Top News

  • Direct from the Dean: Hess addresses the affordability of medical education

    From IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA:

    "Will Indiana University School of Medicine make tuition free? I have been asked that question many times since NYU announced this summer that it would cover the cost of tuition for all current and future medical students. The short answer is, no."

    "We’ve estimated it would cost about $1.6 billion to create an endowment large enough to waive tuition for all students. While that’s not going to be economically possible for us, addressing the affordability of a medical education is one of our highest priorities."

    Learn more in the dean’s monthly column about how the school’s efforts to increase scholarship support, control tuition and maximize student success are helping to ensure that qualified, talented and diverse students are able to pursue a career in medicine.

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  • IU School of Medicine first in North America to acquire new imaging technology for Alzheimer’s research

    A new piece of imaging technology—one of only two in the world—will soon be used by Stark Neurosciences Research Institute Executive Director Bruce T. Lamb, PhD, who was recently awarded a competitive $25 million grant for Alzheimer’s research from the National Institute on Aging. The new technology—not available anywhere else in North America—will continue to help subject-matter experts take their research to the next level. Learn more about the new equipment that has found a home at IU School of Medicine.

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  • Dankoski named IBJ Woman of Influence

    Mary Dankoski, PhD, executive associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development, was recognized last week as a 2018 Woman of Influence by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

    “Mary defines what it means to be a Woman of Influence,” said IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, executive vice president for university clinical affairs. “In her role, she ensures the school’s 6,500 full-time, part-time and volunteer faculty have the resources and support they need for success and that the school is a diverse and welcoming environment for all. I am grateful for her leadership, and thrilled to see her recognized for her work to improve health care in Indiana and beyond.”

    Read about Dankoski’s turning points and “made it” moments in the Woman of Influence profile article.

    Editor’s note: IU School of Medicine alumna Kristina McKee Box, MD, Indiana state health commissioner, also received IBJ Woman of Influence honors this year. Read her profile article.

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  • Rodefeld makes strides with blood pump to address serious heart defect

    Every year in the United States, more than 1,250 patients—mainly infants—undergo surgery because one of their heart’s two pumping chambers isn’t working properly, a condition known as single ventricle heart defect.

    In a healthy heart, the left ventricle pumps blood to the body, and the right ventricle sends blood back to the lungs for oxygen. When one of the ventricles isn’t strong enough or big enough, the body becomes starved of oxygenated blood.

    The standard method to correct this defect is the Fontan, a complex multi-stage procedure that involves reconfiguring the heart’s circulatory system so that it will function with one pump instead of two. While the procedure has prolonged the lives of thousands of people, it’s all but guaranteed to eventually fail.

    Professor of Surgery Mark Rodefeld, MD, who performs the Fontan operation on young patients at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, has been working for more than 17 years on developing a fix to the failing Fontan. Learn about his research, which focuses on a small pump placed in the heart, and the fundraising campaign, spearheaded by heart patient Scott Leezer, that is helping to make the work possible.

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  • Next issue of INScope is November 29

    Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, INScope will take a one-week break and return on Thursday, November 29. Remember to plan ahead for the remaining 2018 issues on December 6, 13 and 20. After the holidays, INScope will resume publication on Thursday, January 10.

    Submit news items to INScope editorial guidelines are available on MEDNet.

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Research News

  • IU Precision Health Initiative recruits scientific leader in drug discovery

    Indiana University Precision Health Initiative researchers have added an industry veteran in drug discovery to their increasingly impressive team of physician-scientists working to prevent and cure diseases prevalent in Indiana.

    Alan Palkowitz, PhD, is a new visiting research professor in the IU School of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a key leader and contributor to the IU Precision Health Initiative’s chemical biology and biotherapeutics scientific pillar, which seeks to better understand the cellular processes behind abnormal gene and protein activity to improve scientists’ ability to identify drug targets and develop precision therapeutics. Palkowitz is a former vice president of discovery chemistry research and technologies at Eli Lilly and Company.

    Led by IU School of Medicine, the Precision Health Initiative is IU’s big health care solution, established in 2016 with a $120 million investment by the school and the IU Grand Challenges program. The initiative incorporates the social sciences, ethics, education, data and computational sciences to enable people to better prevent, identify, treat and cure diseases across a person’s lifespan.

    Read more about Palkowitz and how his work with the initiative is helping to improve the lives of Hoosiers in this Faculty News blog post.

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  • McAllister talks concussions and the second phase of a national research study

    Thomas McAllister, MD, chair, Department of Psychiatry, leads administration and operations for the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium, which recently received an additional $22.5 million in funding from the NCAA and the Department of Defense to fund the second stage of a national study on concussions.

    Established in 2014 with a $30 million grant from the two organizations, the consortium formed a national concussion research network consisting of 30 participating institutions across the country. Nearly 40,000 student athletes and military service cadets have been enrolled in the study, the largest worldwide study of sport-related concussions to date, with data collected on more than 3,300 athletes and cadets with concussions.

    Unlike other studies that focus primarily on male football players, the consortium’s research includes both men and women in all sports. McAllister shares other ways the research is unique, why the findings are vitally important and plans for the second phase of research in this Research Updates blog post.

