Faculty and Staff News
COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline health care professionals begin this month
COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline health care professionals begin this month
Earlier this week, health care systems in Indiana provided advance notice of the imminent arrival of the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses. Officials expect the distribution to begin the week of December 14, with frontline health care professionals eligible to get the vaccine. Individuals who received an email this week will receive a follow-up email next week that will include a secure link to register and schedule a vaccination appointment.
Currently, health care systems are only sending these communications to individuals in patient-facing roles. Details will be available in the coming weeks for those in the IU School of Medicine community who do not serve in clinical roles and who are not eligible for the first round of vaccinations.
In the email sent by IU Health to individuals eligible for the first vaccine doses, the health system stressed the safety of the vaccine:
“We are confident in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) process to approve vaccines that have been proven to be safe and effective. The FDA carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks. The vaccines have completed three phases of testing through clinical trials involving thousands of patients, and have proven at this time to be 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 for all adults.”
If you have questions about your eligibility to receive a vaccine in the first round, please speak with your team leader.
Trustees’ Teaching Award nominations due January 27
The Indiana University Board of Trustees annually recognizes faculty excellence in teaching with this prestigious award. Exceptional teaching is the primary factor for selection, and it’s anticipated that approximately 50 outstanding IU School of Medicine instructors will receive the award this year.
Tenured and tenure-track faculty and librarians engaged in teaching are eligible, as are full-time clinical faculty and full-time lecturers whose primary duties are teaching. Award recipients must have demonstrated a sustained level of teaching excellence in the form of documented student learning and must have completed at least three years of service to be eligible (appointed on or before July 1, 2017).
In the news: Apostolova featured in Washington Post article about atypical forms of dementia
A leader in studying atypical forms of dementia, IU School of Medicine researchers aim to understand why these types of dementia affect people much earlier in life than the more common Alzheimer’s, and whether there is a way to target the pathology and slow the disease’s progression.
Liana G. Apostolova, MD, MS, FAAN, Barbara and Peer Baekgaard Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Research at IU School of Medicine, is the co-principal investigator of the Longitudinal Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Study (LEADS), a National Institutes of Health-funded study that seeks to provide a foundation that may lead to new therapies for a disease that so far has resisted treatment. Apostolova was recently featured in a Washington Post article about early-onset dementia:
“There is still limited awareness about early-onset dementias. When people come in with cognitive complaints in their 40s or 50s, nobody believes them. We are trying to improve our understanding of the risk factors and various disease presentations, and raise awareness about it.”
Treating the whole person: Compassionate care this holiday season
As religious holidays approach, providers can be mindful of offering spiritual and compassionate care to patients. This type of care focuses on a patient's spiritual well-being by connecting them to spiritual traditions, rituals and practices as they experience a health crisis. To provide insight into this topic of spiritual care, three IU Health chaplains, Reverend Donald Stikeleather, Rabbi Justin Kerber and Reverend Anastasia Holman, offer advice for health care providers to help their patients feel spiritually connected and supported this holiday season, especially amid rising COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Read what these spiritual leaders have to say in the Spirit of Medicine blog post.
On the blog: IU School of Medicine student gets hands-on training
After finishing her undergraduate degree at IU Bloomington, Nimisha Kumar started medical school at IU School of Medicine and was accepted into the MedSTAR program. MedSTAR allows medical students to take time off school to pursue research. Because she had an interest in obstetrics and gynecology, she connected with David Haas, MD, MS, vice chair of research for the Department of OB-GYN, and was named the inaugural research fellow for the U.S. Satellite of the Cochrane Collaboration Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. The group produces reviews of health care interventions and research.
“Nimisha was instrumental in establishing and furthering the activities of the Cochrane U.S. Satellite. She took the lead on our large endeavor to prioritize a large list of reviews needing to be updated,” Haas said. “She learned new software, developed and deployed surveys, analyzed and published the results, and worked with multiple groups to actually help these reviews get started. She organized the first training workshop here at IU School of Medicine on Cochrane methodology and was purposeful and successful in getting more consumer involvement in the process.”
For more on Kumar’s experience with MedSTAR, read the Spirit of Medicine blog post.
