Top News

  • $2.5 million grant to support residency expansion in southwest Indiana

    The Indiana State Graduate Medical Education Board has approved $2.5 million in grant funds for the development and expansion of the Southwest Indiana Internal Medicine Residency Program.

    Sponsored through Indiana University School of Medicine, the grant will support a new internal medicine residency program in southwest Indiana located at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes and utilize clinical opportunities at St. Vincent Evansville.

    Selection criteria for the grant included funding priorities for residency programs that are collaborative in nature and produce graduates who practice in underserved or rural areas of Indiana. In 2015, in an effort to address physician shortages and expand teaching sites throughout the state, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation establishing the Medical Residency Education Fund and the Graduate Medical Education Board.

    Sustainable state funding, combined with matching financial support from communities and local hospitals, will close the gap between the number of new medical school graduates and the first year GME residency positions available in Indiana. As a result, more physicians will be available to provide needed health care services to Hoosiers.

    For more, visit the Newsroom.

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  • Save the date: Fall All-School Meeting is September 5

    IU School of Medicine faculty, staff and learners are invited to attend the Fall All-School Meeting from 4:30-6 pm, Thursday, September 5, in Walther Hall (R3), C203. Don’t miss this opportunity to listen as IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, and the executive associate deans provide critical updates on the school. In addition, award recipients will be announced, and there will be opportunities to ask questions. Following the meeting, a reception will be held from 6-7 pm.

    While in-person attendance is encouraged, those unable to attend may participate via a live web stream. Instructions to access the live stream are available on the Faculty Steering Committee page.

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  • Ko begins role as new associate dean for curricular development and oversight

    After growing up in California and spending the majority of his medical career on the east coast, Paul Ko, MD, MEd, is officially a Midwesterner after joining IU School of Medicine on August 1 as the school’s associate dean for curricular development and oversight. The first to hold this newly created position, Ko will be responsible for curriculum across the school’s nine campuses. Recently, he took some time out from unpacking moving boxes to answer a few questions about his new role, what attracted him to IU School of Medicine and his thoughts on medical student education.

    Read the Q&A blog post.

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  • Talking wellness with new associate dean Jennifer Hartwell

    For Dr. Jennifer Hartwell, it’s personal.

    In June, Hartwell was named the associate dean for wellness at IU School of Medicine and chief wellness officer for IU Health Physicians.

    In a time when nearly 45 percent of physicians have reported experiencing at least one symptom of burnout, for Hartwell, the memories of her own struggles with exhaustion and disillusionment as a health care professional remain crisp in her mind.

    For the surgeon, drawing on those “low points” in her career will be an important tool as she tackles this inaugural role. Striving to help fix a system she deems broken on the national level, Hartwell said she’s focused on those big-picture goals—though her No. 1 priority will always be the individual.

    Read the Faculty News blog post for Hartwell’s thoughts on the drivers leading to physician burnout, the meaning of the word “wellness,” why she was interested in taking on this new role and her plans for helping to address burnout and physician well-being.

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  • The same, but different: 24/7 technology assistance is enhanced

    Through a partnership with University IT Services (UITS), faculty, staff and learners supported by the Clinical Affairs IT Services (CAITS) team can now reach professional IT staff specially trained in the needs of IU School and Medicine and other Clinical Affairs schools by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This enhancement is one of many planned to empower faculty, staff and learners and improve the overall IT experience.

    The Clinical Affairs schools’ user community has always been able to call for help any time of day; however, in the past, a call after traditional business hours was routed to an on-call technician who was not physically in the office, and therefore did not have all of the tools needed to resolve the issue. Now, users supported by the CAITS team who need support outside of standard operating hours, can reach a team of on-site professionals 24/7. Calls will be answered seamlessly—any time, day or night—by someone who can both identify and immediately resolve most issues.

    For more on this enhanced IT service, read the Technology blog post by Patrick Phillips, IU School of Medicine Office of Technology Affairs.

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Research News

  • Novel discovery of links between liver dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease

    New research from the Alzheimer’s Disease Metabolomics Consortium (ADMC) and Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) has uncovered novel connections between liver dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), paving a new path toward a systems-level view of Alzheimer’s relevant for early detection and ultimately for prevention.

    The study, published in JAMA Network Open, was led by IU School of Medicine radiology professor Kwangsik Nho, PhD, and explores the relationship between blood-based biochemical markers of liver function and established Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers including multi-modal neuroimaging. With increasing evidence linking Alzheimer’s disease to diabetes or high cholesterol and other systemic illnesses, Nho and colleagues discovered an association between liver function and Alzheimer’s, which adds to the understanding of metabolic dysfunction in the disease.

