News to Use

  • IUPUI Research Day to feature NIH deputy director

    To celebrate IUPUI’s multifaceted research and creative activities portfolio, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research will host 2015 Research Day from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 17, in the IUPUI Campus Center.

    Events begin with presentations by this year’s Research Frontiers Trailblazer Award winners, followed by the keynote presentation by Sally J. Rockey, Ph.D., deputy director for extramural research, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Rockey leads or is active on a number of federal committees related to science, research administration and electronic government. She works closely with other federal science and university administrators, small businesses, professional societies and the scientific communities in the U.S. and around the world. 

    Other IUPUI Research Day activities include poster sessions featuring undergraduate, graduate and professional students, coordinated by the Center for Research and Learning. In addition, faculty research poster presentations will highlight groundbreaking research conducted on and beyond the IUPUI campus, including a community showcase. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 11:59 p.m. March 23, and the poster and abstract guidelines are available on the IU CompetitionSpace website

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  • Innovate IUPUI 'open labs' to coincide with 2015 Research Day

    The IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology will host "Innovate IUPUI Open Labs at Research Day” at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, as part of IUPUI Research Day. In addition to touring the school’s new labs and viewing live demonstrations, Innovate IUPUI participants will see studies and presentations related to:

    • Nano-medicine delivered by technology
    • Safer streets with self-driving cars
    • Additive manufacturing by 3-D printing
    • Energy storage to stop climate change
    • Nanoscale and 3-D imaging

    A walking tour will begin at 2:30 p.m. There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration for the tour is required. To register, visit

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  • Genetics clinic for Spanish-speaking patients now open

    IU Health Physicians Medical and Molecular Genetics has opened a new outpatient clinic to serve Spanish-speaking families. The clinic is coordinated by Wilfredo Torres-Martinez, M.D., IU School of Medicine associate professor of clinical medical and molecular genetics and of clinical obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Torres-Martinez has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of birth defects, inherited and non-inherited genetic conditions and hereditary cancer.

    "Bilingual proficiency enhances our ability to best serve our local Spanish-speaking patients without the need to communicate through an interpreter," Dr. Torres-Martinez said. "This makes the experience for those families less stressful and helps facilitate better understanding for patients seeking information and advice."

    Clinic appointments will be scheduled the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 10 a.m. to noon in the IUSM Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics office, located in the Medical Library Building, 975 W. Walnut St., Suite 130. Referrals include, but are not limited to, patients with isolated or complex congenital anomalies; patients newly diagnosed with specific chromosome anomalies, growth and developmental delays; and adults with an increased risk for breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers, and selected hereditary forms of cancer.

    For more information or to refer a patient, call 317-944-3966.

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  • New book honors contributions of Ryan White

    April 8 will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Ryan White, the Hoosier school boy who courageously and publicly battled AIDS and fought for his rights to attend public school. White, who lived in Kokomo, Ind., and later Cicero, Ind., was a frequent patient at Riley Hospital for Children. 

    This spring, the book reflecting on these battles, "Quiet Hero: A Life of Ryan White" will be released by the Indiana Historical Society Press.

    On April 1, White's mother Jeanne White-Ginder and friends, including Greg Louganis, will gather at the Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St., for a reception and book signing from 6 to 7 p.m. with author Nelson Price. A panel discussion will follow featuring Indiana History Center CEO and President John Herbst; Price; White-Ginder; and Louganis, a U.S. Olympic gold medalist.

    White contracted HIV through a blood transfusion when he was 13 and died shortly after his 18th birthday. As a result of his efforts and those of his mother and other supporters, Congress passed the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Care Act to provide health-care resources to Americans with HIV/AIDS and no insurance. 

    White touched Riley Hospital in several ways and his physician, Martin B. Kleiman, M.D., was named the first Ryan White Professor of Pediatrics in 1996. Dr. Kleiman retired in 2007, and Chandy C. John, M.D., was recently awarded that chair. 

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Research News

  • IU scientists discover mechanism that may help parasites manipulate their hosts

    Rodents infected with a common parasite lose their fear of cats, resulting in easy meals for the felines. Now IU School of Medicine researchers have identified a new way the parasite may modify brain cells, possibly helping explain changes in the behavior of mice -- and humans.

