Faculty and Staff News
Join the virtual Match Day celebration on March 19
Celebrate IU School of Medicine’s fourth-year medical students as they find out where they matched for residency during a virtual celebration on Friday, March 19. Festivities begin at 11:40 am EDT, and all faculty, staff and mentors are welcome to register now for the Zoom event. Match Day also will be livestreamed on the IU School of Medicine Facebook page.
Overcoming a variety of unique challenges during their last year of medical school training, the Class of 2021 is ready to take the next step in their medical careers. Extend words of encouragement and share your support leading up to the event on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #IUSMmatch2021.
Match Day is an annual event when fourth-year medical students from across the nation learn their residency details from the National Resident Matching Program. More details are available on MedNet.
LGBTQ Health Care Conference is just two weeks away; learn more and register
IU School of Medicine will host the fourth annual LGBTQ Health Care Conference on Thursday, March 25, and Friday, March 26. The event, which will be held virtually this year, aims to help providers and community members better understand the unique health considerations and barriers to care those in the LGBTQ population often experience.
Attendance is open to anyone, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants, psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers, medical students, patients, family members and more.
Those who attend will learn how to provide respectful, patient-centered, culturally competent health care and how to better support LGBTQ patients. Attendees will also learn about new research and innovation in the field of LGBTQ care through speaking engagements, poster sessions and more.
“IU School of Medicine is one of the only medical schools in the country to offer such an in-depth and comprehensive conference,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, IU School of Medicine dean and executive vice president for university clinical affairs. “We are committed to being a leader in training students, staff and health care providers to provide the best possible care for this vulnerable patient population.”
Sign up for the May 4 All School Meeting
Don’t forget to register for the spring All School Meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, May 4. The Zoom event will begin at 5 pm, and all IU School of Medicine faculty, staff and learners are invited to attend. The meeting will include important school updates from Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA.
On the blog: OB-GYN faculty focused on LGBTQ care
When Hannah Locke, MD, joined the IU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as an assistant professor in 2019, she was clear with the department on what she wanted her clinical focus to be.
“I walked into this job saying I want to do LGBTQ care here, and they said, ‘cool, do that,’” Locke said. “They just really supported me with pursuing that as much as I want to. They really foster the faculty’s passions.”
Locke is a general OB-GYN for Indiana University Health and IU School of Medicine but has a special interest in LGBTQ care. She sees patients at the IU Health Coleman Center, as well as at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Health Transgender Clinic.
“For me personally, I am a queer person,” Locke said. “I'm married to a woman, and it has been so incredibly valuable for me to have a job where I am giving back to my personal community. It's been super meaningful for patients to have a physician who is not just OK with taking care of LGBTQ people, but who is actually a member of their community and who is open about that and who is excited to take care of the LGBTQ population.”
For more on Locke and he work with LGBTQ patients, read the Spirit of Medicine blog post.
IU COVID-19 symposium is April 7
Faculty, postdocs and students are invited to register for the IU COVID-19 symposium on Wednesday, April 7. The virtual event, hosted by the IU School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology, is designed for researchers and others who are interested in COVID-19 research and aims to bring individuals together to exchange ideas and resources and to create new collaborations for COVID-19 research. The event will be held from 9:20 am-4 pm. More information and registration are available.
Researchers discover new potential for functional recovery after spinal cord injury
IU School of Medicine researchers have successfully reprogrammed a glial cell type in the central nervous system into new neurons to promote recovery after spinal cord injury—revealing an untapped potential to leverage the cell for regenerative medicine.
The group of investigators published their findings last week in Cell Stem Cell. This is the first time scientists have reported modifying a NG2 glia—a type of supporting cell in the central nervous system—into functional neurons after spinal cord injury, said Wei Wu, PhD, research associate in neurological surgery at IU School of Medicine and co-first author of the paper.
Wu and Xiao-Ming Xu, PhD, the Mari Hulman George Professor of Neuroscience Research at IU School of Medicine, worked on the study with a team of scientists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Spinal cord injuries affect hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, with thousands more diagnosed each year. Neurons in the spinal cord don’t regenerate after injury, which typically causes a person to experience permanent physical and neurological ailments.
“Unfortunately, effective treatments for significant recovery remain to be developed,” Xu said. “We hope that this new discovery will be translated to a clinically relevant repair strategy that benefits those who suffer from a spinal cord injury.”
Learn more about the research in the Newsroom.
Findings presented at prestigious SABCS for new combination therapy for triple negative breast cancer
Researchers at IU School of Medicine have developed a promising combination drug therapy for triple negative breast cancer that was shown to be safe and well-tolerated in early-stage studies. The team tested a combination of two drugs—gedatolisib (an experimental small molecule) and cofetuzumab pelidotin (an experimental biologic)—as part of an initial safety study for triple negative breast cancer patients.
Milan Radovich, PhD, presented the findings during a virtual poster session at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) late last year. SABCS is the most influential gathering of breast cancer researchers and physicians in the world.
