Faculty and Staff News
Faculty weigh in on COVID-19 vaccine in national publications
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues across the nation, questions persist about risks, efficacy and side effects. IU School of Medicine faculty members Lana Dbeibo, MD, and Aaron Carroll, MD, MS, are among the experts weighing in on the vaccine’s lifesaving value and its role in bringing an end to the pandemic.
Take note of new way to reach the Department of Mental Health Services
The Department of Mental Health Services (DMHS) has moved to a new electronic medical record, Point and Click. Trainees can communicate directly with the department team via secure message, eliminating the need for Zoom initiations for telehealth. All IU School of Medicine trainees can now log in using their IU username and password (no signup required) at the secure DMHS trainee portal.
Through this portal, trainees can join their Zoom appointment, request new appointments, send secure messages, update their information and fill out necessary forms. Trainees should call 317-278-2383 with issues using the portal. For urgent situations, 24/7 support is available through the DMHS crisis line at 317-278-4357. The department has recently added clinicians, which will significantly decrease wait times for services.
Regional campus mental health resources
In addition to the available DMHS services, each regional campus has local mental health resources available for trainees, including psychiatric services in the Evansville area. To access services at a regional campus, contact the department to schedule an intake with Dana Lasek, PhD, HSPP, regional psychologist.
Nominate colleagues for Trustees’ Teaching Award; deadline is 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).
On the blog: Reflections on MLK’s legacy
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s work toward peace, human rights and justice are concepts and foundational pillars that continue to influence many. However, as the country navigates the compounding crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, members of the IU School of Medicine community reflect on his legacy. Read the Spirit of Medicine blog post for their insights and to check out a list of events in celebration of MLK Day on Monday, January 18.
December research awards total more than $5 million
Dec research awards Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Alan Breier National Institute Of Mental Health New Academic-Community EPINET (AC-EPINET): Mitigating Barriers to Care 9/11/2020 8/31/2021 $1,568,286 D Wade Clapp University Of Alabama Birmingham New NF110: Open-label, Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Crizotinib for Children and Adults with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 and Progressive Vestibular Schwannomas 4/23/2020 8/15/2021 $4,340 Ryan Everett Fitzgerald University Of Iowa New Bracing vs Casting in the Treatment of Idiopathic Early-Onset Scoliosis 10/1/2020 9/30/2021 $1,500 Evan L. Fogel University Of Texas Md Anderson Cancer Center Renewal (not prev committed) Consortium for the Study of Chronic Pancreatitis, Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer: Coordinating and Data Management Center (CSCPDPC-CDMC) 9/8/2020 6/30/2021 $5,000 Tatiana M Foroud University Of Pittsburgh New Alzheimer's Biomarker Consortium- Down Syndrome (ABC-DS) 9/30/2020 8/31/2021 $308,178 Tatiana M Foroud Foundation For Peripheral Neuropathy Renewal (not prev committed) Peripheral Neuropathy Research Registry 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $59,608 Nicole R Fowler Retirement Research Foundation New Telephone Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Intervention for Caregivers (TACTICs) 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $125,601 David M Haas Franciscan Health New Children's Health in the Heartland Study 4/15/2020 4/15/2021 $78,505 T George Hornby Indiana State Department Of Health New Intermittent Hypoxia paired with High Intensity Training in Brain Injury 7/1/2020 6/30/2022 $100,000 Amelia K Linnemann City Of Hope Renewal (not prev committed) Real-time in vivo analysis of islet redox dynamics 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $71,727 Yao-Ying Ma Indiana State Department Of Health New ADOLESCENT MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY INCREASES THE SUSCEPTIBILITY OF ADULTS TO DRUGS OF ABUSE 7/1/2020 6/30/2022 $80,000 Jennifer Maratt Leona M. And Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust New Development of a regulatory roadmap for colonoscopy bowel preparations for Crohn¿s Disease patients 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $644,250 Toby Maurer International Foundation For Dermatology New Rapid Implementation of Teledermatology at the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $20,000 Sanjay Mohanty American College Of Surgeons New Geriatric Surgery Verification (GSV) Program 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $25,000 Heather Ann O'Leary University Of North Texas New Sodium glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) and sodium hydrogen exchanger-1 (NHE1): a potential link to cardioprotective benefits 9/17/2020 9/16/2021 $131,401 Senthil Packiasabapathy Society For Pediatric Anesthesia New Improving safety and efficacy of methadone in children undergoing major surgery: Inter-child variability in methadone pharmacokinetics and postoperative outcomes. 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $50,000 Karen E. Pollok Curing Kids Cancer, Inc New Multi-phase therapy for Osteosarcoma: Targeting Replication Stress and Adaptive Response 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $50,000 Jamie L Renbarger Riley Children's Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) PS. We Love You 11/1/2020 10/31/2021 $246,235 Courtney Marie Rowan Boston Children's Hospital New Understanding COVID-19 among critically ill children in the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigator¿s (PALISI) Network 4/9/2020 10/8/2021 $62,200 Andrew J Saykin University Of Pennsylvania New Informatics Algorithms for Genomic Analysis of Brain Imaging Data 7/1/2020 3/31/2021 $87,651 Andrew J Saykin University Of Southern California New Ultrascale Machine Learning to Empower Discovery in Alzheimer's Disease Biobanks 9/15/2020 8/31/2021 $427,950 Andrew J Saykin Georgetown University New Cognitive Aging, Alzheimers disease and Cancer-related Cognitive Decline 8/1/2020 4/30/2021 $267,930 Chandan K Sen U.s. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Vasculogenic skin reprogramming to rescue diabetic wound healing 1/1/2021 12/31/2022 $313,712 Asif A Sharfuddin Vanderbilt University Medical Center Renewal (not prev committed) APOL1 and Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Vanderbilt Clinical Center 11/19/2018 5/31/2021 $8,500 Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds Greenwall Foundation New Periviable Decision-Making Dynamics: Who should decide and what happens when parental parties disagree 1/1/2021 12/31/2022 $255,869 Brian Walker New York University New Complex Structural Variation in the Progression of Multiple Myeloma 7/1/2019 6/30/2022 $20,124
IU cancer center findings could reduce treatment-related complications for blood cancer patients
Researchers at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center published promising findings in the New England Journal of Medicine on preventing a common complication to lifesaving blood stem cell transplantation in leukemia.
Sherif Farag, MD, PhD, found that using a drug approved for Type 2 diabetes reduces the risk of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), one of the most serious complications of blood stem cell transplantation. GVHD occurs in more than 30 percent of patients and can lead to severe side effects and potentially fatal results. Farag is the Lawrence H. Einhorn Professor of Oncology and professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine, a member of the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and program and medical director of hematological malignancies and bone marrow and blood stem cell transplantation at Indiana University Health.
In the IU clinical study, blood stem cell transplant patients received the oral drug called sitagliptin. Acute GVHD occurred in only two of 36 patients within 100 days of their transplant. The 5 percent occurrence represents a drastic reduction of GVHD, which studies have found can affect 34 percent to 51 percent of patients in the first three months after transplant.
Graft-versus-host disease occurs when the donated blood stem cells (the graft) attack the transplant recipient’s (the host) tissue.
“The rate looks very encouraging and it’s achieved with a very simple and relatively inexpensive intervention of sitagliptin,” Farag said. “This result is significant and offers a new approach and a new target for inhibition of graft-versus-host disease. We achieved a much lower rate than we could have hoped.”
For more details on the research, visit the Newsroom.
New study: Researchers learn to predict very preterm birth, neonatal complications
Researchers are learning more about ways to predict the likelihood of newborn complications from early in pregnancy using samples provided by the Indiana University School of Medicine Building Blocks of Pregnancy Biobank.
Preterm birth is a common pregnancy complication that can lead to significant neonatal morbidity and mortality. Very preterm birth, which is delivery before 32 weeks gestation, is particularly associated with increased rates of complications in newborns. In a new study published in PLOS ONE, researchers looked at levels of progesterone metabolites as well as the demographic and obstetric history of patients. They found that by looking at the combination of these factors, they could accurately predict how likely a pregnant woman was to deliver very preterm or have a newborn with multiple complications. Pregnancies predicted to be at-risk in the study resulted in newborns spending about seven weeks longer in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) than those at lower risk.
“These discoveries about different progesterone metabolites and their roles in prediction and potentially prevention of spontaneous preterm birth are very exciting,” said David Haas, MD, MS, vice chair of research for IU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a co-author of the paper. “While more research is needed, these findings are a significant step in helping physicians provide multidisciplinary, personalized care to improve perinatal outcomes for their patients.”
Visit the Newsroom for more information on the research.
Faculty and Staff News
Performance feedback: Staff deadline for self-assessment is January 31
The performance feedback process provides a framework for conversations throughout the year to foster open and honest two-way communication between the supervisor and employee. All IU School of Medicine staff members must complete their self-assessment of performance by Sunday, January 31. Managers will meet with their staff to discuss the assessment of performance no later than Wednesday, March 31.*
New this year, assessment forms have been updated to include a question about impacting diversity and inclusion.
You can access the performance feedback forms and other resources on the MedNetHR Performance and Feedback page. Reach out to your manager with questions.
* Managers should contact their HR Business Partner with questions on the performance feedback process.
COVID-19 mitigation testing to continue during spring semester
IU faculty, staff and students can expect to be called for mitigation testing more often during the spring semester than in the fall. IU’s robust mitigation testing program helped the university maintain in-person classes from August through the Thanksgiving break and keep COVID-19 infections to a minimum on IU’s campuses. Based on the success of the program, the university is continuing mitigation testing during the spring semester with approximately 10,000 faculty and staff tested each week university-wide.
