Top News

  • Researchers discover emerging combination therapy based on Tyler Trent’s cell lines

    Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have found a combination therapy that significantly slows tumor growth in models, built from cells taken from Tyler Trent’s tumors. Trent was a Purdue University student and football superfan who died on January 1, 2019, after waging a long and valiant fight against an aggressive form of bone cancer.

    The researchers, led by Karen E. Pollok, PhD, found a variation in Trent’s tumors (TT1 and TT2) called the MYC-RAD21 signature, which has been found in tumors that tend to recur. Pollok says there are two drugs that can block its effects, a Chk1 inhibitor (pronounced: “check-one” inhibitor) and a bromodomain inhibitor. Her team tested each of those drugs individually, as well as in combination.

    “What we found in Tyler’s model is we can take one of these drugs, the Chk1 inhibitor or the bromodomain inhibitor, and we can administer it in models with the TT2 tumor and we get the tumors to stop growing some, compared to a control,” said Pollok. “However, when we put the two drugs together, we block the growth of these tumors substantially.”

    Pollok and her team found that the combination therapy worked during a four-week treatment, but the tumor started growing again after stopping the therapy. They also determined that the treatment was well-tolerated. Pollok says they are very pleased with the results so far.

    “Tyler Trent has truly left us a legacy,” said Pollok. “While we still have much work to do, we are hopeful that new therapies for osteosarcoma will be possible in the near future.”

    Finding a cure for pediatric sarcomas, including osteosarcoma, is one of the focuses of the Indiana University Grand Challenges Precision Health Initiative

    For more, visit the Newsroom.

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  • IU School of Medicine to host webinars for HPV Prevention Week

    The IU School of Medicine National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health is getting ready for a week of raising awareness about human papilloma virus (HPV).

    “We have to protect our community,” said Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, FACP, FAMWA, executive director of the National Center of Excellence. “We have to protect our children, and we need to make our Hoosiers healthier, happier and lead productive lives.”

    Each year, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, which is caused by HPV. About 90 percent of those cases could be prevented with the Gardasil HPV vaccine, which was partially developed by IU School of Medicine researchers in the 1990s. HPV can also lead to some head and neck cancers, anal cancer and anal warts in both men and women.

    HPV Prevention Week is a global initiative against HPV and the cancers HPV causes. A week of webinars, called “Us vs. HPV,” are scheduled every day from January 27-31. The webinars are hosted by the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer (GIAHC) and the IU School of Medicine National Center of Excellence. Topics include community initiatives and challenges, medical societies’ efforts against HPV, gathering momentum for the global elimination of cervical cancer, HPV-associated head and neck cancers and how HPV affects us all. Rohr-Kirchgraber is one of the moderators for this year’s event.

    To learn more about the agenda and register for the webinars, which are free and open to anyone to watch and listen online, visit the event registration page. The Newsroom also has additional details.

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  • Office of Technology Affairs continues momentum in 2020

    In early 2019, shortly after joining IU School of Medicine as chief information officer, Rob Lowden led the establishment of the Office of Technology Affairs to meet the school’s robust and growing IT needs. Since its inception, the office has been “committed to creating an IT environment that empowers clinicians, researchers, faculty, staff and learners and supports IU School of Medicine’s mission to improve health in Indiana and beyond.”

    In this Strategic Voices blog post, Lowden shares insights on how the office is continuing the momentum, including service quality improvements and 24/7 IT support availability.

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  • Faculty, staff honored by the Center for Teaching and Learning

    Seven members of the IU School of Medicine community were recognized this week as part of the inaugural Celebration of Teaching and Engaged Learning. The January 22 event, sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning, honored IUPUI faculty and staff who have participated in sustained professional development during the 2018-19 academic year that resulted in a change to a course or experience that increased student engagement, learning and success.