    The parasite is Toxoplasma gondii, which has infected an estimated one in four Americans and even larger numbers worldwide. Not long after infecting a human, Toxoplasma parasites encounter the body's immune response and retreat to a latent state, enveloped in hardy cysts that the body cannot remove.

    Before entering that inactive state, however, the parasites appear to make significant changes in some of the brain's most common and critical cells, the researchers said. The team, led by William Sullivan, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology and of microbiology and immunology, reported two sets of related findings about those cells, called astrocytes, March 18 in the journal PLOS ONE.

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  • Study may help determine who benefits from aspirin, NSAIDs in lowering colorectal cancer risk

    Hongmei Nan, M.D., Ph.D., research associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and a researcher at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, and her colleagues have identified genetic markers that may help determine who benefits from regular use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for lowering one’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. Their study was published March 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Previous studies have shown that regular use of aspirin and NSAIDs lower one’s risk of colorectal cancer, but their use is not recommended as a way to prevent the disease because of uncertainty about the risks and benefits. Thus, the researchers set out to examine the interrelationship between genetic markers and the use of aspirin and NSAIDs to learn who actually benefits from their use. They did so by conducting a genome-wide analysis of gene by environment interactions.

    "These novel findings have substantial clinical significance," Dr. Nan, the lead author, said. "Our findings, if validated in additional populations, may facilitate targeted colorectal cancer prevention strategies and contribute to precision medicine."

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Student Showcase

  • IUSM-Evansville students receive $200,000 in scholarships

    Medical students attending IU School of Medicine-Evansville were awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships at the regional campus’s annual scholarship and awards banquet March 10.

    With tremendous support from the community, the school was able to help students pay for their medical school educations. IUSM-Evansville scholarships are granted on academic achievement and financial need.

    The 2015 academic scholarship recipients are:

    • The Aline Mary Condict Aust & Charles Aust Sr., M.D. Scholarship -- Ellen E. Cotant, '16
    • The Anesthesiology Group Associates Scholarship -- Alyson Endicott, '17
    • The Dr. Martin John & Lois Bender Scholarship -- Christopher R. Deig, '16
    • Jennifer and Mark Browning Family Scholarship -- Kristyn Jeffries, '16
    • Browning Southwest Indiana Scholarship -- Brandt Lydon, '16
    • Charles, Delores, Mary & Jennifer Browning and Tom & Helen Miller Scholarship -- Audrey Bickel, '18
    • IUSM-Evansville Community Advisory Council Scholarship -- Bryan McDowell, '18
    • The Deaconess Hospital Medical Staff Scholarship -- Karen E. Trevino, '16 and Ian Lynch, '18
    • The Dr. Michael & Nancy Drake, ’79 Medical Student Scholarship -- Anna Bakas, '18
    • The Raymond W. & Joyce Nicholson Scholarship -- Bryan McDowell, '18 and Brandt Lydon, '16
    • The Oncology Hematology Associates of Southwest Indiana Medical Student Scholarship -- Anna Bakas, '18
    • The IUSM Evansville Ruby Scholarship -- Amelia Scherle, '16; Michael Trevino, '16; Mallory Williams, '15; and Ian Stamps, '15
    • The Dr. Justice F. Wynn Scholarship -- Karen Trevino, '16; Han Cun, '15; Andrew Nejad, '15; Jared Vibbert, '17; and Susan Ellsperman, '17
    • The Vanderburgh Medical Society Scholarship -- Audrey Bickel, '18 and Karen Trevino, '16
    • The Patrick J.V. Corcoran Scholarship -- Bryan McDowell, '18 and Audrey Bickel, '18
    • The First District Medical Society Scholarship -- Christopher R. Deig, '16
    • IUSM-E General Scholarship -- Stephen Overcash, '17; Jacob O’Sullivan, '17; Weston Kitley, '17; Angela Budgin, '15; Anna McKenney, '17; Kevin Spellman, '17; Sunny Cai, '17; and Kent Melchiors, '17 

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  • Three IUSM students earn pediatric internships

    Austin Combs, Amy Holifield and Cassondra Williams in the IU School of Medicine Health Professions Program for Respiratory Therapy were recently named recipients of summer pediatric internships at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. During a six-week period this summer, the students will learn advanced respiratory care procedures in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.    

