Top News

  • IU medical students volunteer to administer COVID-19 vaccines

    Frontline health care workers received the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 this week, and more people will be able to get vaccinated in the weeks and months to come. Chances are these vaccines may be administered by an Indiana University medical student.

    Health officials for the State of Indiana called upon IU School of Medicine to train a volunteer army of students who will be on-call to administer vaccines. Within two weeks of the ask, more than 430 medical students had answered that call. Another 209 IU nursing students signed up to support this large-scale vaccination effort.

    “For our generation, this is one of the bigger crises that we’ve faced in our time,” said first-year medical student Brandon Toliver. “Short of enlisting in the military in the midst of a potential world war, this is the next best thing. We can change the tide in something that has affected everyone’s life so much.”

    For more on the volunteer effort and how medical students are helping with the vaccine roll-out, visit Spirit of Medicine.

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  • Coming Monday: Zoom at IU to enable waiting rooms as security default

    On Monday, December 21, Zoom at IU will enable waiting rooms as a security default for new meetings. Users who are logged in with their Zoom at IU accounts will automatically bypass the waiting room by default. This way, meeting hosts won't have to admit authorized attendees one by one. Participants from outside IU will still need to be individually admitted.

    The automatic bypass setting can be changed. Review your waiting room settings prior to and after the update on December 21st to ensure attendees can be admitted in the manner you prefer.

    When editing your waiting room options, consider which users should have immediate access to a meeting. 

    • Users not in your account: This allows attendees logged in to Zoom at IU to bypass the waiting room, which is especially useful for larger classes and groups.
    • Everyone: All users will go into the waiting room regardless of their login status. Use this setting when you don’t want participants to enter the meeting until you are ready, such as with office hours and other private meetings.

    Your waiting room settings apply to all your Zoom meetings and can be changed at any time. Passcodes can be added for increased meeting security.

    Learn more about waiting rooms.

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  • Join the health care community in Sharing the Joy

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown chaos into everyone’s lives during 2020—a year also plagued with incidents of racial injustice and a polarizing presidential election—there is value in meditating on the joys of this unusual year.

    “Reflecting on the unique challenges of 2020, members of IU Health and IU School of Medicine at all levels—staff, students, residents, fellows, faculty and administrators—have continued to perform their duties and engage in patient care, education and research despite the incredible stressors brought by COVID-19, along with civil and political unrest,” said Jennifer Hartwell, MD, associate dean and chief wellness officer for IU School of Medicine. “Many people have found ways to be hopeful, share joy, demonstrate resilience and process the uncertainties of 2020 through creative endeavors.”

    Like some others, Hartwell finds joy in nature on her daily runs. She submitted a snapshot of a wooden footbridge along her running route, surrounded by lovely fall color. Hartwell describes the joy of outdoor exercise as “a way to unplug from the world and enjoy a sacred time for reflection … I let my mind wander, mile after mile.”

    Resident physician Lydia Fischer, MD, and her partner decided to get four baby chicks this summer. She submitted a photo of cute and fluffy “Phillys” to the Sharing Joy Project. “It has truly been surprising how much joy they have brought to our lives,” Fischer said.

    Kate Ruley-Haase, a lab manager and research technician at IU School of Medicine, was inspired to paint a portrait of her cat, Spot. She also found joy in jewelry-making and baking a Tudor meat pie with her family, inspired by watching “The Great British Baking Show.”

    Angela DeCamp, an executive administrative assistant with IU School of Medicine, has been creating gouache (opaque watercolor) paintings during the pandemic. She submitted a peaceful scene from New South Wales for the Sharing Joy Project.

    Check out Spirit of Medicine to read how others are Sharing the Joy this season. Have something to share? Creative submissions will be welcomed heading into the new year. Need a joy break? Book mark the Sharing the Joy Gallery and visit often to see the creative works and moments that are bringing joy to others.

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  • Register for the LGBTQ Health Care Conference, March 25-26

    The 2021 LGBTQ Health Care Conference will be held virtually Thursday, March 25, and Friday, March 26. The two-day event is open to anyone seeking to understand the unique health considerations and barriers to health care in the LGBTQ population.

    Conference attendees will learn how to provide respectful, patient-centered, culturally competent health care to LGBTQ individuals with an emphasis on developing skills to:

    • Establish rapport
    • Recognize barriers to medical care
    • Offer LGBTQ patients competent primary care and/or referrals to such care
    • Identify the unique health risks in the LGBTQ population

    More details and registration are available. Learners (students, residents and fellows) may attend the conference at no charge. CME, ACPE and ANCC credits are available.

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  • Mental Health Services supports medical trainees in trying times

    It may be tempting to say, “Good riddance!” to 2020, but the reality is, many of 2020’s stressors will carry over into 2021. Heading into a new year, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily lives. So too do the issues of systemic racism and political polarization.

    Medical students, resident physicians and fellows inherently have high demands on their time and energy as they are continually learning in a field that is constantly evolving. For many, the added challenges brought by COVID-19—often compounded by other environmental and relational stressors—have compelled them to reach out for help.

    This is a good thing, said Samia Hasan, MD, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and director of Mental Health Services at IU School of Medicine.

    “Support from the dean’s office has led to a rapid expansion of mental health resources for IU School of Medicine trainees,” she said. “Across the IU School of Medicine system, there has been growing recognition and support for the use of mental health services by not only trainees, but faculty and staff as well.”

    For more details on available services and a Q&A about seeking help, visit Spirit of Medicine.

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  • Happy Holidays from INScope; next issue is January 7

    INScope is taking a two-week break for the holiday season. Check your inbox on Thursday, January 7, for the first issue of 2021.

