Faculty and Staff News
Dean Hess shares views on creativity and physician engagement
IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, recently sat down with IU Health Academic Health Center Medical Staff President Nicholas J. Zyromski, MD, to discuss the importance of physician engagement and the school’s efforts in helping physicians stay engaged, including opportunities to develop creative interests outside of their normal routine. Watch the interview and learn more about how Dean Hess and school leaders are making IU School of Medicine an environment where pursuing creativity is possible.
New leaders announced in neurosurgery and radiation oncology
Earlier this week, Jamie Dimond, executive associate dean for finance and administration, and Brian Kremer, chief operating officer, IU Health Physicians, announced leadership additions in two clinical departments.
Bronson Troyer has been named vice chair, clinical and academic administration, Department of Neurosurgery, effective Wednesday, July 17. Troyer brings more than a decade of experience with IU School of Medicine and the IU Health system. He most recently served as vice chair of clinical and academic administration for the Department of Radiation Oncology and prior to that was chief financial officer of the shared neurosciences services team.
Laura Hamm will join Troyer with the Department of Neurosurgery, as service line administrator, effective Monday, July 22. Since 2012, Hamm has served IU Health Physicians as practice manager of a multi-specialty practice and most recently as practice administrator, Department of Urology. Since 2014, she managed day-to-day business operations of all urology clinic sites that generate more than 55,000 clinic visits annually across multiple clinic locations.
As Troyer and Hamm transition into leadership roles with neurosurgery, Scott Marquette has accepted the vice chair role with the Department of Radiation Oncology and has been in the position since Monday, July 1.
Marquette brings nearly two decades of experience in health care including several years in administrative roles with the University of Michigan Health System. He most recently served as group practice director, Department of Surgery, Henry Ford Medical Group in Detroit, where he provided oversight to strategic planning, finance, human resource management and various other roles in the department.
IU-connected startup enabling precision medicine for mental health, pain
A new startup company founded on science developed at Indiana University School of Medicine is working to enable precision medicine by commercializing the first objective tests for mental health issues, including suicide risk, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and for pain, all of which historically have been difficult to measure for patients and health care providers alike. These tests will also help match patients to the right medications.
"There is no objective method to assess pain in current clinical practice," said R. Matthew Neff, co-founder, president and CEO of MindX Sciences. "A doctor shows you a happy-to-sad face scale and asks you to rate your pain, and then they observe you. That's it. They can't tell the magnitude of the pain because it's a very personal, subjective experience."
But without an objective way to measure how badly a patient is suffering, it's difficult for health care providers to know how to treat their condition or measure the effectiveness of that treatment regimen over time, Neff said.
"This uncertainty is part of the reason why the opioid epidemic came into being," he said.
That's why MindX Sciences, which is based in Indianapolis, is developing apps and blood tests that will help doctors objectively assess the severity of pain and several mental health issues, including suicide risk, PTSD and depression, as well as determine a patient's risk for future clinical problems. Its products will also help doctors match patients to specific medications and monitor their response to treatment. Neff said the tests could help pharmaceutical companies develop new medications, including some promising compounds that MindX has already identified.
The company's work is based on more than 15 years of research by Alexander B. Niculescu, MD, PhD, IU School of Medicine professor of psychiatry, who has identified blood biomarkers for suicide risk, depression, pain, longevity, PTSD and other indications. Niculescu is the founder, chairman and chief scientific officer of MindX Sciences.
For more on the company’s work, read News at IU.
Practice standard designation to bring more patients with brain injury help with emotions
A system created to help people with brain injuries recognize others’ emotions, co-developed by an IU School of Medicine researcher, has been designated a “practice standard” that medical professionals should add to their tool kits when treating such patients.
The recognition, published in the March 26, 2019, online edition of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, may significantly increase the number of traumatic brain injury patients receiving help recognizing emotions, said Dawn Neumann, PhD, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at IU School of Medicine.
People who have suffered traumatic brain injuries often have difficulty understanding the emotions being expressed by others, missing non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and resulting in inappropriate responses and misunderstandings. Such emotion recognition deficits have also been linked to worse social outcomes.
