Top News

  • Genomics pioneer receives 2018 Beering award; lecture is November 27

    George M. Church, PhD, professor of genetics, Harvard Medical School, is the recipient of the 2018

    Steven C. Beering Award. Church, a pioneer in the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology, is the founding member of the Wyss Institute and director of, a well-known resource for open access information on human genomic and environmental trait data.

    Church will present the Steven C. Beering Award lecture from 2-3:30 pm, Tuesday, November 27, in Walther Hall, Room 203, on the IUPUI campus. A reception will follow in Walther Hall’s second floor atrium. The Steven C. Beering Award, established in 1983, honors the important contributions Beering made to IU School of Medicine as the school’s dean from 1974 to 1983.

    Register for the November 27 lecture and learn more about the 2018 award recipient. The lecture and reception are sponsored by IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity.

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  • Bernard committed to improving women’s health in Kenya

    Caitlin Bernard, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, spends three months a year in Kenya, working to improve women’s health through the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) program, a collaboration among several universities and led by IU School of Medicine.

    “My overall theme is working to improve access to contraception—especially for women in particularly vulnerable situations,” said Bernard, who joined the IU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2017.

    After completing her residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, Bernard spent one year in Kenya as a team leader for AMPATH. She returned to the United States to complete a fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, before joining IU School of Medicine.

    She travels to Kenya for two 6-week-long trips each year. One of her current projects is developing a new strategy of working with community health volunteers to provide urine pregnancy tests to improve linkages to pregnancy care, contraception and overall reproductive health care for Kenyan women.

    For more on Bernard’s work, read the Faculty News blog post.

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  • Listen to November’s podcast on diabetes

    November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and in the latest Healthcare Triage podcast, IU School of Medicine Associate Dean for Research Mentoring Aaron E. Carroll, MD, is talking to Raghu Mirmira, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at IU School of Medicine, about the different types of diabetes and what’s on the horizon for diabetes research.

    The term “diabetes” represents a group of complex metabolic disorders that result in having too much sugar in the blood. There are currently three major types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

    In this month’s episode, Carroll and Mirmira discuss how personalizing treatment helps people with diabetes better manage such a complex disorder. And Mirmira explains how research being done at IU School of Medicine and as part of the IU Precision Health Initiative is advancing diabetes management and prevention approaches in Type 2 and gestational diabetes, as well as exploring curative therapies for Type 1 diabetes.

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  • Orchestra to present fall concert this Sunday

    Orchestra to present fall concert this Sunday

    Travel through time and space as the IU School of Medicine Orchestra highlights Latin-influenced music during its fall concert this Sunday, November 11. Featured selections include Márquez’s Danzon No. 2 and the famed Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21, composed by Édouard Lalo.

    The concert will be held at 2 pm in the Lawrence North High School auditorium, 7802 Hague Road, in Indianapolis. Admission and parking are free. Check out the orchestra’s Facebook page for more.

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  • Plan ahead for INScope holiday schedule

    In observance of holiday and semester breaks, INScope publishes less frequently in November and December. The e-newsletter will not be published on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22. The last 2018 issue of INScope will be published on Thursday, December 20, with the first issue of 2019 distributed on Thursday, January 10.

    If you have news to share with the IU School of Medicine community in 2018, submit news items as soon as possible to INScope editorial guidelines are available on MEDNet.

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Research News

  • New study may bring hope to patients with pancreatic cancer

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and difficult forms of the disease to treat, with a median survival rate of about eight months. While other forms of cancer have seen massive improvements in treatment success, survival rates in patients with pancreatic cancer--specifically pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas, or PDAC--have changed very little in the last several decades.

    That’s because pancreatic cancer cells tend to develop resistance to treatment over time, leaving many of the most advanced targeted therapies and immune therapies ineffective. But that could soon change.

    Indiana University researchers from the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research have discovered a mechanism that is responsible for drug resistance in PDAC.

    “PDAC is notoriously resistant to gemcitabine, which is the chemotherapy used to treat pancreatic cancer,” said Jingwu Xie, PhD, lead investigator of the study. “Our study revealed an important target that could lead to novel treatment options and an improved survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer.”

