Top News

  • Don?t miss it: Second Year Show is Friday

    Get ready for laughs and a fun evening at the annual Second Year Show (2YS) at 7 pm, Friday, Jan. 12, at the Madame Walker Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. Plan to arrive early for a pre-show social hour from 5-7 pm, sponsored by the Office of Diversity Affairs. Appetizers and door prizes will be available.

    This year’s 2YS, organized by IU School of Medicine MS2 students, tells the story of “Ashleigh” and her adventures adapting to the exciting--and often stressful--world of medical school.

    Tickets for the show are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Donations for this student-run initiative are also accepted.

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  • Rusk named assistant dean for career mentoring and professional development

    Debra Rusk, MD, has been named assistant dean for career mentoring and professional development, Medical Student Education, effective Jan. 2. Dr. Rusk is an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics. In her additional role as assistant dean of career mentoring, Dr. Rusk will report to Emily Walvoord, MD, associate dean for student affairs.

    “We are thrilled to have Dr. Rusk join our student affairs team in Medical Student Education. She brings an incredible range of experiences, including completing a medicine/pediatrics residency and an emergency medicine residency, working in primary care and in the emergency department, and most recently serving as the residency program director for IU School of Medicine’s highly regarded emergency medicine/pediatrics residency,” said Dr. Walvoord. “She is devoted to enhancing and expanding the career mentoring experiences of our students with creative new programs for students of all years and at all campuses.”

    A 1994 graduate of IU School of Medicine, Dr. Rusk completed an internal medicine and pediatrics combined residency program at IU School of Medicine, joined the school’s faculty practicing in an outpatient primary care setting, and returned to training completing an emergency medicine residency in 2007. She has been an active member of the Department of Emergency Medicine practicing in the emergency departments at Eskenazi Health and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. She is returning from medical leave after receiving a bilateral lung transplant in February 2017.

    “I am very excited to join the team in Medical Student Education, and am ready to tackle the challenges of building on existing programs,” Dr. Rusk said. “Proper mentoring is essential to success, and I look forward to the opportunity to build new systems and new relationships to help all IU School of Medicine students navigate a successful course through medical school and into an appropriate residency for a rewarding career.”

    About career mentoring at IU School of Medicine

    Career mentors serve a valuable role in the journey from medical student to professional. One-on-one career mentoring helps IU School of Medicine students explore specialty and career options that align with their skills and interests. Students are able to interact with a career mentor whenever they feel ready to discuss career options or delve into a specialty.

    Look for a Q&A with Dr. Rusk in an upcoming issue of INScope.

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  • Spataro to lead IU School of Medicine strategic communications

    Karen Spataro was recently named director of strategic communications for IU School of Medicine. Currently serving as director of advancement and development communications in the Office of Gift Development, Spataro will begin her new role with the school on Monday, Feb. 5.

    As a member of the gift development team for the past 10 years, Spataro has been instrumental in sharing the school’s research, patient care and medical education accomplishments with existing and prospective donors, as well as developing strategies that increase engagement among alumni. Her previous experience as a journalist and her in-depth knowledge of the school make her an ideal candidate to continue advancing the work of the strategic communications and visual media teams to raise the school’s profile and to gain national recognition for IU School of Medicine’s impact on the delivery of healthcare and discovery of new therapies.

    Spataro succeeds Holly Vonderheit, who was promoted to executive director of strategic communications for Indiana University. 

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Research News

  • A novel rapid method produces superior blood stem cells for bone marrow transplants

    Many people in need of a transplant struggle to find suitable donors or mobilize sufficient numbers of their own blood stem cells. Louis Pelus, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, is working to change that as part of his research with a multi-institutional team of investigators at IU School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Glaxo SmithKline.

    As reported in a study published Jan. 11, 2018, in the journal Cell, the research team has developed a new method of harvesting blood stem cells for bone marrow transplantation that makes the bone marrow donation process quicker and easier for donors and allows for the collection of stem cells that are superior to those collected by the current standard method. This one-injection, one-day procedure has the potential to increase the bone marrow donor pool as well as facilitate stem cell collection in difficult patient groups.

    For more on this groundbreaking research, read Dr. Pelus’ blog post.

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  • In scientific first, researchers grow hairy skin in a dish

    IU School of Medicine researchers have successfully developed a method to grow hairy skin from mouse pluripotent stem cells--a discovery that could lead to new approaches to model disease and new therapies for the treatment of skin disorders and cancers.