    Visit the Newsroom for more on the study.

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  • Predicting mortality: Determining when liver injury patients are likely to die

    IU School of Medicine researchers have developed a model to predict how likely someone is to die within six months of a drug-induced liver injury.

    Their findings were recently published in Gastroenterology. Lead author Marwan Ghabril, MD, associate professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology, said drug-induced liver injury is fairly rare, but happens when a patient has a reaction to a medication related to another condition, such as antibiotics or chemotherapy.

    “A lot of people take medications,” Ghabril said. “Drug-induced liver injury is pretty rare on a patient to patient basis, but it is commonly seen in our clinical practice as an academic liver center.”

    The severity of liver injury can vary significantly. Patients may not know they’re having any issue, or they could be experiencing several different symptoms.

    “It could be completely asymptomatic,” Ghabril said. “Or, they may have symptoms like abdominal pain or nausea. They’ll have abnormal liver tests, and in the most severe cases, they can present with liver failure.”

    Read more about the study in the Newsroom post.

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  • Study identifies new mechanism for cancer cell growth

    Winners and losers. How cancer cells bully normal cells in body. A study recently published in “Nature” shines new light on the aggressive growth of cancer cells—and identifies a way to potentially make tumors more susceptible to chemotherapy.

    A team of investigators helmed by Dr. Rajan Gogna from the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal, were leaders on the study, which was supported by research from IU School of Medicine’s Hariksrishna Nakshatri, PhD, the Marian J. Morrison Professor of Breast Cancer Research and Professor of Surgery, along with Taylor M. Parker, a graduate student in his group. Nakshatri is a researcher with the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, and the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research.

    The research stems from previous studies done on Drosophila, commonly known as fruit flies, showing that a direct fitness-based selection process is used to eliminate viable but impaired cells. According to Nakshatri, this study was aimed at discovering whether a similar selection process takes place in humans, and if it potentially could play a role in the development of cancer.

    “We were asking the question: How do cancer cells communicate with normal cells in their immediate vicinity? This study tells you that not only do these cells grow on their own, but they can actually kill the cells that are normal. And this killing is after recognition of normal cells as losers after a long standoff and recognition of cell fitness on both sides,” Nakshatri said.

    Visit the Newsroom for more on this study.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Reception honoring Elkas is August 15

    Elizabeth Elkas, longtime leader of the IU School of Medicine Office of Gift Development, will be honored at a reception on Thursday, August 15. Elkas is departing the school this month to assume the role of president and chief executive officer of Riley Children’s Foundation. The reception honoring Elkas will be held from 4:30-6:30 pm in the lobby of Fairbanks Hall.

    Elkas joined IU School of Medicine in 1987 as one of the initial members of the school’s fundraising team. She was named associate dean for development in 2005 and was later promoted to a senior associate dean.

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  • Burr named emeritus professor

    David B. Burr, PhD, Distinguished Professor, professor of anatomy and cell biology and orthopaedic surgery, and adjunct professor of anthropology and biomedical engineering, has been approved for emeritus status, effective July 1, 2019, when he retired from IU School of Medicine.

    Burr joined IU School of Medicine in 1990, serving as chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology for 21 years. He also served as associate vice chancellor for research at IUPUI from 2012 to 2018. Following his retirement from the school, Burr will continue to mentor junior faculty in the department and engage in other activities.

    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." Burr’s emeritus status was approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson. IU School of Medicine congratulates Burr and appreciates his contributions to the school and university.

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  • Work at HITS and park in the Fairbanks lot? What you should know

    IU School of Medicine employees who work in the HITS building and park in the Fairbanks Hall parking lot will need to begin parking in an IUPUI-designated parking lot on October 1.

    To address overcrowding issues in the Fairbanks Hall parking lot, after October 1, the Fairbanks lot will only be available to IU School of Medicine employees whose workspaces are located in Fairbanks.

    Employees affected by the change should have received an email about the shift. To help make the transition as smooth as possible, two hour-long informational open houses with an IUPUI parking services representative are scheduled for later this month:

    • 10 am, Wednesday, August 21; HITS 2070
    • 3 pm, Wednesday, August 21; HITS 2070

    After October 1, only employees located at Fairbanks Hall will be able to operate the gates and park in the Fairbanks lot. 

    Learn more about IUPUI parking permits and lot locations by visiting the parking services website. Questions? Contact your supervisor.

