Faculty and Staff News
Treadwell named special advisor to the dean, chief diversity officer
Patricia Treadwell, MD, professor emeritus of pediatrics and dermatology, has been named to the newly created role of Special Advisor to the Dean and Chief Diversity Officer.
In this new role, Treadwell will serve as an advisor to IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion spanning all of the school’s mission areas. She will partner with the executive associate dean for Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity and the leadership team in the Office of Diversity Affairs as they develop plans to promote diversity and inclusiveness, including cultural competency and humility training, curricular reform, revising competency assessment procedures, clarifying professionalism expectations and potential consequences of Honor Code violations, including acts of racism and bigotry.
In a message announcing Treadwell’s appointment, Hess wrote: “Earlier this month, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I spoke to you about the tangible steps we must take as a school to counteract the racism and injustices that are rampant in our society. Marching alongside hundreds of you at the White Coats for Black Lives rally—hearing your voices, reading your signs and seeing the determination on all of your faces—I know that this is a shared mission.”
A highly respected pediatric dermatologist, Treadwell was the first African American woman to rise through the ranks to full professor with tenure at IU School of Medicine. She served as teacher and mentor to students for more than 30 years as a faculty member with the Departments of Pediatrics and Dermatology. To recognize her achievements, upon her retirement the school established the Dr. Patricia Treadwell Women in Medicine Lecture, an annual event to celebrate both Black History Month and Women’s History Month.
Moe and Wiehe to lead Indiana CTSI
Sharon M. Moe, MD, and Sarah E. Wiehe, MD, MPH, have assumed the roles of co-leaders of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). The institute is focused on improving health in Indiana through a research partnership among the state’s leading research universities of Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.
“Dr. Moe and Dr. Wiehe are superb researchers and leaders,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine. “They both have years of experience running large research projects, have been program leaders within the CTSI for many years and bring complementary expertise to the Indiana CTSI.”
The co-leaders are splitting their Indiana CTSI leadership responsibilities across the translational research spectrum. Moe is directing the earlier stages of research as it advances from the lab to the patient. Wiehe is focusing her attention on the later phases, directing research from the patient to the general population.
A practicing kidney specialist and director of nephrology, Moe has led research compliance for IU School of Medicine, as well as the clinical trials office for the Department of Medicine. She has also mentored over 30 research trainees. As co-leader of the Indiana CTSI, she will utilize the combination of her basic science and clinical trial expertise to make sure all medical research is translatable.
Wiehe, a practicing pediatrician, has spent six years as director of the Community Health Partnerships program of the Indiana CTSI. She is carrying that experience into her new position by sharing learnings from the Indiana CTSI on a national scale.
Reporting to Hess, Moe and Wiehe are taking over for Indiana CTSI founding director Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, who, after 36 years of service, retired as IU Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
For more on the appointment, visit Indiana CTSI.
IU School of Medicine hosts national medical licensure exams to increase capacity during COVID-19 pandemic
At a time when medical professionals have become the nation’s heroes, the pipeline for licensing new physicians began experiencing a clog. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, testing for various Steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) was temporarily halted when test centers were forced to close, quickly creating a backlog of over 17,000 medical students and residents whose exams needed to be urgently rescheduled.
IU School of Medicine has led the way for a creative solution to help reopen the licensure pathway for MD candidates. The school has been selected as one of just six medical schools in the nation to host a regional testing site for USMLE.
“This was the fastest way to increase testing capacity for the system,” said Paul Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement at IU School of Medicine. “We made 2,000 test seats available in the system.”
Wallach is vice chair of the executive board for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), the organization which co-sponsors the USMLE program. As a member of NBME’s governing body, he strongly encouraged the use of medical schools strategically located throughout the nation and suggested that IU School of Medicine was ideally located to serve the Midwest.
For more on the school’s testing site, read the Student Life blog post.
