Faculty and Staff News
McRobbie and Hess to speak at All School Meeting; register for May 4 event
Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will be a featured speaker at the IU School of Medicine All School Meeting on Tuesday, May 4. Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, will also provide important school updates. The meeting will begin at 5 pm, and registration is available. Other highlights of the meeting include:
- Research discoveries by IU School of Medicine faculty, presented by Tatiana Foroud, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs
- Recognition of IU School of Medicine Trustees’ Teaching Award recipients, presented by Paul Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and institutional improvement
- Results of the faculty election
All faculty, staff and learners are invited to attend the meeting, which will include time for questions and answers. The school’s All School Meeting is held twice a year in the spring and fall. Visit the Faculty Steering Committee webpage for more details.
Class of 2021 virtual graduate recognition set for May 14
Plan to view the virtual event celebrating the outstanding achievements of the IU School of Medicine Class of 2021. The online graduate recognition will be held at 2 pm (EDT) on Friday, May 14, and livestreamed on the school’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Keynote speaker for the recognition event is Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a physician, scientist and activist who exposed the Flint water crisis. Hanna-Attisha is the author of “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.”
Other highlights of the graduate recognition include:
- Student speakers from the Class of 2021
- Remarks from medical school leaders, including Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs Paul Wallach, MD, and Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs Tatiana Foroud, PhD
- All graduate names read along with a personalized slide
- Announcement of student award winners
Trustees approve project to relocate Family Medicine Center to IUPUI
The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved a renovation project to provide new space for the IU School of Medicine Family Medicine Center on the IUPUI campus.
The first and second floors of the Dunlap Building, as well as a small portion of contiguous space in the Health Sciences Building, will be renovated to enable the Family Medicine Center to relocate to IUPUI. The center is currently housed in a building owned by Indiana University Health at Senate Avenue and 15th Street in Indianapolis.
For more details on the relocation, visit News at IU.
IU School of Medicine Education Day is next Thursday; sign up to attend
Registration is still open for IU School of Medicine Education Day. The second annual event will be held virtually from noon-5:30 pm on Thursday, April 22. This year’s education day, focusing on adaptability in medical education, provides a chance for students, residents, fellows, faculty and staff from all departments and campuses to showcase their medical education research. Oral presentations, small group discussions, workshops and poster sessions will be part of the online event. Register now and read the Research in Medical Education blog post for more details. Registration deadline is Tuesday, April 20.
Faculty in the news: Washington Post article offers tips on “messy” vaccine talks
IU School of Medicine’s Gregory Zimet, PhD, HSPP, professor of pediatrics, offered insights in a recent Washington Post article, “Vaccine conversations can be messy. Here’s how to talk about the shots.”
“Unfortunately, coronavirus vaccines in particular became and continue to be highly politicized, so conversations about vaccines end up being, in some sense, conversations about politics, which are often fraught and highly charged and lead to alienation and polarization,” Zimet said.
Zimet and other experts offer advice for engaging in these conversations, including managing expectations, setting boundaries and acknowledging concerns. Read the article to learn more.
