5,000 Hoosier Volunteers Needed for Study to Find New Treatments for Bone and Muscle Disorders

INDIANAPOLIS — Researchers at IUPUI need 5,000 Hoosiers of all ages to take part in a study that will help advance the diagnosis and treatment of bone and muscle disorders, the leading cause of disability in the United States.

It takes about an hour to participate in the study, which includes performing physical tests, providing a blood sample and undergoing bone mineral density scans — known as DEXA scans — to determine body composition and bone health. The physical tests include walking for six minutes and having walking speed, balance and grip strength measured.

Volunteers in the study use a device to measure grip strength. Photos by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

More than 900 Hoosiers have already participated. Researchers hope to recruit the balance over the next four years.

The blood samples are stored within the Indiana Biobank. They are connected to the results of the physical performance tests and scans, as well as the volunteer’s electronic medical record, to create a database. That database will be a treasure trove for researchers seeking to develop new treatments and cures for bone and muscle disorders.

Volunteers between the ages of 5 and 100, regardless of their health condition, are eligible to participate. A broad range of people of various races, ages and levels of wellness are needed, said Dr. Stuart Warden, professor and associate dean for research in the School of Health and Human Sciences at IUPUI.

“We’ve tested people from patients coming out of the intensive care unit to college athletes, and everybody in between,” Warden said.

The testing occurs at the Function, Imaging and Tissue Resource Core at IU Health University Hospital in Indianapolis. The FIT Resource Core is part of the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health, created in 2017 to address a significant need to prevent and treat musculoskeletal disease.

A DEXA scan is part of the information being gathered in the study. Scan results will be given to volunteers in return for their time.

With the database, researchers will be able to quickly access data they need rather than go through the time-consuming process of collecting it themselves, Warden said. “Researchers will be able to use the database to rapidly and efficiently answer questions — like, for example, what sort of markers are in the blood that are related to physical performance or leg power or balance.”

The information will help researchers as they seek to develop compounds and molecules that can target and treat muscle and bone loss stemming from aging or disease, Warden said.

In return for volunteering, study participants are given the results of their DEXA scans. DEXA scans are commonly used to assess the risk of osteoporosis and determine body composition, including lean or muscle mass, bone mass, and fat mass.

People who would like more information or want to participate should email icmhcrc@iupui.edu or call 317-278-3333.

Read the original article from IUPUI News 

Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space

“Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space” considers the linguistic registers and narrative patterns visible in wartime surgeons’ written accounts. By surveying a range of rhetorical situations from the clinical (medical), the bureaucratic (military), and the intimate (personal), we can see how and why surgeons shifted registers in the face of medial exigency. Though disease and battle injuries demanded endurance and obedience to surgical routine, writing about traumatic labor often amounted to meaningful silences.
— Presented by Dr. Jane E. Schultz IUPUI Professor of English

Co-sponsored by the John Shaw Billings History of Medicine Society, the IUSM History of Medicine Student Interest Group and the Ruth Lilly Medical Library

Wednesday, December5, 2018 12:00—1:00 PM
Ruth Lilly Medical Library

Liberal Arts Talks

Join Dr. Audrey Gertz as she presents “From Secret Technophobe to??? – A Rookie’s Reflections on Online Teaching”

This past spring semester, I offered the course Spanish for Business online. During that time, I learned a lot about online teaching and made the typical rookie mistakes.

My own attitude towards technology is ambivalent. I will review experiences, along with what I learned since then, and explore what factors influence how we feel about technology, how we use it, and how it impacts our teaching.

RSVP NOW!

Liberal Arts Talks
Friday, November 30, 2018
4:00-5:00pm
Campus Center- IUPUI
420 University BLVD, CE 405
Indianapolis, IN 46202

 

New Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center for Latino Studies to Serve as Hub for Literature and Research

The Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center for Latino Studies is housed in Room 323 of Cavanaugh Hall and is open to the entire IUPUI community. Photo courtesy of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

In addition to being a world-renowned poet and essayist, Luis Alberto Ambroggio has been a lifelong collector of Spanish literature and history books, many from well before his time.