    The mechanism is a protein called Sox2, which the study found to be abundant in pancreatic cancer cells after they have built up a resistance to gemcitabine. Investigators also identified factors that contribute to the increased expression of Sox2, called the GLI-Sox2 signaling axis. Xie and his colleagues propose that disrupting this signaling axis could be an effective way to increase the sensitization of pancreatic cancer cells to the gemcitabine chemotherapy.

    Learn more about the next steps in this groundbreaking research in this Pediatrics blog post.

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  • Researchers awarded $2.3 million to continue studies on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

    Indiana University School of Medicine cancer researchers who have been working to lessen the debilitating side effects caused by chemotherapy have been awarded $2.3 million to continue their studies.

    Jill Fehrenbacher, PhD, and Mark Kelley, PhD, are recipients of the five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute, which will enable them to continue their studies on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN.

    The duo and their colleagues will test the effectiveness of a small, targeted molecule called APX3330 to prevent or reverse CIPN caused by cancer drugs in tumor-bearing mice.

    “For patients with CIPN, this might be an option for pain relief or neuropathic symptom relief in the future,” said Fehrenbacher, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center. “Alternatively, for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments, it might be something we can administer alongside the chemotherapy drugs so they never develop CIPN.”

    Fehrenbacher added: “The critical element of this grant is that we also are validating our preliminary results that the drug does not compromise the ability of the chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells.”

    Although cancer treatments are becoming more effective and people are consequently surviving cancer in increasing rates, many patients report neuropathy--a nerve problem that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet and muscle pain and weakness. As many as 30 to 60 percent of cancer patients say they experience neuropathy.

    For more on the research, read the full news release in the IU School of Medicine Newsroom.

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  • Research awards total nearly $16 million in October 2018

    Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars
    Brady K Atwood National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism New Synapse-specific interactions between ethanol and opioid receptor-mediated synaptic depression in dorsal striatum 9/20/18 8/31/19 $424,802
    Michelle L Block National Institute Of Environmental Hlth Sciences New HMGB1, Chlorpyrifos, and Persistent GWI-like Neuropathology 9/30/18 8/31/19 $335,368
    Aaron E Carroll Agency For Healthcare Research And Quality New Leveraging Infrastructure to train investigators in patient centered outcomes research in the learning health system (LITI-PCORLHS) 9/30/18 9/29/19 $686,705
    Naga P. Chalasani Wayne State University New Fatty Acid Desaturase 1 (FADS1) Variants and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 10/1/17 7/31/19 $56,339
    Naga P. Chalasani National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism Renewal (not prev committed) Alcoholic Hepatitis Clinical and Translational Network Late Phase Clinical Trials and Observational Studies 2/9 8/1/18 6/30/19 $368,841
    Naga P. Chalasani National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Renewal (not prev committed) IU Clinical Center: Drug Induced Liver Injury Network 8/25/18 6/30/19 $236,502
    D Wade Clapp University Of Alabama Birmingham Renewal (not prev committed) NF Clinical Trials Consortium 8/15/18 8/14/19 $33,600
    D Wade Clapp National Institute Neurological Disorders & Stroke New F-box ubiquitin ligases destabilize neurofibromin 9/1/18 8/31/19 $344,531
    X Charlie Dong National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Renewal (not prev committed) Regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism 9/20/18 8/31/19 $393,750
    Christopher L. Emery Purdue University New Smartphone-based diagnostic for HIV self-testing 8/6/18 7/31/19 $3,444
    Erica A. Eugster Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Edwin Letzter Chair of Pediatrics - Endocrinology and Diabetes 7/1/18 6/30/20 $72,662
    Jill C Fehrenbacher National Cancer Institute New (PQ12) Enhancement of DNA repair in neurons via a targeted APE1 small molecule modifier to decrease and reverse chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) 9/10/18 8/31/19 $460,814
    Tatiana M Foroud University Of Washington New CSF Biomarker Study 9/1/18 6/30/19 $90,563
    Kerry Marie Hege Atlantic Health System New The Effect of ¿Pathway¿ to Diagnosis for Childhood ITP on Initial Health-Related Quality of Life (QoL) 9/10/18 5/31/20 $2,750
    Roland W Herzog Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia New Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the FVIII immune response (Skill Core) 5/1/18 4/30/19 $68,626
    Kun Huang National Cancer Institute New Informatics Links Between Histological Features and Genetics in Cancer 1/1/18 12/31/18 $7,603
    Thomas D. Hurley National Cancer Institute New Novel Molecular Mechanisms Dictating Pancreatic Cancer Metastasis in Tip30-Deficient Kras-Mutant Mice 9/30/18 9/29/19 $28,794
    Mark H Kaplan Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Billie Lou Wood Chair of Pediatrics - Pulmonology 94-A2 7/1/18 6/30/20 $72,661
    Reuben Kapur Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Freida and Albrecht Kipp Chair - Wells Center 94-A12 7/1/18 6/30/20 $72,661
    Charly Lai American Heart Association Incorporated New Defining the Role of Skeletal Muscle SIRT3 in Modulation of PH-HFpEF 7/1/18 12/31/18 $77,000
    Charly Lai American Heart Association Incorporated New Defining the Role of Skeletal Muscle SIRT3 in Modulation of PH-HFpEF 1/1/19 12/31/19 $77,000
    Cristian Alberto Lasagna Reeves Alzheimer Association New Impact of Tau Protein Modifications in CAA 10/1/18 9/30/21 $150,000
    Suthat Liangpunsakul National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism New Immunological Profiles and prognostic outcomes in patients with alcoholic hepatitis 9/22/18 6/30/19 $195,761
    Jing-Yuan Liu National Institute Of General Medical Sciences New Effective targeting survivin dimerization interface with small molecule inhibitors 9/1/18 5/31/19 $351,420
    Yan Liu National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Molecular mechanisms underlying clonal expansion of hematopoietic stem cells 9/17/18 8/31/19 $150,000
    Yao-Ying Ma Brain & Behavior Research Foundation New High risk of drug addiction after prenatal alcohol exposure 1/15/17 1/14/19 $35,171
    Bruce H. Matt Eastern Virginia Medical School New Retrospective Assessment of Juvenile Onset Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis 9/30/17 9/29/18 $6,412
    Megan Song McHenry National Institute Of Mental Health New Neurodevelopmental screening in children born to HIV-infected mothers in Kenya 9/21/18 8/31/19 $182,886