March research awards and grants total over $4.8 million
Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Micheala A. Aldred Cleveland Clinic Renewal (not prev committed) Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics Program (PVDOMICS) Data Coordinating Center 8/1/2020 7/31/2021 $36,615 Elliot J Androphy Indiana University Health Renewal (not prev committed) Preclinical advancement of novel HPV antiviral therapy 1/15/2021 1/14/2022 $150,000 Liana G Apostolova Purdue University Renewal (not prev committed) Manganese Exposure Susceptibility as a modifier of Excitotoxicity in Alzheimer¿s Disease 6/1/2020 10/31/2021 $79,250 Liang Cheng Purdue University New Patient specific prostate cancer prognosis via image driven computational modeling 7/1/2020 2/28/2022 $5,000 Andrea Conroy New York University New Mechanisms of acute kidney injury in malaria 12/15/2020 11/30/2021 $93,864 Robert V. Considine Des Moines University New Hydroxymethylation, Incident Type 2 Diabetes and Incident Obesity 3/1/2021 2/29/2024 $100,395 Linda A DiMeglio Benaroya Research Institute At Virginia Mason Renewal (not prev committed) Immune Tolerance Network 2/1/2021 1/31/2022 $106,521 Linda A DiMeglio Benaroya Research Institute At Virginia Mason Renewal (not prev committed) EXTEND - Preserving Beta-Cell Function with Tocilizumab in New Onset Type 1 Diabetes 2/1/2021 1/31/2022 $5,104 Molly Duman Scheel National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New Sex separation through targeting of conserved female-specific lethal genes in disease vector mosquitoes 3/11/2021 2/28/2022 $237,750 Carmella Evans-Molina National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New ß cell miRNAs Function as Molecular Hubs of Type 1 Diabetes Pathogenesis 5/1/2021 4/30/2022 $420,806 Tatiana M Foroud Banner Health New Resources for the Diagnostic and Prognostic Validation of Blood-Based Biomarkers 12/1/2020 12/31/2021 $81,836 Matthew L Friedman University Of Michigan New ASCEND (ARDS in Children and ECMO initiation strategies impact on Neuro-Development) 9/5/2020 6/30/2021 $3,600 Anne M Gingery National Institute Arthritis Musculoskeletal Skin New The Role of Cellular Senescence in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 9/10/2020 8/31/2021 $667,759 Kunal Gupta Albert Einstein College Of Medicine New Wnt modulation in epileptogenesis, neuronal plasticity and the development of epileptic networks 1/1/2021 6/30/2021 $72,500 David M Haas Heartland Health Research Alliance Ltd New Heartland Study and Research Collaboration project 5/1/2020 12/21/2021 $37,290 T George Hornby Rehabilitation Hospital Of Indiana New Activity-Based Therapy for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury 7/1/2020 6/30/2022 $13,222 T George Hornby National Institute Neurological Disorders & Stroke New Locomotor Recovery and Compensation Post-stroke 2/15/2021 1/31/2022 $394,025 T George Hornby Rehabilitation Hospital Of Indiana New Activity-Based Therapy for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury 7/1/2020 6/30/2022 $13,222 Yoshikazu Imanishi National Eye Institute New Proteostasis modulation in inherited blinding disorders 2/1/2021 1/31/2022 $367,056 Amelia K Linnemann National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Autophagy/antioxidant response coupling in pancreatic beta-cell homeostasis regulation 4/1/2021 2/28/2022 $396,250 Debra K Litzelman American Geriatrics Society New GWEP-CC Educational Resources Funding 3/15/2021 3/14/2022 $1,000 Jason Meyer Glaucoma Research Foundation New Complement pathway-mediated neurotoxicity of reactive astrocytes in a stem cell model of glaucoma 3/1/2021 2/28/2022 $50,000 David E Nelson National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases Renewal (not prev committed) Genetic analysis of mechanisms of chlamydial immune evasion 4/1/2021 3/31/2022 $560,229 Clement L Ren Seattle Children's Research Institute New A Prospective Study to Evaluate Biological and Clinical Effects of Significantly Corrected CFTR Function in Infants and Young Children (BEGIN) 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $117,325 Clement L Ren Case Western Reserve University New Lung T1 MRI Assessments of Children with CF Initiating Trikafta Therapy 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $114,660 Kevin Van der Jeught National Cancer Institute New Targeting the IL-33/ST2 Pathway in Colorectal Cancer Immunotherapy 4/1/2021 3/31/2022 $118,721 Jun Wan University Of Notre Dame New Converting Cold to Hot Tumor Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer by Targeting Chromatin Effector 4/1/2020 3/31/2021 $19,032 Amy C Wilson Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia New REACH (Reaching Equity for Adults and Children in Transplant) 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $3,566 Weidong Xiao National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Development of highly efficient factor VIII mini-gene therapy 2/20/2021 12/31/2021 $480,959 S. Elizabeth Zauber Parkinson's Disease Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) Parkinson's Center of Excellence 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $60,000
Next week’s Indiana CTSI retreat to focus on mental health
IU Bloomington will host the virtual Indiana CTSI retreat—“Addressing mental health in Indiana: From community needs to bench science discoveries”—on Thursday, April 22. The event will be held from 8:45 am-2 pm. Presenters include IU School of Medicine faculty and representatives from the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health, Indiana University, the University of Pittsburgh and CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions. View the complete agenda and get registration details.