    This research, recently published online in the journal Cell Reports, marks the first demonstration that hair follicles can be grown in cultures of stem cells. The study was led by Karl Koehler, PhD, assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at IU School of Medicine, and a postdoctoral fellow in his lab, Jiyoon Lee, PhD.

    “The skin is a complex organ that has been difficult to fully recreate and maintain in culture for research purposes,” said Dr. Koehler, who explains more in a blog post. “Our study shows how to encourage hair development from lab grown mouse skin, which has been particularly troublesome for researchers to recreate in culture." 

    Dr. Koehler and his team’s findings build on their past work creating a technique for growing inner ear cells from stem cells, in which mouse stem cells are cultured in a three-dimensional ball and treated with specific signaling molecules to coax the cells into producing inner ear tissue. The researchers noticed that skin was a byproduct of the inner ear growth process.

    “In the developing embryo, the inner ear comes from the same layer of cells as the top layer of the skin, [the epidermis], so it was no surprise that skin and inner ear tissue formed in tandem,” Dr. Koehler said. “We were surprised to find that the bottom layer of the skin [the dermis] also develops.”

    For more on the research, visit IU School of Medicine Newsroom.

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  • Meneghini spearheads research aimed at improving hip replacement outcomes

    One of the most marketed surgical approaches to a common orthopaedic procedure may not provide the best long-term outcomes for patients. A study led by Michael Meneghini, MDorthopaedic faculty surgeon at IU School of Medicine, compares different approaches to a total hip arthroplasty (THA), or hip replacement procedure.

    In recent years, the direct anterior approach has been promoted as an innovative, minimally-invasive technique to the THA with rapid recovery. This approach involves a making an incision on the front of the hip, allowing the joint to be replaced by moving muscles without detaching any tendons; however, a study conducted by Dr. Meneghini and partnering colleagues from across the country is one of the first to prove potentially higher complication rates utilizing this approach.

    Investigations performed at IU Health Saxony Hospital (Fishers, Indiana), the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), and OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center (Charlotte, North Carolina) reviewed more than 300 patients facing early THA failure, or complications within five years of the initial surgery taking place. Relevant complications include fracture of the bone with insertion, loosening of the implant due to failure of bone ingrowth and the hip popping out of the socket.

    In addition to the surgical approach of the primary operation, the amount of time between the initial operation and the revision, as well as the underlying cause leading to early failure were reviewed and documented.

    “As surgeons, our goal is to provide the safest and most effective long-term care for our patients,” said Dr. Meneghini. “Hip replacements should last roughly 20 years. The fact that so many patients are requiring a second operation in less than five years is concerning. Our team wanted to understand why this was happening and how to improve patient outcomes across the board.”

    For more on this research, visit the IU School of Medicine Newsroom.

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  • December research awards total more than $2.4 million

    Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars
    Malaz A Boustani New York University New Program of Intensive Support in Emergency Departments for Caregivers of Cognitively Impaired Patients (POISED-CCIP, referred to as POISED) 8/1/17 5/31/18 216,202
    Sherri L Bucher University Of Washington New Virtual Reality Technology and DHIS2 Mobile Data Collection to Improve Newborn Healthcare Delivery in LMICs 9/19/17 8/31/18 119,995
    Peng-Sheng Chen National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New SK current and ventricular arrhythmias. 12/15/17 11/30/18 571,509
    Timothy W Corson Carl M. Reeves And Mildred A. Reeves Foundation New New soluble epoxide inhibitors and mechanism in choroidal neovascularization 12/1/17 8/31/18 49,282
    Stephanie D Davis Albert Einstein College Of Medicine Of Yeshiva Uni Renewal (not prev committed) Developmental Impact of NICU Exposures (DINE) - Capitation account 9/1/17 8/31/18 10,000
    Heidi M Harmon Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Riley Maternity and Newborn Health - Newborn Follow-up Operational Expenses 7/1/17 6/30/18 370,000
    Takashi Hato Dialysis Clinic, Inc Renewal (not prev committed) Mechanisms of direct renal injury in sepsis. 2/1/18 1/31/19 60,000
    Mark H Kaplan National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Identification of regulatory elements in the Il9 gene 12/5/17 11/30/18 78,750
    Todd Owen McKinley Us Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Repair of Traumatized Muscle Tissue for Improvement of Musculoskeletal Healing 9/30/17 9/29/19 499,044
    Ulrike Mietzsch Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Center for Maternity & Newborn Health - Neuro NICU Operational Expenses 7/1/17 6/30/18 238,000
    Raghu G Mirmira Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Lilly Foundation Endowed Chair 7/1/17 6/30/20 87,188
    Brian Heath Mullis Johns Hopkins University New A Retrospective Study of Early Mechanical Stabilization and Bleeding in Disruption of the Pelvic Ring (PilotBIND) 4/17/17 9/29/18 2,000
    Melissa Susan Oliver Childhood Arthritis And Rheumatology Research Alliance New Clinical disease manifestation associated with anti-TNF non-response in Juvenile Spondyloarthropathy 1/2/18 1/1/19 20,736
    Jeffrey F Peipert Washington University In St. Louis New LEVONORGESTREL INTRAUTERINE SYSTEM FOR EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION 7/1/17 3/14/18 11,500
    Andrew J Saykin Duke University New Metabolic Networks and Pathways in Alzheimer's Disease 8/1/17 5/31/18 47,250
    Michael C Veronesi Radiological Society Of North America New Validation of PET/CT Radiolabeled Nanoparticle Imaging for Intranasal Drug Delivery to the Brain 7/1/17 6/30/18 19,548
    Tracey Allyson Wilkinson Ibis Reproductive Health New Dual Protection with OTC Contraception: A Human Centered Design Approach project. 7/1/17 6/30/18 36,910