It’s a priceless collection. And it now resides at IUPUI.

The Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center for Latino Studies, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, formally opened Nov. 1 in a ceremony at the center, housed in Room 323 of Cavanaugh Hall. Among the distinguished guests were Ambroggio; Garry Holland, education chair for the Greater Indianapolis Branch of the NAACP; Elia James from the Lawrence city government; IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Johnson; and representatives from the Indianapolis mayor’s office, the Lawrence mayor’s office and the office of Rep. André Carson.

“The center is not only for Latino studies; it’s open to anybody, in any major. Students can use the library to continue research,” said Jose Vargas-Vila, director of IUPUI’s Latino Studies program. “In the future, we’ll use it to invite scholars and writers to IUPUI.”

Nearly 2,000 volumes are in the center, covering classic Spanish literature, linguistics, American history and more. The center is in partnership with the North American Academy of the Spanish Language, of which associate professor Rosa Tezanos-Pinto is a full member and editor of the academy’s bulletin.

“Latino studies is a flourishing area of study in the School of Liberal Arts, and the Luis Alberto Ambroggio Center will do a wonderful job of serving students for years to come,” School of Liberal Arts interim dean Robert Rebein said. “To have such a wonderful collection within our walls is a remarkable testament to our school’s programs.”

The connection between Ambroggio and IUPUI was forged by Tezanos-Pinto through annual conferences around the world. Tezanos-Pinto told Ambroggio about the growing Latino Studies program at IUPUI, and an interest and a bond were formed.

“She made the impression, and Ambroggio chose this university — from among several others — to pass on his collection to a place that would be a permanent location,” Vargas-Vila said. “He wanted to donate the books that belonged to him and his parents.”

Some 700 students take classes in Latino studies each year from two full-time and four part-time faculty. Students have had internships with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with the city of Lawrence and inside the Indiana Statehouse.

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ John Schwarb

Digital Humanities Librarian Open Hours

Caitlin Pollock
Digital Humanities Librarian

Have questions about Digital Humanities? Come to IUPUI Arts and Humanities on Wednesdays from 12 to 1pm to meet with Caitlin Pollock, the Digital Humanities Librarian at the Center for Digital Scholarship at University Library! Caitlin can help you think through your project and develop next steps or workflows, and recommend methodologies, trainings, tools, and platforms. Caitlin can also advise on data visualization, Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines (TEI), textual analysis, data management, and project management. Your DH research can just have started or in the middle development. No appointments required, first come first serve.

IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute
University Library RM 4115T

IU Researchers Awarded $2.3 million to Continue Studies on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Drs. Kelley and Fehrenbacher have been awarded a five-year, $2.3 million grant from the NCI to continue their studies on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN. Tim Yates photo.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University School of Medicine cancer researchers who have been working to lessen the debilitating side effects caused by chemotherapy have been awarded $2.3 million to continue their studies.

Jill Fehrenbacher, PhD, and Mark Kelley, PhD, are recipients of the five-year grant (1R01CA231267) from the National Cancer Institute, which will enable them to continue their studies on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN.

The duo and their colleagues will test the effectiveness of a small, targeted molecule called APX3330 to prevent or reverse CIPN caused by cancer drugs in tumor-bearing mice.

“For patients with CIPN, this might be an option for pain relief or neuropathic symptom relief in the future,” said Fehrenbacher, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center. “Alternatively, for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments, it might be something we can administer alongside the chemotherapy drugs so they never develop CIPN.”

Fehrenbacher added: “The critical element of this grant is that we also are validating our preliminary results that the drug does not compromise the ability of the chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells.”

Although cancer treatments are becoming more effective and people are consequently surviving cancer in increasing rates, many patients report neuropathy — a nerve problem that causes pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet and muscle pain and weakness. As many as 30 to 60 percent of cancer patients say they experience neuropathy.

Neuropathy can become severe enough for some patients that their treatment needs to be reduced or stopped. The effects also can linger well beyond the course of the treatment.

