Five new centers awarded Signature Centers Initiative grants

INDIANAPOLIS — One team of scientists is searching for an innovative repair strategy for human spinal cord and brain injuries. Another is looking for cures for the “wasting away,” imagesexperienced by patients with cancer, congestive heart failure, AIDS and other underlying diseases.

Both are the recipients of a grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to establish their research centers as viable units whose work will translate into better understanding of disease and the development of better cures and treatments.

The two groups are among five research center teams awarded development funding in Round 8 of the IUPUI Signature Centers initiative Program.

“This is the eighth year that we have been running this internal grant program, and I congratulate the new centers that have been selected for funding,” Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research, said.

“The Signature Centers Initiative has become a key cornerstone of the IUPUI research enterprise, playing an important role in enhancing research and scholarly activity, while fostering the development of research centers that are addressing important national and global needs, and contributing to economic and social well-being,” Varahramyan said.

Two of the five centers selected in the latest round have received Category A (three-year) funding:

Center for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research, Xiao-Ming Xu, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To understand molecular mechanisms underlying traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries and to develop innovative repair strategies that can be translated to clinical treatments of these diseases in a timely and responsive fashion.

Indiana Center for AIDS Research, Samir Gupta, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To develop internal infrastructure to facilitate novel collaborations among researchers that will lead to improving access to care for all HIV/AIDS patients; and improving retention in care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy especially for racial and sexual minorities.

The other three centers have received Category B (one-year) funding for planning purposes:

Center for Aerial Unmanned Systems Imaging, Dan Johnson, director, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Focus: non-military applications of unmanned aerial systems (drone) technology such as remote imaging for water quality, mosquito habitat mapping, disaster preparation and precision agriculture; and the utilization and analysis of data collected with unmanned aerial systems.

Institute for Product Lifecycle Innovation, Hazim El-Mounayri, director, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. Focus: the promotion and management of product lifecycle practice in advanced manufacturing and life science applications in order for American industries to remain competitive in the global market; to serve as a test bed and vehicle for the rapid implementation of advanced product liability tests, digital manufacturing and designing.

Center for Cachexia Research Innovation and Therapy, Teresa Zimmers, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: U.S. multi-investigator cachexia (involuntary weight loss) research center will support development of interdisciplinary, multi-investigator collaborations through meetings, a research retreat and the development of a regional consortium with Ohio State University; and center will invest in a thematic research program on cardiopulmonary effects in tobacco-associated cancer cachexias.

The IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative fosters the development of centers that are unique to IUPUI and that can lead the way in world-class research and creative activities, and make a difference in the lives of people. The initiative provides each selected center with initial funding for a period of one to three years. The centers are re-evaluated at the end of three years and if approved, receive a five-year designation as an IUPUI Signature Center.

Even major works of art need dusting, including Chihuly’s masterpiece at IU School of Medicine

dna towerIt rises 19 feet from the atrium floor of one of the busiest laboratory and classroom buildings on the Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis campus. This unique sculpture created by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly is, well, dusty; it needs cleaning.

The luminous structure composed of more than 1,000 glass spheres in shades of blue, green, mauve and yellow can’t simply be vacuumed or spritzed with window cleaner and buffed with paper towel. The process is more complex, and only one firm in the United States is authorized to handle the maintenance and cleaning of Chihuly’s artwork. These professionals from Denny Park Fine Arts travel the globe delicately and skillfully disassembling, cleaning and reassembling Chihuly’s masterpieces.

Denny Park Fine Arts has been commissioned to clean the IU School of Medicine DNA Tower, modeled after the so-called blueprint for life. They will be working on the project June 1 and 2 in the Morris Mills Atrium of the VanNuys Medical Science Building on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

The sculpture was installed in 2003 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IU School of Medicine and the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA molecule by IU alumnus James D. Watson and colleague Francis Crick. The DNA Tower was unveiled Sept. 30, 2003, and this will be its first thorough cleaning.

 

Distinguished IU Professor of Medicine to present talk on origins of echocardiography

Wednesday, October 30, 12:00 – 1:00PM
Emerson Hall Auditorium, 304

Harvey Feigenbaum, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, IU School of Medicine, will present a talk titled, “History of Echocardiography: How to introduce something new in medicine.”

Echocardiography as we know it today began at Indiana University School of Medicine in the fall of 1963, exactly 50 years ago. This talk will document how this technology became the world’s leading cardiovascular imaging tool.

Dr Feigenbaum joined the faculty of the Indiana School of Medicine in 1962, working in electrophysiology and then cardiac catheterization and hemodynamics, but he is best recognized as the “Father of Echocardiography” for pioneering the use of cardiac ultrasound in the early 1960s. He trained most of the early researchers, held numerous echocardiographic courses and workshops, and wrote the first textbook which is now in its 7th edition. A founder of the American Society of Echocardiography, Dr. Feigenbaum served as its first president and was the first editor of its journal for 20 years.

For more information, see the flyer here.

Presented by the John Shaw Billings History of Medicine Society, the IU Student History of Medicine Organization, adn the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program.

Please RSVP to medhum@iupui.edu