Researchers develop blood test for depression, bipolar disorder
While current diagnosis and treatment approaches for depressive episodes are largely trial and error, a breakthrough study by IU School of Medicine researchers sheds new light on the biological basis of mood disorders and offers a promising blood test aimed at a precision medicine approach to treatment.
Led by Alexander B. Niculescu, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry, the study was published in the high impact journal Molecular Psychiatry. The work builds on previous research conducted by Niculescu and his colleagues into blood biomarkers that track suicidality as well as pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.
“We have pioneered the area of precision medicine in psychiatry over the last two decades, particularly over the last 10 years. This study represents a current state-of-the-art outcome of our efforts,” said Niculescu. “This is part of our effort to bring psychiatry from the 19th century into the 21st century. To help it become like other contemporary fields such as oncology. Ultimately, the mission is to save and improve lives.”
For more on the research, visit the Newsroom.
Cryo-EM is headed to IU School of Medicine
Researchers at IU School of Medicine will soon welcome their very own cryo-electron microscope (cryo-EM) to the school. Scientists are already very familiar with the cutting-edge cryo-EM technology, but the COVID-19 pandemic actually made some members of the public appreciate the many benefits of this Noble Prize-winning technology too.
As COVID-19 began to emerge in January 2020, a complete DNA sequence of the disease it causes, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was published. Only a month later, using cryo-EM, the structure of the spike protein associated with SARS-CoV-2 was determined and published by scientists at the University of Texas in Austin and the National Institutes of Health.
“Knowledge of the structure makeup has been pivotal in identifying treatments that bind to the protein in order to find cures and treatments against the virus that has claimed so many U.S. lives,” said Yuro Takagi, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. “Determining the structure of the spike protein at this unprecedented speed was only possible thanks to cryo-EM technology.”
Now this revolutionary technology is coming to IU School of Medicine. “Hopefully we’ll never find ourselves in another pandemic situation. But if we do, we will have a convenient cryo-EM right here on campus to get us in the fight for a cure,” said Takagi.
Read the Research Updates blog post for more on the technology.
On the blog: Women scientists lead school’s Alzheimer’s research initiatives
Women are leading the way in helping IU School of Medicine fulfill its mission to advance health in the state of Indiana and beyond by promoting innovation and excellence in education, research and patient care. The Women in Leadership series celebrates the contributions of women who have emerged as strong leaders within the medical school and in their respective fields of expertise.
A recent Women in Medicine blog post charts the significant contributions of women who are leading efforts in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the critical areas of focus identified by IU School of Medicine leadership for developing expertise. Featured IU School of Medicine faculty members include Liana Apostolova, MD, Tatiana Foroud, PhD, and Shannon Risacher, PhD.
Access Technology Program promotes cores, connects investigators to technologies
The Indiana CTSI’s Access Technology Program advances translational science by connecting Indiana CTSI investigators to innovative technologies and specialized equipment located on all four Indiana CTSI campuses (Indiana University, Purdue University, IUPUI and the University of Notre Dame) across the state. Two initiatives of the ATP that connect researchers with core services are the Core Pilot program and the Postdoctoral Challenge program. Funding provided through these programs can only be used in Indiana CTSI-designated core facilities. Learn more at Indiana CTSI.
Faculty and Staff News
April 30 is deadline to apply for PLUS
PLUS (Program to Launch Underrepresented in Medicine Success) is designed to support the career development of underrepresented faculty in academic medicine. A two-year cohort program, PLUS is structured around the two pillars of leadership and scholarship, and bolstered by networking, advising, career coaching and wellness programming that is tailored to meet the needs of faculty underrepresented in medicine. Application deadline is Friday, April 30. Learn more and apply.