    Kathy D. Miller The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Searching for the positives in a sea of negatives; translational trials in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) 10/1/18 9/30/19 $250,000
    Raghu G Mirmira Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Lilly Foundation Endowed Chair 7/1/18 6/30/20 $88,289
    Raghu G Mirmira Riley Children's Foundation New George and Frances Ball Foundation 9/1/18 8/31/19 $50,000
    Raghu G Mirmira Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Madison Anderson Cardiology Research Endowment 7/1/16 6/30/20 $13,939
    Jean P Molleston University Of Colorado Denver Renewal (not prev committed) Longitudinal Study of Cystic Fibrosis Liver Disease 1/1/18 12/31/18 $93,794
    Kathleen M. O'Neil Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Suzanne L. Bowyer, MD Endowment Fund for Pediatric Rheumatology 7/1/18 6/30/20 $6,992
    Sophie Paczesny National Cancer Institute New Targeting the tumoral microenvironment and tumoral cells by blocking the IL-33/ST2 pathway 9/14/18 6/30/23 $4,129,375
    Peter S Pang Duke University New Comparison of Dyspnea Measurement Instruments in Acute Heart Failure 8/21/17 8/20/19 $5,000
    Roberto Pili National Cancer Institute New Immunomodulation by dietary protein restriction 9/13/18 8/31/19 $183,372
    Martin Henry Plawecki National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism New Sex Differences in the Response to Abstinence from Alcohol. 9/25/18 8/31/19 $622,966
    Milan Radovich National Cancer Institute New Understanding the one-two punch: biomarkers of clinical response to a novel compensatory drug combination for metastatic TNBC 9/14/18 8/31/19 $171,281
    Jamie L Renbarger Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) RCF Beverly Rinker Professorship on Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation 7/1/18 6/30/20 $27,712
    Jamie L Renbarger Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Caroline Symmes Scholar Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research (17-A41) 7/1/18 6/30/19 $87,500
    Jamie L Renbarger Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Eric Metz "Win This Battle" Endowment Grant 7/1/18 6/30/20 $24,838
    Jamie L Renbarger Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Stem Cell Transplant Chair - Wells Center 91-A6 7/1/18 6/30/20 $72,661
    Steven D Rhodes Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center New Pediatric Scientist Development Program 7/1/18 6/30/19 $119,880
    Senthil Sadhasivam National Institute Of Child Health, Human Devl. New Effects of Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy on Long-term Maternal and Child Outcomes 9/15/18 6/30/19 $712,800
    Christina M Scifres University Of Pittsburgh New Comparison of two Screening Strategies for Gestational Diabetes 6/1/18 5/31/19 $12,700
    Chandan K Sen National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Diabetic Foot Ulcer Clinical Research Unit 9/21/18 6/30/19 $433,125
    Todd C Skaar National Human Genome Research Institute New Implementing genomic medicine through pragmatic trials in diverse and underserved populations across Indiana 9/19/18 6/30/19 $412,750
    Alexia Mary Torke University Of Southern California New Uncovering the Causes, Contexts, and Consequences of Elder Mistreatment in People with Dementia 8/15/18 3/31/19 $11,082
    Homer L Twigg National Institute On Aging New Viral burden and systemic inflammation as biomarkers for chronic disease and frailty in aging 9/30/18 5/31/19 $692,280
    Ruben Vidal National Institute Neurological Disorders & Stroke New Atomic models of human tau filaments and development of tau ligands 9/30/18 8/31/19 $731,694
    Meijing Wang National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Stem cell-based repair in ischemic female myocardium 9/15/18 8/31/19 $393,750
    Fletcher A White National Institute Neurological Disorders & Stroke New The role of cell-specific TLR-4 signaling in oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy 9/15/18 6/30/19 $481,849
    Monte S Willis National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Myocyte specific regulation of metabolism and the response to biomechanical force 6/15/18 5/31/19 $393,750
    Xiao-Ming Xu U.s. Department Of Veterans Affairs New IPA Agreement/Deng 9/1/18 12/31/18 $22,290
    Karmen K Yoder National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism New Compounded Neuronal Damage in Comorbid Cigarette Smoking and Addiction 9/20/18 8/31/19 $606,456
    Chi Zhang South Dakota State University New Construction of cell type specific gene co-regulation signatures based on single cell transcriptomics data 9/10/18 8/31/19 $85,224