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  • The Match is Friday

    Match Day 2015 will be Friday nationwide. For IUSM fourth-year students, the event will be in the IUPUI Campus Center, Room 450. The doors open at 11 a.m., and the opening of the envelopes will be at noon.

    Students, faculty and family unable to attend in person can watch the day's activities on live stream or on archive:

    The after party for students and guests will be at the Mavris Arts & Events Center, 121 S. East St., Indianapolis.

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  • American Cancer Society offers grants for new pilot projects

    The American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant provides financial support for beginning investigators to initiate their independent research programs. These funds are available for new pilot projects to assist investigators who hold the rank of assistant professor, research assistant professor or assistant scientist and do not have an active national competitive grant.

    The purpose of the ACS Institutional Research Grant program is to attract new investigators from Indiana University into cancer research and to provide support for new pilot studies that will produce preliminary data for the investigators to develop into studies that will compete successfully for external, national funds from both federal and private sources. IUSM faculty from all nine campuses and the schools of nursing, dentistry, optometry, public and environmental affairs, health and rehabilitation sciences, liberal arts, law, science and informatics are especially encouraged to apply.

    Funding is available for four pilot projects, beginning June 1, in amounts up to $40,000. Applications are due by Friday, May 1. The request for proposal includes submission guidelines, and the application form also is available. 

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  • Center for At-Risk Elders seeks volunteer advocates

    The Center for At-Risk Elders is seeking volunteer advocates to provide guardian services to adults and seniors who are incapacitated, ill or unbefriended. The CARE volunteer advocate program steps in when at-risk adults without suitable family involvement are unable to make health care decisions or protect their interests.

    Appointed by the Marion County Probate Court, volunteer advocates investigate and assess an at-risk person’s life situation, facilitate health care and social services, plan appropriate residential placement, and prepare court reports regarding their findings and recommendations. 

    Volunteer advocates are asked to commit to a one-year term and can anticipate spending approximately 10 to 20 hours per month on advocacy responsibilities. Advocates must be at least 21 years old, pass a criminal background and reference check, and complete the required training. 

    The next training session will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the CARE office, 120 E. Market St., Suite 1190, Indianapolis. Those interested in attending the training should complete the volunteer advocate application at For more information, contact Robin Bandy at

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  • Kennedy to present 2015 IUPUI Last Lecture on March 27

    Sheila Suess Kennedy, J.D., professor of law and public policy in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, will present "Defending Reason in an Unreasonable Time" at 2 p.m. Friday, March 27, in the lower level of the IUPUI Campus Center Theater. 

    As part of the university's Last Lecture Series, Kennedy will discuss questions of the common good, the nature of mutual social obligation and Aristotle's "human flourishing," offering conclusions shaped by her life experiences and her scholarship. Director of the Center for Civic Literacy at IUPUI, Kennedy's scholarly publications include nine books and numerous law review and journal articles.

    The Last Lecture Series offers the university community the opportunity to hear reflections on life's lessons and meaning from a current or retired IUPUI colleague of exceptional merit. The lecture, followed by a reception at 3 p.m., is sponsored by the IUPUI Senior Academy, the IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs and the IU Foundation. 

    Respond online by March 23 or call Angie Vinci-Booher at 317-274-4500. This series was established in 2009 and past lectures can be viewed online.

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  • Rock for Riley is April 17 at Old National Centre

    Rock for Riley, the annual benefit concert for Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, will feature funk band The Main Squeeze with opening act, Oferle. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at Deluxe at Old National Centre in Indianapolis. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.

    General admission and VIP tickets are on sale at and or in person at all Ticketmaster locations and at the Old National Centre box office. Charge by phone at 800-745-3000.   

    All money generated through ticket sales benefits Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Rock for Riley is a student-run philanthropy group that consists of many of the IU medical professional schools in Indianapolis. The group is directed by Lisa Christy from Medical Service-Learning at IUSM and faculty advisor, Todd Nebesio, M.D. Since its inception in 2004, Rock for Riley has raised more than $800,000 for the hospital.

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