Faculty and Staff News
A message from Dean Hess: Our commitment to safety, inclusivity
I recently became aware of recent incidents on the Ball State University campus and in the Muncie community that appear to be an attempt to intimidate or harass people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, women, certain religious groups and other marginalized populations. It is possible that we may experience other such incidents on our campuses across the state.
In situations like these I want to affirm how much we strive to be a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community in the School of Medicine. While recognizing the rights afforded to every citizen through the First Amendment, those rights do not extend to harassment and intimidation—acts that I categorically denounce.
Furthermore, we are committed to the safety of all people on all our campuses. If anyone feels threatened or concerned for their safety, we urge them to consult local law enforcement, as well as available mental wellness resources.
I understand these are trying times. But please know that I am committed to ensuring all faculty, staff and learners have a safe and supportive environment for teaching, working and learning.
Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA
Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs
Dean of the School of Medicine
David C. Adams, MD, named chair of the Department of Anesthesia
David C. Adams, MD, has been named the next chair of the IU School of Medicine Department of Anesthesia. He will assume the role on January 1, 2021, and will have oversight and responsibility for the program’s clinical, education and research programs.
With more than 30 years of experience in the field of anesthesiology, Adams currently serves as executive vice chairman at Montefiore Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology and professor of anesthesiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York City.
Adams has a long history of service as a leader in academic medicine. Prior to his work in New York, Adams served as associate dean for graduate medical education and designated institutional official at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont, for seven years.
“Dr. Adams’ comprehensive clinical and administrative experience in anesthesiology and graduate medical education, along with his collaborative leadership style, make him the ideal candidate for this role,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU’s executive vice president for clinical affairs.
Adams will also hold the Robert K. Stoelting Professor of Anesthesia endowed chair appointment. He succeeds Robert G. Presson, MD, who announced his intent to retire late last year. Presson has been with IU School of Medicine for more than 33 years, spending the past eight as department chair. He will continue to practice clinically with the department.
For more on Adams’ appointment, visit the Newsroom.
Study suggests most humans are vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes
Scientists have found that insulin has met an evolutionary cul-de-sac, limiting its ability to adapt to obesity and thereby rendering most people vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes.
A recent study from scientists at IU School of Medicine, the University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University has determined that the sequence of insulin has become entrenched at the edge of impaired production, an intrinsic vulnerability unmasked by rare mutations in the insulin gene causing diabetes in childhood. The study exploits biophysical concepts and methods to relate protein chemistry to the emerging field of evolutionary medicine.
Insulin is produced by a series of highly specific processes that occur in specialized cells, called beta cells. A key step is the folding of a biosynthetic precursor, called proinsulin, to achieve the hormone’s functional three-dimensional structure. Past studies from this and other groups have suggested that impaired biosynthesis could be the result of diverse mutations that hinder the foldability of proinsulin.
This group sought to determine if the evolution of insulin in vertebrates—including humans—has encountered a roadblock. Has a complex series of steps imposed constraints that have frozen the sequence of insulin at a precipice of non-foldability? And if so, has this left humankind vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes as a pandemic disease of civilization?
According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the answers are yes and yes.
“Biological processes ordinarily evolve to be robust, and this protects us in the majority of cases from birth defects and diseases,” said Michael Weiss, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor at IU School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study. “Yet diabetes seems to be an exception.”
Visit the Newsroom for more on the study.
Fourteen medical students selected for Indiana AHEC Scholars Program
Fourteen IU School of Medicine students have earned placement in the Class of 2022 Indiana Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholars Program. The program is part of a national initiative to prepare tomorrow’s health professionals to become leaders in interprofessional, transformative practice who serve those who need it the most.
Indiana AHEC Scholars, a competitive program, is designed specifically for individuals who possess a strong drive to provide care to those living in rural and medically underserved communities across Indiana. During the two-year program, AHEC Scholars complete didactic and experiential training opportunities with a focus on rural and urban health care and caring for underserved populations with emphasis on the integration of five core issues—behavioral health integration, cultural competency, interprofessional education, practice transformation and social determinants of health into practice.