November research awards total more than $8 million
Nov research awards Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Matthew C. Aalsma University Of California, San Diego New Statewide System and Organizational Strategy for Evidence-Based Practice Implementation and Sustainment in Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment 7/15/2020 5/31/2021 $77,083 Matthew C. Aalsma University Of Chicago New Community network driven COVID-19 testing of vulnerable populations in theCentral US 9/30/2020 8/31/2021 $389,350 Malaz A Boustani Regenstrief Institute, Inc. New PANSS Scores/Schizophrenia - Medical Adherence in Patients with Schizophrenia andBipolar Disorder 9/1/2020 9/30/2022 $455,305 Cynthia Diane Brown Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Treatment Preferences of CF Patients on CFTR Modulators 4/1/2020 3/31/2021 $30,798 Hal E Broxmeyer Emory University New Mechanisms of durable antitumor immunity via CD26hiCD4+ T cells 8/17/2020 6/30/2021 $21,751 D Wade Clapp Children's Tumor Foundation New Experimental Therapeutic Evaluation of PSC5-6 using a pre-clinical Mouse Model of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 10/1/2020 9/30/2021 $85,000 James M. Croop Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia Renewal (not prev committed) COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP: NIH National Clinical Trials Network Grant (2U10CA180866) 3/1/2020 2/28/2021 $38,769 Gary L Dunnington Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) James Joseph Harbaugh, Jr. Professor in Pediatric Plastic Surgery 7/1/2019 6/30/2020 $25,482 Evan L. Fogel National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Indiana University clinical Center for acute pancreatitis and diabetes clinical research network 9/17/2020 7/31/2021 $278,416 Benjamin Gaston Brigham And Women's Hospital New Immunometabolic phenotypes in adult severe asthma and disease progression 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $19,952 Suzanne Goodrich Brown University New Harambee: Integrated Community-Based HIV/NCD Care & Microfinance Groups in Kenya 5/1/2020 4/30/2021 $8,688 Gayle M Gordillo Vanderbilt University Medical Center New NATIENS: A Phase III Randomized Study to Determine the Mechanisms and Optimal Management of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis 7/15/2020 4/30/2021 $32,813 Laurie Gutmann University Of Iowa New Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT) - DCC 10/1/2020 6/30/2021 $19,969 Chiung-Kuei (CK) Huang National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism New TET1 in alcoholic liver disease progression 9/25/2020 8/31/2021 $240,896 Mark H Kaplan National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases Renewal (not prev committed) Allergic inflammation and Transcriptional Regulation in Th9 cells 11/16/2020 10/31/2021 $563,908 David A. Kareken University Of Kentucky Research Foundation New Sex Differences in Risk for Alcohol Use Disorder: Neural and Hormonal Influences 9/1/2020 7/31/2021 $68,228 Cristian Alberto Lasagna Reeves National Institute Neurological Disorders & Stroke New Tau-seed protein interactome and its role in neurodegenerative tauopathies. 9/30/2020 8/31/2021 $714,701 Kenneth Lim Dialysis Clinic, Inc New Effects of long interdialytic intervals on Cardiovascular Functional Capacity (ECON) Study 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $60,000 Ranjani N Moorthi Dialysis Clinic, Inc New Metabolites, Diet Patterns and Mobility Impairment in Chronic Kidney Disease 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $60,000 Harikrishna Nakshatri Chan Zuckerberg Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Single cell analysis of the normal breasts of Native Americans, Ashkenazi Jewish and Asian women. 12/2/2020 12/1/2021 $115,000 Irene J. K. Park Massachusetts General Hospital New Latino Youths Coping with Discrimination: A Multi-Level Investigation in Micro- and Macro-Time 8/1/2020 2/28/2021 $8,921 Martin J Richer Mcgill University New Host and viral determinants of ZIKV fitness and the immune response to infection 4/1/2020 3/31/2024 $324,055 Mark D Rodefeld National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Cavopulmonary Assist to reverse the Fontan 9/14/2020 8/31/2021 $2,396,491 G David Roodman University Of Arkansas For Medical Sciences New Contribution of Osteocytes to the Musculoskeletal Effects of Multiple Myeloma 7/1/2020 2/28/2021 $46,835 Sashwati Roy Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium New Electroceutical technology against wound microbial biofilm infection 10/13/2020 10/25/2022 $1,814,708 Gregory M. Sokol Duke University New Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, and Safety Profile of Understudied Drugs Administered to Children per Standard of Care (POPS) 10/21/2020 9/13/2022 $507,000 Umberto Tachinardi Regenstrief Institute, Inc. New Advancement of PCORnet Infrastructure: Clinical Research Network 4/1/2020 9/30/2020 $11,703 Jun Wan Purdue University New Nucleolin recognition of MYC promoter G-quadruplex and its role in MYC regulation by MycG4-ligands 4/1/2020 3/31/2021 $11,434 Sarah Elizabeth Wiehe Indiana State Department Of Health Renewal (not prev committed) 2018 Community Health Engagement Program Community-Based Research Pilot Project 11/1/2019 10/31/2020 $105,000 James C. Williams University Of Chicago New Geobiology of Cataracts 9/1/2020 5/31/2021 $62,054
Malaria chemoprevention reduces disease and death in children after hospitalization for severe malaria
A group of researchers, including Chandy John, MD, from IU School of Medicine, published a study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing malaria chemoprevention reduces morbidity and mortality in children with severe anemia.
