Top News

  • In case you missed it: Spring All School Meeting highlights

    IU School of Medicine is emerging triumphant after weathering the pandemic storm. This was the theme of the All School Meeting, which highlighted major accomplishments of the 2020-21 academic year and was virtually attended by hundreds of faculty, staff and learners on May 4.

    Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, was joined by Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie, who gave his final State of the University address to the IU community earlier in the day. IU’s new “captain” Pamela Whitten, MA, PhD, will take the helm on Thursday, July 1.

    The meeting also included research highlights, recognition of Trustees’ Teaching Award winners and faculty election results.

    Missed the All School Meeting? You can view a recording or take a few minutes to read the full summary.

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  • Kapur named director of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research

    Following a national search, Reuben Kapur, PhD, has been appointed vice chair of basic science research in the Department of Pediatrics and director of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research.

    Kapur has served as interim director of the Wells Center since November 2019, and over the course of his interim appointment has helped shepherd basic science research through the challenges of COVID-19. He will continue to support over 40 research laboratories in 10 research focus areas.

    “The Wells Center has been central to the Department of Pediatrics’ rise in NIH rankings to sixth among U.S. departments of pediatrics, and I have every confidence that it will continue to grow in national prominence and make high impact contributions under Dr. Kapur’s leadership,” said Wade Clapp, MD, chair, Department of Pediatrics, in a message announcing Kapur’s appointment. “As a nationally recognized investigator, Dr. Kapur’s collaborative leadership will significantly contribute to IU School of Medicine’s reputation in research excellence.”

    Kapur obtained a Bachelor of Science in physics, chemistry and mathematics from Christ Church in India and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and immunology from Washington State University. He completed a PhD in microbiology and immunology with a minor in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Arizona.

    His career at IU School of Medicine began as a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Fellow in 1994 before joining the Wells Center faculty in 1999. Prior to his interim appointment, he served the center as the assistant director for faculty development and the leader of the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Biology research program.

    Kapur is a highly accomplished scientist who investigates the mechanisms of childhood leukemias at both the Wells Center and the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the Frieda and Albrecht Kipp Professor of Pediatrics and holds secondary appointments in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medical & Molecular Genetics, and Microbiology & Immunology, in addition to serving as the co-program leader of the Hematopoiesis and Hematologic Malignancies Program in the IU Simon Cancer Center.

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  • Graduate recognition is tomorrow

    IU School of Medicine will host a virtual celebration for the Class of 2021 at 2 pm (EDT), Friday, May 14. Faculty and staff are invited to view the livestream on the school’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

    Keynote speaker for the event is Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, the physician 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.”

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  • On the blog: IU School of Medicine graduates filling need for primary care physicians in Indiana

    On Friday, May 14, Leena Aljobeh will officially become Leena Aljobeh, MD. The next step in her journey as a physician is residency training at IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana, where she will hone her skills in family medicine.

    Aljobeh is among 140 members of the IU School of Medicine Class of 2021—more than 40 percent of this year's graduates—who are going into primary care specialties, filling a great need. The latest data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) confirms projections for a substantial shortfall of primary care physicians nationwide.

    By 2033, the AAMC predicts demand will outpace supply leaving a deficit of 21,400 to 55,200 primary care physicians needed to address a growing and aging population. With much-needed efforts underway to elevate health care for underserved populations, the demand could be even greater.

    In this Student Life blog post, find out why Aljobeh and other IU School of Medicine graduates are choosing to pursue careers in primary care.

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  • Class of 2021: Health Professions Programs graduates two sets of sisters

    Two sets of sisters will be among the 153 graduates receiving their degrees from the Health Professions Programs at IU School of Medicine on Friday, May 14. Kiara and Kaylee Thornton and Roa and Arwa Alharbi have found their paths to health care driven by their motivation to help family and their impact on potential patients.

    Read their stories in the Student Life blog post.