Students selected to participate in the next class of Indiana AHEC Scholars are:
The Indiana AHEC Network is part of the IU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine.
On the Walls: Celebrating the portrait unveiling of the school’s first African American graduate
IU School of Medicine recently held a virtual ceremony to unveil the portrait of Clarence Augustus Lucas, Sr., MD, one of the first African American medical students to graduate from IU School of Medicine. Located in the atrium of the Van Nuys Medical Science Building on the IUPUI campus, this portrait reflects the monumental accomplishments of Lucas’ life and his legacy as a trailblazer in medicine.
The unveiling of Lucas' portrait is the first of many aimed at promoting representational diversity in the artwork displayed across campus buildings through the “On the Walls” project. Led by Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, this project began last year after she heard from students and staff that the walls around IU School of Medicine did not reflect the rich diversity of our community. In fact, after looking at each portrait, Rohr-Kirchgraber found that the school did not have a single portrait of an African American physician or scientist and only one picture of a woman.
“We sought to change this,” said Rohr-Kirchgraber. “We looked back in history and found that Dr. Lucas was our first African American graduate in 1908, but his picture wasn’t included in the class portrait as he was not allowed to be included. We are changing that story and we are enthusiastic about the changes that are now going on within the school of medicine in many different sectors.”
For more on the unveiling and the “On the Walls” project, read the Faculty News blog post.
October research awards total more than $22.5 million
Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Al Hassanein Plastic Surgery Foundation New Inducible Lymphovenous Shunts using Tissue Nanotransfection Technology 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $10,000 Amelia K Linnemann National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Functional and molecular characterization of the human islet interferon alpha response 9/16/2020 9/15/2021 $174,052 Amelia Rogers Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center New Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium (MWPSC) two-year research support for Amelia Rogers, PGY 3 research resident 7/1/2020 6/30/2022 $30,000 Benjamin Gaston University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill Renewal (not prev committed) Data, Modeling, and Coordination Center for PrecISE Network (Genomics Core) 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $131,910 Benjamin Gaston National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Sudaxine as an analgesia sparing respiratory stimulant for use in critical care 8/20/2020 7/31/2021 $575,621 Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds Indiana University Health New A Pilot Study of the Effect of Chaplain Decision Coaching on Periviable Resuscitation Decision Quality 6/1/2020 5/31/2022 $89,150 Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds Society Of Family Planning New Changemakers in Family Planning 9/15/2020 3/30/2022 $60,000 Bruce A. Molitoris Tulane University New Novel Roles of Mitochondrial Angiotensin II in The Proximal Tubule of the Kidney 3/1/2020 8/31/2020 $74,803 Bruce Timothy Lamb National Institute On Aging New Deciphering the role of CX3CR1 in Modulating Mechanisms of Amyloid driven Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer¿s Disease 9/15/2020 8/31/2024 $3,087,997 C Max Schmidt University Of Texas Md Anderson Cancer Center Renewal (not prev committed) Imaging and molecular correlates of progression in cystic neoplasms of the pancreas 9/1/2020 8/31/2021 $62,481 Chandan K Sen National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Diabetic Foot Ulcer Biofilm Infection and Recurrence 9/7/2020 6/30/2021 $663,367 Chandan K Sen University Of Michigan New University of Michigan Data Coordinating Center for the Diabetic Foot Consortium 3/1/2020 6/30/2020 $64,223 Christie M Orschell University Of Maryland New Intercollaborative Radiation Countermeasure (INTERACT) Consortium forAdvanced Development of Medical Countermeasures to Mitigate/Treat Acute and DelayedRadiation Syndromes 6/16/2020 5/31/2021 $237,750 Clement L Ren Seattle Children's Research Institute New