    The following IU School of Medicine faculty and staff were honored for their participation in the programs listed next to their names:

    Devon Hensel, MS, PhD, associate research professor of pediatrics; 2018 Curriculum Enhancement Grant
    Jeffrey Browne, MD, assistant professor of clinical surgery; 2018 Curriculum Enhancement Grant
    Jennifer Custer, Department of Family Medicine; Global Ethical Engagement Planning and Reflection Pilot
    Katie Stanton-Maxey, MD, assistant professor of clinical surgery; 2018 Curriculum Enhancement Grant
    Megan Rendina, Department of Surgery; 2018 Curriculum Enhancement Grant
    Sylk Sotto, EdD, MBA, MS, assistant professor of medicine; Scholar Whispering
    Terry Vik, MD, Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center Professor of Hematology; Summer 2019 Online Course Design and Development Bootcamp

    The event included remarks from IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar and Kathy Johnson, executive vice chancellor.

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  • Medical library will be closed on February 1

    The Ruth Lilly Medical Library will be closed on Saturday, February 1, due to mechanical equipment installation in the Medical Research & Library Building (IB). The 24-hour study area will close at 9 pm on Friday, January 31, and the library will reopen at noon on Sunday, February 2.

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Research News

  • March 31 is deadline to submit research data management plans

    IU School of Medicine has established a requirement that data management plans (DMP) be completed by all externally funded faculty members. The deadline to submit the DMPs is Tuesday, March 31. Resources have been created to assist in creating DMPs that fit this requirement:

    The school took this leadership position as the national conversation emphasizing the importance of research rigor and reproducibility began to escalate. Major funders—the National Institutes of Health being the most recent example—continue to encourage increased standards of reporting related to data management and data sharing.

    “Our new Data Management Plan program is strengthening the integrity and usability of our data and research and strongly positioning IU School of Medicine for the changes taking place at the national level,” said Anantha Shekhar, MD, PHD, executive associate dean for research affairs.

    For additional assistance or an in-person presentation to be delivered at an upcoming department/faculty/center meeting, contact

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Free fitness resources available for IUPUI employees through March 13

    Healthy IU is offering IUPUI employees free access to indoor physical activity options through Friday, March 13. Employees can use the walking track at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport (NIFS) and the cardio equipment at Jaguar Campus Recreation at no charge.

    To obtain your access at NIFS, sign up at member services on your first visit to receive a free pass. Employees’ spouses are also allowed free access to the track upon signing up.

    To use the cardio equipment at Jaguar Campus Recreation, employees must present their CrimsonCard and sign in.

    Learn more on the Healthy IU website.

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  • Save the date: Editors of Nature to present writing workshop on April 23

    Gain insight on what it takes to publish your research from the editors of Nature during a full-day workshop on Thursday, April 23. The workshop will include presentations, practical exercises and opportunities to ask questions. Researchers will learn practical techniques for developing scientific writing skills, best practices for submitting a paper and crafting effective responses to reviewers. More information and registration are available.

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  • February 19 event to focus on advancing women in academic medicine

    Designed specifically for women faculty at all ranks, “Promotion and Tenure: Advancing Women in Academic Medicine” will address promotion to associate professor and full professor, what it takes and why it matters. Participants will also learn tips for the dossier and gain a better understanding of the barriers to advancing in academic medicine and how to overcome them. Mary Dankoski, PhD, executive associate dean for faculty affairs, professional development and diversity, and Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, MD, MPH, MS, assistant dean for diversity affairs, will be the presenters.

    The event will be held from 8-9:30 am, Wednesday, February 19, in the Daly Center, Room 186. More details and registration are available.

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  • Learn tips for running effective meetings at January 30 FEED event

    Arm yourself with tips and strategies to run your next meeting like a pro. Plan now to attend the next Faculty Enrichment and Education Development (FEED) event, “How to Run an Effective Meeting,” from 8-9:30 am, Thursday, January 30. Registration is available.

