Top News

  • Gift from Koch Foundation will support IU School of Medicine-Evansville

    The Koch Foundation, one of southwestern Indiana’s leading philanthropies, will support Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville with a new $2.5 million endowment to ensure continued strong leadership for years to come.

    The gift will fund the Koch Chair in Medicine, which will be held by the associate dean and director of IU School of Medicine-Evansville. Steven Becker, MD, associate dean and director of the Evansville medical school campus, will be the first holder of the Koch Chair in Medicine.

    The gift comes at a landmark moment for the education of health professionals in Evansville. Programs from the IU School of Medicine, IU School of Dentistry, University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana will be housed under one academic roof when the Stone Family Center for Health Sciences is dedicated today, Thursday, Aug. 9. (See related feature in this issue.)

    “We’re extraordinarily grateful for the generosity of the Koch Foundation,” said Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine. “Together, with the new building, this gift will be instrumental for attracting and supporting outstanding medical education leaders for Evansville.”

    The impact of the Koch Foundation’s gift will be doubled thanks to the match that is part of For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.

    Back to Top ▲

  • IU announces progress toward its Precision Health Grand Challenge

    Indiana University researchers and physicians recently announced progress toward their bold goals of developing cures and preventive treatments for devastating diseases prevalent among Indiana residents. IU Precision Health leaders announced they have recruited 33 new research faculty from throughout the country and built some of the most advanced research and clinical capabilities in the Midwest with the goals of: 

    • Developing new approaches for treating triple negative breast cancer and multiple myeloma that that will cure more patients with these cancers
    • Curing more children with pediatric sarcoma, a particularly deadly cancer found in tissues such as tendons, bones and muscle
    • Preventing the onset and progression of Type 2 diabetes by discovering what biological factors trigger the disease and tailoring treatments to individuals
    • Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by researching the role of the immune system and developing new immunotherapies

    Led by IU School of Medicine, the Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative is IU’s big health care solution. It was established in 2016 with a $120 million investment––$80 million of which has already been committed.

    “The progress made over the last two years is already impacting the care we provide patients,” said IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA. “The Precision Health Initiative ensures Hoosiers do not have to travel to receive leading-edge care and participate in clinical trials. In partnership with IU Health, we are now using genomics to personalize care for thousands of patients, and we are the only place in Indiana to offer cellular immunotherapy -- the ability to reprogram a patient’s immune system to fight disease.” 

    In addition, the university unveiled that a team led by IU Bloomington social scientists will soon begin canvassing rural Indiana to collect information and DNA samples from residents of all backgrounds. The data collected will help researchers understand how genetic, behavioral and environmental factors influence a person’s health.

    For more on Precision Health Grand Challenge progress and upcoming plans, read the full news release.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Impact a student’s career and life by becoming a physician mentor

    During Michael Adjei’s first year of medical school, he found himself in an operating room watching his physician mentor John Dahl, MD, PhD, MBA, perform a tonsillectomy. The procedure was routine for Dr. Dahl, a pediatric otolaryngologist, but opened up a whole new way for Adjei to learn. By quizzing Adjei on the different muscles involved in the procedure, Dr. Dahl uniquely prepared Adjei to study for an upcoming anatomy exam.

    “Dr. Dahl has gone above and beyond to mentor me, and his pieces of advice are what have made me successful up to this point of my academic career,” Adjei said.

    The Physician Mentor Program began in 2015 as a way to connect medical students with a positive role model who supports them through medical school, provides one-on-one mentoring and a social connection to IU School of Medicine. All IU School of Medicine medical students are assigned to a physician mentor during their first year and connect with their physician mentor during all four years of medical training. Apply to become a physician mentor today.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Register for upcoming Indiana CTSI meeting

    Investigators, research staff, students and the public are invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) at its 2018 Annual Meeting on Friday, Sept. 14, in Indianapolis.

    This year’s annual meeting will focus on the history and future of innovations in gene therapy research and will feature a keynote speech by the winner of IU School of Medicine’s prestigious 2018 August M. Watanabe Prize for Translational Research.

    Founded in 2008, the Indiana CTSI brings together the state’s brightest minds to solve Indiana’s most pressing health challenges through research. The institute is a statewide partnership among Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and numerous life sciences businesses, government entities and community organizations.