A master protocol to test the impact of discontinuing chronic therapies in people withcystic fibrosis on highly effective CFTR modulator therapy (SIMPLIFY) 1/1/2020 12/31/2022 $102,729 D Wade Clapp Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Riley Children¿s Foundation Annual Endowment Awards for IU/Riley Programs 2020-2021 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $4,151,362 D Wade Clapp Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Makenna Van Laeken Endowment Fund for Liver Research (FY16-19) 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $23,865 David M Haas Rti International New Continuation of the nuMoM2b Heart Health Study 4/1/2020 1/31/2021 $77,270 David M Haas Duke University New Pediatric Trial Network eSource Study Selection 1/24/2020 6/30/2023 $7,500 Eneida A. Mendonca University Of Wisconsin Renewal (not prev committed) Children¿s Respiratory and Environmental Workgroup (CREW) 9/1/2020 8/31/2021 $200,000 Gary Eugene Landreth National Institute On Aging New Microglial hexokinase 2 as a therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease 9/15/2020 8/31/2024 $2,043,711 Gianfranco Alpini National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism New Alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity ¿ implications of secretin/secretin receptor axis 9/5/2020 7/31/2021 $554,365 Gregory M. Sokol University Of Iowa Renewal (not prev committed) Transfusion of Prematurity Early School Age Follow-up (TOP 5) CCC 9/25/2020 8/31/2021 $20,191 Jeffrey F Peipert Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Center for Maternity and Newborn Health 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $1,005,000 John M Wo Purdue University Renewal (not prev committed) Mapping Stomach Autonomic Circuitry and Function for Neuromodulation of Gastric Disorders 8/1/2020 7/31/2021 $243,107 Kenneth E. White University Of Alabama Birmingham New Hyperphosphatemia contributes to systemic inflammation and anemia in chronic kidney disease 7/1/2020 4/30/2021 $73,812 Laurie Gutmann Massachusetts General Hospital New Clinical Coordinating Center Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trial 10/1/2020 6/30/2021 $28,530 Martin Rhys Farlow University Of Southern California New AHEAD 3-45 Study: A Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Parallel-Treatment Arm, 216 Week Study to Evaluate Efficacy and Safety of Treatment With BAN2401 in Subjects With Preclinical Alzheimer¿s Disease and Elevated Amyloid (A45 Trial) and in Subjects With Early Preclinical Alzheimer¿s Disease and Intermediate Amyloid (A3 Trial) 9/30/2019 5/31/2021 $570,000 Matthew L Friedman Johns Hopkins University New Biomarkers of Brain Injury in Critically-Ill Children on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) 10/8/2019 1/31/2021 $43,200 Michael A. Weiss National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Renewal (not prev committed) Non-Standard Protein Design in Molecular Endocrinology: Insulin and Glucagon 9/20/2020 6/30/2021 $625,785 Michael A. Weiss National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Molecular engineering of complementary glucose-responsive conformational switches in insulin and glucagon 9/15/2020 6/30/2021 $631,349 Molly Duman Scheel Innovative Vector Control Consortium New Enhancement of Mosquito Attractive Toxic Sugar Bait Technology through the Use of Interfering RNA Pesticides for the Control of Anopheles Mosquitoes 9/23/2020 9/30/2022 $600,000 Pei-Ciao Tang Hearing Health Foundation New Elucidating the development of the otic lineage using stem cell-derived organoid systems 10/1/2020 9/30/2021 $49,930 Rachel Adria Katzenellenbogen Seattle Children's (hospital) Renewal (not prev committed) HIV integration-mediated modulation of immune regulation in HPV-associated cancers 9/1/2020 8/31/2021 $18,900 Randy R Brutkiewicz National Institute On Aging New Analysis of the MR1/MAIT cell axis in a murine model of Alzheimer¿s disease 9/15/2020 8/31/2022 $435,875 Roland W Herzog Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia Renewal (not prev committed) Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the FVIII immune response - Project 2 5/1/2020 4/30/2021 $288,034 Roland W Herzog Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia Renewal (not prev committed) Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the FVIII immune response (Skill Core) 5/1/2020 4/30/2021 $68,624 Ryan Thomas Pitman