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  • The sacred space of healing: Class of 2021 servant leader pursues calling as surgeon

    At 18, Mohammad Aref remembers sitting in a waiting room at midnight with his mother. His father was in an overnight emergency surgery due to a significant complication related to an earlier accident, and there was a high likelihood he would not make it through the procedure. When the doctor pushed through the double doors to deliver the news, Aref recalls wanting to escape.

    His father survived the operation, and Aref, influenced by his experiences, is now headed to The Johns Hopkins Hospital to pursue a residency in surgery. Aref earned an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at IUPUI in 2013 and recently earned his MD and PhD in anatomy, cell biology and physiology at IU School of Medicine. During that time, he has grown into a compassionate, patient-centered community leader with deep spiritual grounding.

    “Mohammad has a personal and global understanding of medicine and humanity,” one of his mentors, Jim Lemons, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics, said. “He knows this profession is a true calling, and he will use it for good and make a big difference in our world. It is an honor to know him and walk with him through part of his journey.”

    Learn more about Aref’s journey to becoming a surgeon in the Spirit of Medicine blog post.

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Research News

  • April research awards total nearly $12 million

    Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars
    Allen, Matthew R Florida State University New Effects of Simulated Microgravity and Partial Unloading on Organ Systems of the Body 1/15/2021 1/14/2022 $29,873
    Apostolova, Liana G University Of Southern California New ENIGMA World Aging Center 1/15/2021 12/31/2021 $30,000
    Brown, Cynthia Diane Cystic Fibrosis Foundation New Home-Reported Outcomes - 2 (HERO-2) Study for Cystic Fibrosis 4/1/2021 3/31/2022 $685,332
    Brown, Cynthia Diane Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Renewal (not prev committed) CF Learning Network: Implementation Phase 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $22,064
    Chalasani, Naga P. University Of Louisville Research Foundation Inc New Exposome and Precision Medicine in NAFLD 8/28/2020 7/31/2021 $158,500
    Dave, Noopur Kirti American Heart Association Incorporated New Role of the Plant-Like Vacuole in Calcium Homeostasis of the Human Parasite Toxoplasma gondii 4/1/2021 3/31/2023 $63,040
    Embi, Peter J Oregon Health & Science University New A National Center for Digital Health Informatics Innovation (Synthetic Clinical Data Workstream) 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $34,582
    Everett, Thomas H Cedars-sinai Medical Center New Using electrical nerve stimulation to control atrial fibrillation. 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $109,027
    Foroud, Tatiana M Cohen Veterans Bioscience Renewal (not prev committed) Indiana University Genetics Biobank and Cohen Biosciences Biobanking Study 4/1/2021 3/31/2024 $591,675
    Haas, David M University Of Alabama Birmingham Renewal (not prev committed) Antihypertensive Therapy for Mild Chronic Hypertension during Pregnancy: A Pragmatic Multicenter Randomized Trial (CHAP Project) 12/1/2019 11/30/2021 $28,764
    Hashino, Eri National Institute On Deafness And Other Comm. Dis Renewal (not prev committed) Modeling Inner Ear Differentiation with Pluripotent Stem cells 5/1/2021 4/30/2022 $573,417
    Hawkins, Shannon Michelle National Institute Of Child Health, Human Devl. New The contributions of inflammatory cocktail and stromal cell origin on a scaffold-free 3D biofabricated SSuPer tissue of endometriosis and normal endometrium 4/1/2021 3/31/2022 $237,750
    Herzog, Roland W University Of Pennsylvania Renewal (not prev committed) Affordable Oral Delivery of Human Therapeutic Proteins Bioencapsulated in Plant Cells 9/1/2020 8/31/2021 $41,291
    James, Christopher William Huntington's Disease Society Of America Renewal (not prev committed) HDSA Center of Excellence Grant 3/11/2021 12/31/2021 $25,579
    John, Chandy C University Of Washington Renewal (not prev committed) Northern/Pacific Universities Global Health Research Training Consortium 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $10,800
