Faculty and Staff News
Data Privacy Day: A message from IU’s chief privacy officer about protecting data
Editor’s note: Mark Werling, JD, Indiana University chief privacy officer, authored an article about data security for IU School of Medicine’s Technology blog. An excerpt is below.
January 28 is Data Privacy Day—an international effort to empower individuals and businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.
At Indiana University, we monitor data privacy trends and developments throughout the world and enhance our program on a continuous basis to ensure the best experience for our constituents. We also closely monitor privacy issues and track trends within IU School of Medicine to assess where we can continue to improve to ensure data privacy for students, employees and patients.
Read Werling’s full blog post for privacy issues of note, including:
- Transporting physical Protected Health Information (PHI)
- Using your own device
- Secure data storage
- Incident reporting
Coming in February: Students organize nationally recognized speakers to celebrate Black History Month
IU School of Medicine students have slated a full schedule of online events in February in celebration of Black History Month. The first event will be held at 6 pm, Thursday, February 2. Susan Rogers, MD, president, Physicians for a National Health Program, will bring insights to the question, “Why do we have racial health inequities?” Other topics include:
- VOT-ER: Helping patients vote like their health depends on it
- Preeclampsia and maternal mortality: Addressing bias in practice
- Healing mistrust wounds: Understanding the past to help us improve our future
- Gender and racial health equity
See the full schedule, and use the QR code to register by 5 pm on Friday, January 29.
On the blog: Students advance equity, inclusion and diversity task forces
In 2020, after events of unrest in the U.S. shed a brighter light on racial inequity, IU School of Medicine took action. Leaders convened three task forces based on feedback from the school community. Then, faculty, staff and students got to work, and met regularly over the past four months to address core areas identified for improvement. Their goal? To advance equity, inclusion and diversity at IU School of Medicine.
A total of 33 students are integrally involved in proposing changes and working with administration. Aaron Gilani, a third-year medical student and co-chair of the Stakeholder Engagement Sub-Committee on the Honor Code Task Force said, “My experience on the task force has been fulfilling and reflective of the reasons why I came to IU School of Medicine. I consider it a great honor to have a seat at the table in order to discuss something as important as the Honor Code, which helps shape the atmosphere of medical education at the school.”
For more on the students’ involvement and registration information for next month’s Diversity Town Hall series, read the full blog post.
Cancer center researchers discover how breast cancer cells hide from immune attack
Researchers at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified how breast cancer cells hide from immune cells to stay alive. The discovery could lead to better immunotherapy treatment for patients.
Xinna Zhang, PhD, and colleagues found that when breast cancer cells have an increased level of a protein called MAL2 on the cell surface, the cancer cells can evade immune attacks and continue to grow. The findings are published this month in The Journal of Clinical Investigation and featured on the journal’s cover.
“Like other cancer cells, breast cancer cells present tumor-specific antigens on the cell membrane, which immune cells recognize so they can kill the tumor cells,” Zhang said. “But our study found that MAL2 can reduce the level of these antigens, so these tumor cells are protected and can no longer be recognized as a threat by these immune cells.”
For more on the findings, visit the Newsroom.
COVID-19 Research Data Commons offers valuable resources for researchers
As the National Institutes of Health continues to release new funding opportunities in support of COVID-19 research, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) is raising awareness among researchers of important resources available to support grant applications and research projects.
The COVID-19 Research Data Commons (CoRDaCo) was established through a partnership between Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute. CoRDaCo is a clinical dataset of Indiana patients with COVID-19 and multiple clinical, laboratory and outcome variables. The National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) is a nationally collated dataset of patients with COVID-19 with limited clinical information. The Indiana Biobank, a program of the Indiana CTSI, has conducted biospecimen analyses of patients with COVID-19, including DNA whole exome sequencing, RNA transcriptomics, chemokines/cytokines and PBMC activation.
Tyler Trent’s Living Legacy: Read more on NYTimes.com
Even in the weeks before he died, Indiana native Tyler Trent was still working to raise awareness of pediatric cancer research. Today, IU School of Medicine researchers are using Trent’s tumor models to help others. Read more about Trent’s legacy and the research in this feature on NYTimes.com (account creation or login required).
Researcher finds success after participating in PostDoc Challenge
The Postdoc Challenge offers postdoctoral researchers at IU School of Medicine, IUPUI, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame valuable proposal writing and reviewing experience in areas related to translational research using one or more of the Indiana CTSI-designated core facilities at any of the partner universities.
