Top News

  • Clapp to lead national research effort focused on developing treatments for inherited childhood cancers

    D. Wade Clapp, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine, is leading an $11.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in which he and others across the country will work on identifying new treatments for tumors that develop in children, adolescents and adults with a common genetic condition.

    The prestigious Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) was first awarded by the NCI in 2015.

    Clapp, physician-in-chief at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and a member of the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, will lead the collaborative research effort to develop new treatments for tumors that develop in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), the most common inherited syndrome causing a predisposition to cancer. NF1 affects one in every 3,000 people worldwide, with about 100,000 individuals living with the syndrome in the United States. Individuals with NF1 have an increased risk of developing specific types of benign tumors and cancers including some brain tumors, a rare childhood leukemia and tumors that grow along the nerves and can progress to become sarcomas. 

    “Our SPORE grant is distinguished by its strong childhood cancer focus and multi-institutional effort, which brings together a coalition of the best NF1 investigators in the United States and likely the world,” Clapp said. “The grant involves six major institutions and the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute. The number of children with these genetic diseases is relatively small, so this sort of structure allows us to get the trials done efficiently and expediently.”

    For more on the research funded by the SPORE grant, visit the Newsroom.

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  • On the blog: Ending lung cancer is professor’s mission

    Lung cancer has an image problem, and Nasser Hanna, MD, wants to change that.

    Nearly everyone in America could tell you what the pink ribbon stands for when it pops up on store displays and product packaging. But how many people know that the white ribbon represents ending the stigma surrounding the No. 1 cancer killer: lung cancer?

    “Lung cancer kills twice as many women every year as breast cancer,” said Hanna, the Tom and Julie Wood Family Foundation Professor of Lung Cancer Clinical Research at IU School of Medicine and a member of the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center Leadership Council.

    He is spearheading an awareness and advocacy initiative called End Lung Cancer Now.

    “We know through data on stigma that breast cancer is viewed as victimizing women. Lung cancer is viewed as, ‘You got what you deserved,’ which is beyond cruel,” he said. “No one deserves lung cancer.”

    However, Nasser says that with improvement in three key areas, most lung cancers could be prevented or successfully treated—now.

    Read the Cancer Research blog post to find out how End Lung Cancer Now aims to be part of the solution.

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  • Spirit of Medicine: Supporting patients through the holiday season

    As religious and cultural holidays approach, providers can be mindful about offering compassionate care to patients. Such care focuses on a patient's well-being by connecting them to spiritual traditions, rituals and practices as they experience a health crisis.

    Three Indiana University Health chaplains, Reverend Donald Stikeleather, Rabbi Justin Kerber and Reverend Anastasia Holman, offer advice for health care providers to help their patients feel spiritually connected and supported this holiday season, especially amid rising COVID-19 hospitalizations.

    Learn more in the Spirit of Medicine blog post.

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Research News

  • Brown center’s first director discusses vision for immunotherapy at IU

    Last month, Huda Salman, MD, PhD, became the first executive director of the Brown Center for Immunotherapy at IU School of Medicine. The center is focused on multiple myeloma and triple negative breast cancer. Researchers also investigate potential opportunities to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders with immunotherapies.

    Salman, an expert physician, researcher and leukemia survivor, discusses her work and vision for the center in this Q&A.

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  • NIH’s UNITE initiative addresses structural racism in biomedical research

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched the UNITE initiative to address structural racism in the biomedical research enterprise. Through this initiative, the NIH is holding a series of listening sessions beginning this month to learn from external stakeholders about the issues and challenges in advancing racial and ethnic equity in biomedical research. See the schedule and register.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Celebration of life for Gordon Watson, MD, PhD, is Saturday

    A celebration of life honoring Gordon Watson, MD, PhD, will be held at 4 pm, Saturday, December 4, at the Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Avenue, in Indianapolis. Dr. Watson, vice chair for clinical affairs, Department of Radiation Oncology, passed away on November 9. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Gordon Watson Radiation Oncology Research and Education Fund or the Pink Ribbon Connection.

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  • Henderson named assistant dean for diversity affairs

    IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity has named Danielle Henderson, PhD, HSPP, assistant dean for diversity affairs. Henderson is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at IU School of Medicine and an IU Health clinician working in the Advanced Pain Therapies Clinic, Integrated Care and the Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic.

    Henderson’s appointment comes as IU School of Medicine continues tangible efforts to improve the school’s climate for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ). With a passion for these issues, Henderson expanded her research efforts in 2020 through the Racial Justice Research Fund at IUPUI and is a co-principal investigator on two studies. One study examines an intervention for schoolchildren following lead exposure, and a second project assesses the impact of discriminatory law enforcement exposure and childhood trauma on adult Black men and women in primary care settings.