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  • Apply by February 21 for Precision Diabetes Program funding

    The Precision Health Initiative’s (PHI) Precision Diabetes Program seeks proposals for pilot projects from Indiana University and affiliated investigators who want to use, build upon and enhance the current research being conducted by this team. Applications should focus on understanding the risk and/or optimizing the treatment of gestational diabetes in pregnant women or on the prevention of Type 2 diabetes in women who had gestational diabetes in a past pregnancy. The purpose of this grant is to allow researchers passionate in the field of diabetes and/or personalized medicine to pursue their interests while contributing to and strengthening the merit of the overall PHI diabetes project. 

    Two pilot projects will be selected annually, and each is limited to $10,000 (total cost) for one year, with the potential for reevaluation and additional funding after the first year. 

    More details are available. Visit Indiana CTSI to download the application and for full award guidelines. Application deadline is Friday, February 21. Completed applications should be emailed to David Haas, MD, at

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  • Spring Culture and Conversation events begin February 11

    Culture and Conversation is a monthly lunch discussion series that addresses culturally relevant topics, health equity and current events. The spring 2020 schedule kicks off on Tuesday, February 11. Mark your calendar to attend:

    Tuesday, February 11: History and Place
    Tuesday, March 10: LGBTQ+ Women’s Health
    Wednesday, April 15: Religion and Health Care
    Thursday, May 7: Immigrant Health

    All Culture and Conversation events begin at noon. Click the links above for details and to register.

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  • March 3 lecture to focus on research ethics

    Kicking off its joint public lecture series, the IU Office of Research Compliance is partnering with Indiana CTSI to host, “Reducing Burden for Researchers and Advancing Research Ethics: Is it a Tradeoff?,” from 4-5:30 pm, Tuesday, March 3, in IUPUI’s Hine Hall Auditorium. Guest speaker is Heather Pierce, regulatory counsel for the Association of American Medical Colleges, who is a subject matter expert for issues related to the regulation of science and research, as well as interactions between industry, academia and government.

    More details and registration are available. Attendance is limited.

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Partner News

  • IU Health AAHC to launch new guest management system on Monday

    On Monday, January 27, the IU Health adult academic health center will implement a new guest management system to help team members at IU Health University and Methodist hospitals identify if visitors have been screened for respiratory viruses and are where they should be.

    How it works
    Patients, families and guests will continue to be screened upon entry for flu-like symptoms. Once they successfully complete a health screening, visitors will be given a sticker and are required to wear it throughout their visit. The stickers will display the date they were screened. Visitors are to be screened daily. The color of the sticker identifies where they are allowed to travel throughout the facility.

    New stickers:
    YELLOW – A yellow sticker indicates access to the first floor and outpatient clinics.
    PINK – A pink sticker indicates access to inpatient and surgery areas.

    The following stickers are currently in place and will remain in place:
    WHITE EMTC – The IU Health Methodist Emergency Department will continue using these stickers to identify visitors as guests of the Emergency Department.
    GREEN – A green sticker indicates the guest is the primary support person for the patient and is allowed in the hospital after visitation hours have ended.

    The new guest management system will remain in place until visitor restrictions are lifted.

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  • Looking ahead: One IU Health Annual Meeting is February 20

    IU Health President and CEO Dennis Murphy will meet with IU Health Physicians team members and leaders on Thursday, February 20, from 7-8 am, at Fairbanks Hall, Room FS 1111. The meeting is part of Murphy’s annual One IU Health tour—statewide meetings with team members to share goals and objectives and celebrate accomplishments. Register for the February 20 meeting.

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  • Zhao earns young investigator award from American Statistical Association

    Yi Zhao, PhD, assistant professor of biostatistics, has received the 2020 David P. Byar Young Investigator Award from the American Statistical Association’s (ASA) Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) Biometrics Section. Zhao earned the award with her recent article Multimodal Neuroimaging Data Integration and Pathway AnalysisThe award will provide travel funds for Zhao to attend the ASA’s 2020 Joint Statistical Meeting in Philadelphia.

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