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Jan. 18 FEED event to address learner mistreatment and patient safety

    Plan to attend an informative Faculty Enrichment and Education Development (FEED) event identifying the connections between learner mistreatment and patient safety. The event is from 5:15-7 pm, Thursday, Jan. 18, in Fairbanks Hall, Room 1110. Registered participants will discover why learner mistreatment matters for all faculty and what they can do to mitigate this issue.

    FEED is a series of workshops on key topics in faculty development, providing an opportunity to learn in a collegial environment.

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  • Info sessions regarding promotion and tenure kick off Feb. 8

    Learn about IU School of Medicine’s promotion and tenure process during a series of information sessions beginning Thursday, Feb. 8. Each year, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development partners with the school’s promotion and tenure committee to offer these special sessions. Dates and topics include:

    Thursday, Feb. 8: General overview
    Wednesday, Feb. 14: Documenting your work
    Monday, Feb. 19: Preparing your CV
    Wednesday, Feb. 21: Advancing to full professor
    Monday, Feb. 26: eDossier nuts and bolts

    Registration is available for each session. 

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Student News

  • Indiana Medical Student Program for Research and Scholarship applications are due Jan. 29

    Interested in exploring research opportunities? The Indiana Medical Student Program for Research and Scholarship (IMPRS) facilitates IU School of Medicine medical student participation in various medical research and experiential opportunities, including laboratory, clinical, health research outcomes and community health education.

    The IMPRS mission is to provide a diverse array of research and scholarly options for the IU School of Medicine students and to enrich the research and scholarly education for all of the school’s medical students. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be current IU School of Medicine students in Phase 1 Year 1.

    Applications are due Monday, Jan. 29.

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  • ASN accepting student applications for TREKS program

    The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is accepting applications for the 2018 TREKS (Tutored Research and Education for Kidney Scholars) program. Students have the option to explore a career in nephrology while hitting the woods at the original TREKS site at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) in Bar Harbor, Maine, or exploring the city at the TREKS site at the University of Chicago (UChicago) in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, participants will be assigned to a mentor at their local institutions to guide them with regards to research and career development. Application deadline is Friday, Jan. 19, at 4 pm EST. 

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  • Updated: Allen spring semester office hours

    Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean, Medical Student Education, will hold office hours throughout the spring semester. Check the updated list of days and times below:

    Wednesday, Jan. 17; noon-1 pm
    Wednesday, Jan. 24; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, Feb. 1; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, Feb. 8; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, Feb. 15; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, March 1; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, March 8; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, March 15; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, March 29; noon-1 pm
    Wednesday, April 11; noon-1 pm
    Wednesday, April 18; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, May 3; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, May 10; noon-1 pm
    Thursday, May 17; noon-1 pm

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  • Nominations sought for $100K Watanabe translational research prize

    Indiana University School of Medicine is accepting nominations for the 2018 August M.Watanabe Prize in Translational Research, awarded to an investigator who has made a significant contribution to the field of translational science.

    The Watanabe Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious awards recognizing individuals focused on shepherding scientific discoveries into new therapies for patients. It is named in honor of the late August Watanabe, a titan in the field of translational research in both academia and industry, who impacted the health of people around the world as a leader at IU and Eli Lilly and Co.

    Nominees for the Watanabe Prize should be members of the scientific or medical community who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in translational research. This award is conferred upon senior investigators whose influential research deserves major recognition.