A multi-center, two-arm, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in nine hospitals across Kenya and Uganda was conducted to determine if three months of malaria chemoprevention taken at home could reduce morbidity and mortality during the post-discharge period in children who had recently been admitted for severe anemia. Malaria chemoprevention is defined as the intermittent administration of full treatment courses of an antimalarial medicine to children in areas of highly seasonal transmission during the malaria season. The results showed that children who were randomized to the chemoprevention arm were 70 percent less likely to die or be re-admitted than children who received the standard of care.
“This simple intervention had an extraordinary effect, and the research group is currently discussing with ministries of health how such an intervention could be implemented in regions with substantial incidence of severe malaria and severe anemia,” said John, Ryan White Professor of Pediatrics.
For more on the study, visit the Newsroom.
Looking for start-up company resources? Attend the virtual ICBI open house on December 17
The Indiana Center for Biomedical Innovation (ICBI) provides a platform for academic entrepreneurs to translate their discoveries into commercial products. ICBI provides fully equipped biology and chemistry laboratories, collaborative space, offices, conference rooms, funding, and various research and development services. The center has assembled a special advisory council of life sciences leaders and entrepreneurs to provide guidance, mentorship and connections.
Learn more about the ICBI and its resources during a virtual open house from 10-11 am, Thursday, December 17. More information about the open house, a link to register and additional details about ICBI are available on the Indiana CTSI website.
Faculty and Staff News
Mitigation testing through early February: What you need to know
With smaller campus communities until early February and ongoing mitigation testing, IU employees may notice they're selected more often for mitigation testing than during the fall semester. Check out the screening and testing portion of this FAQ for details.
Remember to file for an 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 campus building access through February 8
While exterior doors (main entries and dock areas) remain unlocked for deliveries, all interior doors and hallways—including Research Institute II (R2), Walther Hall (R3) and Cancer Research Institute (R4)—will require a Crimson Card to enter to ensure safety and security in campus facilities. Please work with your building administrator to ensure you have the appropriate access.
Update on staff returning to campus
As many IU School of Medicine staff members continue to work remotely, the question looms: “When will we return to campus?”
While recent COVID-19 vaccine news provides hope, staff who can complete their duties remotely will most likely not return to campus on a consistent basis until sometime later in the spring semester at the earliest.
Diversity scholars fund established in memory of Chaniece Wallace, MD
A special diversity scholars fund has been established to honor the memory of Chaniece Wallace, MD, chief resident in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Wallace passed away in October from postoperative complications following the birth of her daughter, Charlotte.
The fund, administered by Riley Children’s Foundation, will support diversity, inclusion and equity education among residents, fellows and medical students from the IU School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.
Contributions to the fund may be made online or by sending a check payable to Riley Children’s Foundation. In the memo section of the check, indicate the gift is for the Dr. Chaniece Wallace Fund. Checks should be mailed to the foundation at 30 S. Meridian Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN, 46204.
In addition, a 529 college savings fund has been established for Charlotte Wallace. Contributions may be made to this account online using Gift Code Q8Z-B2P. Individuals may also send a check payable to CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan, referencing account number 618198945-01 in the memo of the check. Checks should be mailed to CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan, P.O. Box 219418, Kansas City, MO 64121 and should include a contribution form. A contribution form can be generated online at the CollegeChoice website. See here for a screenshot of what the form looks like.
