Faculty and Staff News
Research team receives multimillion-dollar grant to study potential new treatment for opioid addiction
Researchers at IU School of Medicine are testing use of tezampanel, a novel antagonist at glutamate receptors that could treat opioid withdrawal syndrome, other addictions and mental illnesses. The school recently received a $12.3 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supporting a two-stage project for medication development called “AMPA-antagonism: A Novel Pharmacology for Launching Recovery from Opioid Addiction.”
“The goal is to help psychiatric patients get breakthrough medications more rapidly than what traditional mechanisms have allowed,” said R. Andrew Chambers, MD, addiction psychiatrist and neuroscientist in the IU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.
The project is happening in partnership with Proniras Corporation, a Seattle, Washington, based biotechnology company, and represents an innovative granting mechanism that supports a unique, industry-academic collaboration aiming to increase the speed, scientific impact and cost-effectiveness of new drug development.
Chambers and Christopher Toombs, PhD, DABT, cofounder and chief scientific officer at Proniras, will lead research efforts toward testing and characterizing tezampanel as a potential major advance in the addiction psychiatry treatment space. The first $2 million stage of the project, conducted over the next two years, will pursue laboratory characterization of tezampanel to test its utility in the context of various preclinical models of opioid withdrawal and in combination with opioid and benzodiazepine drugs commonly associated with opioid addictions and lethal overdoses.
For more on the study, visit the Newsroom.
IU School of Medicine celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15, celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The dates are significant because many Latin American countries celebrate their independence days during this 30-day period.
IU School of Medicine is marking this month-long observance through a series of informational blog posts and other events. In this Spirit of Medicine post, read how cultural awareness can help address health care disparities for Hispanic and Latino people, including this perspective from Cecilia Tenorio, MA, co-director of the Care of Hispanic/Latino Patients Scholarly Concentration program at IU School of Medicine:
“I believe there are still many barriers to accessing health care, and not just lack of insurance and lack of transportation, but there’s also a cultural divide. Even when there is medical care, sometimes it’s not what it should be. In our program, the goal for our students is to become more culturally savvy and aware so we can bridge that gap, and they can communicate better with the Hispanic population. The result will be better health care.”
Reminder: New Zoom security measures take effect on Sunday
Faculty using Zoom for class meetings have just a few more days to enable their preferred security features before new security measures are added. Beginning Sunday, September 27, Zoom will require all meetings to feature a waiting room or a passcode to ensure greater meeting security. For Zoom at IU, waiting rooms will be enabled as a default. If you have already added a passcode or waiting room, there will be no change to how you schedule meetings. Learn more.
School launches Scholarly Concentration focused on religion, spirituality; applications now open
Launched in 2019, Scholarly Concentrations are optional experiences that complement IU School of Medicine’s core medical school curriculum and empower students to delve into various topics. Applications are being accepted through Sunday, October 18, for available concentrations, including a new one focused on religion and spirituality. The Religion and Spirituality in Medicine Scholarly Concentration introduces students to major spiritual traditions, spiritual concepts in health and the ways they interact. In addition to the religious traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, the concentration will include non-religious spiritual traditions, such as feminist spirituality, western humanism and secularism.
Students in the first and second years of medical school are eligible to apply for scholarly concentrations. Learn more:
Benefits of the Scholarly Concentration Program
Video: Executive Associate Dean of Educational Affairs Paul M. Wallach talks about scholarly concentrations
Student perspectives of the program
Plan ahead for All School Meeting on October 29
The IU School of Medicine Fall All School Meeting will be held from 4:30-6:30 pm, Thursday, October 29. The event will be held on Zoom, and all faculty, staff and learners are invited to attend. Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, and the executive associate deans will provide critical updates on respective mission areas. In addition to opportunities to ask questions, recipients of various honors and awards will be announced. Register in advance to receive a unique Zoom access link via email.
Save the date: IU School of Medicine Education Day is April 22
Mark your calendar for IU School of Medicine’s second annual Education Day on Thursday, April 22. Education Day offers the opportunity for faculty, students, residents and fellows from all departments to showcase their medical education research through oral presentations, workshops, poster sessions and small group discussions.
The event is currently scheduled to take place virtually via Zoom—exact times will be determined at a later date. IU School of Medicine is closely monitoring all developments related to COVID-19, which may affect the status of this event. Watch future issues of INScope for more information.
Negative pressure wound therapy device might not lower infection risk in women with obesity after C-section
IU School of Medicine researchers are learning more about ways to prevent infections in women with obesity who have cesarean delivery. The multi-site study revealed using prophylactic negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) does not appear to lower the risk of infection for this high-risk group.
“We now do more than 1.2 million C-sections a year in the United States, and infection has been one of the most common complications,” said Methodius Tuuli, MD, MPH, MBA, vice chair of obstetrics and director of perinatal research at IU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Tuuli is the study’s principal investigator and lead author. “Infection can lead to longer hospital stays, an increase in health care cost and can also be particularly problematic for mothers to experience when trying to take care of a new baby.”
