Faculty and Staff News
Researchers receive $11.2 million grant to study early detection of Alzheimer’s
A new $11.2 million grant coordinated by IU School of Medicine from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will support an international collaboration on multiethnic genomic analysis and advanced brain imaging and other biomarkers for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
The U01 Project will be led by a team including Andrew Saykin, PsyD, professor of radiology and director of the NIA-designated Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Kwangsik Nho, PhD, associate professor of radiology and imaging sciences at IU School of Medicine, and Dong Young Lee, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Seoul National University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. Collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California and University of Miami will perform genome sequencing analyses and provide informatics support.
In the search for causes and novel interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, it became clear that the lack of multiethnic data hampered the understanding of genetic and environmental contributions to AD risk and development of a precision medicine approach for dementia. The partnership of the Korean Brain Aging Study for the Early Diagnosis and Prediction of Alzheimer’s Disease (KBASE), launched at SNU in 2014 by Lee and colleagues and several teams from the NIA-sponsored Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) in the United States, will help to address this gap by contributing and analyzing biomarker and clinical data from over 1,000 Korean participants who have undergone advanced MRI and PET neuroimaging as well as longitudinal follow-up. Data of this type is very rare in Asian populations.
“More diverse genomic data on those at risk for Alzheimer’s disease coupled with richly phenotyped cohorts, multidisciplinary expertise and rapid data sharing will help accelerate the identification of new potential therapeutic targets and their applicability across different populations,” said Saykin, one of the principal investigators. “Large-scale data analysis of KBASE genomes, imaging and other data combined with other multiethnic cohorts will help us better understand what contributes to the risk for dementia in different groups and provide clues as to how we can delay progression.”
For more on the research, visit the Newsroom.
Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center names first director
Widely renowned for his groundbreaking research that spans the physical and biological sciences, engineering and medicine, translational imaging scientist Rohan Dharmakumar, PhD, has been named the inaugural director of the Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center. This research center is being newly established as part of the Cardiovascular Institute, a joint enterprise between IU School of Medicine and Indiana University Health on the forefront of cardiovascular care, research and education. The appointment was effective August 15.
Dharmakumar was recruited to IU School of Medicine from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he most recently served as professor of medicine and co-director of PET/MRI research of the Biomedical Imaging Research Institute.
“Dr. Dharmakumar has a 20-year track record of profound inquiry and innovation in pursuit of novel strategies to treat heart disease,” said Subha Raman, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Institute. “He has already made a tremendous impact in the field. With Dr. Dharmakumar leading our research efforts, the Cardiovascular Institute is poised to make momentous advances in cardiovascular research.
Visit the Newsroom for more on Dharmakumar and his role with the institute.
Fall All School Meeting is September 28
IU School of Medicine faculty, staff and learners are invited to attend the Fall All School Meeting on Tuesday, September 28. The meeting, hosted by Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, and the Faculty Steering Committee will be held on Zoom from 4:30-6 pm. Hess will provide important school updates, and there will be opportunities to ask questions. Register for the meeting.
On the blog: Scheel Lab interrupts mosquito development to fight global disease
From her lab in northern Indiana, Molly Duman Scheel, PhD, prepares weapons to battle the deadliest animal on earth. Her target has no teeth or claws and can’t be killed with bullets, slings or arrows.
Instead, Scheel uses modified baker’s yeast in an effort to eliminate mosquitoes responsible for spreading diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, chikungunya, Zika and dengue that kill more than 1 million people worldwide each year. Actually, she isn’t trying to eliminate all of the mosquitos, just the females.
“Only female mosquitoes bite humans and spread diseases,” said Scheel, Navari Family Professor, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at IU School of Medicine-South Bend. “We are developing methods of killing female mosquitoes during their development.”
Scheel and her team recently received an R21 award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) to examine genes that are required for female mosquito survival during development.
Read the Global Health blog post for more details on Scheel’s research.
Faculty and Staff News
Nominate staff for IU School of Medicine awards; deadline is September 3
Know a staff member who deserves recognition? The IU School of Medicine staff recognition awards provide a visible and powerful way to honor the behaviors, achievements and outcomes that are most important to advancing the school.
The deadline to submit nominations for the following staff awards is Friday, September 3. Award descriptions, guidelines and previous winners are available at the links below.
Academic health center construction: Take note of road restrictions
Next month, IU Health will begin to prepare space for the new academic health center by relocating essential utility services. Ahead of this milestone, pre-work is required, resulting in the following road restrictions and parking impacts, which started this week.
To ensure public and EMS vehicles maintain regular access to the IU Health Methodist Hospital Emergency Department throughout the utility relocation work, a temporary road is being built to connect the ED with Capitol and Senate Avenues. This work will require the following intermittent lane restrictions:
- One southbound lane on the west side of Capitol Avenue will be restricted from Monday, August 16 – Wednesday, August 25.
