IU School of Medicine: 2016 year in review

December 15, 2016

Phase I of the new curriculum was launched with the incoming class of 2020, in AugustPhoto By

Growth in research funding, reaccreditation news, an updated website and a $30 million gift to establish a groundbreaking immunotherapy center made InScope headlines this year. Here is a monthly recap of 2016’s moments to remember.


  • Forty-five students entertained a crowd of more than 400 in the second annual Second Year Show, a production focusing on an insider’s view of medical school.
  • Michelle Howenstine, MD, was appointed senior associate dean for graduate medical education and continuing medical education.
  • Jeffrey F. Peipert, MD, PhD, an obstetrician gynecologist and expert in reproductive epidemiology, public health, sexually transmitted diseases and family planning, was named the new chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


  • Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, professor of medicine and cellular and integrative physiology, was promoted to distinguished professor, Indiana University’s highest academic rank.


  • Match Day 2016 saw 327 IU medical students match to residency programs across the nation.
  • Lynda F. Bonewald, PhD, an internationally recognized scientific and academic leader in bone research, was named the first director of the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health.
  • The IU School of Medicine Literature in Medicine Student Interest Group collected more than 400 books for local charities during its first book drive.


  • Students, family, and friends turned gardeners for a day in the 21st annual Spring House Calls, a student-led event and the longest-running service learning project at IU School of Medicine. 
  • IU School of Medicine conducted its first mini medical school for high school students, an opportunity to learn about careers in medicine, for 50 Indianapolis Public Schools students from Crispus Attucks and Shortridge high schools.
  • MedNet, the IU School of Medicine intranet, was launched to serve as a news and announcement portal for the entire school, providing frequently used documents and resources, while also offering private portals for secure communication.
  • The fourth annual Chuckstrong Tailgate Gala set a record, with nearly $1.2 million raised for cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.
  • Two consultants who served as LCME surveyors at other medical schools joined IU School of Medicine for both days of the April 18-19 first reaccreditation mock site visit.


  • Fifty IU School of Medicine faculty members were honored by the IU Board of Trustees with Trustee Teaching Awards for their teaching excellence. 
  • IU School of Medicine awarded diplomas to 418 future physicians and scientists at the 2016 Commencement. Aaron Carroll, MD, professor of pediatrics and associate dean for research mentoring, was the keynote speaker.
  • IU School of Medicine student Jason Davis won the highest award for a medical student paper at the Academic Surgical Congress.


  • Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced that the Precision Health Initiative, a research endeavor focused on patient-centered precision medicine therapies, led by Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs, would receive the first funding under the university’s new $300 million Grand Challenges Program.


  • Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., which helps IU faculty and researchers realize the commercial potential of their discoveries, awarded the first IURTC Outstanding Innovator Award to Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD.
  • Peter H. Schwartz, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and director of the Bioethics and Subject Advocacy Program at Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, was named interim director of the IU Center for Bioethics.
  • Michael E. Busha, MD, MBA, assistant professor of clinical family medicine, and Mitchell Goldman, MD, professor of internal medicine, were selected as assistant deans of graduate medical education.
  • The Center for Brain Rehabilitation, Advanced Imaging and Neuroscience (CBRAIN) received official designation as an IUPUI Signature Center. The Signature Centers Initiative fosters the development of research centers that are uniquely identifiable to IUPUI and lead the way in world-class research and creative activities that enhance IUPUI’s reputation nationally and internationally. Each selected center receives initial funding for three years.


  • IU School of Medicine launched Phase I of its new curriculum and welcomed the incoming class of 2020, one of the largest classes in the school’s history with 352 students.
  • With 119 African-American students, IU School of Medicine tops the list of 10 medical schools with the highest number of African-American students, published by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Regina A. Kreisle, MD, PhD, was named associate dean and director of IU School of Medicine–West Lafayette.
  • Maureen Harrington, PhD, was promoted to associate dean of medical student education in foundational sciences.
  • Federal officials recognized the research impact of scientists and physicians working on Alzheimer's disease at IU School of Medicine, awarding the school its sixth consecutive five-year grant for the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center.
  • The Curriculum Council Steering Committee approved the adoption of a Pass/Fail grading system for all Phase 1 courses in the new curriculum.
  • Jennifer Schwartz, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, was appointed assistant dean of medical student education, Phase 2. W. Graham Carlos III, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, was appointed assistant dean of medical student education, Phase 3. 


  • David A. Ingram, Jr., MD, Hugh McK. Landon Professor of Pediatrics and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, was chosen to serve as the chief medical officer for IU Health Physicians.  
  • Jennelle Richardson, PhD, was promoted to assistant dean of medical student education in foundational sciences (Phase 1).  Since 2010, Dr. Richardson had served IU School of Medicine as a clinical assistant professor of pharmacology, course director of medical pharmacology, and curriculum coordinator for the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
  • IU School of Medicine conducted the second mock site visit designed to closely replicate the April 2017 LCME site visit.
  • IU School of Medicine launched a special series of messages illustrating key enhancements and the student input that inspired them, using the title “You asked. We responded.”


  • Carmel Egan, PhD, a top executive at Eli Lilly and Co., joined IU School of Medicine as project leader of the Precision Health Initiative.
  • L. Daniel Wurtz, MD, was appointed chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.


  • Portions of the IU School of Medicine website, medicine.iu.edu, were updated to provide site visitors with a more integrated and modern digital experience.  
  • Joseph A. DiMicco, PhD, professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology, and Chancellor's Professor Emeritus, was named inaugural director of the new Ombuds Office for IU School of Medicine.


  • Indianapolis entrepreneur and IU School of Medicine alumnus Donald E. Brown, MD, donated $30 million to the school to establish the Brown Center for Immunotherapy. The center will discover new ways to deploy immune-based therapies to treat and cure cancers and pioneer use of the technology in other diseases.
  • Adjustments to the 2016-2017 academic calendar approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee extended winter break by one week, with an additional week added for Step 1 preparation in spring 2018.