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  • Indiana CTSI leads study of rescue service dogs for veterans

    According to the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from either major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    K9s For Warriors, a program focused on pairing rescue service dogs with traumatized soldiers, partnered with Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine, an Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) partner, on a pilot study to test the effectiveness of these rescue-turned-service dogs as a form of treatment and therapy for military service members and veterans.

    Read the recent online article about the K9 program and the research, which includes comments from Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, Indiana CTSI director and associate vice president of research for university clinical affairs, who was lead researcher on the study.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Blank bio?: Why and how to ensure your online bio is up to date

    Google yourself.

    IU School of Medicine faculty members who Google their names are likely to find that their official faculty profile page is the top response. More often than not, they’re also likely to find that it is blank.

    The faculty profile pages are a highlight of the school’s new website and allow every faculty member to showcase his or her work and accomplishments in a public-friendly way. These pages are linked to by media and throughout the school’s own website.

    Faculty members or their designees must populate their own profiles. To date, less than 20 percent are complete. That’s means that when funders, collaborators or the media land upon them, they come up empty.

    Faculty should take a few minutes now to complete their profiles. Here’s how:

    Access the IU School of Medicine faculty database.
    Login with your IU credentials (CAS and DUO).
    Select "Directory" from the top menu.
    Search for your profile by last name.
    Enter edit mode by selecting the person icon on the top left side of the screen.
    Make updates as needed.

    Other tasks (like how to manage delegates) are covered on the Faculty Profile page of MedNet.

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  • Open enrollment ends tomorrow

    Tomorrow, November 16, is the final day to enroll for 2019 benefits. Before the deadline, Indiana University 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. Last-minute questions about benefits or open enrollment? Email

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  • Workplace behaviors expert to lead January 31 session

    Most Americans report that they are neither sexist or racist. Most also say they believe the workplace playing field should be level, inclusive and fair. But translating these beliefs into behaviors is a constant struggle for many. The next Professional Interaction session, sponsored by IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity, will focus on how to live up to the expectation for a harassment-free workplace where dignity, respect and inclusion are afforded to all.

    The event will be held from 2-3:30 pm, Thursday, January 31, in Petticrew Auditorium at IU Health Methodist Hospital. Featured speaker is Dennis A. Davis, PhD, who has served as Ogletree Deakin's national director of client training. Davis develops and implements training programs designed to minimize risks associated with inappropriate workplace behaviors. Registration is available.

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  • Trustees Teaching Award nominations due January 18

    Nominations for the 2019 Trustees Teaching Award are now being accepted with a deadline of Friday, January 18. Each year the Indiana University Board of Trustees recognizes excellence in teaching through this prestigious award. More than 50 IU School of Medicine teachers are expected to receive the award this year.

    Tenured and tenure-track faculty and librarians engaged in teaching are eligible, as are full-time clinical faculty and full-time lecturers whose primary duties are teaching, including IU School of Medicine faculty who may be located at medical centers or be paid by institutions other than Indiana University (e.g., IU Health Physicians, Eskenazi Health, Purdue University, Veterans Affairs, Ball State University, etc.).

    More information and the nomination form are available. Questions? Email

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  • Spring-semester promotion and tenure sessions begin February 7

    Plan now to attend a series of information sessions on various aspects of the promotion and tenure process. IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity partners each year with the school’s promotion and tenure committee to offer these special sessions. Dates and topics include:

    Thursday, February 7: General overview
    Monday, February 11: Documenting your work
    Tuesday, February 12: Advancing to full professor
    Thursday, February 14: Personal statement
    Wednesday, February 20: Preparing your CV
    Thursday, February 21: eDossier nuts and bolts

    Registration is available for each session.

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  • Save the date: LGBTQ Healthcare Conference is March 21 and 22

    Mark your calendar to attend the LGBTQ Healthcare Conference on Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22, in Goodman Hall in downtown Indianapolis. The two-day conference is designed for nurses, physicians, physician assistants, psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers and other allied health providers who seek to better understand the unique health considerations and barriers to health care in the LGBTQ population. More details and registration are available.

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  • Stepping Stones women in leadership workshops begin January 23

    IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity, in collaboration with the school’s Women’s Advisory Council, hosts an annual series of lunch workshops featuring successful women in medicine or science. Stepping Stones of Women in Leadership events offer an opportunity to hear and learn from the personal career journeys of successful women. The presentations are open to all faculty, staff and students. Both women and men are encouraged to attend.

    Upcoming Stepping Stones events and speakers include:

    Wednesday, January 23: Marly Bradley, MD, JD
    Thursday, February 28: Teresita Bellido, PhD
    Tuesday, March 26: Michelle Howenstine, MD
    Tuesday, April 23: Megan Palmer, PhD 

    Registration for all workshops is available.

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  • November Healthcare Triage podcast focuses on diabetes

    In the latest Healthcare Triage podcast, IU School of Medicine Associate Dean for Research Mentoring Aaron E. Carroll, MD, talks 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.

    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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Around Campus

  • Indianapolis Colts donate $70,000 for cancer research at IU

    For the 14th consecutive year, the Indianapolis Colts have donated $70,000 to the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in support of cancer research. During the team’s home game on November 11, Colts Vice President Kalen Irsay Jackson presented the check to IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, and IU Simon Cancer Center Director Patrick Loehrer, MD. In addition to the generous gift, the team also hosts the annual Tailgate Gala to benefit research at the cancer center.

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