Currently, there are no effective treatments or preventive treatments against neuropathy because researchers don’t yet understand all of the mechanisms that lead to it. It is believed that neuropathy develops over time as a cumulative effect of chemotherapy that alters the function of sensory neurons, which are responsible for detecting pain and touch.

In 2017, Kelley, associate director of basic science research at the IU Simon Cancer Center, was first awarded a $2.9 million grant (1R01CA205166) from the National Cancer Institute to study CIPN. Fehrenbacher is also a co-principal investigator of that initial grant. That grant was awarded because Kelley, Fehrenbacher, and colleagues had previously demonstrated in the lab that increasing the repair activity of a protein called APE1/Ref-1 decreased neurotoxicity. The aims of the 2017 grant are to study, in detail, the mechanisms by which APE1 alters the function of the sensory neurons. Interestingly, they also found that APX3330 was effective in reducing APE1’s ability to facilitate the growth and spread of tumors in mice models, therefore this new drug has the potential to block the advancement of cancer and CIPN.

“It’s very rewarding to receive funding for these studies from the NCI in continued support of our efforts to further advance APX3330 for anti-CIPN studies, both in the lab as well as in the clinic,” Kelley said.

Kelley pointed out that APX3330 is currently in phase I trials, supported by Apexian Pharmaceuticals, to test its safety for people. Kelley is a co-founder and chief scientific officer at Apexian, which plans to advance APX3330 for phase II trials for anti-tumor and anti-CIPN studies. Kelley called those studies a “potential win-win for patients.”

APX3330 was developed based on Kelley’s nearly three decades of cancer research.

The National Cancer Institute awarded both grants as part of its Provocative Questionsinitiative, a program aimed at promoting cancer-related research on important yet understudied areas or research questions that have proven difficult to address.

Melissa Fishel, PhD, and Karen Pollok, PhD, scientists from the cancer center’s Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis research program, are collaborators on this study as is Theodore Cummins, PhD, an electrophysiologist in the School of Science at IUPUI.

Read the original article from IUPUI News‘ Michael Schug

IUPUI Takes a Different Approach to Racial Equity Through a Welcoming Campus Innovation Project

The university setting is supposed to be the ideal place to explore all ideas and have all types of conversations, even the difficult ones. Difficult conversations, specifically about racial injustice, are just one element of the White Racial Literacy Project. As one of 46 projects funded by the Welcoming Campus Initiative, the project aims to take a radically different approach to racial equity.

The White Racial Literacy Project is one of 46 projects funded by the Welcoming Campus Initiative. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

The Welcoming Campus Initiative aims to make IUPUI a more welcoming campus for students, faculty, staff and the community. Diversity and inclusion are central to the success of the initiative and of the university’s strategic plan. But White Racial Literacy Project lead researcher Lori Patton Davis said that more often than not, conversations about diversity and inclusion, especially in terms of race, typically center around, are focused toward and are led by people of color.

“If we are a campus that says it’s committed to racial diversity, it has to be about more than just people of color,” said Patton Davis, director of the Center for Race, Urban and Intersectionality Studies at IUPUI. “The goal of this project is to bring conversations regarding racial equity to those who don’t usually have them.”

At first glance, the name of the project can be off-putting and misinterpreted. But it does define the scope and intention of the project, which is to give white people associated with IUPUI the resources and opportunities to talk about race without judgment, with the hope of developing a better understanding of racial equity. The researchers are studying the impact on campus race relations when white people educate other white people about race and racism.

Patton Davis said isolating the conversations to just white people sounds uncomfortable but is important. Racial injustice affects everyone, but often white people don’t see or understand how they too are affected. For many white people, it may be easier to be colorblind or to deny the racial inequities on our campus and in society. Patton Davis said white people need to be able to unpack how they are affected by racism just as much as people of color — maybe even more, if true change to systemic racism is to occur.

“Racial injustice has a different connotation for white people than for people of color. They respond differently, listen differently, react differently. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t affected,” Patton Davis said.

