancer-related fellowship training. Successful candidates must demonstrate outstanding character, well-defined professional goals and the commitment and potential for conducting cancer research.  

    The expectation for this scholarship is that applicants will devote at least two months of the school year to a project that will further the care of patients with cancer. Examples include basic translational or clinical science research projects, quality improvement projects, health outcomes research and cancer awareness programs. Refer to the application for complete guidelines and requirements. Applications are due April 27. Please note: Students with research grants that already support their education are not eligible.

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  • Loehrer named one of IBJ?s 'Health Care Heroes'

    Patrick J. Loehrer Sr., M.D., director of the IU Simon Cancer Center, is this year’s winner in the “physician” category of the Indianapolis Business Journal's Health Care Heroes awards. Dr. Loehrer also is the H.H. Gregg Professor of Oncology and associate dean for cancer research at the IU School of Medicine.

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  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society inducts new members

    Medical students, faculty and house staff were inducted into the Indiana Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Feb. 27 at the annual banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Indianapolis. Membership in the honor medical society is based on scholarly achievement, character, leadership and service. 

    Class of 2015 student inductees: Megan G. Baker, Robert S. Bednarek, Sophia I.J. Binz, Alyssa J. Bolduan, Chelsey Caldwell, Jacob M. Capito, Han T. Cun, Alhasan Elghouche, Anthony R. Ferrantella, Kevin J. Flynn, Kathryn E. Hodgdon, Brandon S. Huggins, Ryan M. Kammeyer, Michelle L. Kerr, Erin E. Ketchem, Alexander L. Kuzma, Brandon G. Lucas, Rachel J. Macias, Jordan C. Maryfield, Logan R. McNeive, Elizabeth Nafziger, Katherine E. Nixon, Ryan A. Nixon, Jonathan M. Parish, Joshua S. Park, Sarah H. Parrish, Elizabeth A. Peacock, Alexander L. Schneider, Jennifer R. Sondhi, A. Nichole Sullivan, Hunter J. Underwood, Ethan D. Valinetz, Jenny Wang, Scott M. Wentz, Mallory Williams, Christopher A. Wrobel and Ryan W. Zipper.

    Other members of the class of 2015 who were elected as third-year students include: Ashish Arshanapalli, Manickavelu Balasubramanian, Scott W. Barton, Cody R. Bearden, Rachel E. Eldert, Ishan Gohil, Tyler P. Hoovis, Christopher J. Lehmann, Adam R. Miller, Kenneth A. Moore, Stephen D. Rhodes, Laura B. Secor, Scott J.A. Speelziek and David Y. Yang. 

    Class of 2016 student inductees: David T. Collins, Christopher R. Deig, Patrick C. Hackler, Woody Han, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Heather L. Hopf, Wajeeha A. Hussain, Michael J. Isaacs, Kali M. Kuhlenschmidt, Elizabeth R. McMahon, Kathryn J. Meyer, Andrew S. Pfaff, Karen E. Trevino and Megan M. Tuohy.

    Faculty inductees: Richard Bihrle, M.D. (Urology); Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D. (Oncology); Raghu L. Motaganahalli, M.D. (Vascular Surgery); Mara E. Nitu, M.D. (Pediatric Critical Care); Julie L. Welch, M.D. (Emergency Medicine); and David S. Wilkes, M.D., Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs. 

    House staff inductees: Katherine N. Ash, M.D. (Emergency Medicine), Reto M. Baertschiger, M.D. (Pediatric Surgery), Ray Chihara, M.D. (General Surgery); Joseph T. Davis, M.D. (Radiology); Bridget A. Graney, M.D. (Internal Medicine-Pediatrics); Megan S. McHenry, M.D. (Pediatrics); and R. Alexander Rhea, M.D. (Emergency Medicine).

    Laura B. Secor, MS4, received the first Harikiran Vasu, M.D. Award.  This award is dedicated to the memory of the former AOA student president and will be given annually to the AOA senior student who best embodies Hari’s dedication to altruism, compassion, the pursuit and sharing of knowledge, and demonstrating kindness, integrity and empathy for all others.

    Rajalakshmy Sundararajan, M.D., received this year’s Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award from Alpha Omega Alpha’s Indiana Chapter. Dr. Sundararajan has practiced at Michiana Internal Medicine in South Bend, Ind., since 1995. She started the first hospitalist group in the area in 1996. In 1998 she began working as an ER physician and has provided care to patients in various area hospitals since then. Dr. Sundararajan has taught medical students and residents over the years and has been the clinical course director for ICM-II at the South Bend campus for the past several years. Her dedication to medical education is the cornerstone of her academic career.

    For questions about AOA or any of its programs and activities, contact Richard Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D., councilor of the AOA Indiana Chapter, at or 317-948-6302.

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  • Badve presents lecture in Germany, receives medal of excellence

    Sunil S. Badve, M.B.B.B., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a physician scientist at the IU Simon Cancer Center, presented the Vladimir-Totovic Lecture at the recent annual meeting of the International Academy of Pathology in Bonn, Germany. Badve also received the Vladimir-Totovic Medal for Excellence in Pathology by the German Division of the International Academy of Pathology. 

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  • IUSM, other IU graduate programs ranked by U.S. News and World Report

    U.S. News and World Report has again recognized Indiana University programs in business, law, education, medicine and nursing in its annual Best Graduate Schools rankings.

    Ranked in the top 25 this year are the IU School of Nursing at IUPUI, which was 19th overall and 10th among public universities; the IU Kelley School of Business, which was 21st overall and seventh among publics; and the IU School of Education, which was 25th overall and 15th among publics.

    The IU School of Medicine at Indianapolis' ranking of its research activity was 45th and 19th among public universities. The ranking of its education of physicians who work in primary patient care was 47th and 29th among public universities. 

    Complete rankings are available online. They will be included in the Best Graduate Schools 2016 guidebook.

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