With the Facial Affect Recognition (FAR) training program, developed by Neumann and colleagues, a therapist uses software that includes pictures of facial expressions in a one-on-one session to help a patient recognize how others are feeling and to better understand his or her own emotions.
Visit the Newsroom to learn more about the new practice standard designation.
IU School of Medicine opens search for otolaryngology-head and neck surgery chair
A search is underway for a chair to lead the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The successful candidate for this position must be board certified in otolaryngology with outstanding academic credentials and a demonstrated ability and clear vision to lead a prominent multifaceted clinical, research and educational program. This position is ideal for a collaborative and transformational leader who can build on existing strengths in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
To apply for this leadership opportunity, interested applicants should include a curriculum vitae and a letter of interest addressing leadership, administrative and education goals and experiences. The priority review deadline is Monday, August 12.
Diabetes researchers bring big ideas to national conference
From identifying targets to developing novel tools, IU scientists are paving new roads in diabetes research. Last month, many shared their recent work at the American Diabetes Association's 79th Annual Scientific Sessions. Read more about their studies and how they hope to help eradicate Type 1 diabetes in this Pediatrics blog post.
Kacena Lab counting down for second launch into space
For the second time in as many years, an IU School of Medicine professor and her team of researchers are preparing to take their experiment into outer space.
Melissa Kacena, PhD, director of basic and translational research and professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and eight IU School of Medicine learners are traveling to Cape Canaveral, Florida, this month to complete the second phase of their bone-healing research project, a collaboration with NASA and the U.S. Army.
Osteoblast cells from the Kacena Lab will be taken aboard the International Space Station and cultured there for two weeks by NASA astronauts while IU researchers on the ground study how spaceflight changes the cells and the effects of an FDA-approved drug, as well as a novel drug identified by Kacena, on bone healing.
For more on the research in outer space, read these recent Bone Healing in Space blog posts:
Faculty and Staff News
Staff members honored with Cowley and Wakefield awards
IU School of Medicine recently presented staff leadership and unsung hero awards to four deserving staff members in recognition of their contributions to the school. The awards were established last year to honor long-time staff members Deb Cowley and Lynn Wakefield.
Deb Cowley Staff Leadership Award – 2019 recipients
Tara Hobson, director, graduate programs and student success, and Christine McDonald, business administrator, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, are the recipients of this year’s Deb Cowley Staff Leadership Award, honoring staff employees who demonstrate a contribution to faculty assistance, coaching and/or development.
Hobson’s nominator wrote:
“She [Tara] understands that quality mentoring is a critical component of success at all levels and has worked hard over the past six years to improve the mentoring environment at IU School of Medicine. For example, Tara makes a concerted effort to interact with all faculty one-on-one, either formally or informally, to gain a better understanding of their research and mentoring approach. She has also developed a faculty appreciation event for those who train and teach research trainees, highlighting the importance of quality mentoring by our faculty.”
In recommending McDonald for the award, her nominator noted:
“Christine’s commitment and service are very unique. She is determined to make her faculty successful! She is endlessly creative and analytical, and she is also a strong supervisor who has built a high-functioning team providing service to the faculty. Leaders and members of the division give her very high praise. She is more than a division administrator and center financial director; she is a collaborator, a program developer, a guide, a cheerleader and strong support for her faculty and staff.”
Lynn Wakefield Unsung Hero Staff Award – 2019 recipients
Bridget Working, assistant director for academic administration, Department of Medicine, and Kori Nelson, administrative assistant and fellowship training program coordinator, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, received the 2019 Lynn Wakefield Unsung Hero Staff Award. This award acknowledges staff employees who demonstrate outstanding reliability in the execution of duties without expectation of recognition.
Working’s nominator noted these qualities and achievements:
“Bridget’s title does not describe her actual contributions. She embraces employee development at the core of everything she does. Bridget has oversight of faculty recruitment which she handles with exceptional care. From the get-go, she meets with our chair, the search committee, the division HR Business Partners and the support staff to sort out every detail so that the candidate’s experience is a memorable one.”