University Of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute New The safety and efficacy of megesterol as part of an outpatient feeding protocol forchildren with chronic medical conditions 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $33,280 Samer Abu-Sultaneh Children's Hospital Of Los Angeles New Pediatric Ventilator Liberation Consensus Conference 3/1/2020 2/28/2021 $4,044 Stephen J. Jordan Infectious Disease Society Of America Renewal (not prev committed) Metabolic pathways associated with natural clearance of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in women 6/1/2020 5/31/2021 $4,000 Steven P Templeton American Lung Association New Adiponectin-Mediated Inhibition of Detrimental Inflammation in Invasive Aspergillosis 7/1/2020 6/30/2022 $150,000 Taeok Bae Higher Education Commission (of Pakistan) New International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP) for Indiana University, USA 9/1/2020 2/28/2021 $3,500 Takashi Hato National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New The role of antiviral programs in bacterial sepsis 9/23/2020 8/31/2021 $401,016 Tatiana M Foroud University Of Miami New Additional Sequencing for the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $62,537 Tatiana M Foroud Michael J Fox Foundation For Parkinsons Research New Research Study Core Master Agreement 1/1/2020 12/31/2020 $1,570,058 Tatiana M Foroud Michael J Fox Foundation For Parkinsons Research Renewal (not prev committed) PPMI Biorepository 7/1/2020 12/31/2021 $2,076,269 Thomas V Nowak Purdue University Renewal (not prev committed) Mapping Stomach Autonomic Circuitry and Function for Neuromodulation of Gastric Disorders 8/1/2020 7/31/2021 $216,191 Titus K Schleyer Agency For Healthcare Research And Quality New Improving healthcare processes and outcomes by directly integrating health information exchange data in the clinical workflow 9/30/2020 9/29/2021 $344,396 Travis J Jerde Purdue University New Impact of Inflammation on Adult Prostate Stem Cells 8/1/2020 6/30/2021 $120,674 Yao-Ying Ma National Institute On Aging New Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure on Alzheimer's Disease-associated Neuropsychiatric Symptoms 9/30/2020 8/31/2021 $396,250 Yunlong Liu Purdue University New Elucidating microglial immune regulation targets to remove protein aggregates in TBI 8/1/2020 7/31/2023 $85,209
Funding helps researchers design anxiety study with enhanced cultural competence
As an emergency room physician, Paul Musey, MD, MSc, noticed many patients coming in with heart attack symptoms who, upon evaluation, were found to have no major heart problems. The culprit for the onslaught of symptoms? Anxiety.
Musey and other Indiana University School of Medicine researchers were in the middle of designing a study on these “low-risk chest pain” patients, which would test different levels of treatment for underlying anxiety, when they noticed something missing in their project design: cultural competence. Not only were the same patients often returning to the ER with chest pain complaints related to untreated anxiety, but the majority of these patients also happened to be members of medically underserved, minority populations.
The researchers began to ask: What role does race play in how an emergency room patient is approached? And how does a patient’s experience with clinical staff influence their decisions on whether to participate in a clinical trial or to follow through with recommended treatment?
That’s where the Indiana University Racial Justice Research Fund came in. Jointly supported by IU’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, the start-up fund grants up to $15,000 for research by IU faculty focused on racial equity and justice.
Musey’s study, “Race as a Factor in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research on Low-Risk Chest Pain and Anxiety,” is one of 37 projects across the university system to be supported by the Racial Justice Research Fund in Fall 2020 and is one of two projects being led by IU School of Medicine researchers.
Read the Research Updates blog post for more details.
Psychologist studies injustice in treatment of youth with sickle cell disease
Imagine being in severe pain with a chronic health condition and medical professionals delaying treatment or denying a pain medication for fear you are a “drug seeker.” This is the lived experience of many Black youth with sickle cell disease.