“Our goal has always been that anything we do in the lab has to have an end-point that focuses on the patient, where the patient will benefit,” said Radovich, who also co-leads the IU Precision Health Initiative triple negative breast cancer disease research team. “We were able to start with an idea and work through the experiments to take this to a clinical trial. At IU, I feel like we do an exceptional job of crossing the divide between basic science and clinical research, and this is just another example of that.”
Triple negative breast cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of the disease, with fewer approved treatment options than any other type of breast cancer.
Visit Precision Health to learn more.
Faculty and Staff News
School opens search for biostatistics and health data science chair
IU School of Medicine is seeking a visionary leader to serve as chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science. The department conducts research in aging, biomedical informatics, cancer, cardiology, dentistry, endocrinology, gastroenterology and hepatology, geriatrics, internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, nursing, veterans affairs, pediatrics and many other disciplines.
This position is ideal for a transformational leader who can build on existing strengths in biostatistics and health data science to develop new programs. For eligibility information and more details, including how to apply, visit Academic Careers at IU. Priority review deadline is Monday, April 19.
Lu named co-program director of EDT research at IUSCCC
Lu’s research interest spans across the field of cancer research, including human cancer genomics, targeted cancer therapy and cancer immunotherapy with a focus on breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers. He also has a long-standing interest in biomedical engineering, particularly nanoscale materials for cancer drug delivery.
Lu serves as co-leader with Mark Kelley, PhD. The EDT program’s mission is to promote, develop and exploit mechanism-based research for improved therapy of human cancer with a “bedside-to-bench-to-bedside approach.”
For more, visit IUSCCC news briefs.
Watch the video: IU School of Medicine unveils portrait of George Rawls, MD
The school recently unveiled a portrait of George H. Rawls, MD, a pioneer for African American surgeons in the Indianapolis community. Rawls, who passed away in May 2020, was Clinical Professor Emeritus of Surgery and founding director of the Master of Science in Medical Science program at IU School of Medicine. Rawls was a lifelong advocate for advancing minority representation in medicine. Watch the video honoring Dr. Rawls.
Save the date: Pediatric surgery workshop is April 10
IU School of Medicine General and Community Pediatrics will host “What’s New in Pediatric Surgery” on Saturday, April 10. The online event will be held from 7:45 am-noon. Workshop topics include minimally invasive general surgery, scoliosis, gait problems in children, hernias and biliary colic, and pediatric chest wall anomalies. Continuing medical education credits are available. Register and learn more.
Apply by May 1 for American Cancer Society institutional research grants
The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is offering funds through the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS-IRG) for new pilot projects to assist new investigators who hold the rank of assistant professor, research assistant professor or assistant scientist, but without an active (i.e., NIH, NSF, ACS) national competitive research grant, regardless of the topic. This grant provides support for beginning investigators to enable them to initiate their independent research program.
The purpose of the ACS-IRG program is to attract new investigators from IU into cancer research and to provide support for new pilot studies that will produce preliminary data for the investigator to develop into studies that will compete successfully for external, national funds from both federal and private sources. Faculty from IU School of Medicine and its regional campuses and the schools of nursing, dentistry, optometry, public and environmental affairs, health and rehabilitation sciences, liberal arts, law, science and informatics are encouraged to apply.
More information is available, including a PDF of the application. With questions or to receive an application in Microsoft Word to complete electronically, contact Crystal Baker at email@example.com. Application deadline is Saturday, May 1.
Kelley webinar on strategies for healthcare leadership is March 17
Leadership in health care is hard—especially now. Because health care professionals have been asked to meet incredible demands during the COVID-19 pandemic, they understand the critical need for effective and efficient leadership. The Kelley Graduate Certificate in Medical Management offers help for today’s leadership challenges in the next HealthBiz webinar: Strategies for Cultivating Successful Leadership Qualities. Join the event at 12:15 pm EDT on Wednesday, March 17 when Kelley professor Barb Cutillo presents the five most important skills for health care leaders, innovative implementation strategies and ways to cultivate leadership skills on teams. Sign up for webinar.
Hartman named medical director of Eskenazi Health burn center
Brett Hartman, DO, has been named medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health. Hartman, assistant professor of clinical surgery at IU School of Medicine, is a board certified plastic surgeon with specialty training in acute care of the injured burn patient and burn reconstruction. Additionally, he has served as a teacher and mentor of third-year medical students and residents while on rotation on the burn service.
The burn center at Eskenazi Health is the only verified adult burn center in Indiana and is recognized as one of the leading burn centers in the nation.
IU Health expands visitation to most COVID-19 patients
IU Health has expanded guidelines to welcome visitation for most patients with COVID-19, not just those who have completed an isolation period. Most patients with COVID-19 may have one adult visitor per day, with some restrictions. The expanded guidelines went into effect on Monday, March 8. Visit iuhealth.org for current visitor guidelines.