In recommending Nelson for the award, her nominator wrote:
“She [Kori] has demonstrated a huge commitment to our group’s patient care, education and research missions. She has been absolutely dependable in not only meeting our goals, but thinking of ways we can serve better. Her execution of job tasks, and those she initiates to make us better, is meticulous and visionary. She is the embodiment of the core values of excellence and cooperation that are the spirit of this award.”
Congratulations to this year’s award winners. Descriptions and submission guidelines for these and other school-wide faculty and staff awards are available.
Mind Body Medicine Facilitator Training prepares faculty, staff to teach new elective
Teaching medical students how to deal with psychological and physical stressors is important for their health and well-being. Mind-body approaches—self-awareness, relaxation, meditation, guided imagery and physical exercise—are among the best known and most widely used of the complementary, alternative or integrative approaches to health care.
IU School of Medicine now offers a Mind Body Medicine elective. This popular elective teaches medical students a variety of mindfulness exercises shown to promote overall well-being, stress management, empathy, self-awareness and self-care.
Mind Body Medicine Facilitator Training, which will be held Thursday, September 12, through Sunday, September 15, in West Baden Springs, Indiana, will prepare more IU School of Medicine faculty and staff to teach this course.
Cantor named emeritus professor
Louis B. Cantor, MD, the Jay C. & Lucile L. Kahn Professor of Glaucoma Research and Education and professor of ophthalmology, has been approved for emeritus status, effective Thursday, August 1, when Cantor retires from IU School of Medicine.
Cantor served as chair for the Department of Ophthalmology from 2009-18, leading the recruitment of several current faculty members. On a national level, he has been a leader in ophthalmology, specifically in the subspecialty of glaucoma. Cantor served as secretary for education for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and served in other important roles for AAO, including membership on the board of trustees, the executive committee, the nominating committee and the awards committee. He also built strong relationships with his patients.
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." Cantor’s emeritus status was approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson. IU School of Medicine congratulates Cantor and appreciates his contributions to the school and university.
Parking lot access changes go into effect at Fairbanks Hall
If you regularly park in the lot at Fairbanks Hall, you have probably noticed how crowded—and, at times, overcrowded—it can get. A joint audit conducted by Indiana University Health and IU School of Medicine revealed that IU School of Medicine codes used to operate the keypad at the parking lot’s two gates have been regularly overused. Access changes that took effect Monday, July 8, now prohibit the use of all previous codes.
Visitors coming from campus or IU Health Methodist Hospital to Fairbanks Hall are encouraged to use the IU Health shuttle service. The downtown route runs from 6 am-10 pm, Monday through Friday, and 8 am-5 pm on Saturday. It stops at the Senate Boulevard entrance to IU Health Methodist Hospital, the IU Health Pathology Lab, Walther Hall on Walnut Street, IU Health University Hospital Adult Outpatient Center and the Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health Simon Family Tower. Shuttles are expected at each stop every 12 to 15 minutes.
Riders can track the progress of the shuttles via an online tracker and the DoubleMap app, available from the app store on mobile phones. In DoubleMap, search or select “IU Health” to see the routes. IU Health officials are always looking for ways to improve the shuttle, so be sure to share your suggestions and comments after taking your ride.
For outside visitors coming to Fairbanks, the two-hour visitor parking spots located outside the building will still be available. If all-day parking is required, a temporary code can be issued for guests. For more information on how to access a temporary code, contact your supervisor.
Monday is deadline to apply for Mid-Career Minority Faculty Leadership Seminar
Mid-career minority faculty interested in developing leadership competencies in academic medicine may apply for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Mid-Career Minority Faculty Leadership Seminar to be held October 10-12, in Washington, DC. This seminar is designed for associate professor-level faculty who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups.
Applications should include curriculum vitae and a brief statement about how the seminar will provide career enhancement. Applicants must be an associate professor at an AAMC member institution. Self-nominations are welcome. All nominations should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, July 15.