On the blog: Otolaryngology specialists adjust to virtual visits
Sitting in his home office, Taha Shipchandler, MD, meets with patients—both existing and new—at the click of his mouse. Communicating with them virtually either by video or audio, he can listen about their symptoms, learn about their medical history and make diagnoses.
Specialists rarely use telehealth to provide care to patients, but many had to quickly adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic, when routine visits and elective surgeries were halted.
Physicians from the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery have been conducting visits virtually since the end of March, and they say the change has not only benefited patients but the future of telehealth for the team.
Shipchandler, associate professor of otolaryngology—head and neck surgery and chief of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the department, said it’s been a smooth adjustment to virtual visits. Not being able to meet in person does pose some challenges with diagnoses, he said, but the switch has provided more convenience than before.
“It’s been a great way to reach out to patients around the state and Midwest for some of the rare conditions that we treat, or even the common conditions,” Shipchandler said.
Read more about physicians’ experiences with virtual visits in this Indiana Health blog post.
Deadline for required data management plans extended
Due to the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the IU School of Medicine Office of Research Affairs has extended the deadline for externally funded investigators to submit their completed data management plans (DNP). The new deadline is Friday, July 31.
Compliance with this requirement will be reviewed annually and incorporated into departmental annual reviews. DMP participation strengthens IU School of Medicine’s research enterprise and positions the school to respond to future funder requirements related to data management plans.
Researchers find best way to treat children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa
A team of international researchers has learned that dose escalation of hydroxyurea treatment for children in Uganda with sickle cell anemia is more effective and has similar side effects than a lower fixed dose of the same drug.
The study, known as NOHARM MTD (Novel use Of Hydroxyurea in an African Region with Malaria – Maximum Tolerated Dose), focused on children in Uganda, but the results could impact use of hydroxyurea worldwide, including the United States and Europe. The findings are published in the June 25 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
This clinical research milestone removes a major barrier to broadly expand the use of hydroxyurea in low-resource regions like sub-Saharan Africa, according to the physicians who led the study at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Indiana University School of Medicine.
For more on the study, visit the Newsroom.
Diabetes center recognizes scientists for promising projects
The Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases (CDMD) at IU School of Medicine has recognized six Indiana scientists for their innovative projects. Each is the recipient of the center’s Pilot & Feasibility Award, which provides seed funding to support their studies.
Since the center’s 2015 designation as a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Diabetes Research Center, the Pilot & Feasibility program has awarded $860,000 to 15 early-career scientists pursuing diabetes-related studies. Past awardees represent Indiana University, IUPUI, Purdue University and the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute.
The award program helps launch high-risk projects in underexplored avenues related to diabetes and metabolic disease—an area of tremendous public health relevance. Since 2015, honorees have used their CDMD Pilot & Feasibility awards to secure an astounding $9.4 million in federal funding—and that’s not including pending outcomes for 2018-19 awardees.
This year, these awardees represent IU School of Medicine and the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute. Their multidisciplinary projects span from understanding in utero diabetes development to the relationship between metabolic and skeletal health in people with diabetes:
For more on the award winners and their projects, visit the Newsroom.
IU researchers model human stem cells to identify degeneration in glaucoma
More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, a serious eye condition causing vision loss. Using human stem cell models, researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine found they could analyze deficits within cells damaged by glaucoma, with the potential to use this information to develop new strategies to slow the disease process.
The study, published June 11 in Stem Cell Reports, focused on targeting genetic mutations within retinal ganglion cells, which serve as the connection between the eye and the brain. Researchers found that when differentiating pluripotent human stem cells into retinal ganglion cells, they were able to identify characteristics associated with neurodegeneration in glaucoma.
“Once you’ve identified a target like this—what’s going wrong in the cells—this opens up a number of possibilities for the eventual development of therapeutic approaches, especially pharmacology approaches to slow down and reverse these degenerative phenotypes,” said Jason Meyer, PhD, associate professor of medical and molecular genetics at IU School of Medicine.