Nominate colleagues for faculty awards
IU School of Medicine believes that honoring outstanding teaching, research and service is an important part of the school’s culture. Reflecting that commitment, it’s time to start thinking about nominations for annual faculty awards. Nominations are now being accepted for several awards with an application deadline of Friday, July 2.
- Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Awards
- Inspirational Educator Award
- Outstanding Community Engagement Award
- Scholar Educator Award
- Volunteer Faculty Teaching Awards
Award descriptions and application details are available.
Check it out: DEI learning modules available on LinkedIn
LinkedIn, the online business and professional networking platform, offers two learning paths (training modules) focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
“These videos provide the foundational skills we need to be effective allies and champions for anti-racism in our institution and community,” said Alvaro Tori, MD, associate dean for diversity affairs, IU School of Medicine. “I found the videos to be intentional, effective and engaging, and they offer a valuable training opportunity for the school community.”
The DEI learning paths are available through LinkedIn Learning, which is offered to IU faculty, staff and learners free of charge through One.IU. (Search “linked in.”)
COVID-19 vaccine conversation with expert Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, is April 23
Join IU experts for a conversation and Q&A on the COVID-19 vaccine and health inequities with internationally recognized physician-scientist Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD. Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also the co-director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics.
May 3: Free skin cancer screenings available on “Melanoma Monday”
May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. In honor of the observance, the IU Department of Dermatology is offering free skin cancer screenings on Monday, May 3, which is designated as “Melanoma Monday.” The screenings will be held from 7-9 am at three locations: IU Health University Hospital, Eskenazi Dermatology Clinic and Coleman Hall on the IUPUI campus. Appointments are required. To schedule, call 317-916-3525.
Coming next month: Riley pediatric conference is May 12-13
Riley Children’s Health will host its 56th annual pediatric conference on Wednesday, May 12, and Thursday, May 13. The theme of this year’s virtual conference is “Learning from 2020 to Shape the Future of Children’s Health.” Plenary speakers are Chandy John, MD, Ryan White Professor of Pediatrics, who will present “COVID-19 in Children: What We Know, What We Need to Learn,” and Jennifer Sullivan, MD, MPH, secretary, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, who will address screen time, telehealth and kids in the time of COVID-19. View the conference website for details and registration.
Three students earn Women’s History Month Leadership Awards
The IUPUI Division of Student Affairs and the Office for Women recognized IU School of Medicine students Daenique Jengelley, Alexis Meriweather and Seema Patel as part of the office’s observance of Women’s History Month. Award winners were chosen based on their work in at least one of these categories: academic excellence, leadership, service and community engagement, advocacy, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. A total of 12 undergraduate and graduate/professional students earned the honor. Find out more.
Indiana CTSI team selected for diversity presentation at ACTS conference
A group of researchers and staff members from Indiana CTSI were selected for a live presentation during the 2021 Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) spring conference. The presentation, “Growing a diverse team through training opportunities and community partnerships to increase diversity in research participation,” focused on ways Indiana CTSI has worked to promote diversity in the research workforce. Visit Indiana CTSI to learn more.
Bowen Center represents Indiana in licensing policy learning consortium
Hannah Maxey, MD, and Courtney Medlock (Randolph) of the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research & Policy were asked to represent Indiana in the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium, an eleven-state, three-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to inform states on occupational licensing trends, policies and best practices.
As part of their participation, Maxey and Medlock (Randolph), along with their colleagues at the Bowen Center, organized and hosted a Licensure Compacts Learning Lab for the State of Indiana which brought national experts on licensure compacts to the state. Medlock (Randolph) was quoted in the final report, outlining the value the consortium brought to Indiana, including facilitating discussion with experts on health workforce occupational policies.
The Bowen Center, located in the IU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, provides expert support to Indiana government agencies and officials on health workforce matters, including contributing objective research to inform state government decisions.