Apply by July 24 for Watanabe Translational Scholar awards
Eligible IU School of Medicine faculty members have an opportunity to apply for two Watanabe Translational Scholar awards. The award is named after the late August M. Watanabe, an IU School of Medicine alumnus whose illustrious career spanned academia, and the pharmaceutical and life science industries. Faculty members who are assistant professors in tenure-track positions and conduct translational research are eligible to apply.
The two selected scholars hold the Watanabe Scholar title for two years, present their work during the annual Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences meeting in Indianapolis (Friday, September 13, 2019), and benefit from the mentorship of David Holtzman, MD, a preeminent leader in Alzheimer’s disease research.
More information and submissions details are available. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 24.
Pilot funding available for research use of core facilities
The Indiana CTSI Pilot Funding Program is intended to promote the use of technologies and expertise afforded by the Indiana CTSI core facilities available at all partner institutions. Successful proposals will demonstrate outstanding scientific merit that can be linked to generating extramural funding or novel intellectual property (IP). Success of the program will be viewed, in part, by the fostering of new funded grants or providing significant contributions to grant renewals. Proposals are judged with equal measure on scientific merit and the likelihood of generating new IP or extramural grant support.
Application deadline is Monday, September 9. More information is available.
Save the date: BBQ at the IUPUI Regatta is September 21
Plan now for an afternoon of fun at the IU School of Medicine barbeque at the IUPUI Regatta from 11 am-1 pm, Saturday, September 21. Faculty, learners and staff are invited to this year's barbecue, sponsored by Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity and Medical Student Education. Join this family-friendly event for food, games and friendly competition, along with an opportunity to meet IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, and other school leaders. Register for the event.
Mediation training is July 15-17; register by this Friday
“Mediation Training @ IU School of Medicine” provides skills to mediate disputes and overcome communication challenges between individuals and among small groups. This annual course is particularly beneficial for individuals serving in roles assisting others to negotiate or mediate workplace and interpersonal conflict situations.
The training will be held from 8:30 am-5 pm, Monday, July 15, through Wednesday, July 17, in downtown Indianapolis.
This course is designed to help participants:
- Communicate more effectively
- Acquire skills to mediate disputes
- Overcome communication challenges between individuals and among small groups
- Manage the dispute resolution process
Apply by September 16 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.
Vik to travel to Kenya as Fulbright Scholar
Terry Vik, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics, will travel to Kenya later this summer as a Fulbright Scholar. The Fulbright award will enable him to train the first class of pediatric hematology-oncology fellows at Moi University School of Medicine and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya, while also conducting research to demonstrate the lack of diagnosis of childhood cancers.
For more on Vik’s work and upcoming trip, read AMPATH news.
Ballinger earns Career Development Award from ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation
Tarah Ballinger, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, has received the Career Development Award presented by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The Career Development Award provides research funding to clinical investigators as they establish an independent research program. The Career Development grants are awarded to researchers with a focus on patient-oriented clinical or translational research. The award, supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, is a three-year grant totaling $200,000 to support Ballinger’s project, “Good Vibrations: A Novel Mechanical Intervention to Understand and Preserve Musculoskeletal Health in Early Stage Breast Cancer.”
For details on Ballinger’s research, read the full Breast Cancer Research blog post.
Star ratings launch for IU Health facilities
Last year, IU Health added star ratings and patient comments as part of the physician profile available online. Now the health system has expanded the offering to include star ratings for facilities. Star ratings were launched Thursday, June 27, and will begin to be available for each facility under the location section of iuhealth.org. Star ratings are calculated as the average score received on the “likelihood to recommend” question included in the real time feedback surveys. In time, facilities star ratings will help increase IU Health’s ranking results in online search platforms.
Eskenazi Health Trauma Center reverified by the American College of Surgeons
The Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons has reverified the Smith Level I Shock Trauma Center at Eskenazi Health at Level I, the highest level of trauma care available. This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.
The Smith Level I Shock Trauma Center is one of the busiest in the state, treating more than 3,000 patients each year. It became the first verified Level I trauma center in the state in 1992.