News to Use

  • Generous gift to help IUSM-Northwest renovate, expand

    The nearly 500 doctors and dentists that comprise the medical and dental staff at Munster’s Community Hospital have generously decided to focus their philanthropy on medical-related causes close to home. Their $125,000 gift to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, the largest single donation ever made by the organization, will support the renovation and expansion of the school’s teaching laboratories.

    Don Henry, M.D., president of the medical and dental staff at Community Hospital, presented the gift to Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., associate dean and director at IUSM-Northwest, during a formal presentation at the hospital last month.

    “Charity begins at home,” said Dr. Henry. “With IU School of Medicine-Northwest being the local medical school, we all wanted to support the school and the students. As time goes on and the medical school expands, we will all have more students rotating with us, and we felt it was important to foster that relationship. The donation to IU School of Medicine-Northwest was a very satisfying donation, as quite a few of the members received scholarships while in medical or dental school. This gift allows us to help the next generation of physicians.”

    The gift, to be paid to IUSM-Northwest over five years, will allow the school to further meet the educational needs of its expanded student body, now that the school offers four years of medical education. The renovation and expansion plans include advanced teaching technologies and state-of-the-art patient simulation equipment. 

    Dr. Bankston said the donation, and the expansion that it supports, will go a long way toward ensuring quality health care in Northwest Indiana in the years to come.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Riley at IU Health nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties

    Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health is again distinguished as the only nationally ranked children’s hospital in Indiana by U.S.News & World Report, which released its 2015-16 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings this week. Riley Hospital at IU Health ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties.

    This year, fewer than 100 U.S. children’s hospitals were ranked in at least one of the 10 pediatric specialties U.S.News evaluates. Based on a combination of clinical data and reputation among pediatric specialists around the country, Riley Hospital ranked in each of these areas, including cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; neonatology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and urology. Riley Hospital is among only 21 children’s hospitals in the United States to rank in all 10 pediatric specialties this year.

    “This distinction is reflective of our team’s skill and compassion in treating our patients and the incredible impact it has on the lives of Indiana’s children and families,” said Paul R. Haut, M.D., interim president and chief medical officer at Riley Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine. “From the routine to the unforeseen, the level of care and commitment that each child receives is what really distinguishes Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.”

    Back to Top ▲

  • Save the date: Glick Eye Open is July 31

    Get ready to hit the links during the third annual IU School of Medicine Glick Eye Open at 12:30 p.m. (shotgun start) Friday, July 31, at Ironwood Golf Club in Fishers. The Glick Eye Institute is looking for golfers and sponsors to be part of the team in advancing the treatment and prevention of eye disease.

    Sponsored by the Glick Family Foundation, this golf event was created to help fund research and introduce the community to the institute’s researchers and their important work.

    Lunch and dinner provided by Sullivan's Steakhouse. Register to play or learn about sponsorship opportunities by contacting Tim Ueber at .

    Back to Top ▲

  • Sullivan nominated for social media award: Please vote

    William Sullivan, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology at IU School of Medicine, has been nominated for a social media award as a "Malaria Hero" and digital innovator for his efforts to update and educate people about malaria and related research via Twitter, Facebook and his blog, The 'Scope. The winner of this award will be chosen via website voting.

    Dr. Sullivan's primary research interest is the parasite toxoplasma gondii, which has been much in the news lately due to research by Dr. Sullivan and others suggesting that the parasite could prompt protein alterations in the brain -- and thus, speculatively, alterations in human behavior. One of the primary routes of human infection is via cats, in particular cat feces.

    Although toxoplasma gondii is generally not considered a dangerous human infection except among individuals with compromised immune systems and pregnant women, this area of research can serve as a useful model for research into malaria. Malaria is caused by the plasmodium parasite, which is similar to toxoplasma gondii but difficult to study in the laboratory.

    The Social Media Awards were created by Inis Communication to recognize and promote the use of social media in global health. Your vote counts. (Registration is required.)

    Back to Top ▲

Research News

  • IUSM receives more than $2 million in new grants and awards in May 2015

    IU School of Medicine researchers earned more than $2 million in grants and awards (excluding commercial projects) in May 2015.

    Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars
    Gustavo A. Arrizabalaga, Ph.D. National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Calcium signaling in the parasitophorous vacuole of Toxoplasma gondii 5/1/2015 4/30/2016 $191,839
    Stephanie D. Davis, M.D. University of Western Australia New Identifying the clinical utility of MBW in early CF lung disease 5/1/2014 4/30/2015 $83,598
    Robert J. Fallon, M.D., Ph.D. Riley Children's Foundation New RCF Cancer Center Fund 4/1/2015 6/30/2016 $50,000
    Debra Hickman, D.V.M. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs New VA Contract for Vet IPA and other LARC Services 4/1/2015 3/31/2016 $325,000
    Raymond M. Johnson, M.D., Ph.D. National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Role of CD8IL-13 T cells in Chlamydia infection-associated immunopathology 5/1/2015 4/30/2016 $195,000
    Mark H. Kaplan, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame New Engineering Heterobivalent Inhibitors for Specific Inhibition of Mast Cell Degranulation 12/1/2014 11/30/2015 $85,800
    Uma Sankar, Ph.D. U.S. Department of Defense New CaMKK2 Inhibition in Enhancing Bone Fracture Healing 5/1/2015 10/31/2016 $101,762
    Molly Duman Scheel, Ph.D. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation New Small Interfering RNA Larvicides for Control of Malaria Vector Mosquitoes 5/1/2015 10/31/2016 $100,000
    Katherine G. Spoonamore, M.S. National Society of Genetic Counselors New Experiences and perceptions of cardiologists regarding the integration of genetic counselors into cardiology: a telephone interview study 1/1/2015 8/31/2015 $500
    Hiromi Tanaka, Ph.D. Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test New Quantitative PCR analysis of telomere fragility in plasma circulating cell-free DNA for early breast cancer detection 4/1/2015 3/31/2016 $40,000
    Sarah A Tersey, Ph.D. Eastern Virginia Medical School New Pre-clinical development of new characterized compounds that preserve functional beta cell mass in diabetes 12/15/2014 5/15/2015 $13,226
    X. Frank Yang, Ph.D. University of Washington New Elucidating the function of a novel antibacterial amidase in Ixodes scapularis 2/15/2015 1/31/2016 $58,945
    X. Frank Yang, Ph.D. National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Host adaptation of the Lyme disease spirochete 5/1/2015 4/30/2016 $441,750
    Mervin C. Yoder, M.D. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute New HSC-Independent Progenitors Contribute to Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia 5/1/2015 4/30/2016 $31,538
    Teresa A. Zimmers, Ph.D. National Cancer Institute New PQB3: Mechanisms & Targeting of Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Muscle Wasting of Cancer Cachexia 4/10/2015 3/31/2016 $366,552

    Back to Top ▲

  • IU center works to improve population health and prepare leaders

    A newly published paper describes and evaluates the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science, a novel virtual laboratory employing the tools of implementation science to improve population health, lower costs of its delivery and prepare future health care transformational leaders.

    The authors report that a lot has been accomplished in the two years since the IU School of Medicine and the Indiana Clinical Translational Science Institute launched the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science. The center has developed a groundbreaking curriculum and is now offering the first graduate-level certificate in health innovation and implementation science in the United States.

    An evidence-based collaborative care model for older adults with cognitive and emotional disorders has been successfully expanded to a statewide level with potential for greater expansion. The center also  has effectively engaged and partnered with various health care systems including Indiana University Health, Eskenazi Health and the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in a growing number of arenas related to patient care, population health and workforce transformational development.

    The paper is published in English in the peer-reviewed Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, formerly known as the German Journal for Quality in Health Care.

    "The Indiana University Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science: Bridging Healthcare Research and Delivery to Build a Learning Healthcare System" is authored by Jose Azar, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine at IUSM and medical director of quality and patient safety at IU Health; Nadia Adams, MHA, executive director of the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science, and Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, chief operating officer of the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science and the Richard M. Fairbanks Professor of Aging Research at IU School of Medicine.

    Back to Top ▲

Faculty and Staff News

  • Carroll nabs digital media award for YouTube health program

    An online video health program featuring IU School of Medicine's Aaron Carroll, M.D. received the inaugural Health Care Digital Media Award presented by the National Institute of Health Care Management Foundation.

    The program, Healthcare Triage, is a YouTube channel in which Dr. Carroll, director of the IU Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research, covers health care and health policy topics for general audiences.

    In a breezy, quick-cut style, Dr. Carroll describes scientific studies and data, often using engaging graphics and everyday language to convey the information to lay audiences. Entries titled "Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism," "GMOs," "Doctors, Quality of Care, and Pay for Performance," and "Sometimes Faster is Better" were included in the awards submission.

    "We want to translate data and evidence so that viewers can have a more sophisticated and rational discussion about policy," said Dr. Carroll, a pediatrician and associate dean for research mentoring at IU School of Medicine. "For example, in our submitted episodes we used systematic reviews, meta-analyses and individual studies to describe what is known, and how we might use evidence to move forward."

    The NIHCM Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of the U.S. health care system by promoting new ideas from the public and private sectors, funding research, and recognizing excellence in health care journalism.

    Healthcare Triage, which started in October 2013, has attracted nearly 128,000 subscribers. The show's videos have been viewed more than 6.4 million times. Stan Muller is the director and producer of Healthcare Triage, and Mark Olsen creates the show's graphics. Noted novelist John Green is the executive producer.