    The winner of the 2018 Watanabe Prize will receive a $100,000 award and spend time in Indianapolis as a visiting dignitary to share knowledge with audiences at IU and partner institutions. Over the next two years, the honoree also will serve as a long-distance mentor to two exceptional young investigators named concurrently as Watanabe Translational Scholars. Note: This year’s prize nominees must be available to travel to Indianapolis from September 12-14, 2018.

    Submit a nomination by Jan. 31, 2018.

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  • January Diversity Month events continue

    In recognition of Diversity Month, IU School of Medicine has planned a series of events exploring different dimensions of diversity, including topics specific to diversity and inclusion in academic medicine. The remaining schedule of events includes:

    Friday, Jan. 12: Diversity Affairs Social Hour
    5 pm; Madame Walker Theater

    Friday, Jan. 19: Department of Medicine Grand Rounds: Moving Beyond Cultural Competence Toward Equitable Patient-Centered Communication
    Noon; Emerson Hall 304

    Monday, Jan. 22: Stepping Stones of Women in Leadership (featuring Emily Walvoord, MD)
    11:45 am; Fairbanks Hall 1112

    Monday, Jan. 22: Unconscious Bias Presentation at IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne
    Dinner session: 6:30 pm (viewing available in Walther Hall 303)

    Thursday, Jan. 25: Cultural Awareness Town Hall: Fourteen Years Later--On Barriers to Healthcare Faced by the Hispanic/Latino Community of Indianapolis
    11:30 am; Walther Hall 203 

    Tuesday, Jan. 30: Asking Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Questions in the History and Physical Exam
    Noon; Van Nuys Medical Science Building, B26

    Visit for more details on 2018 diversity programming. 

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  • Diabetes research funding letters of intent due Jan. 19

    The IU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases is now accepting letters of intent for its pilot and feasibility program. Investigators at Indiana University, IUPUI, Ball State, Notre Dame, the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and Purdue are eligible for the funding program, which fosters the development of new diabetes-related investigators and provides seed support for innovative, high-risk projects.

    New investigators and established investigators new to diabetes-related research are encouraged to apply. The program also will consider established diabetes investigators pursuing high-impact/high-risk projects or projects that are a significant departure from their usual work.

    Application details are available. Letters of intent are due Friday, Jan. 19, and the full submission deadline is Monday, March 19.

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  • Letters of intent for veteran-related research funding due Jan. 12

    The Indiana Institute for Medical Research (IIMR) promotes and enhances research efforts that will ultimately result in improved quality of life for veterans and for the greater population. To support this mission, IIMR works to encourage investigators to develop their research careers by working with IIMR, the Veterans Administration and veterans to answer important questions. To this end, IIMR sponsors the annual Young Investigator Award Program, which provides a competitive experience for investigators to explore the possibilities of VA-related research. 

    More information and application details are available. Letters of intent are due Friday, Jan. 12, and the full submission deadline is Friday, Feb. 9.

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  • LGBTQ health conference is March 22-23

    Scheduled for March 22 and 23, the LGBTQ Healthcare Update Conference is a two-day event addressing the unique health considerations and barriers to health care in the transgender and LGB populations. Basic elements of transgender-specific health care will also be discussed. Attendees will learn to provide respectful, patient-centered, culturally competent health care to all patients, including transgender and LBG patients. This event, which will be held in Goodman Hall in downtown Indianapolis, is designed for nurses, physicians, physician assistants, psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers and other allied health providers.

    Registration and details are available.

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Around Campus

  • Youth suicide and mental health are topics of Jan. 24 panel discussion

    Experts in youth suicide and mental health will address the alarming increases in child and adolescent suicide in Indiana at a free panel discussion from 9 am-noon, Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the IUPUI Campus Center Theatre. Panelists for the solution-focused discussion are:

    Leslie Hulvershorn, MD, MSc, associate professor of clinical psychiatry, IU School of Medicine, who will discuss the neurobiology underlying mood disorders in children and adolescents, and Indiana’s initiatives to prevent suicide.

    Jasmine Graham, PhD, clinical assistant professor of counseling and counselor education in the School of Education, and an expert in rural and urban mental health intervention.

    Marion S. Greene, MPH, a public health research analyst at the IU Center for Health Policy, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, with specialties in epidemiology and behavioral health.  

    Jody S. Mugele, board of directors, Indianapolis PFLAG, freelance writer and parent of a transgender son. She will discuss reducing depression and suicide among lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning youth.

    The program is free, but registration is requested. Sponsors are the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement and the IUPUI Senior Academy. 

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