Visit the Newsroom for details on the research and study team.
Faculty and Staff News
Arrizabalaga named assistant dean for diversity affairs
Gustavo Arrizabalaga, PhD, has been named assistant dean for diversity affairs, effective July 1. His appointment comes at a time when IU School of Medicine leadership has committed to taking tangible steps to improve the school’s climate for diversity, equity and inclusion. As assistant dean for diversity affairs, Arrizabalaga will help ensure IU School of Medicine offers a safe, welcoming and encouraging environment for all.
Arrizabalaga joined the departments of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Microbiology & Immunology as an associate professor in 2012 and was promoted to professor in 2017. He also serves as director of trainee recruitment, development and diversity for the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology.
A recipient of the IU School of Medicine Trustees’ Teaching Award, Arrizabalaga has been a committed advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the basic sciences. He is a member of the Diversity Council and is faculty advisor for the IUPUI chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. Arrizabalaga also serves on the IU School of Medicine PhD Admissions Committee and is co-director of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Biomedical Sciences.
Arrizabalaga’s appointment fills the vacancy left by Alvaro Tori, MD, who was named associate dean for diversity affairs after the passing of Mary Austrom, PhD, in October 2019.
Today at 5 pm: Attend the Department of Medicine annual meeting
The IU School of Medicine Department of Medicine annual meeting will be held today from 5-6:30 pm, via Zoom. Naga Chalasani, MD, interim department chair, will provide an update on the department, followed by an opportunity to ask questions. In addition, department colleagues will be recognized. For more information or to obtain the Zoom meeting details, contact Bernetta Hartman at email@example.com.
Endowed lectureship established to honor Barry Katz, PhD
An endowed lectureship has been established in honor of Barry P. Katz, PhD, who will retire on June 30 as chair of the IU School of Medicine Department of Biostatistics. The Barry P. Katz Lectureship in Biostatistics and Data Sciences, established by Katz’s colleagues and friends, will draw the brightest minds to IU to discuss innovations in data science.
Katz has been an integral part of the health sciences community at IU for decades, touching almost every area in medicine and public health. Appointed the first chair of the department after 16 years of successful leadership, Katz’s vision and impact helped build biostatistics at IU School of Medicine into a collaborative powerhouse. In addition to serving IU, Katz is an active leader in biostatistics groups across Indiana and the nation, most notably as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.
For details on how to support the lectureship, contact Caitie Deranek Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-278-2133.
Keeping IU healthy: Find out about testing, tracing and resurgence monitoring
As faculty, staff and students prepare to head back to IU campuses this fall, a panel of university experts discussed efforts to keep the community healthy through testing, tracing and resurgence monitoring. Check out a recording of the June 17 Zoom broadcast, which included insights from panelist Aaron Carroll, MD, IU School of Medicine associate dean for research mentoring, and Michele Saysana, MD, IU School of Medicine associate professor of clinical pediatrics and IU Health Vice President of Safety, Quality, and Performance Improvement.
“Ask Me Anything” office hours debut in July
“Ask Me Anything” office hours, sponsored by IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity, are an intentional and welcoming space for members of the school community to ask questions, voice concerns, share stories and connect with leaders. Beginning in July, these virtual office hours will take place on the first Tuesday (1-2 pm) and the second Thursday (10-11 am) of each month.
Join Krista Hoffman-Longtin, PhD, and Matt Neal, MD, assistant deans for faculty affairs and professional development, on Tuesday, July 7, and Thursday, July 9, respectively. View the full office hours schedule.
June 29 virtual open house to introduce new drug discovery and development courses
The IU School of Medicine Division of Clinical Pharmacology is offering graduate courses that take learners on a journey through the entire drug discovery and development process. Taught by industry veterans and scientific experts, the courses are Discovering Novel Treatments (CLPH-D 501) and Developing Clinically Approved Medicines (CLPH-D 502). Classes for the fall 2020 semester will be held from noon-1:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Medical Science Building. (Note: The 501 course must be completed first.)