    The NIHCM's 21st Annual Awards presentation, including the first digital media awards, was held June 1 in Washington, D.C.  Other finalists in the digital media awards category included Forbes magazine, the online news publication Vox, CBS Interactive and PBS station KQED.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Janowicz authors TIME magazine article about HIV outbreak

    Southeastern Indiana is battling the worst HIV outbreak in the state’s history. More than 150 people in Austin have been diagnosed with the virus since December. Two IU School of Medicine faculty members (Diane Janowicz, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, and Janet Arno, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine) have been traveling to the area every week, helping to staff an HIV clinic and educate area care providers and organizations about HIV.

    TIME magazine published an article written by Dr. Janowicz about the clinical response to the outbreak and the importance of learning from it to prevent future outbreaks.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Research symposium inspires departmental collaboration

    Researchers from various IU School of Medicine departments gathered last month for the first annual Musculoskeletal Research Symposium to share research interests with the greater musculoskeletal community. IUSM departments represented included orthopaedic surgery, anatomy and cell biology, medicine, biomedical engineering, medical and molecular genetics and radiology and imaging sciences. The aerospace and mechanical engineering department from the University of Notre Dame also participated.

    Randall Loder, M.D., professor and chairman of orthopaedic surgery, and Melissa Kacena, Ph.D., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and adjunct professor of anatomy and cell biology, organized the successful symposium. More information about the Musculoskeletal Research Symposium is available on the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery section of the IUSM website.

    Back to Top ▲


  • Staff/faculty intergroup dialogues begin June 22

    The IUPUI Office for Intergroup Dialogue and Civil Community is offering two dialogues this summer. These events provide an opportunity for participants to explore intergroup relations as they pertain to their social identity and status as staff and faculty at IUPUI. The two dialogue sessions, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, will be held:

    June-July series

    Monday, June 22
    Tuesday, June 23
    Wednesday, June 24

    Wednesday, July 1

    August series

    Wednesday, Aug. 12
    Thursday, Aug. 13
    Monday, Aug. 17

    Tuesday, Aug. 18

    More information about the staff/faculty dialogue events is available here.

    Interested participants are asked to respond to an IUSM Dialogues Survey Monkey questionnaire.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Nutrition counseling available July 30

    Do you have questions about diet, nutrition or weight loss? Here’s your chance to get some answers. Full-time IU School of Medicine staff and faculty and their spouses/partners are eligible to receive free, one-on-one nutrition counseling. Healthy IU's registered dietitian Steven Lalevich will be in Emerson Hall, Room 333, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 30. Individual sessions will last about one hour.

    During the session, participants will work with Lalevich to develop a personalized nutrition plan. You can also ask questions about common health topics, such as:

    • Weight loss strategies
    • Vegetarian diets
    • Elevated cholesterol 
    • High blood pressure
    • Chronic disease prevention

    To schedule your appointment, e-mail Lalevich at or call 812-855-4948.

    Back to Top ▲


  • Scheel receives funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    A research project proposed by Molly Duman Scheel, Ph.D., associate professor of medical and molecular genetics at the IU School of Medicine-South Bend and adjunct associate professor with the University of Notre Dame Eck Institute for Global Health, is a Grand Challenges Exploration winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    With the grant funding, Dr. Scheel will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Small Interfering RNA Larvicides for Control of Malaria Vector Mosquitoes."

    Grand Challenges Explorations is a $100 million initiative that was launched in 2008. More than 1,100 projects in more than 60 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants.  The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Stahelin named recipient of Navari gift

    Robert V. Stahelin, Ph. D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at IU School of Medicine-South Bend, has been awarded the Navari Family Endowed Chair. The chair will provide funding in support of Stahelin’s research on lipid-protein interactions and is funded by former IUSM-South Bend associate dean and director Rudolph M. Navari, M.D., Ph.D., and his wife Jane. 

    Back to Top ▲

  • Athar receives Golden Hoosier Award

    Shahid Athar, M.D., volunteer clinical associate professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine, received the Golden Hoosier Award, which annually honors outstanding Hoosier senior citizens for their lifetime of service and commitment to their communities. Dr. Athar resides in the Zionsville area.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Campbell named to ASCP 40 Under Forty list

    Brittany Campbell, B.S., PBT(ASCP)HTL, education coordinator, IU School of Medicine Histotechnology Program, has been named to the 2015 American Society for Clinical Pathology’s 40 Under Forty list in recognition of her achievements in the medical laboratory field. The list recognizes highly accomplished pathologists, pathology residents and laboratory professionals who have made significant contributions to the profession and stand out as the future of laboratory leadership. 

    Back to Top ▲