The study was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health. The findings are published in a new article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
More details on the study are available in the Newsroom.
Faculty and Staff News
Get a mitigation testing email? You must apply for exemption
While clinical educators who do not teach regularly in a classroom setting are exempt from Indiana University’s COVID-19 mitigation testing program, faculty must apply for the exemption. If you receive an email requesting your participation in mitigation testing and you meet the criteria for exemption (teach in a clinical setting and not a classroom setting), refer to the email for instructions on applying for the exemption.
Take note of downtown shuttle route detour on Saturday
The IU Health downtown shuttle service will be detoured around Walther Hall on Saturday, September 26. The downtown and express routes will not have access to Walnut Drive due to the Barnhill Road closure. The shuttle stop at Walther Hall, which many take to access IU Health University Hospital, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and IU School of Medicine, will shift to the back side of the building. The normal shuttle route will resume by the end of the day.
Receive real-time location updates via the live shuttle tracker. Scan the QR code below or visit iuhealth.ridesystems.net for the latest tracking information.
Faculty: Watch your email to submit committee preferences
In early October, eligible IU School of Medicine faculty will receive an email to indicate interest and submit your preference (or nominate others) for serving on committees for the 2021-2022 academic year. Each year, the Faculty Steering Committee partners with Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity to solicit faculty interest in serving on school-wide committees in appointed and elected roles.
The deadline to submit preferences for school-wide committee service for the 2021-2022 academic year is Friday, November 6. Questions? E-mail email@example.com.
Reroute your walk to protect patients
As cooler weather becomes the norm, faculty, staff and students who park in the IUPUI Vermont Street Parking Garage are reminded not to use the second-floor walkway entrance to the IU Simon Cancer Center as a shortcut to campus buildings. Unless IU Health University Hospital is your final destination, refer to the IUPUI campus map to find an alternate route. Help do your part in keeping vulnerable patients healthy by reducing foot traffic in this area.
For updates on COVID-19 hospital visitor restrictions, visit iuhealth.org.
Deadline to nominate faculty for school awards is next week
There’s just one week left to nominate faculty for IU School of Medicine awards. Award descriptions, criteria, past award recipients and nomination submission information are available at the links below. Nomination deadline for all awards is Thursday, October 1.
“Building Toward Retirement” faculty info session is Monday
Considering retirement in the near future? Faculty can take part in an online information session—Building Toward Retirement—from noon-1 pm, Monday, September 28. The session is designed to help lay a foundation for faculty to enjoy a growing sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and personal fulfillment as retirement nears. Long-range retirement planning is helpful, yet preparation often focuses exclusively on financial matters when there is so much more to consider. Session participants will review the career lifecycle and psychosocial issues associated with this career phase and identify IU retirement planning resources. Registration is available.
Hispanic Heritage Month keynote address is September 29
As part of IU School of Medicine’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Elena V. Rios, MD, MSPH, FACP, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, will present a keynote address from noon-1:30 pm, Tuesday, September 29, on Zoom. Rios will discuss how health care providers can impact the health care of the Latinx community through public health policies and more. She will also help participants navigate the path to leadership as a member of the Latinx community and speak on the importance that Latin Medical Student Association plays in the formative experience of Latinx students and physicians. Registration is available.
Join the October 7 Culture and Conversation to discuss “On the Walls” project
Representational diversity is one of the core pillars of IU School of Medicine’s diversity framework. The “On the Walls” project, led by Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, FACP, FAMWA, is dedicated to diversifying the walls of IU School of Medicine to reflect the rich diversity of the school community, both past and present. Join students and faculty from noon-1 pm, Wednesday, October 7, on Zoom to learn more about this project to recognize women and people of color who have contributed to the school’s legacy. Register today.
Guiles named new AMPATH team leader
Dan Guiles, MD, MPHTM, has been named the new pediatric team leader for AMPATH. An Indiana University-trained physician specializing in medicine-pediatrics, Guiles was drawn to his new role by AMPATH’s unique partnership model.
”AMPATH’s collaborative approach that seeks to build and continually refine truly bidirectional global health partnerships with patient care at the center of all its activities made a huge impression on me and shaped my worldview of appropriate and effective global health practice,” said Guiles, who completed the global health residency track and a two-month rotation in Eldoret during his med-peds residency at IU School of Medicine. “It has been a dream of mine to work for AMPATH, and I am excited about the team leader role as it combines all three aspects of the tripartite academic mission: patient care, training and research.”
Read more in this Global Health blog post.
Students excel in IMPRS research program
Despite COVID-19, the 2020 Indiana Medical Student Program for Research and Scholarship program was a success. The virtual poster symposium, held in late July, featured 225 projects. Although most projects were completed remotely, they added value and brought out the best of IU School of Medicine students. Learners from all nine campuses presented in the areas of laboratory, translational and clinical research, community engagement, education and health outcomes. Read more and check out the list of scholarship and award recipients.