Faculty and Staff News
Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center awarded additional $15 million from the National Institute on Aging
IU School of Medicine announced this week that its Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (IADRC) grant has been renewed for another five years. The funding from the National Institute on Aging within the National Institutes of Health is expected to total $15 million. The IADRC, established in 1991, is among the earliest NIA-sponsored Alzheimer’s disease research centers in the country.
The additional funding will be used to support, enhance and expand innovative research by targeting causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
“Almost everyone knows someone affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It’s common. It’s disabling. It ultimately robs individuals of quality of life,” said Andrew Saykin, PsyD, director of the IADRC, director of the Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging and Raymond C. Beeler Professor of Radiology. “Early detection of the disease is critical, and we use advanced neuroimaging, blood biomarkers, genetics, cognitive tests and other tools to assess risk and detect changes before a person becomes symptomatic. Recent evidence has shown that some biological changes can be detected about 20 years prior to dementia onset, which presents a real window of opportunity for interventions to slow and ultimately prevent AD.”
The overall mission of the center is to support local, regional, national and international research efforts in service of the United States National Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025.
Visit the Newsroom for more details on the center’s work and accomplishments during the previous funding period.
Huang to lead Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science
IU School of Medicine has appointed Kun Huang, PhD, as chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Health Data Science, effective October 1.
Huang brings a tremendous amount of research, education and leadership experience to the role. He currently serves as vice chair for data science and professor with the department.
Since coming to IU School of Medicine in 2017, Huang has held a number of leadership roles across many areas of the school. He leads the Precision Health Initiative Data Science and Informatics group, and is the director of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Core for the TREAT-AD program for Alzheimer’s therapy development. The leader of the data science and informatics service for the National Cancer Institute Pediatric Cancer SPORE grant-funded research program, Huang also serves as associate director for data science at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Huang’s leadership has extended schoolwide through his role as assistant dean for data science, as well as a member of the executive council of the Regenstrief Institute. He has built a leading research program in translational data science, integrating imaging, genomics and clinical data with continuous federal funding, high-impact publications, award-winning methodologies and successful trainees.
For more on Huang’s appointment, visit the Newsroom.
Take note of updated guidance for in-person meetings and events
To stay aligned with IU School of Medicine’s clinical partners who have updated their event and visitor guidance, and because faculty, learners and staff interact (directly or indirectly) with patients who may be immunocompromised or have vulnerable health, IU School of Medicine leadership has issued updated guidance related to in-person meetings and events.
Events with 50 or more people in attendance should be moved to a virtual format, or canceled/postponed to a later date. Exceptions can be made for events that are required to be in person for curricular reasons. For these in-person events, no food or beverages are allowed (or anything that requires the removal of a mask), although it is allowable to provide to-go boxes of food for attendees to take with them. It is strongly advised that smaller group meetings avoid having food/beverages so attendees can remain masked throughout the event.
Talk to your supervisor if you have questions about the updated guidelines.
Registration reminder: Fall All School Meeting is September 28
The IU School of Medicine Fall All School Meeting will be held via Zoom from 4:30-6 pm, on Tuesday, September 28. All faculty, staff and learners are invited to attend the meeting, which will include important school updates from IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA. There will be opportunities to ask questions. Register for the meeting.
Indiana CTSI Annual Meeting transitioning to virtual only
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) is transitioning its annual meeting on Friday, September 24, to virtual only. The meeting had originally been planned as a hybrid approach. Meeting organizers will incorporate many of the successful tactics employed for the 2020 virtual event and build upon them for even deeper engagement at this year’s virtual annual meeting.
For those who initially registered to attend the meeting in person, no additional action is needed. New registrants should select the virtual option on the online registration form. For more information on the meeting, view the full agenda.
IU enrolls record number of students of color
Indiana University continues to see strong overall university-wide enrollment and record enrollment at its Bloomington campus, while also further diversifying its student body.
As of Monday, August 30, the official IU census day for fall semester, overall enrollment totaled 91,084 students across all IU campuses, a small decline of 1.6 percent from fall 2020. Degree-seeking students of color total 23,782 this year, reflecting a record enrollment level of 29 percent. International enrollment across campuses totals 6,338, up nearly 4 percent from last year and the first increase in international students since fall 2016.
“As we return to in-person learning on our campuses across the state, IU is pleased to welcome more than 91,000 students and a record number of students of color,” IU President Pamela Whitten said. “This year's enrollment reflects IU's continued success in keeping an IU education affordable, accessible and responsive to the needs of students from all backgrounds.”
Visit News at IU for more on fall 2021 enrollment.
Ask the expert: Dbeibo weighs in on COVID-19 vaccine boosters
Almost half of Hoosiers are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. While there are still millions of people who need their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, scientists are now researching the need for booster doses for those who have been fully vaccinated.
Infectious diseases expert Lana Dbeibo, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine and a member of the medical team leading IU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, answers some key questions about booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including when people should get booster doses.
