News to Use

  • IUSM to graduate 404 doctors, scientists Saturday

    There will be several doctors in the house Saturday at the Indiana Convention Center when the IU School of Medicine awards diplomas to 404 physicians, scientists and researchers.

    Graduates and their family and friends will gather at 10 a.m. May 9 in the Sagamore Ballroom for commencement ceremonies and to hear IU School of Medicine alumnus Kent Brantly, M.D., discuss his work in Africa treating patients with the Ebola virus and his near-death struggle with the disease.

    The IU School of Medicine will award:

    • 307 Doctor of Medicine degrees.
    • 25 Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
    • 2 Combined M.D./Ph.D. degrees.
    • 41 Master of Science degrees.
    • 16 Master of Science in clinical research degrees.
    • 3 Combined M.D./M.S. in translational science degrees.
    • 7 Master of Science in medical science degrees.
    • 3 Combined M.D./MBA degrees. 

    Following Dr. Brantly's address, IU Executive Vice President and IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz, Ph.D., who will retire in August, and Jay L. Hess, M.D., Ph.D., dean and Walter J. Daly Professor at the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president for university clinical affairs, will present diplomas.

    A special segment of the ceremony is reserved for the newly named physicians. Following the formal hooding ceremony, the new doctors will repeat in unison the time-honored Physician’s Oath, promising, among other things, to practice their profession “with conscience and dignity” and always considering the health of their patients first and foremost. 

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  • IU4Nepal meets funding challenge, raises goal

    IU4Nepal has met its initial goal of raising $20,000 for emergency relief targeted to earthquake victims in Nepal. Now it is continuing the fundraising campaign, seeking to collect another $5,000 by May 15.

    The funds are being collected through the international charitable fund GlobalGiving and earmarked for its Nepal earthquake relief fund, which supports a variety of international and local relief efforts responding to the April 25 quake.

    Following an IU Bloomington forum and vigil, an anonymous donor offered to match up to $10,000 in donations to help Nepal. In one week’s time, the community responded to the call; the campaign raised $10,700 from 111 online donors. The total is expected to rise when mail-in donations are accounted for.

    “Nepal needs lots of loving right now,” said Samrat Upadhyay, Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities and a native of Nepal. “As a teacher, I am devastated by the news that 16,000 schools have been damaged, with 575 schools completely destroyed. Now we have an entire generation of Nepali youths at risk of being deprived of the fundamental right to education.”

    Updates and additional information are available at the IU4Nepal Facebook page.

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  • IU receives 2.8 percent increase from state for fiscal year 2016

    IU's seven campuses received a combined increase of 2.8 percent -- or $13.4 million -- in state operating appropriations for fiscal year 2016 in the two-year budget approved by the Indiana General Assembly last week and signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence today.

    IU's total state operating appropriation for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is $485.7 million. The university was appropriated $497.7 million in operating funds for fiscal 2017, a 2.5 percent increase over the 2016 funding level.

    For fiscal year 2016, IU Bloomington received the largest appropriation among the university’s seven campuses: $190.8 million, a 3.2 percent increase from the current fiscal year. The IU School of Medicine and School of Dentistry received a combined $114.3 million (a 1.7 percent increase) and the IUPUI campus received $99.5 million, or 3.7 percent more than the current year.

    The budget increases for Indiana University reflect the university's work to meet performance metrics established by the state that are designed to help increase college attainment levels. All seven IU-administered campuses received funding increases from the state in fiscal year 2016, ranging from 0.7 percent at IU Southeast to 8.4 percent at IU East in Richmond.

    "We are deeply appreciative of the support the General Assembly has given to higher education in general, and specifically to Indiana University," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "The university shares the state's vision of graduating more Hoosiers and doing so in a way that lessens the financial burden of attaining a college degree to the greatest extent possible."

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  • IU, IU Health teaming up to transform health care, education in Indiana

    IU President Michael A. McRobbie's most recent "President's Update" includes perspectives on the unique partnership between the university and Indiana University Health, which is poised to create new academic health centers in Bloomington and Indianapolis to better serve the state's health needs. Read President McRobbie's message about the partnership.

    In mid-April, IU joined IU Health in announcing that the new IU Health Bloomington Hospital would be built on the IU Bloomington campus as part of a regional academic health center. View a video of the regional academic health center announcement.   

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  • Save the date: First Indiana Urban Wilderness Run is June 13

    A large pedestrian-worn pathway that has been a popular cross country course for many years will serve as the site for the inaugural Indiana Urban Wilderness Run on Saturday, June 13. Other events are also planned throughout the weekend celebration.