    Register for the Sept. 14 meeting.

    Back to Top ▲

  • IUPUI Regatta barbeque is September 22

    Join the IU School of Medicine Dean's Office for a barbeque during this year’s IUPUI Regatta, Saturday, September 22. While the Regatta runs all day on the south end of Canal Walk, IU School of Medicine faculty and their families are invited to attend a barbeque lunch from 11 am-1 pm in a tent at Military Park. This family-friendly event is an opportunity for faculty to meet Dean Jay Hess and school leaders in a relaxed environment. Register for this event.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Talk and text in more places with this solution

    To improve connectivity on campus, IU School of Medicine faculty and students are encouraged to switch to Wi-Fi-enabled texts and calls. This option allows talking and texting from indoor locations that have difficulty receiving cellular signals. Users will need to make minor setting adjustments on their cellular phones to activate Wi-Fi texts and calls. Check out the IU Knowledge Base for more information about Wi-Fi and specific Wi-Fi information by carrier.

    Back to Top ▲

Research News

  • ACS funds two cancer researchers’ projects to improve responses to therapy

    Two Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center researchers will continue studies on pancreatic cancer and muscle weakness caused by chemotherapy as recipients of four-year grants from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

    The ACS awarded the grants to Janaiah Kota, PhD, assistant professor of medical and molecular genetics, IU School of Medicine, and Andrea Bonetto, PhD, assistant professor of surgery, IU School of Medicine. Both investigators are members of the Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program at the IU Simon Cancer Center. They each received a grant of $792,000.

    Kota’s research will focus on a specific molecule that is significantly lost in disease state and abundantly preset in a normal pancreas and may be a potential therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer, which is one of the most lethal of all cancers. Pancreatic cancer is projected to be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States by 2030. This form of cancer has few early-stage symptoms. It usually goes undiagnosed until it has spread and the resulting tumors are resistant to all forms of existing drug treatments.

    Bonetto’s research seeks to reduce the complications from anti-cancer therapies and aims to help patients tolerate chemotherapy drugs better. Chemotherapy is frequently responsible for mild to severe side effects in many patients. Among those side effects is a syndrome called cachexia, which causes weight loss, muscle wasting and weakness. No treatment currently exists for cachexia, and what causes it in some patients and not others is unknown. His research may lead to drug therapies to prevent cachexia.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Indiana CTSI to host mock study section at National Translational Science Conference

    The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) will host the Association for Clinical and Translational Sciences (ACTS) Mock Study Section for the next three years, debuting in March 2019. The goal of the ACTS meeting is to support and advance translational science, or the translation of research and discoveries in the lab into therapies and solutions that improve human health.

    The Mock Study Section is a formal workshop that replicates for participants the review process for how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) decides which grant applications will be funded. During the event, scientific review officers and committee co-chairs lead the review and discussion of previously submitted applications for a variety of NIH grants to talk through why some applications received funding and others did not. To ensure the event’s success, each session is monitored by experienced co-chairs and scientific review officers from the NIH.

    Indiana CTSI Director Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, said being selected to lead the ACTS Mock Study Section is a great honor that speaks to the quality and expertise of faculty and staff working at the Indiana CTSI, a statewide research partnership among Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.

    “The ability to apply for and secure NIH funding is essential to the success of a translational scientist’s research program,” said Dr. Shekhar, who is also executive associate dean for research at IU School of Medicine and associate vice president for research and clinical affairs at IU. “The Indiana CTSI is privileged to take on hosting duties for the Mock Study Section to help researchers across the country continue their work to improve human health.”

    Back to Top ▲

Faculty and Staff News

  • Rusyniak named chief medical officer for Indiana FSSA

    Daniel Rusyniak, MD, professor of emergency medicine, has been selected as the chief medical officer for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). He will continue in his position with IU School of Medicine, while leading FSSA’s team of medical directors. As the agency continues to deal with the state’s addiction crisis, Dr. Rusyniak’s public health experience was cited by state leaders as one of the primary reasons for his appointment.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Snyder departing to lead CME office at Stanford University

    Kurt Snyder, JD, director, IU School of Medicine Division of Continuing Medical Education, has been selected to lead the continuing medical education (CME) office for Stanford University beginning in September. His last day at IU School of Medicine is Friday, Aug. 31.

