Faculty and Staff News
IU School of Medicine graduates physicians, scientists in Class of 2021
For the second year in a row, IU School of Medicine hosted its graduation recognition ceremony in a virtual setting, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the Class of 2021 were honored Friday, May 14, with IU School of Medicine leaders sharing their well wishes in pre-recorded messages. They were joined by keynote speaker Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP. She is the physician, scientist and activist who exposed the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
“Being a doctor means being a protector of health…With that long, white coat comes power and privilege and credibility. It makes you a respected expert in an era when not many professions are held in high regard,” said Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician and the founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Health Initiative.
For the Class of 2021, Friday’s graduation was an opportunity to add some closure to their IU School of Medicine experience—one that will be forever linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It would be an understatement to say this has been a very challenging year. We know that your final year didn’t start or end the way you expected. And I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to congratulate you in person. Whether you’ve spent your time pursuing a Master’s, MD or PhD degree, or some combination of these, I’ve had the privilege of watching you develop into professionals over the last several years and especially during the pandemic. I want you all to know how incredibly grateful I am for the way you have stepped up for the School of Medicine and for our community,” said IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, during the ceremony. “I know that you will always remember the past year, and it will serve as a powerful reminder that your work—whether it is caring for patients or research or teaching—matters.”
In addition to the 414 doctorate and master’s degrees awarded this year, 134 associate and Bachelor of Science degrees will be earned by graduates of the IU School of Medicine Health Professions Program. The Health Professions Programs award degrees in histotechnology, paramedic science, radiology, cytotechnology, clinical laboratory science, medical technology, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy and respiratory therapy.
For more on this year’s graduate recognition, visit the Newsroom.
DiMeglio named division chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetology
Linda Anne DiMeglio, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics, has been appointed division chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetology, effective on July 1.
DiMeglio received bachelor's and master's degrees from Harvard University and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She served as a pediatric resident at Lurie Children's Hospital before arriving at Indiana University as a pediatric endocrinology fellow. She completed her Master of Public Health degree in 2005.
DiMeglio is an international expert and researcher in the field of Type 1 diabetes examining diabetes prediction, beta cell preservation, and the use of technologies and therapeutics to improve patient care and quality of life. She chairs the Publications Committee for the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet network and is on the editorial board for Diabetes Care. She also has a clinical and research focus in metabolic bone disorders.
Locally, DiMeglio serves as the director of career development and co-chair of the Pediatric Project Development Team for Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), the assistant director for clinical and translational research for the Wells Center for Pediatric Research, associate division chief for Pediatric Endocrinology, and chair of the Pediatric Tenure/Research Promotion and Tenure Committee. She has also served in leadership positions with many national diabetes and scientific organizations.
DiMeglio succeeds Erica Eugster, MD, professor of pediatrics, who has served as division chief for the past 17 years. Eugster will continue her academic and clinical career at IU School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
Residents, faculty inducted into Gold Humanism Honor Society
Six IU School of Medicine residents and four faculty members were recently inducted into the Indiana Chapter of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Gold Humanism Honor Society. The inductees were nominated by members of the classes of 2020 and 2021. The honor society recognizes medical students, residents and faculty who practice patient-centered care by modeling the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy.
2021 Inductees (Residents)
Angela Amaniampong, DO – Pediatrics
Samantha Kay, MD, MS – Internal Medicine
Feenalie Patel, MD – Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Kelsey Pape, MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology
Nematullah “Mati” Sharaf, MD – Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Michael Wyderko, MD – Pediatrics
2021 Inductees (Faculty)
Jean Molleston, MD – Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Jody Neer, MD – Neurology
Adeoti E. Oshinowo, MD, MPH – Obstetrics and Gynecology
Katie Stanton-Maxey, MD – Surgery
INScope summer schedule begins next week
INScope will begin its abbreviated summer schedule following the Thursday, May 27, issue. Weekly publication will resume in early August. During June and July, INScope will be distributed on the following Thursdays:
The deadline for news item submission is Wednesday at noon for each Thursday’s issue. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the blog: Bridging the gaps in medicine
Many racial and ethnic communities are underrepresented in the medical profession. IU School of Medicine is committed to closing the gap by offering focused programs aligned with three foundational pillars: representational diversity, inclusive working and learning environment, and cultural competence.
Read the Spirit of Medicine blog post to learn about these IU School of Medicine programs which aim to achieve these goals:
- Project CUPID (Cancer in the Under-Privileged, Indigent or Disadvantaged)
- Master of Science in Medical Science Program
- PLUS—Program to Launch Underrepresented Minorities Success
Save the date: PHI Grand Challenge virtual roundtable is June 7
Plan to join the upcoming virtual roundtable focused on the Precision Health Initiative (PHI) Grand Challenge. The roundtable, hosted by the IU Office of the Vice President for Research, will focus on PHI's progress in studying and treating childhood sarcomas, which are cancers that develop in the bones and soft tissues.