The challenge gives postdoctoral researchers an opportunity to write applications and, for some, allows an individual researcher to be a principal investigator for the first time.
Taylor Raborn, PhD, participated in the 2016-2017 Postdoc Challenge while he was at IU Bloomington. His work, using the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics core at IUB, was recently published in Genome Research, an international peer-reviewed journal highlighting research that provides insights into the genome biology of all organisms.
For more on Raborn’s work, visit Indiana CTSI.
Faculty and Staff News
Faculty election ballot opens February 1
The faculty election ballot for the 2021-2022 academic year will open Monday, February 1. Those who are eligible to vote will receive an email in their IU email accounts with a link to the ballot.
Annual faculty elections to committees and for department representatives and offices signify an opportunity to participate in IU School of Medicine’s important work. During this time of great change, it’s especially vital that your voice be heard.
Questions about the election? Contact Jessica Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Dziarski named emeritus professor
Roman Dziarski, PhD, has been named professor emeritus of microbiology & immunology, effective with his retirement from IU School of Medicine on January 9, 2021.
In his 36-year career with IU School of Medicine, Dziarksi has been an active and accomplished faculty member, teacher and researcher. Overall, he has more than 48 years of experience working in biomedical education and medical education. His research has been focused on innate immunity and during the past 20 years, his research group discovered and characterized a family of four human genes coding for Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins. He has published 128 research articles, reviews and chapters in highly ranked scientific journals and books, including Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology, Nature Reviews Immunology, Nature Reviews Microbiology, Immunity, Cell Host and Microbe, Trends in Molecular Medicine, PLoS Pathogens, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Journal of Immunology. His work has received more than 8,350 citations in scientific literature. Dziarski has been a principal investigator on more than 20 research grants, including 10 from the National Institutes of Health, totaling over $11 million.
Emeritus designation may be awarded upon retirement from to faculty members and others as recognition of "substantial contributions to the university in the fields of teaching, research and/or service." Dziarski’s emeritus status was approved by IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson. IU School of Medicine congratulates Dziarski and appreciates his contributions to the school and university.
February 19 roundtable to feature Precision Health Initiative Grand Challenge
The Office of the Vice President for Research hosts a series of virtual roundtables to share progress and stories of impact from the innovative research empowered by IU's Grand Challenges program. The next roundtable, featuring the Precision Health Initiative Grand Challenge, will be held at 11:30 am, Friday, February 19. The discussion will focus on progress of the Precision Health Initiative, with special attention to advances made in the area of triple negative breast cancer. Several IU School of Medicine faculty will participate, including Tatiana Foroud, PhD, Milan Radovich, PhD, and Bryan Schneider, MD.
The roundtable will be followed by a moderated Q&A. Registration is available.
February 26: FDA devices director to keynote Indiana CTSI retreat at Purdue
Jeff Shuren, MD, JD, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), will be featured during an hour-long keynote discussion at the virtual Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) retreat at Purdue University on Friday, February 26.
Shuren is responsible for the review of FDA-regulated medical devices and diagnostics and for helping to facilitate medical device innovation, including overseeing devices and diagnostics related to COVID-19. He also provides vision, leadership and strategic direction regarding the regulation of medical devices in the United States and engagement with international partners.
The keynote discussion will be one of several opportunities during the retreat to connect with other key leaders at the FDA, as well as clinicians, university researchers and industry experts.
Apply by February 23 for CTSI postdoctoral translational research training
The emphasis of the Indiana CTSI postdoctoral training awards in translational research is to move findings from basic laboratory and pre-clinical research through the various phases of translational research. The goal of the CTSI is to make awards at all stages. It is important that the translational research have clear applications to human disease and health outcomes.
Postdoctoral training through this CTSI program is viewed as a collaborative endeavor among the trainee, the primary mentor and the co-mentor. Therefore, the application must be completed by both the primary mentor and the applicant. The training is experiential, supplemented with seminars and invited talks that will help the fellow consider a career in translational science research or a scientific career in industry.
More information is available. Application deadline is Tuesday, February 23.
There’s still opportunity for Sharing the Joy
Members of the IU School of Medicine and IU Health communities can still 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.
Riley Outpatient Garage now for families
As of Monday, January 25, the Riley Outpatient Garage, adjacent to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, has been designated for patient families. The change is designed to improve the patient and family experience at Riley, while balancing team member needs for convenient parking.
With this move, some team members have been relocated to other nearby garages. A Parking Task Force, comprising various stakeholders charged with high-level planning, hosted town hall meetings to directly address any concerns and will continue to use feedback to make additional improvements.