“Over time, if you repeatedly experience biases in health care, you develop a cognitive attribution for, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Is it ‘because I’m Black,’ or ‘because I have sickle cell disease’ or ‘because I’m in pain’?” explained Amy Williams, PhD, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Williams is launching a two-year study to examine how “injustice appraisals”—a patient’s perception of injustice in their medical care—affects the physical symptoms and mental well-being of youth ages 11 to 18 with sickle cell disease. Funded by the Indiana University Racial Justice Research Fund, the study aims to reduce racial disparities impacting the health care and lifelong morbidity of these youth by informing the development of interventions for both patients and providers.
“If we can intervene earlier, we can have a much more substantial impact to improve their mental health and physical health in the future,” said Williams, a pediatric psychologist who works at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health specializing in helping kids cope with chronic pain.
Williams’ study, “Impact of Race-Related Injustice Appraisals on Morbidity in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease,” is one of 37 projects across the university system to be supported by IU’s Racial Justice Research Fund in Fall 2020 and is one of two projects being led by IU School of Medicine researchers.
For more on Williams’ study, read the Research Updates blog post.
Faculty and Staff News
Plan to attend the upcoming webinar about research best practices
There will be a free webinar about research best practices from noon-1:30 pm, Tuesday, December 1. Intended for IU research faculty, research business administrators and research administrators, the event will provide the opportunity to identify, share and discuss best practices for IU School of Medicine industry relations and IU Conflict of Interest and Commitment policies.
Tatiana Foroud, PhD, IU School of Medicine executive associate dean for research affairs, will welcome participants and introduce this session, followed by a panel presentation and Q&A. This session will also serve as a platform to provide research guidance and share resources about several topics. Continuing Medical Education (1.5 credits) will be offered at no charge. Register to attend.
StandPoint engagement survey deadline is November 30
In October, more than 2,900 full-time IU School of Medicine faculty received an email inviting participation in a national Association of American Medical Colleges workplace engagement survey called StandPoint. This comprehensive survey covers important topics such as workplace culture, departmental and school governance, faculty recruitment/retention efforts, wellness, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Faculty members may complete the survey until Monday, November 30. Faculty are encouraged to share openly their views and experiences. Confidentiality of individual responses is protected with the support of the IU Center for Survey Research. IU School of Medicine has set a goal of at least 40 percent participation in the survey.
Next spring, a summary report will be shared with each chair and regional campus to support data-driven discussions regarding faculty vitality and organizational development. For more information or questions, contact Amy Ribera, PhD, or visit StandPoint Faculty Engagement Survey.
Medical Miles Fun Run & Walk is Saturday
There’s still time to participate in the Medical Miles Fun Run & Walk sponsored by the IU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine. The virtual event will kick off via Zoom at 8:30 am, Saturday, November 14. Participants may then run or walk at a location of their choice.
More information and registration are available. A portion of the proceeds from the run/walk will benefit the IU Student Outreach Clinic.
Next Culture and Conversation event is November 17
Culture and Conversation is a monthly lunch discussion series that addresses culturally relevant topics, health equity and current events. The sessions are open to students, faculty, staff, administrators and leadership. Upcoming dates and topics in the series include:
New IU Health hospital opens in Frankfort
Indiana University Health Frankfort Hospital officially opened its doors on Monday, November 9. The new single-story facility includes inpatient rooms, an emergency department, radiology services and physical and occupational therapy. The new hospital is located just west of the of the former IU Health Frankfort Hospital on the city’s south side. More information, including a video tour, is available at iuhealth.org.
Eskenazi Health names director of community partnerships
Eskenazi Health has named Kimberly McElroy-Jones, PhD, DMin, director of community partnerships for community health. In her new position, McElroy-Jones will lead Eskenazi Health’s efforts to enhance social care through strategic relationships with community-based organizations.
The appointment follows a $500,000 grant from Eskenazi Health Foundation to enhance work already underway to integrate social determinants of health into clinical care at Eskenazi Health. For more, visit eskenazihealth.edu.
Indiana CTSI annual report earns Gold MarCom Award
Indiana CTSI was recently honored with a Gold MarCom Award for its 2020 Annual Report. The MarCom Awards is an international competition for marketing and communications materials and programs. The program is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.