The White Racial Literacy Project includes workshops with nationally respected scholars on race, racism, equity and race relations with IUPUI administration, faculty, staff and students including facilitated dialogues; faculty workshops for teaching racial justice; a social media campaign, #jagsexplorewhiteness; and surveys designed to gather information for the study and evaluate its effectiveness in heightening awareness.

Patton Davis said she recognizes that people are apt to be more honest and open when discussing difficult and uncomfortable topics when conversing with people who look like them or whom they perceive to have similar experiences, which is why she has trained a specific group of white people from the campus community to lead the dialogue sessions.

If we are a campus that says it’s committed to racial diversity, it has to be about more than just people of color.
Lori Patton Davis

Kathy Johnson, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, plans to train as a discussion facilitator. She is deeply committed to the project because of what she views as a need to shift the approach to racial equity at IUPUI.

“We’ve invested heavily in staff, programs and institutional aid aimed at eliminating achievement gaps for our students as well as recruiting and retaining faculty of color, yet our outcomes have plateaued. What I find most exciting about this work is that it shifts the focus to people like me — white administrators, faculty and staff — who possess most of the power to create and sustain real, systemic change,” Johnson said.

More information about this project and others in the Welcoming Campus Initiative can be found on the Initiatives and Celebrations page of the Office of the Chancellor website at welcoming.iupui.edu. The campus can also learn more about the project and the speakers, and sign up for participation in the dialogues, online or by sending an email to wrlp@iupui.edu.

Read the original article from IUPUI NewsAmber Denney 

#MyIUPUI memories with Craig McDaniel

Craig McDaniel. Madison Ide

In spring of 1999, Jean Robertson – my wife and a member of Herron’s art history faculty – made plans to participate in Herron’s study abroad trip to China. We were super excited as this would be our first journey to that fabled nation, with its ancient civilization and mysterious present. The trip, organized by Robert Eagerton, then a senior member of Herron’s painting faculty, would be leaving with approximately a dozen adventurous undergraduate students who were excited beyond words.

Then, out of the blue, news broke: On May 7, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the U.S. demolished the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade! Our government quickly apologized, claiming that it was entirely by accident. But tensions between China and the U.S. spiked. Mobs throwing rocks attacked the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. The U.S. government issued an official warning against all trips to China by Americans. Our trip to China was scheduled to leave in a matter of days! What did we do?? What should we do???

Eagerton – after conferring with Gary Dow, the translator and native guide who would be accompanying the trip – made the decision: “The trip is on.” One Herron student pulled out, but the rest of us went “all in!” and our trip took off from the Indianapolis airport as scheduled. We were literally the only Americans on the plane. Indeed, we seemed to be the only American visitors in the whole of China! Were we in danger? Did the Chinese despise us?? Were they rude???

Professors Craig McDaniel and Jean Robertson and Crystal Horton (B.F.A. Art Education ’02) with elementary school students in China, May, 1999. Courtesy of Craig McDaniel

To the contrary, the Chinese people we met on the month-long journey showered us with friendship. Everywhere we went, people thanked us for our courage in coming to visit their country at the time of strife.

In this brief recounting, I can’t go in to the details at any length, but a few episodes hint at the generosity of the Chinese people towards us: We (Herron teachers and students) were invited to participate in a practice session with an acrobatic troupe in Beijing. In Hunan, Jeff Dalton and I (Jeff was a ceramics major at Herron at the time; he now teaches at Herron part-time) were invited to play a game of “doubles” table tennis with the president of Hunan Normal University during our week visiting with that university. Jeff had played competitive table tennis (ping pong!) at tournaments in Las Vegas and Detroit. … Me? I simply swung blindly and counted on uncanny good luck to hit the ball and send it back safely over the net. Our Chinese competitors were, in the end, far superior.

I like to think that our gracious defeat helped, in some small way, to heal the wounds between the two nations. Herron to the rescue!!!

Read the original article from News and Events at Herron School of Art + Design

IUPUI Emeritus Professor of History Earns Statewide Recognition

Robert G. Barrows, IUPUI professor emeritus of history, was announced as the winner of the Indiana Historical Society’s 2018 Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award. The former Department of History chairman has contributed to an awareness and appreciation of Indiana’s history — locally, statewide, regionally and even nationally — for decades. In publication, teaching and service, Barrows has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of Indiana’s history.