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  • Residents and fellows invited to take Well-Being Index survey

    The IU School of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education invites all residents and fellows to participate in the ongoing Well-Being Index survey. The brief survey (just seven questions) is voluntary,  anonymous and is designed to help assess well-being. The Well-Being Index survey also:

    • Provides immediate feedback
    • Is compared to national benchmarks
    • Tracks well-being over time
    • Links to helpful resources
    Access the survey and use invitation code: IUSM GME.

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  • Upcoming lectures to offer strategies for communicating scientific data

    Want to improve how you communicate complex scientific information and data? In two upcoming lectures, Jean Luc Doumont, PhD, will discuss how to improve communication about scientific research to appeal to any audience. Doumont is an engineer from the Louvain School of Engineering and has a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University. He devotes his time and energy to training scientists, engineers and business people in effectively communicating complex scientific information in an original way.

    Conveying Messages with Graphs: Friday, October 4; 8-10 am

    This lecture addresses how to select the right graph for a given data set and research question; how to optimize graphs to reveal data; and how to phrase a useful caption.

    Creating Effective Research Posters: Friday, October 4; noon-2 pm

    This lecture covers how to create visual posters that get attention, facilitate navigation and convey messages through strict selection, careful phrasing and effective layout.


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  • Cancer ECHO clinics begin September 17

    The Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Care ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), provided by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, will deliver continuing education and actionable learning to health professionals to improve delivery of cutting-edge cancer care.

    Experts from the Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana Cancer Consortium, IU School of Medicine, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, the Indiana Chapter of the American Cancer Society and the IU Simon Cancer Center will provide up-to-date cancer education and evidence-based strategies to health professionals across the state and support implementation of the Indiana Cancer Control Plan 2018-2020.

    ECHO clinics will begin Tuesday, September 17, and are scheduled every first and third Tuesday of the month from noon-1:30 pm for one year. Register online and visit the IU ECHO Center website. Questions? Contact Anye Carson at 317-278-9725 or email

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  • September 11 Culture and Conversation to focus on governance, advocacy

    Plan to attend the next Culture and Conversation event to learn how to participate in advocacy at the local, state and national level, while also complying with the governance components of IU School of Medicine. The session will be held from noon-1 pm, Wednesday, September 11, in Fesler Hall, Room 319. Faculty, staff and learners are invited to attend. Register and learn more.

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  • Apply by September 1 for Translational Cancer Biology Training Program

    The Translational Cancer Biology Training Program (TCBTP) is designed to enhance the training received in any individual laboratory or department. Trainees are exposed to a broad range of cancer-related research encompassing both basic and clinical aspects of the disease. TCBTP predoctoral students fulfill the requirements of their individual basic science departments and complete the cancer biology minor. Pre-doctoral CBTP trainees attend both a basic science and a clinical seminar series, co-sponsored by the IU Simon Cancer Center and participate in the IU Simon Cancer Center's annual Cancer Research Day.

    TCBTP stipends are available on a competitive basis for trainees conducting their research in the laboratory of a TCBTP preceptor. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. More information is available. Email Harikrishna Nakshatri, PhD, at with questions. Application deadline is Sunday, September 1.

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  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health ECHO program launches August 22

    The new (and free) Indiana Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) Project ECHO will launch from 9:30-11 am, Thursday, August 22, and will meet every week at the same time. The CAMH ECHO will provide specialized education and mentorship in the clinical management of pediatric mental health issues to primary care providers and other community stakeholders with the goal to build capacity for delivery of high-quality, best-practice care locally for patients across the state of Indiana.

    Registration is now available; space is limited. With questions or to learn more, contact Jacqueline Boese, ECHO program coordinator, at

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  • IUPUI Regatta BBQ is September 21

    Faculty, staff and learners are invited to join the fun at the IU School of Medicine barbeque at the IUPUI Regatta from 11 am-1 pm, Saturday, September 21. Sponsored by Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity and Medical Student Education, this year’s family-friendly event promises 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.

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  • Rusk honored as “Hero in the Heartland”

    This year, the Indiana State Fair is paying tribute to “Heroes in the Heartland”—Hoosiers whose exceptional commitment and caring enrich lives. The “heroes” in the series, presented by Indiana Donor Network, include Debra Rusk, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine physician, assistant dean for career mentoring, and a double-lung transplant recipient. Watch the video tribute for Rusk and learn more about the state fair’s 2019 tribute.

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  • Rapp to receive Sachem Award, Indiana’s highest honor

    George Rapp, MD, retired clinical assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at IU School of Medicine, is this year’s recipient of the Sachem Award, Indiana’s highest honor. The award will be presented to Rapp by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb at a ceremony on Tuesday, August 27. Among his many professional roles, Rapp was director of the Scoliosis Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. He is being honored as a medical pioneer, champion of education and lifelong support of the arts.

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