As in the fall, faculty, staff and students will be notified by email if they’re included in the upcoming mitigation testing group. The link to schedule a test will be included in the email.
Important exemption reminder for clinical educators
Exemptions from mitigation testing continue to be available for a limited number of reasons. While clinical educators who do not teach regularly in a classroom setting are exempt from IU’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.
IU’s voluntary asymptomatic testing also will continue. This testing is open to anyone who has not been called for mitigation testing that week and has no symptoms of COVID-19. The schedule for voluntary testing opens on Friday evening the week before the tests.
CUPID summer oncology program needs faculty and lab mentors
Clinical faculty, laboratory mentors and lecturers are needed to participate in the “Cancer in the Under-Privileged Indigent or Disadvantaged” (CUPID) program, a summer translational oncology program jointly administered by IU School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Now in its sixth year at IU School of Medicine, CUPID aims to cultivate an interest in cancer treatment and research among medical students who have not yet fully defined their career goals. Students interested in both research and health care disparities (rural and urban) and who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to community service are invited to apply. The 10-week, laboratory-based research experience will be held from May 24-July 30, with IU School of Medicine hosting four to six students for the fellowship. During this period, students also will attend a didactic lunchtime lecture series featuring discussion about the molecular basis of cancer, general oncologic principles, challenges in clinical oncology and approaches to relieving cancer health disparities. They will also experience the clinical side of oncology through participation in half-day clinical rotations. Students will present research findings at a closing symposium.
Faculty are needed to host students in their labs (if located in Indianapolis), give lectures and provide shadow experiences in their clinics. Faculty mentors hosting a summer student in their laboratories will receive $1,000 to help cover lab-related expenses.
Indiana CTSI to host January 29 town hall on the role of churches as health connectors
Since June 2020, 10 Indianapolis churches have been gathering virtually to share their congregations’ stories and support for health and wellness and local knowledge of health assets, partnerships and priorities. During the virtual town hall from noon-1:30 pm, on Friday, January 29, clergy and health advocates will share lessons learned and next steps forward for this health connections collaboration.
The town hall is part of the #HealthyMe Learning Community, which is convened by Good to the SOUL, LLC, and organized by the Monon Collaborative and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) with support from the Indiana University Health Values Fund.
Keep Sharing the Joy in 2021
While the holidays are over, there’s still every reason to share some joy as 2021 unfolds. 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.
Submissions can include original works of art, stories, music, writing, photographs, favorite recipes, videos of hobbies and activities—anything that brings personal joy.
Apply for pilot funding for research use of core facilities
The Indiana CTSI pilot funding program is intended to promote the use of technologies and expertise afforded by the Indiana CTSI core facilities available at all partner institutions. Successful proposals will demonstrate outstanding scientific merit that can be linked to generating extramural funding or novel intellectual property. Success of the program will be viewed, in part, by the fostering of new funded grants or providing significant contributions to grant renewals.
Funding is for use of designated Indiana CTSI core facilities only. More information is available. Application deadline is Monday, March 29.
Core equipment grants are available; apply by April 5
The Indiana CTSI seeks proposals from CTSI-designated IU School of Medicine cores requesting support for the purchase of equipment that will enhance the research environment and contribute to the research mission of the school and the CTSI. Get details and eligibility requirements. Applications are due by Monday, April 5.
Stepping Stones of Women in Leadership event is January 25
The Stepping Stones of Women in Leadership series is designed to create a forum in which all faculty and students can learn about professional development through hearing the personal career journeys of successful women. Join the virtual event from noon-1 pm, Monday, January 25, featuring Elaine Cox, MD. A faculty member since 1995, Cox is professor of clinical pediatrics and currently serves as chief medical officer for Riley Children’s Health. More information and registration are available.
Save the date: Patricia Treadwell Women in Medicine Lecture is March 1
Marly Bradley, MD, JD, FAA, will be the featured speaker at the 2021 Patricia Treadwell Women in Medicine lecture. Bradley, who became an IU School of Medicine ombudsperson in 2017, is as an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and associate medical director of Eskenazi Health’s pediatric urgent visit center. The lecture will be held from noon-1 pm, on Monday, March 1.
Honoring Dr. Patricia Treadwell’s 40 years of service to the IU School of Medicine community, this lecture explores how the intersections of race and gender affect academic medicine and the health sciences professions. This annual lecture series marks the transition from Black History Month to Women's History Month.
Patricia Treadwell, MD, currently serves as special advisor to the dean and chief diversity office at IU School of Medicine.
Learn about Buddhism and supporting patients in this faith tradition
What are the “Four Noble Truths” of Buddhism? How can health care providers meet the spiritual needs of patients practicing Buddhism? Rev. Donald Stikeleather, staff chaplain for Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital and an ordained Buddhist through Dharma Ocean Foundation, provides insight into this faith tradition in this Spirit of Medicine blog post.