“I know a lot of people are anxious to get a booster, but honestly, I’m most concerned about anyone who has not had any doses of a vaccine getting fully vaccinated first,” said Dbeibo. “We know that this population continues to be most at risk for severe cases of COVID-19 and death from the virus. We’re seeing this over and over in our local hospitals, where the vast majority, if not all, of our hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the ICU or on a ventilator are those who have not been vaccinated.”
Read the full Q&A on News at IU.
August research awards total over $8 million
Investigator Sponsor Type Project Title Begin Date End Date Awarded Dollars Elliot J Androphy Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation New Pharmacology of human papillomavirus inhibitory compounds in mice 7/27/2021 6/30/2023 $100,000 Li Chen National Institute Of General Medical Sciences New Computational modeling of genetic variations by multi-omics integration to decipher personal genome 8/1/2021 5/31/2022 $384,397 Suzanne Chong American Society Emergency Radiology New Evaluating the Effect of Variables related to Radiologist Training, Practice Scope, and Practice Model on Diagnostic Error Rates in Radiologic interpretations 8/1/2021 7/31/2022 $10,000 D Wade Clapp Riley Children's Foundation New Department of Pediatrics Faculty Recruitment Fund 7/1/2021 6/30/2022 $2,100,000 Carmella Evans-Molina University Of South Florida Renewal (not prev committed) Data Coordinating Center for Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet 7/1/2021 6/30/2022 $14,370 Benjamin Gaston National Heart, Lung And Blood Institute New Scientific innovation for personalized severe asthma management 8/1/2021 4/30/2022 $2,420,712 Kathryn M Haider St. Vincent Hospital And Health Care Center, Inc New Visual Acuity Assessment for COG ACNS1831 and 1833 8/9/2021 6/30/2025 $11,539 Stacey L Halum National Institute On Deafness And Other Comm. Dis New Cellular Reinnervation Therapy for Vocal Fold Paralysis 8/4/2021 5/31/2022 $656,999 Flora Hammond Neurosurgery Foundation At Goodman Campbell New This study is a prospective, multi-center study designed to evaluate the clinical performance of the i-STAT TBI test for the proposed intended use and to collect preliminary data and information about future additional intended uses or expanded claims for the test. 8/9/2021 8/8/2022 $261,360 Reuben Kapur National Cancer Institute Renewal (not prev committed) Role of p21 activated kinase in Leukemogenesis 8/1/2021 7/31/2022 $369,310 Kaice LaFavers National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New The protective role of kidney-derived Tamm Horsfall protein (Uromodulin) in sepsis 8/10/2021 7/31/2022 $91,500 Kelvin Paul Lee Health Research, Inc. New Understanding Mechanisms and Consequences of T Cell Co-Receptor Regulated RNA Maturation 4/5/2021 3/31/2022 $7,939 Debra K Litzelman Indiana University Health New WeCare IU Health 7/1/2021 6/30/2022 $203,929 Naikui Liu Indiana State Department Of Health New Role of alterations of mitochondrial lipids in the pathogenesis of spinal cord injury 7/1/2021 6/30/2023 $160,000 Jessica Maiers National Institute Of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney New Regulation of Hepatic Fibrogeneiss by Tango1 4/1/2021 12/31/2021 $88,500 Jason Meyer Indiana State Department Of Health New Development of an "optic nerve on a chip" model to study damage to long range projections in neurotrauma 7/1/2021 6/30/2023 $200,000 Bruce A. Molitoris Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center New The interaction between mechanical forces and cytoskeletal impairments in podocyte mediated kidney disease 1/1/2021 7/31/2021 $6,700 Jean P Molleston University Of Colorado Denver Renewal (not prev committed) Longitudinal Study of Cystic Fibrosis Liver Disease 1/1/2021 12/31/2021 $70,656 Younghye Moon National Institute On Aging New Impact of APOE Christchurch mutation on amyloid burden and tau pathology 8/15/2021 6/30/2022 $158,500 Sashwati Roy U.s. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity New Limb Health and Socket Pressure in Response to Powered Ankle Prostheses 9/30/2021 9/29/2023 $350,000 Andrew J Saykin National Institute On Aging New Investigation of Dysfunctional Myelin Repair in Alzheimer's Disease 8/1/2021 7/31/2022 $38,886 Alexia Mary Torke National Institute On Aging Renewal (not prev committed) Communication in the Hospital: Impact on Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Causes of Cognitive Impairments and their Surrogate Decision Makers 6/15/2021 3/31/2022 $180,976 David Wallace Research To Prevent Blindness New Challenge Grant 2021 7/1/2021 6/30/2022 $75,000 Andy Qigui Yu University Of Pittsburgh New The Role of HBeAg in HBV Persistence 3/1/2021 6/30/2021 $15,472 Teresa Audrey Zimmers National Cancer Institute New The Role of Oncostatin M in the PDAC tumor microenvironment and macroenvironment 8/3/2021 8/2/2022 $30,306
IU researcher serving on expert panel for Alzheimer’s disease drug
When the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the drug aducanumab to treat Alzheimer’s disease in early June, leaders in neurodegeneration research quickly created an expert panel to issue guidance to physicians on how to best administer the drug.