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Research News

  • Research service cores moving to iLab, a new management software

    Research at IU School of Medicine is supported by designated research service cores and shared resources. These facilities offer cutting-edge scientific services, enable access to high-end equipment and advanced technologies, and specialized expertise for investigators. IU School of Medicine has selected iLab Core Facility Management software as the enterprise-wide core facility management system for all research service cores and shared resources. The migration from the previous software called Core Ordering and Reporting Enterprise System (CORES) to the iLab system started early this year. Phase one of the iLab implementation is expected to be completed this month.

    iLab Core Facility Management software is a web-based management service designed to provide a unique platform for core facilities to efficiently support the management of service requests, equipment scheduling, project tracking, communication, billing and reporting. The new software allows the research community to access core facilities through one centralized portal that is easy to navigate and is accessible from wherever investigators work. 

    “Using iLab, investigators can monitor the status of order requests and reserve equipment at any time,” said Padma Portonovo, IU School of Medicine director of research service cores. “iLab also links funding sources, which means the principal investigator of a grant will be able to control access to each funding source for others working on their projects.”

    In Phase I of iLab implementation, research service cores using the CORES system are being transitioned to the iLab system with like-for-like functionality to continue their day-to-day operations until the CORES system is retired at the end of 2020. Phase II of the implementation will start in January 2021 and focus on implementing add-on modules that research service cores requested as part of a recent iLab implementation survey. A frequently asked questions document has been created for the research community to address iLab topics such as user registration, requesting and viewing services, reserving equipment and billing. For questions on the iLab system, email

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  • Study aims to identify factors that lead to Type 2 diabetes in smokers

    For as long as he can remember, Tatsuyoshi Kono, PhD, has strongly discouraged smoking cigarettes. In fact, as a child he successfully persuaded his own family members to quit because of its association with increased risk for health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes.

    Now an assistant research professor in the IU School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Kono is working to figure out exactly what leads to this risk with hopes that he can help more people stay healthy and quit for good.

    In a study published in Molecular Metabolism, Kono and his colleagues sought to identify some of the key players that lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes among cigarette smokers.

    They implemented a novel approach that combines live animal (in vivo) models and petri dish (in vitro) models to uncover the underlying mechanisms that affect pancreas function and lead to higher risk for Type 2 diabetes in the smoking population.

    For more on the study, check out the Pediatrics blog post.

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  • Recovered COVID-19 patients willing to be contacted for research

    The Indiana Biobank, part of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), and the Indiana CTSI subject recruitment office have started a registry of people who have recovered from COVID-19 and would be willing to participate in research.

    Researchers who are doing COVID-19 research can access all or specific groups of these patients for their own discovery research. All the participants were tested through IU Health. 

    For more information, email the study team.  

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  • Indiana CTSI hosts first research symposium in Evansville

    The first Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Clinical Research Symposium in Evansville was held on December 4. Originally planned as an in-person event this past summer, Indiana CTSI leadership in Evansville transformed the program into a virtual event, attended by people from around the state via Zoom.

    “Over the past several years, IU School of Medicine-Evansville has been building capacity for clinical and translational research in Southwest Indiana, via partnerships with local universities, hospital systems and the Indiana CTSI,” said Kara Garcia, PhD, Evansville navigator for the Indiana CTSI. “Our goal for Southwest Indiana is to build a culture of clinical and translational research, innovation and continuous improvement in our region—something that requires strong collaboration among all these groups. The goal of this symposium was to give all our partners, locally and across the state, a venue to share the great work they are doing and foster future collaboration.”

    Visit Indiana CTSI for more about the symposium.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • 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.

    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).

    More information is available. Nomination deadline is Wednesday, January 27. Questions? Email

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  • Mitigation testing in the coming weeks: Get the details

    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. 

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  • Reminder about campus building access through February 8

    To ensure safety and security in campus facilities, 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. Exterior doors (main entries and dock areas) will remain unlocked for deliveries. Please work with your building administrator to ensure you have the appropriate access.

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  • Register for upcoming town hall 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.

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  • Center for Diabetes & Metabolic Disease funding: LOI due January 22

    A primary research-related activity of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Pilot and Feasibility program is to foster the development of new diabetes-related investigators and provide seed support for innovative, high-risk projects.

    This funding opportunity is open to applicants/investigators at IU School of Medicine and other Indiana University campuses, IUPUI, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame and the Indiana Biomedical Research Institute (IBRI).

    Letter of intent to apply is due Friday, January 22; full application deadline is Monday, March 22. Details on the different grant mechanisms and application information are available.

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Partner News

  • Shah, Hockaday to serve in interim leadership roles for IU Health Physicians

    Leadership changes at IU Health Physicians have been announced as current president David Ingram, MD, MS, transitions next month to the role of chief medical executive for IU Health.

    Himanshu Shah, MD, will serve as interim president of IU Health Physicians, effective January 1. He will continue serving as chair of the IU School of Medicine Department of Radiology & Imaging Sciences. Melissa (Missy) Hockaday, NP, vice president and chief nursing officer, will serve as interim chief operating officer for IU Health Physicians, also effective January 1, as Brian Kremer transitions to his new role of vice president, medical affairs for IU Health. Hockaday will serve concurrently as chief nursing officer.

    A national search is underway for the president of IU Health Physicians, who also serves as executive associate dean for clinical affairs at IU School of Medicine. Ingram will continue to serve as executive associate dean for clinical affairs until the role is filled.

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  • IUPUI Campus Health earns AAAHC reaccreditation for continuous improvement

    IUPUI Campus Health, a division of the IU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, recently received reaccreditation approval from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). AAAHC accreditation means an organization “participates in ongoing self-evaluation, peer review and education to continuously improve its care and services.”

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