The award is given annually to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the field of history. Barrows was honored during the Indiana Historical Society’s annual Founders Day dinner Nov. 5 at the Glick Indiana History Center.

Barrows received his undergraduate degree from Muskingum University before earning his graduate degrees at Indiana University.

Read the original article from IUPUI News

IUPUI Biologists Are Growing ‘mini retinas’ to Better Understand Connection Between Eye and Brain

INDIANAPOLIS — IUPUI biologists are growing ‘mini retinas’ in the lab from stem cells to mimic the growth of the human retina. The researchers hope to use the research to restore sight when critical connections between the eye and the brain are damaged. These models also allow the researchers to better understand how cells in the retina develop and are organized. These results are published online in Scientific Reports, a Nature Research journal.

The lab-created mini retinas, called retinal organoids, are collections of cells that grow in a manner similar to how the retina develops in the body. The retinal organoids are created in an IUPUI biology department research lab using human pluripotent stem cells, or hPSCs, which can be derived from adult skin cells.

Axons of retinal ganglion cells, shown in red, derived from human pluripotent stem cells bundle together and navigate their environment using growth cones, shown in green, similar to human development of the optic nerve. Photo courtesy of the School of Science

Jason Meyer, an associate professor of biology in the School of Science at IUPUI, is using the retinal organoids to better understand retinal ganglion cells, or RGCs, which provide the connection between the eye and the brain. These cells project long axons to transmit visual information. When that connection is disturbed, a person loses sight.

“In the past couple of years, retinal organoids have become a focus in the research community,” Meyer said. “However, there hasn’t really been any emphasis on those retinal ganglion cells within these mini retinas, the retinal organoids, so this study is not only looking at how the retinal organoids develop and organize but also exploring the long axons they need in order to connect with the brain.”

RGCs are the cells primarily damaged by glaucoma, a disease that affects about 70 million people worldwide and is the second leading cause of blindness.

“There’s a lot we have to understand about these cells outside of the body before we can put them into humans for transplants and treating those diseases,” said Clarisse Fligor, a biology graduate researcher and first author on the paper. “This research is looking at ways that we can encourage growth of these cells for possible cell-replacement therapies to treat these different injuries or diseases.”

Fligor looked through different growth factors involved in RGC development and found that a protein called Netrin-1 significantly increased the outgrowth of axons from these cells.

“This protein is not expressed long term; it is most prominently during early human development,” Meyer said. “Once the retina is established, it’s not as available, which is why retinal ganglion cells usually can’t fix themselves. Strategies so far to replace retinal ganglion cells by transplanting new cells have not been able to restore those connections because the body itself doesn’t produce these signals.”

The researchers hope this study is an important step toward using lab-grown cells for cell-replacement purposes.

“If we want to be able to use these cells for therapies and encourage the proper wiring of these cells within the rest of the nervous system, perhaps we need to take a page out of the playbook of human development and try to re-create some of those features ordinarily found during early human development,” Meyer said.

“Three-Dimensional Retinal Organoids Facilitate the Investigation of Retinal Ganglion Cell Development, Organization and Neurite Outgrowth from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells”is published online in Scientific Reports, a Nature Research journal.

In addition to Fligor and Meyer, IUPUI and Indiana University authors on the study are Kirstin B. Langer, Akshayalakshmi Sridhar, Priya K. Shields, Michael C. Edler, Sarah K. Ohlemacher and Chi Zhang. Other authors are Daniel M. Suter and Yuan Ren of Purdue University and Valentin M. Sluch and Donald J. Zack of Johns Hopkins University.

The study was supported in part by the National Eye Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the Indiana Department of Health Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund.

About the School of Science at IUPUI

The School of Science at IUPUI is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service in the biological, physical, computational, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The school is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana’s effort to expand and diversify its economy.

Read the original article from IUPUI News