IU School of Medicine Distinguished Professor Liana Apostolova, MD, the Barbara and Peer Baekgaard Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease Research, joined several other leading Alzheimer’s disease experts from across the United States on the panel. The panel recently published their findings in The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The FDA first approved aducanumab, an amyloid-targeting monoclonal antibody, under the accelerated approval pathway “for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.” The agency later added that the drug “should be initiated in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia stage of the disease, the population in which treatment was initiated in clinical trials.”
This was the first time in nearly 20 years that the FDA approved a drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Visit the Newsroom for more on the panel and Apostolova’s contributions.
Inside Indiana Business report: Study helps cystic fibrosis patients lighten treatment load
People with cystic fibrosis have experienced dramatic improvements with a new drug called Trikafta. Now researchers want to know if patients can drop some of their other cumbersome treatments. Cynthia Brown, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine, is co-leading a nationwide clinical trial that uses a smartphone app to track the range of outcomes people with cystic fibrosis experience while using Trikafta. Learn more at Inside Indiana Business.
Indiana CTSI research technology seminar series resumes tomorrow
The Indiana CTSI Research Core Technology Seminar series resumes at noon on Friday, September 10. The first seminar will feature the Preclinical Modeling and Therapeutics Core (PMTC) facility at IU School of Medicine. The PMTC facilitates the development and testing of pharmacological and cellular therapies for cancer. It provides advanced resources essential for the preclinical validation of novel drug targets and biomarkers of cancer. In this seminar, the team will provide a brief overview of services offered, followed by discussions on the Incucyte S3 Live-Cell Analysis (Sartorius) for in vitro cellular response studies and the IVIS SpectrumCT In Vivo Imaging System (PerkinElmer) for in vivo tracking of tumor response. Register for the seminar.
Fall seminar series schedule
The technology seminar series informs investigators how existing or new technologies offered by the core facilities at Indiana University, Purdue University and University of Notre Dame can be useful in advancing their research. Held biweekly on Friday, the fall 2021 series will feature the following research cores:
September 10: Preclinical Modeling and Therapeutics Core, IU School of Medicine
September 24: No seminar due to Indiana CTSI Annual Meeting
October 8: Molecular Evolution, Protein Engineering and Production Facility, Purdue University
October 22: Proteomics Facility, Purdue University
November 5: Behavioral Phenotyping Center, IU School of Medicine
November 19: Magnetic Resonance Research Center, Notre Dame
December 3: Biospecimen Collection and Biobanking Core, IU School of Medicine
December 17: Flow Cytometry Core Facility, IU Bloomington
With questions or to be added to a mailing list for seminar announcements, contact Jill Reiter, PhD, director, Indiana CTSI Access Technology Program.
Faculty and Staff News
DEI resource series: View the webinar on bias and thriving across differences
Explore unconscious bias and expand your understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion with the LinkedIn Learning resource, “Confronting Bias: Thriving Across Our Differences.” LinkedIn Learning is offered to IU faculty, staff and learners free of charge through One.IU. (Search “linked in.”)
Promotion and tenure general session is October 5
Faculty members seeking to learn more about the promotion and tenure process are invited to register for a general session at 1 pm on Tuesday, October 5. Designed for faculty who are one to three years from submitting their promotion and tenure materials, this one-hour virtual session provides a broad view of the promotion and tenure process and reviews available resources.
Out of the Darkness Walk for mental health awareness is this weekend
The 2021 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.
Saturday: Pediatrics conference to focus on intersection of social justice and child health
IU School of Medicine General Pediatrics will host the Pediatric Practical Pearls conference, “The Intersection of Social Justice and Child Health: What Pediatricians Can Do” from 7:45 am to noon on Saturday, September 11. The conference is virtual, and attendees will be eligible for continuing medical education credits. Learn more and register.
George H. Rawls, MD, Memorial Lecture is September 23
The inaugural George H. Rawls, MD, Memorial Lecture on the History of Minorities and Medicine will be held at 7 pm, on Thursday, September 23. Melody McCloud, MD, founder and medical director, Atlanta Women’s Health Care, will be the featured speaker. The title of McCloud’s presentation is “Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler: The First Black Female Physician in the U.S. (1864).” Opening remarks will be made by Jerome Adams, MD, former student of Rawls and former U.S. Surgeon General.
George H. Rawls, MD (1928-2020), clinical professor of surgery and founding director of the Master of Science in Medical Science program at IU School of Medicine, was a pioneer for Black surgeons in the Indianapolis community and was a lifelong advocate for advancing minority representation in medicine.
Register for the September 23 event.
New IU Press book recounts history of IU Health Bloomington
A new book, “Building on Our Promise: A History of Indiana University Health Bloomington,” published by IU Press, details the history of IU Health Bloomington Hospital and the people within its community.
Started as an independent community hospital 116 years ago by local female leaders, IU Health Bloomington Hospital has grown and thrived while caring for residents of south-central Indiana. This book highlights the perseverance, farsightedness and dedication of health care providers and administrators, as well as community and business leaders, in shaping and expanding health care.