- One westbound lane on 16thStreet will be restricted from Wednesday, August 25 – Monday, August 30.
- One eastbound lane on 16thStreet will be restricted from Monday, August 30 – Saturday, September 4.
Appropriate measures will be taken to help reroute pedestrian traffic during these intermittent lane restrictions. Generally, these restrictions will occur during construction hours of 7 am – 5 pm with few overnight restrictions.
Parking lot closures begin Wednesday, Sept. 1
Due to the presence of heavy equipment and road construction activity, parking lots L, M and X will close on Wednesday, Sept. 1.
Watch for more updates in INScope as construction of the new academic health center continues. Frequent updates are added to the IU Health team portal for IU School of Medicine faculty and staff who have access. If you are affected by the restrictions or parking lot closures and don’t have access to the team portal, direct questions to your unit leader.
Apply for the AAMC Mid-Career Minority Faculty Development Leadership Seminar
IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity and the IU School of Medicine Diversity Council will sponsor two faculty members for the AAMC Mid-Career Minority Faculty Development Leadership Seminar. The virtual seminar will be held on Wednesday, October 27, and Thursday, October 28.
The seminar is designed for associate professor-level faculty who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. Attendees will gain many benefits during this new blended-learning program, which addresses the specific needs of mid-career faculty from a culturally responsive approach. This includes how to:
- Assess professional development goals and identify strategies and tools for promotion and tenure
- Develop key professional competencies in academic leadership
- Enhance leadership skills in the areas of communication, team building, change management and work-life balance
- Expand your network of colleagues and sponsors
To apply, complete the survey and submit your application for internal review. Deadline for internal review is Friday, August 27. To learn more about the AAMC Mid-Career Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar, visit aamc.org. Questions? Contact Sydney Rucker, director of diversity initiatives.
Join the IU Center for Global Health
The IU Center for Global Health encourages faculty members committed to creating and implementing sustainable programs that improve health and human flourishing in underserved areas worldwide to join the center as affiliated global health faculty. Learn more.
Sign up to get a ‘name badge buddy’ to share your pronouns
A pronoun is a word used to refer to either the people who are talking (like I or you) or a person being talked about in the third person (like she/her, he/him and they/them). Since some pronouns are gendered (she/her and he/him), it’s important to be intentional about the way pronouns are used at work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
For this reason, IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity is offering pronoun “name badge buddies,” in addition to a document that outlines why pronouns matter, some tips on pronoun etiquette and a chart offering examples of pronouns in use. Interested? Fill out this form to request a badge buddy. With questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 27 Simon Says series to focus on tobacco cessation
The August virtual Simon Says Expert Series, “It’s Never Too Late to Quit Using Tobacco, Even After a Cancer Diagnosis,” will be held at noon, Friday, August 27. In this session, Debi Buckles, program director of the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center Tobacco Treatment Program, will discuss evidence-based tobacco treatment options. Kayla Hsu, community outreach manager for Rethink Tobacco Indiana, will moderate the event. Register now and submit your questions.
IU to host global health conference; proposals due August 23
Indiana University will host the eighth annual Midwestern Universities for Global Health Conference from 9 am-noon, Thursday, October 7. The event brings together faculty and students from more than 30 academic institutions across the Midwest and their global partners to discuss global health issues, share best practices and network with colleagues. Presenter and panel proposals will be accepted until Monday, August 23, and the deadline for poster presentation proposals is Monday, September 13. Find out more and register.
Out of the Darkness Walk for mental health awareness is September 12
The annual Out of the Darkness Walk will step off at White River State Park Celebration Plaza at 10:30 am, Sunday, September 12. Sponsored by the IU School of Medicine Stigma Stompers, the event aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention. Participants will meet outside the visitor center at White River State Park (on the side facing the children’s maze). Learn more about the walk and join the team.
Proposals for teaching and learning technology symposium due September 13
Proposals are now being accepted for the Advancing Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium, which will be held on Friday, November 5. Interested participants may submit a proposal for a 15-minute session highlighting lessons learned about teaching and learning with technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals are also being accepted for a 40-minute concurrent session on innovative work with existing or emerging instructional technologies and their pedagogical applications. Proposals are due by Monday, September 13.
Medical Miles Fun Run & Walk is October 23
The IU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine will host the third annual Medical Miles Fun Run & Walk from 9-11 am on Saturday, October 23. The event will be held at the Indianapolis downtown canal.
Plan to join the IU community, colleagues, family and friends for this great morning of fitness. Portions of the proceeds will support the medical student outreach clinic affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine. Sign up today to lock in your position at the starting line.