    Kelley, Mark R. Riley Children's Foundation New The Walter A. and Laura W. Deutsch Research fund 10/1/2020 6/30/2021 $4,949
    Landreth, Gary Eugene National Institute On Aging New Training Grant on Alzheimer¿s Disease and ADRD at Indiana University 5/1/2021 4/30/2022 $505,646
    Markham, Larry Wayne National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Spatial Analysis of Cardiac Disease using Murine Four-Dimensional Ultrasound 4/1/2021 8/31/2021 $14,350
    Natoli, Roman M University Of Maryland Renewal (not prev committed) A Pragmatic Randomized trial Evaluating Pre-operative Antiseptic skin solutions in fRactured Extremities (PREPARE) 9/30/2020 9/29/2021 $61,047
    Nephew, Kenneth P U.s. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Targeting EZH2-HOTAIR to Block Platinum-Induced Ovarian Cancer Stem Cell Enrichment and Reduce Recurrence 6/1/2021 5/31/2025 $950,999
    Nephew, Kenneth P U.s. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Blood-Based DNA Methylation Biomarkers of Acquired Platinum Resistance in Women with Ovarian Cancer 4/15/2021 4/14/2024 $591,722
    O'Connell, Thomas M Additional Ventures New Optimized metabolic biomarker detection for the development of heart failure diagnostic in single ventricle patients. 4/15/2021 4/14/2022 $49,962
    Pandya, Pankita Hemant Riley Children's Foundation New Evaluating The Mechanism and Efficacy of Targeting The Replication Stress Pathway In Pediatric Osteosarcomas 1/1/2020 12/31/2020 $15,000
    Ren, Clement L Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Renewal (not prev committed) IN-182/182 - Riley Hospital for Children Indiana University Medical Center (Ren, Clement L.) 7/1/2020 6/30/2021 $264,725
    Sachs, Greg University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill New Palliative Care for Persons with Late-stage Alzheimer¿s and Related Dementias and their Caregivers: a Randomized Clinical Trial 9/10/2020 5/31/2021 $77,818
    Schmidt, C Max National Cancer Institute New Longitudinal Proteomic and Metabolomic Predictors of Pancreatic Cyst Malignant Progression and Early Stage Pancreatic Cancer 4/1/2021 3/31/2022 $677,787
    Sen, Chandan K John Templeton Foundation New Human Postmortem Tissue Conatus 5/1/2021 4/30/2024 $1,787,805
    Sharma, Tasneem Putliwala Knights Templar Eye Foundation New Neuritin 1 protects against pressure-induced retinal ganglion cell degeneration 7/1/2021 6/30/2022 $70,000
    Vidal, Ruben National Institute On Aging New Structural analysis of tau associated with parenchymal and vascular prion protein amyloidosis 4/1/2021 3/31/2024 $2,326,501
    White, Kenneth E. National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Targeting sKlotho-FGF23 Interactions to Improve Pathological Phosphate Handling in CKD 3/15/2021 1/31/2022 $457,078
    Xiao, Deyong American Heart Association Incorporated New The role of histone methyltransferase SMYD4 in mesendodermal and cardioprogenitor cell specification and differentiation 4/1/2021 3/31/2023 $134,236
    Yang, Lei American Heart Association Incorporated New LncRNA regulates lipid metabolism in human heart 1/1/2021 12/31/2025 $400,000
    Zhang, Chi National Science Foundation New CAREER: Mining biological functions from single cell multi-omics data 4/15/2021 3/31/2026 $628,158
    Zhou, Baohua National Institute Allergy & Infectious Diseases New FOXP3 ¿E2 Isoform in Treg Function and Pathophysiology of Lupus 4/12/2021 3/31/2022 $237,750
    Zimet, Gregory D Columbia University New Acceptability across two time periods of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine among a representative sample of adults within the United States 4/8/2021 9/30/2022 $37,680

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  • Foroud participates in IBJ Life Sciences Power Panel series

    Tatiana Foroud, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs, recently participated in IBJ’s Life Sciences Power Panel breakfast series. Joined by fellow leaders from Elanco, 16 Tech and GenePace Laboratories, Foroud and the group provided their thoughts on productivity during the pandemic, attracting talent to Indiana and their predictions of what they believe will be the biggest life sciences story of 2021. View the event.