Learn more by attending the virtual open house from 3-4 pm, Monday, June 29. Faculty will be online to explain the courses in detail and answer questions.
Apply by July 14 for August M. Watanabe Translational Scholar Award
IU School of Medicine will present the Watanabe Prize for Translational Research and select two Watanabe Translational Scholars this year. The awards are 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.
The translational scholar award is open to junior investigators. The two selected scholars will hold the Watanabe scholar title for two years, present their work during the annual Indiana CTSI meeting (to be held remotely on Friday, September 11) and benefit from the mentorship of Brian J. Druker, MD, a preeminent leader in cancer research.
Application information is available. Deadline is Tuesday, July 14.
Biomedical research grant applications due September 1
The biomedical research grant program is open to all IU School of Medicine faculty who are full-time, regardless of tenure status, with an appointment of assistant/associate/full professor and assistant/ associate/full scientist. Two categories of research projects will benefit from this program: research projects of investigators new to the school who do not yet have extramural funding and who need support to acquire the preliminary data necessary to compete for extramural funding; and research projects of established investigators who are between funding periods from extramural sources.
Application details are available. Deadline to apply is Tuesday, September 1.
Learn about innovative courses designed for professionals working in health care
The one-year Graduate Certificate in Medical Management at the renowned IU Kelley School of Business has five distinct courses that will deepen your understanding of health care, challenge your assumptions, accelerate your knowledge of business concepts and empower you to lead. You can complete them online or in person—while using your IU tuition benefit. Check out the program and sign up for the next Zoom information session at 12:15 pm on Wednesday, July 15.
September 1 is deadline to apply for research enhancement grants
The IU School of Medicine Research Enhancement Program is designed to stimulate research productivity at the statewide centers for medical education (regional campuses), including the Bloomington Medical Sciences Program. All full-time center/medical sciences faculty, regardless of tenure status, with an appointment of assistant/associate/full professor or assistant/associate/full scientist at the time of submission are eligible to apply for a research enhancement grant. Primary appointment must be in IU School of Medicine. Faculty in visiting ranks are not eligible for funding through this mechanism.
Get application details. Application deadline is Tuesday, September 1.
Peipert named interim leader of Women’s Health Center of Excellence
IU Health Physicians has appointed Jeffrey Peipert, MD, PhD, interim physician leader of the Women’s Health Center of Excellence, effective Tuesday, September 1.
As a search continues to fill the position permanently, Peipert’s initial goals are to help lead a process to create a comprehensive strategy for women’s health with collaboration from IU Health system and facilities leaders, as well as soliciting creative new ideas for program development for women’s health from a wide variety of multidisciplinary specialty leaders.
Peipert is chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at IU School of Medicine.
Riley ranks in 10 of 10 pediatric specialties
U.S. News & World Report has released its Best Children's Hospitals rankings for 2020-21, and Riley is ranked in 10 out of 10 pediatric specialties. The rankings distinguish Riley as one of only 24 children's hospitals nationally to earn the 10/10 distinction. Two Riley programs ranked in the top five: Urology and Cardiology & Heart Surgery. In addition, Riley remains the only children's hospital ranked in Indiana by U.S. News.
O’Hagan receives Elwert Award in Medicine
Heather M. O’Hagan, PhD, assistant professor, Medical & Molecular Genetics, has earned the Elwert Award in Medicine. Made possible by a bequest from the estate of IU alumnus Bert Elwert, PhD, the award seeks to support medical research that is likely to “give the largest incremental boost to our performance and reputation within the medical/scientific community.” O’Hagan was nominated for the award based on her successful research grant proposal, “Understanding the Role of LSD1 in AKT Activation in PIK3CA Mutant Colorectal Cancer.”