    Henderson leads diversity efforts as a member of the IU School of Medicine Psychology Internship Program Executive Committee. She also co-chairs the DEI committee in the Department of Psychiatry and the Indiana Psychological Association’s DEI committee. Henderson is an alumna of the Program to Launch Underrepresented in Medicine Success (PLUS).

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  • Apply by January 31 for business management help from IU MBA students

    The Indiana CTSI and IU Kelley School of Business have extended the deadline to apply for business management assistance from Kelley students. The opportunity is available for any cores, resources, programs and units that provide a central service to CTSI investigators.

    Students are part of the IU Bloomington Kelley residential MBA program independent study program. Duration of assistance is eight weeks. Selected awardees will be expected to engage with the MBA students on the initial project scope, additional follow-up or on-site meetings, and a final project close-out. Selected projects will begin in early March 2022 and will be completed by early May 2022.

    Apply by January 31. Find out more.

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  • DEI resource series: The importance of diversity, inclusion and belonging

    Belonging makes individuals feel accepted for who they are. In an informative webinar from LinkedIn Learning, find out about the “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging” approach and learn how to integrate it into your organization. LinkedIn Learning is offered to IU faculty, staff and learners free of charge through One.IU (search “LinkedIn”).

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Opportunities

  • December 10: ‘Simon Says’ explores conversations that lead to quality cancer care

    The next installment of the Simon Says Expert Series, “In The Exam Room: A Conversation About the Conversations that Lead to High-Quality Cancer Care” examines why meaningful communication is the cornerstone of high-quality cancer care. Join communication researchers Richard Frankel, PhD, and Ann Cottingham and IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center blood cancer specialist Larry Cripe, MD, in a discussion about common topics patients and clinicians find difficult to discuss. The virtual event will be held at noon on Friday, December 10. Learn more and register.

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  • Fireside chat with Anthony Fauci, MD, is December 6

    Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will receive the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award for his early and continued work in both HIV/AIDS prevention and the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in for the virtual presentation at 5:15 pm on Monday, December 6. The event will include a fireside chat between Fauci and Provost Professor William L. Yarber, senior director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention. Learn more and register for the event.

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  • Grant funding available for diabetes and metabolic diseases research

    A primary research-related activity of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases pilot and feasibility (P&F) program is to foster the development of new diabetes-related investigators and provide seed support for innovative, high-risk projects. Three grant mechanisms are available: parent P&F grants, Alzheimer’s-focused P&F grants and physician-scientist P&F grants. Letters of intent are due February 21, and full submission deadline is March 21. Learn more about available funding and apply.

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  • Apply for Global Health Reciprocal Innovation Demonstration Grants

    Strategies and solutions developed with partners in low- and middle-income countries hold promise to address both global and local health challenges. New grant opportunities sponsored by the Indiana CTSI and the IU Center for Global Health seek to foster this intentional system of international global health collaboration called reciprocal innovation. Global Health Reciprocal Innovation Demonstration Grants are designed to support research and demonstrate innovations with a high potential to alleviate the health burden of one of the priority areas. Awards are up to $50,000 for a period of two years. Deadline to apply for the grants is March 1, with letters of intent due on January 14. Learn more and register for a virtual informational webinar at 9 am on Wednesday, December 8.

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Partner News

  • Gibbs named chief practice officer-academic for IU Health Physicians

    IU Health Physicians has appointed Heidi Gibbs, CPA, MBA, to serve as vice president and chief practice officer-academic, effective January 3. In this new role, Gibbs will lead the strategy and the overall management of the academic departments, directly overseeing IU Health Physicians vice chairs. Working with the IU Health Community Medicine chief practice officer and the IU Health Physicians vice president of operations, she will be responsible for collaboratively creating alignment across all parts of the organization.

    Gibbs has more than 25 years of experience in operations and administration. For the past four years, she has served as vice chair of clinical and academic finance, operations and administration for IU Health Physicians and the IU School of Medicine Department of Surgery. She has served as the vice chair of surgery for almost 15 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Purdue University and received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Indianapolis.

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Kudos

  • Frain honored for outstanding achievement by the American Society of Cytopathology

    Barbara Frain, assistant professor of clinical cytotechnology, has received the 2021 Cytotechnologist Award for Outstanding Achievement from the American Society of Cytopathology. Established in 1969, the award is presented annually to a single cytotechnologist in recognition of meritorious service and/or accomplishment in the field of cytopathology.

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