    Under Snyder’s five-year leadership, the division experienced triple-digit growth in the number of physician and other health professions attendees, and in overall CME activities. The increases elevated the CME division’s Big 10 ranking to number one. While at IU School of Medicine, Snyder received the IUPUI Staff Council Member of the Year Award in recognition of his exemplary dedication to the school’s mission, values and goals.

    "Kurt has been a strong leader for this group and dedicated himself to fostering a team culture of collaboration and openness. He will be greatly missed," said Michelle Howenstine, MD, senior associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education. “We value his contributions and wish him well in his new endeavors.”

    Kim Denny, MEd, who has 17 years of experience in the CME division, will serve as interim director until a search is conducted and a new director is named.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Save the date: Fall Faculty Meeting is October 2

    IU School of Medicine Fall Faculty Meeting will take place from 4:30-6 pm, Tuesday, October 2, in Fairbanks Hall, Room 1110/1112. Faculty meetings are held twice a year to discuss issues of importance to the school. For faculty members unable to attend in person, the meeting will be available via live stream and teleconference.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Postdoc scholar stipends to increase in 2019

    In May, the National Institutes of Health issued a notice of intent to increase the level of financial support for postdoctoral scholars per year beginning in 2018. IU School of Medicine’s policies dictate the minimum stipend for a full-time postdoc scholar at the school shall be no less than the current National Research Service Award (NRSA) minimum salary for “0 years of experience.” The total minimum stipend includes funds from all sources.

    Since the change was implemented after annual budget decisions were made, the school’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has set a Jan. 1, 2019, deadline for departments to implement the stipend changes, if applicable. To facilitate future budgeting projections, the office anticipates similar increases to the “0 years of experience” category every two years.

    With questions, contact Tom Hurley, PhD, associate dean for research and graduate studies, at, or Lauren Easterling, interim director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, at

    Back to Top ▲

  • Postdoc scholar stipends to increase in 2019

    In May, the National Institutes of Health issued a notice of intent to increase the level of financial support for postdoctoral scholars per year beginning in 2018. IU School of Medicine’s policies dictate the minimum stipend for a full-time postdoc scholar at the school shall be no less than the current National Research Service Award (NRSA) minimum salary for “0 years of experience.” The total minimum stipend includes funds from all sources.

    Since the change was implemented after annual budget decisions were made, the school’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has set a Jan. 1, 2019, deadline for departments to implement the stipend changes, if applicable. To facilitate future budgeting projections, the office anticipates similar increases to the “0 years of experience” category every two years.

    With questions, contact Tom Hurley, PhD, associate dean for research and graduate studies, at, or Lauren Easterling, interim director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, at

    Back to Top ▲

  • Clinic focusing on LGBTQ healthcare begins September 12

    Enrollment is now open for the LGBTQ+ECHO (Enhancing Community Health Outcomes) Clinic, designed to help health care providers and teams better understand and improve the health of gender and sexually diverse patients in the community. Available at no cost to all medical and mental health care providers, the clinic begins Wednesday, Sept. 12, and continues every second and fourth Wednesday from 2:30-4 pm for one year.

    Practitioners participating in the clinic will engage in case-based discussion and gain mentorship from experts at the Eskenazi Transgender Health and Wellness Program, the IU Health Riley Gender Health Program, IU School of Medicine and the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. All participants will receive no-cost CME credits from the IU School of Medicine Division for Continuing Medical Education.

    Registration and more information are available. Questions? Call Andrea Janota at 317-274-3178.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Register for "resident as teacher" workshop

    The IU School of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education is hosting a resident as teacher workshop called “Clinical Teaching--Beyond the Basics” for residents and fellows from 1-4 pm, Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Room 317. Using facilitated discussions, application and practice, the workshop will provide residents and fellows with the incremental knowledge and tools necessary to be an effective educator in the clinical learning environment. Topics include:

    • Expectations (student and resident) that come with clinical teaching
    • Teaching procedures
    • Structure to clinical teaching -- SPIT, SNAPP, One-Minute Preceptor
    • Providing feedback to learners
    • Horizontal learning
    • Simulation debriefing

     Register no later than Friday, Aug. 10. Refreshments will be provided.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Learn more about Zoom in August 30 tutorial

    Interested in having online office hours, holding class while you’re out of town or inviting a guest speaker from across the globe? Discover ways to engage learners online at a Zoom tutorial from 10-11:15 am, Thursday, August 30. Register for the online presentation for tips on using Zoom technology.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Ackerman approved for emeritus status

    Veda Ackerman, MD, has been approved for the emeritus title of professor of pediatrics. Completing both a residency and fellowship at IU School of Medicine, Dr. Ackerman joined the faculty in 1988. Respected by students, faculty and staff, she served in a variety of leadership positions during her more than 30 years with the school. She retired from IU School of Medicine on July 1.