    The run will travel alongside the White River on a mixture of single-track dirt trails, grass and a limestone path. The course will utilize urban park space that has been created as part of an initiative called the Green Corridor Extension Project.  The trail run is open to the public for all runners and walkers, including a short trail run experience for youth.             

    Earlier this year, the Collegiate Running Association (CRA) announced that their first national championship event in trail running would be held on the recently upgraded corridor. The CRA championship race is open to all college students.

    The race will be a quarter marathon (10.55K) and will award $6,000 in prizes to the top five male and female college students. Eskenazi Health, Indy Parks, White River State Park, Central Indiana Community Foundation and Reconnecting to Our Waterways are founding sponsors for the event. Proceeds from participant fees will be directed to annual improvements of gateway spaces to the Urban Wilderness Trail in Graham Martin Park (Indy Parks) and the White River State Park.

    Register for the Indiana Urban Wilderness Run.  
    Register for the Collegiate Running Association’s Trail Race National Championship

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Research News

  • Open source health information technology project tackles Ebola

    An accurate, up to the minute, accessible medical record system is fundamental to effective treatment and tracking of the Ebola virus. But how to create this type of system in the rudimentary, overwhelmed Ebola care centers of West Africa where paper records or computers -- even if they were available -- couldn't be carried in and out of treatment areas?

    As Ebola surged in resource-constrained Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in the fall of 2014, the ingenious concept of a tablet computer usable by individuals in bulky protective gear and encased in polycarbonate enabling simple and repeated disinfection was developed and implemented by Google and Doctors Without Borders teams, solving the hardware part of the problem.

    But what software to use on the specialized tablets and on the server where critical information is stored? Enter the OpenMRS community that drives the world’s largest open source project to develop health information technology for resource-constrained environments.

    "An effective, longitudinal medical record is an essential requirement for Ebola treatment and these records can’t be carried in and out of infected areas. A networked electronic medical record is essential -- and OpenMRS offers a cost-effective, well-tested system that has been deployed in multiple sites in dozens of countries in a sustainable way," said OpenMRS co-founder and project leader Paul Biondich, M.D., a Regenstrief Institute investigator and IU School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics.

    "Commercial electronic medical record systems aren't equipped to handle the problems encountered in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. One size doesn't fit all. You need customizable software that can be matched to the task at hand. The OpenMRS platform provides a foundation on which to build an effective system to meet the urgent needs of public health officials as well as the daunting demands of treating and managing large numbers of Ebola patients in primitive conditions."

    The solutions developed for the projects included standardized terminology related to Ebola, order entry for medications and intravenous fluids, lab test ordering and reporting, tracking lab samples from the community and alerting clinicians to the results, and observations of intensive care management, as well as tools for contact tracing and community outreach.

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  • Grants and awards ? April 2015

    IU School of Medicine researchers earned nearly $4 million in grants and awards -- excluding commercial projects -- in April 2015.

    Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars
    Costantine Albany, M.D. Conquer Cancer Foundation New Hypomethylation Induced Resensitization to Platinum in Refractory Germ Cell Tumors 7/1/14 6/30/15 $66,666
    Mohamad Azhar, Ph.D. National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Analysis of TGFbeta ligands function in heart development and disease 4/1/15 1/31/16 $390,000
    Teresita M. Bellido, Ph.D. Purdue University New Berries and Bones 9/30/14 8/31/15 $275,650
    Bobbi J. Byrne, M.D. March Of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation Ind. Chapter New Promotion of Outcomes in Birth Equity through Neonatal Resuscitation Simulation Education 4/1/15 3/31/16 $14,159
    Rebecca J. Chan, M.D., Ph.D. National Cancer Institute New The Role of Shp2 Phosphatase Activity in FLT3-ITD+ Acute Myeloid Leukemia 4/1/15 3/31/16 $36,868
    Karen Cowden Dahl, Ph.D. U.S. Department Of Defense New ARID3B induces CD133-mediated homing to the ovarian cancer metastatic niche 4/1/15 3/31/17 $468,000
    Monika Fischer, M.D. University of Michigan New A Randomized Controlled Trial of High Dose Vitamin D Therapy in Crohn's Disease (RODIN-CD) 9/1/14 8/31/15 $11,884
    Shaun J. Grannis, M.D. University of Kentucky Research Foundation New Early Case Capture (ECC) of Pediatric and Young Adult Cancer (PYAC) Cases 9/30/14 9/29/15 $51,063
    Quyen Quoc Hoang, Ph.D. National Institute of General Medical Sciences New Structure and Function of the Parkinson's disease associated protein LRRK2 4/1/15 3/31/16 $299,562
    Chandy C. John, M.D. Doris Duke Charitable Foundation New Novel use Of Hydroxyurea in an African Region with Malaria 1/1/15 8/31/15 $243,000
    Laurence Byron Kempton, M.D. University of Washington New Unilateral Sacral Fracture Project 1/1/14 12/31/15 $4,000
    David G. Marrero, Ph.D. Baylor University New Diabetes Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) Across the Lifespan: Measure Development 3/1/15 2/29/16 $60,720
    Daniela Elena Matei, M.D. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs New VA - IPA, Novel inhibitors for the Tissue Tranglutaminase-Fibronectin Interaction, Interaction 1/1/15 12/31/15 $18,303
    Daniela Elena Matei, M.D. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs New VA - IPA, Novel inhibitors for the Tissue Tranglutaminase-Fibronectin Interaction, Interaction 1/1/15 12/31/15 $15,599
    Todd Owen McKinley, M.D. Johns Hopkins University New Local Antibiotic Therapy to Reduce Infection after Operative Treatment of Fractures at High Risk of Infection: A Multicenter Randomized, Controlled Trial (VANCO) 4/14/15 9/29/15 $66,000
    Raghu G. Mirmira, M.D., Ph.D. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases New Validation of small molecule 12-lipoxygenase inhibitors in metabolic disease 4/1/15 3/31/16 $481,326
    Lilian I. Plotkin, Ph.D. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases New Osteocyte apoptosis and regulation of bone resorption with aging 4/1/15 2/29/16 $343,200
    S. Hamid Sayar, M.D. University of Minnesota New Multiplexed Kinase Biosensor Technology to Detect Leukemia Signaling with Mass Spectrometry 9/19/14 8/31/15 $13,081
    Margaret A. Schwarz, M.D. American Medical Association New Investigating novel therapies for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia through pathway differential expression. 4/1/15 3/31/16 $2,500
    Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh New University of Pittsburgh CTSI - ACT Wave 2 1/1/15 6/30/15 $169,363
    Jie Sun, Ph.D. National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Regulation of pulmonary anti-viral immunity in normal and obese hosts 4/1/15 3/31/16 $390,000
    Johnathan D. Tune, Ph.D. California Medical Innovations Institute New Coronary Blood Flow: Integrated Theory and Experiments 7/1/14 3/31/15 $22,706
    Kathleen T. Unroe, M.D. The John A. Hartford Foundation, Inc. New The OPTIMISTIC Resource Center: A planning grant proposal 4/1/15 3/31/16 $450,633
    Stephanie Ware, M.D., Ph.D. American Heart Association Incorporated New Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in cardiomyopathy 12/1/14 12/31/15 $80,000

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Faculty and Staff News


  • HANDS in Autism research opportunities available

    HANDS in Autism seeks undergraduate and graduate students/volunteers who are interested in gaining research and practical experience and/or course credits as part of a practicum, independent study, externship or internship experience.

    Research opportunities may involve psychometrics of implementation measures, community needs assessments and evaluation, program evaluation, implementation research on evidence-based practices and comprehensive programs, single case behavioral studies, market and cost analyses, web-based projects, and/or behavioral coding related to parent and professional training. Real-world application and experience is possible for students in many fields, including public health, psychology, education, social work, informatics, philanthropy, business, nursing, and speech and language. 

    To learn more, e-mail Tiffany Neal, Ph.D., at or Naomi Swiezy, Ph.D., at

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  • Renal Imaging Technology Development Program applications due June 1

    Applications are sought for the Renal Imaging Technology Development Program coordinated through the IUPUI Research Center for Quantitative Renal Imaging. Proposals should address research associated with the development of new, innovative, renal imaging-related technologies (i.e., any technology associated with the acquisition of images, display of image information, or quantitative analyses of the information contained within an image) that will enhance the diagnosis of kidney diseases and the evaluation of the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. Applications are due 5 p.m. Monday, June 1.

    A total of $45,000 from the RITDP is available to fund meritorious proposals. Although there is no specific limit for the total proposed budget (up to $45,000), it is strongly recommended the maximum total budget for the submitted proposal not exceed $15,000. Proposed projects should not exceed one year.

    Complete description of the RITDP program and application guidelines are available. For questions, contact Mark Holland at

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  • Counsell named president of American Geriatrics Society

    Steven R. Counsell, M.D., the Mary Elizabeth Mitchell Professor of Geriatrics, IUSM professor of medicine and founding director of IU Geriatrics, will become the 62nd president of the American Geriatrics Society at the start of the organization's 2015 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting May 15-17 in National Harbor, Maryland. Dr. Counsell is a 27-year member of the AGS.

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