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  • Cancer researchers study cognitive dysfunction after chemotherapy

    Cancer researchers at Indiana University and the University of Pittsburgh received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study cognitive dysfunction after chemotherapy. 

    Following chemotherapy, survivors often find it more challenging to learn new tasks, remember words or do things as efficiently or quickly as they once did. That’s why Robert Ferguson, PhD, a clinical psychologist in the, developed a cognitive behavioral therapy called Memory and Attention Adaptation Training, or MAAT, which will be the focus of the first large-scale, multi-center study thanks to the new grant. 

    Ferguson is collaborating with Brenna McDonald, PsyD, a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, to test MAAT and supportive therapy to determine the effects of both on improving memory problems and emotional resilience among breast cancer survivors.

    Visit the Newsroom to learn more.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Work with learners? Check out the school’s wellness resources

    Are you mentoring an undergraduate medical learner? Take a few minutes during Mental Health Awareness Month to learn more about IU School of Medicine’s robust and nationally recognized wellness program for undergraduate medical learners across the state.

    You can access best practices and wellness resources to help guide conversations with your mentees and ensure they have the skills to enable well-being in medical school and throughout their career.

    IU School of Medicine learners are offered curricular and co-curricular activities throughout their medical school experience, including personal wellness coaching, mental health first aid training and the Mind Body Medicine elective offering. In addition, students lead an active wellness coalition, and all learners have access to IU School of Medicine’s mental health services, which provide confidential personal consultation and treatment.

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  • North split road closures set to begin Friday

    An 18-month construction project involving both the north and southbound lanes of I-65 begins this weekend. The project will revise six weaves into and out of the north split and erect or reconstruct 40 bridges. Closures begin the evening of Friday, May 14, with the closure of southbound I-65, and northbound I-65 will close in the evening of Saturday, May 15. See a detailed map or visit North Split Upgrades.

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  • Deadline is July 2 for faculty award nominations; learn more

    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.

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  • LAMP nominations due June 4

    Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity has opened nominations for the 2021-2022 Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (LAMP). LAMP is a yearlong, cohort-based faculty development and orientation program designed for faculty in the second or third years of their appointment.

    To be nominated, a brief statement of support is needed from your chair or division director no later than Friday, June 4. After being nominated, you will need to submit a one-page document describing your career goals, including what you most want to accomplish in the next three years. Final applications are due Friday, June 25.

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  • Next Monday: Leaders to share insights from AMPATH trip

    Plan to attend a virtual event on Monday, May 17, to learn how a trip to Kenya to experience care delivery firsthand has influenced the work of IU Health board members. The AMPATH Fireside Chat will begin at noon with panelists:

    J.Scott Davison – Chairman, President and CEO, OneAmerica
    Tom Easterday – Senior Executive Vice President, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (retired)
    Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA – Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs, Indiana University, and Dean, IU School of Medicine
    Dennis Murphy – President and CEO, IU Health

    Register for the event.

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  • Learn how social determinants of health impact access to liver disease care

    Plan to join a virtual event at 5:30 pm, Wednesday, May 19, to hear Lauren Nephew, MD, MAE, MSC, assistant professor of medicine, discuss how structural and systemic barriers can limit patients’ ability to access quality healthcare for liver disease. Registration is available.

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  • Student-run research journal accepting submissions through June 4

    Insight, a student-run research journal at IU School of Medicine, is now accepting submissions for the upcoming issue. Journal submissions may range from abstracts to full-length research articles and can include, but are not limited to, prior work submitted as part of the IU Medical Student Program for Research and Scholarship (IMPRS) or the IU Student Research Symposium. Insight submission guidelines are available. Submission deadline is Friday, June 4; however, extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis. With questions and to submit entries, e-mail

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