    Emeritus designation may be awarded upon retirement from IUPUI to faculty members and others as recognition of “substantial contributions to the university in the fields of teaching, research and/or service.” Dr. Ackerman’s emeritus status was approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson. IU School of Medicine congratulates Dr. Ackerman and appreciates her contributions to the school and university.

    Back to Top ▲


  • Yoga for Joyful Living series begins September 13

    Yoga for Joyful Living, a progressive seminar in multiple interactive sessions, will be held from Sept. 13-16 on the IUPUI campus and at IU Health North Learning Center in Carmel. The seminars are free of charge and open to all IU, IU Health and Eskenazi Health faculty, staff, residents, nurses, students and university collaborators.

    Based on a rigorous framework of simple practices, yoga helps individuals experience their own center of stability and calm and learn to release mental and physical stress. The seminars feature instruction by Swami Mahesh, a classical yoga teacher with more than 20 years of experience.

    Event details
    Yoga for Joyful Living: The Basics
    Thursday, September 13; 2-4 pm and 5-7 pm
    IUPUI Campus Center, Room 031

    Yoga for Joyful Living: Beyond the Basics
    Friday, September 14; 6:30-8:30 pm
    Saturday, September 15; 10:30 am-1 pm and 2-5 pm
    Sunday, September 16; 10:30 am-1 pm and 2-5 pm
    IU Health North Learning Center, Carmel

    Register for the sessions. The series is sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council, in collaboration with the IU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the AEI program and the Yoga Mitra Mandel of Indianapolis.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Apply for Eli Lilly-Stark Neurosciences research fellowships

    The Stark Neurosciences Research Institute and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) seek applicants for predoctoral and postdoctoral research fellowships in translational neurodegenerative disease research. Applicants whose research focuses on age-related neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and others are encouraged to apply.

    Application details for the predoctoral fellowship and postdoctoral fellowship are available. Submission deadline for both programs is Monday, Sept. 17. Questions? Email or call 317-278-2822.

    Back to Top ▲

  • September 4 is deadline to apply for Technology Enhancement Award

    The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) and IU School of Medicine in partnership with the Indiana Center for Biomedical Innovation (ICBI) are offering translational research funding for advancement of early-stage technologies to commercialization. The Technology Enhancement Awards (TEA) are available to IU School of Medicine faculty and postdocs with funding to be used for generating supporting data necessary for preparation of SBIR/STTR grant applications. The technologies may include highly promising therapeutics (small molecule or biologics), diagnostics or biomedical devices.

    Eligibility requirements and more information are available. Postdoc applicants require letter of support from the primary faculty mentor and the department chair. Application deadline is Tuesday, September 4. Questions? Email Padma Portonovo at

    Back to Top ▲

Partner News

  • Hall named orthopaedics vice chair for clinical and academic administration

    Eric Hall, MHA, MS, ATC, has been appointed vice chair, clinical and academic administration, Department of Orthopaedics. Before his most recent position as interim vice chair, Hall served as practice administrator for IU Health Physicians Orthopaedics, where he oversaw operations for five sites and more than 40 team members. He brings more than a decade of experience in rehabilitation and sports medicine through clinical and managerial roles with healthcare and various professional and amateur sports organizations in Indiana and surrounding states.

    Working closely with Daniel Wurtz, MD, chair, Orthopaedic Surgery, Hall will expand his current role to support the clinical, academic and research mission within orthopaedic surgery.

    “Eric excelled as a department section manager and as our interim vice chair,” said Wurtz. “He continued to impress us with his talent and work ethic. I’m confident he will be an outstanding permanent vice chair for our department.”

    Back to Top ▲