Faculty and Staff News
Masks required indoors on all IU campuses beginning today
Based on new guidance released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Indiana Department of Health, all IU faculty, staff and students (regardless of vaccine status) will need to wear a mask indoors on all IU campuses. This is a time-limited recommendation; the university will continue to monitor local conditions and will make changes at individual campuses based on local data.
IU names new director for Interprofessional Practice and Education Center
Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Clinical Affairs have recruited Barbara Maxwell, PhD, DPT, MSc, Cert THE, FNAP, to direct the IU Interprofessional Practice and Education Center, effective October 18, 2021. Additionally, Maxwell will serve as associate dean and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at IU School of Medicine.
Maxwell has been involved with collaborative work for more than 30 years and has supported interprofessional practice and education (IPE) on three continents, working with colleagues from numerous health professions in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and across the United States.
In her current role as University Director of Interprofessional Education & Collaboration and professor at A.T. Still University (ATSU) in Mesa, Arizona, she has been an IPE champion and oversees aging studies programs in Arizona and Missouri and at the Center for Resilience in Aging at ATSU.
“I am confident that Dr. Maxwell’s transformational leadership will advance the work of both the IPE Center and IU, and, ultimately, will improve health professions education and health care outcomes in Indiana,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, IU’s executive vice president for university clinical affairs and dean of IU School of Medicine.
Maxwell arrives at a time when interprofessional education and practice is transforming health care. The IPE Center’s mission is to extend a culture of collaboration across the state and build stronger and better health care teams for the future. A key component of the collaborative work is providing learners with a foundational curriculum preparing them for interprofessional practice.
Visit the Newsroom for more details on Maxwell’s appointment.
Save the date: Fall All School Meeting is September 28
IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, and the Faculty Steering Committee invite faculty, staff and learners to attend the Fall All School Meeting. The meeting will be held on Zoom from 4:30-6 pm, Tuesday, September 28. Hess will provide important school updates, and there will be opportunities to ask questions. Register for the meeting.
Chuckstrong Backyard Huddle raises nearly $2.5 million for cancer research
In a night that brought together cancer survivors, researchers and philanthropists, the Chuckstrong Backyard Huddle raised nearly $2.5 million on July 29 for cancer research at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Hosted by the Indianapolis Colts and former head coach Chuck Pagano at the home of Colts owner Jim Irsay, the event took a surprising turn that bridged football and basketball. Irsay spoke of the brilliance of IU cancer researchers who are working to improve treatment and search for cures.
“We’re going to have a little bit of fun and put the coach under pressure,” Irsay said.
Guests gathered in a basement basketball court where Irsay announced Pagano would be shooting baskets—each worth a $100,000 gift toward cancer research. Pagano sunk 10 shots for a total gift of $1 million. Irsay offered another $1 million for a free throw. After a pep talk from former Colts offensive tackle and Indiana native Joe Reitz, Pagano hit the shot amid cheers from guests (watch the shot captured by WISH-TV). With that final shot, Irsay made a total gift of $2 million to cancer research.
Pagano, a cancer survivor who was treated at IU Health, partnered with the cancer center on Chuckstrong in 2013. To date, the Chuckstrong initiative has raised nearly $10 million. Funds have been used to help recruit new researchers, provide seed money for researchers to launch new ideas and purchase laboratory instruments to support innovative cancer research.
For more on the initiative, read the Cancer Research blog post.
On the blog: Scientists reflect on history, trajectory of diabetes research
One hundred years ago, Type 1 diabetes was a fatal disease. Then in 1921, a contemporary medical miracle: the discovery of insulin and its role in blood glucose regulation. The landmark discovery would go on to save the lives of millions of people for a century to come, but not without the help of scientists in Indianapolis and around the world.
Researchers at IU School of Medicine partnered with colleagues at the University of Exeter Medical School to commemorate the centennial of the discovery of insulin and the critical moments in its history that have led to today’s understanding and clinical approaches.
Their review, titled “100 years of insulin: celebrating the past, present and future of diabetes therapy” has just been published in Nature Medicine. The article was co-authored by IU School of Medicine physician-scientists Emily Sims, MD, Carmella Evans-Molina, MD, PhD, and Linda DiMeglio, MD, MPH; and Alice Carr and Richard Oram, PhD, from the University of Exeter Medical School.
“Something as epic as a 100th anniversary gives us a reminder to step back and reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go,” said Sims. “The achievements in our understanding and ability to treat diabetes with insulin over the past century have been nothing short of remarkable.”
Learn more in the Newsroom.
Mandatory data management plans due August 31
IU School of Medicine requires that all active federally funded research projects (excluding the VA) have a data management plan (DMP) on file no later than Tuesday, August 31. This practice is consistent with the National Institute of Health’s future plans.
“We saw a tremendous increase in DMP submissions during the month of July; however, we are currently at a 46 percent completion rate, so we still have a way to go to reach our end-of-month goal,” said Beth Whipple, assistant director of research and translational sciences, who is leading this project.
- The plans are award-based; this means one DMP per active award.
- Information on how to submit a DMP, frequently asked questions and support for meeting this requirement are available on MedNet.
- There is a direct link to the DMP form.
With questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Compliance with the DMP requirement will be reviewed annually and incorporated into departmental annual reviews.
Wells Center recognizes three scientists with translational research awards
The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research has recognized three scientists with funding for their promising clinical/translational studies: Elizabeth Sierra Potchanant, PhD; Jamie Felton, MD; and Jie Jiang, PhD. The Clinical/Translational Research Support Awards are distributed annually and made possible by Riley Children’s Foundation. This year’s awardees each received $50,000 to fund their projects, which include research related to diabetes and leukemias. Learn more about the award recipients and their funded projects on the Research Updates blog.
Synthetic hinge could hold key to revolutionary 'smart' insulin therapy
For people with diabetes who are insulin dependent, glycemic control is a full-time job. But what if their medication could do the work for them—an insulin whose activity in the bloodstream responds to the blood glucose levels and adjusts accordingly? An invention from Indiana University School of Medicine Distinguished Professor Michael A. Weiss, MD, PhD, could lead to just that.
In a breakthrough study published in the peer-reviewed journal PNAS, Weiss and his team describe the use of a synthetic “switch” that can be opened or closed using a simple sugar sensor. The study was in part collaborative with Thermalin, Inc., a small biotech company that Weiss began in 2008.
Their concept exploits a natural mechanism, designated the “protective hinge,” that is built into vertebrate insulins. The protective hinge is a natural structural feature that evolved more than half a billion years ago to keep the hormone stable in its closed state but foldable and functional in its open state.
“The reason a glucose-responsive insulin is important is that the biggest barrier to the effective use of insulin, especially in Type 1 diabetes, is the fear of the consequences of blood sugar going too low,” said Weiss, who is also the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Read more about the study in the Newsroom.
Faculty and Staff News
August 17 event to address bias in care
Sylk Sotto, EdD, MPS, MBA, assistant professor of medicine and co-chair of the IU School of Medicine Diversity Council, will present “Unequal Treatment: Understanding and Addressing Bias in Care,” at 5 pm, Tuesday, August 17. Sotto’s presentation will include the definition and description of implicit bias and how it influences key missions of academic medicine. Get more details and the Zoom link.
Pediatric fellows: Grants available for research projects
The IU School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics offers funding to support research projects conducted by pediatric clinical fellows in accredited fellowship programs within the sections of the Department of Pediatrics. Funding up to $10,000 is available, and grants will be awarded to five to seven projects. Learn more and apply.