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Ensure eligibility to vote in the annual USNWR survey

    U.S. News & World Report rankings are often used by patients and families to make decisions about where they seek care. High rankings also support physician recruitment and retention--allowing IU Health to strengthen its network of highly skilled health care providers across the state.

    To be guaranteed a vote in the upcoming survey rankings, physicians must be registered for Doximity by Thursday, Nov. 15. IU Health physicians are encouraged to sign up and participate in the ranking process, which will take place early next year.

    In addition to the rankings survey, Doximity also offers access to secure interprofessional communications and other health-related resources.

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  • Reminder: Indiana University policy on contact with elected officials

    Need to reach out to a federal or state elected official on behalf of Indiana University? The IU Office of Government Relations reminds all university faculty and staff to coordinate such contact with the Office of the Vice President for Government Relations so that proper reporting can be made, if required. More details about this policy are available. Questions? Email

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  • Enrollment for 2019 benefits open through November 16

    Indiana University’s open enrollment for 2019 benefits began earlier this week and runs through Friday, November 16. IU employees can make changes to their medical and dental insurance, add or remove eligible dependents, determine their use and savings needs for their Health Savings Account contribution and more.

    Online open enrollment is available in the Employee Center at One.IU. For more details, attend an information session or webinar. Questions about benefits or open enrollment? Email

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  • Check out Regenstrief Institute’s new podcast, The Problem

    Regenstrief Institute launched a new podcast today. The Problem is an anthological podcast dedicated to fighting the hydras of health care--those complicated, big hairy issues that impact health care on the societal level.

    Each “season,” listeners will hear about a different complicated problem, and each episode within that season will tackle a different angle of the issue. The first season dives deeper into the opioid crisis with firsthand accounts from doctors (including some from IU School of Medicine), nurses, first responders and policymakers about the multitude of ways this epidemic has affected communities and why the solutions are so complicated.

    Listen to the first episodes.

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  • Medical library to host U.S. National Library of Medicine exhibit

    The Ruth Lilly Medical Library will host “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War,” a traveling exhibit from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, November 19-December 29. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the war, the exhibit is free and open to the public. The Ruth Lilly Medical Library History of Medicine Collection and online information also will be available.

    In addition, don’t miss Jane E. Schultz, PhD, from the IUPUI Department of History, who will speak in the library from noon-1 pm, Wednesday, December 5, on the topic of “Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space.” The presentation examines the representation of surgeon-soldier interactions from surgical letters, diaries and memoirs to see what happens when language fails to summarize and describe, despite surgeons' fluency in the clinical register. Continuing medical education credit can be earned. Box lunches will be available while the supply lasts.

    Need more details? Email Sue London at

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  • Mouse genome informatics workshop is November 14

     The Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering in collaboration with Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) is organizing a hands-on practical workshop on mouse genome informatics. The workshop will be held from 9-10:30 am, Wednesday, November 14, in IB 224, the Ruth Lilly Medical Library building, 975 W. Walnut Street, in Indianapolis.

    The workshop will include short seminar introductions, followed by an interactive tutorial in which attendees will work through biologically relevant exercises. Attendees are also invited to bring their own research-specific questions. The workshop is designed to familiarize research staff and trainees with common mouse genetic concepts and technology, and to use the MGI website to efficiently answer biological questions and obtain data.

    View more details. Registration deadline is Friday, November 9.

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  • Sign up for November medical library classes

    Faculty, staff and students can take advantage of monthly classes at the Ruth Lilly Medical Library. Check out the November schedule, which includes these courses:

    Determining Your Impact
    This class provides information on various metrics such as impact factors, Eigenfactors, the Becker Model and H-Indices. Attendees receive hands-on experience with using library resources to discover more information about tracking impact.

    EndNote Basics
    EndNote is a citation management software program allowing users to import citations from numerous literature databases into one spot. Users can then edit citations, add notes, import full text documents and use the program to format citations for articles, papers, grant proposals, etc.

    Mobile Resources
    This class provides information on the mobile resources available through the library, how to install and register these apps, and basic instructions on using these apps. The Mobile Resources guide also is discussed, including details on how to find other apps not available through the library. Attendees also will learn basic information about how to evaluate apps in app stores.

    Class dates and registration are available. All classes can be streamed live via Zoom.


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  • Neumann recognized by American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

    Dawn Neumann, PhD, associate professor of physical medicine & rehabilitation, received the 2018 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Mitchell Rosenthal Mid-Career Award. Neumann was recognized for her leadership and contributions to the field of rehabilitation research.

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  • John is new president of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

    Chandy John, MD, Ryan White Professor of Pediatrics, is the new president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). Founded in 1903, the ASTMH is the largest international scientific organization of experts dedicated to reducing the worldwide burden of tropical infectious diseases and improving global health. 

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Around Campus

  • IU School of Medicine–Muncie helps area families during food drive

    More than 50 students, faculty and staff from IU School of Medicine–Muncie recently participated in the Second Harvest Food Bank Distribution, helping to pass out foodstuffs that will impact an estimated 1,000 families in the local area. In addition, students went car-to-car to conduct health histories and connect individuals to the new student-run Healthy Lifestyle Center (HLC) in Muncie. In total, they were able to sign up 42 individuals for HLC’s services and provided information to dozens more.

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