A reminder about year-end pay dates
As December draws to a close, IU Human Resources is providing important information about year-end pay dates for staff:
- For support, service and PAO & PAU professional staff, the last pay date of 2020 is December 24, 2020, for time worked between November 29, 2020, and December 12, 2020.
- PAE professional staff will receive pay for work during December 2020 on January 4, 2021.
Check this Human Resources announcement for more year-end details.
Residents: Apply for 2021 Global Health Residency Track
The Indiana University Interdepartmental Global Health Residency Track is now accepting applications. This Global Health Track engages highly motivated residents from all specialties to better understand the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to health and disease throughout the world.
The program seeks to equip residents to address health disparities and encourages long-term commitment to global health issues, both domestic and international. Participating residents have opportunities to engage in both local and global electives that foster hands-on learning in global health as well as collaborate with others through joint learning sessions, journal clubs and case-based discussions.
For more information, including how to apply, visit IU Center for Global Health. Deadline to apply is Saturday, January 2.
Bright-Well Fund supports cancer center employees; learn more
The Bright-Well Fund was recently established at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center to provide financial assistance to IU School of Medicine and IU Health employees who make up the center. If you know of an employee who might benefit, encourage them to apply for support. Funds will be awarded to offset the impact of emergent or unexpected events that cause a burden on the employee applicant, such as expenses for an illness, a fire, natural disaster or a sudden death.
The fund is named after Brittney Brightwell, a longtime center employee who died from cancer early this year. She selflessly worked for the IU Health Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center for nearly a decade, first as a medical assistant then later as a clinical assistant. She is emblematic of the type of wonderful people who work at the cancer center and give so much to others. Many of these staff work multiple jobs to make ends meet and yet still encounter financial stress due to events beyond their control.
The review process for awards and the distribution of awards is entirely confidential and is reviewed and adjudicated by a social worker and HR staff. Learn more about the Bright-Well Fund.
Faculty and staff may support their colleagues through tax-deductible gifts to the Bright-Well Fund. Make an online gift.
There’s still time for Sharing the Joy
Members of the IU School of Medicine and IU Health communities are invited to submit their creative works for the Sharing Joy Project, a virtual exhibit intended to build community, share ideas and express positivity during this unprecedented time.
Anyone affiliated with IU School of Medicine or IU Health is invited to submit original works of art, stories, music, writing, photographs, favorite recipes, videos of hobbies and activities—anything that brings personal joy.
There is significant data to support that being grateful and seeking joy is associated with overall well-being. The Sharing Joy Project seeks to inspire everyone in the academic and health care community to find joy in their own life and elevate the collective community values of compassion, team building, purpose, diversity, respect and cooperation.
(Submissions will be reviewed for acceptability for public display by the project review panel and will remain the property of the submitter.)
January 28 town hall to focus on systemic racism and COVID-19
Systemic health and social inequities contribute to many people from racial and ethnic minority groups having an increased risk of dying from COVID-19. Breanca Merritt, PhD, director of the IU Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy, will share critical lessons learned from the pandemic during a cultural awareness town hall on Thursday, January 28, at noon. Register for the Zoom session.
Register for virtual 2021 Fairbanks Conference for Clinical Ethics
Registration is now open for the virtual Fairbanks Conference for Clinical Ethics. The conference will be held from 8 am-3 pm, Friday, February 12. Cost is register is $25. More information, including the full agenda and breakout session descriptions, is available. Deadline to register is Friday, February 5.
Concerned health care professionals create Hoosier COVID Crisis website
Several IU School of Medicine faculty members, along with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals from throughout the state, have signed on to support a website called Hoosier COVID Crisis. It was created by health care workers to inform Hoosiers of what’s at stake if COVID-19 continues with uncontrolled spread.
A group has written an open letter detailing how Hoosiers can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in four ways. Founding signatories include IU School of Medicine faculty members Gabriel Bosslet, MD, Timothy Ellender, MD, Jennifer Hartwell, MD, Lyle Fettig, MD, Ashley Meagher, MD, Adam Hill, MD, Tyler Stepsis, MD, Stephen Sample, MD, and Roger Johnson, MD.
You can "sign" the letter digitally to show your support. See the letter.