Kelly and Tony Trent, parents of the late Tyler Trent, will join the conversation to share Tyler’s journey with osteosarcoma and how they are continuing his legacy as a research advocate. IU School of Medicine faculty members Tatiana Foroud, PhD, Karen Pollok, PhD, and Jamie Renbarger, MD, will also participate.
The event will be held from 11 am to noon, Monday, June 7, and will be moderated by Fred Cate, IU vice president for research, and C. Ben Dutton, professor of law. Register for the roundtable.
Coming this summer: Indiana CTSI Regional Campuses Retreat is July 16
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) will host a virtual regional campuses retreat, “Building Collaborations in Health,” on Friday, July 16. This free, full-day event will provide an in-depth look at clinical and translational research opportunities provided by the Indiana CTSI and across the state of Indiana.
New publication reveals insights about malaria and gut bacteria composition
An IU School of Medicine researcher and his colleagues have determined that human gut bacteria composition correlates with the severity of malaria in children through the use of samples from clinical studies performed in Uganda and animal models. Nathan Schmidt, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine, is the senior author of this study, published this month in Cell Reports.
Schmidt’s research focuses on malaria, which is caused by Plasmodium parasites. Those parasites are spread to humans through bites from infected mosquitos. The publication shows new insight into the dynamic interactions between intestinal gut bacteria and the immune system when people are infected by Plasmodium parasites.
Check out the Research Updates blog post to learn more.
Faculty and Staff News
IU and IU Health announce update to business travel guidelines
Indiana University recently updated its travel guidance to permit IU-sponsored domestic travel for business purposes. Get the full details. IU Health is updating its guidance to allow vaccinated employees to travel domestically on IU Health business beginning Tuesday, June 1.
More details on IU Health’s policy are available on the IU Health team portal (for those with logins), or email APtravelexp@iuhealth.org with questions.
Need help navigating the north split closures impacting downtown travel?
If the first week of the north split road closures finds you looking for alternate routes to get to downtown Indianapolis, see this detailed map or visit North Split Upgrades. The massive construction project involving both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-65 is expected to last until November 2022.
Virtual panel on moving basic science content online is June 8
Medical science faculty from around the country will share their perspectives on moving basic science content online during an interactive, virtual panel event on Tuesday, June 8. Innovative, effective lectures will be a primary focus. In addition, faculty will demonstrate their online lecturing methods and tools in real time. Register for the lunchtime event.
Simon Says Expert Series: Combating Chemobrain is May 27
This month’s virtual Simon Says Expert Series, “Combating Chemobrain: It’s Not Just in Your Head,” will be held at noon on Thursday, May 27. Following chemotherapy, cancer survivors often find it more challenging to learn new tasks, remember words or do things as efficiently or quickly as they once did. IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher Brenna McDonald, PsyD, studies this frustrating phenomenon. In this Simon Says session, she will discuss how her research seeks to help survivors identify their challenges and apply strategies to mitigate memory problems. Cancer survivor and IU School of Medicine Hematology Oncology Chief Fellow Meagan Miller, MD, will moderate the event. Register and submit your questions.
Join IU School of Medicine at the virtual Indy Pride Festival on June 12
The Indy Pride Festival, an event celebrating the diversity of the Indianapolis LGBTQ+ community, will be held virtually again this year. The event will take place from noon to 4 pm, Saturday, June 12. Register to attend and join IU School of Medicine at the 2021 online festival.
Eskenazi builds confidence in COVID-19 vaccines with community town halls
Michelle O’Keefe, Eskenazi Health chief communications officer, authored an article for America’s Essential Hospitals, highlighting the benefits of the health system’s COVID-19 vaccine town hall outreach program. The town halls were designed to help ease fears and anxiety and to encourage acceptance of the vaccine. To date, Eskenazi has hosted more than 40 virtual town halls for community organizations. Town hall attendance has ranged from small groups of 12 to more than 2,000 people. Read the article to learn more about the program.
In the news: Rani’s “mini telemedicine” effort helps people in India fight COVID-19
IU School of Medicine faculty member Dolly Rani, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, was featured in a recent Indianapolis Star article about Hoosiers helping family members, friends and even strangers in India as the country faces the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whoever is reaching out to me, I’m definitely helping them,” said Rani, who has been assisting family and others in India via phone calls, video chats and text messages.