IUPUI honors refugees of the past and present in series of events commemorating the Holocaust

INDIANAPOLIS — The IUPUI Jewish Faculty and Staff Council, in collaboration with community partners Exodus Refugee Immigration and Immigrant Welcome Center, is hosting a series of events to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Week immediately following International Holocaust Remembrance Day. These events honor the stories of refugees, asylees and immigrants from the Holocaust to today.

“After the Holocaust and World War II, human rights practice and international law were put into place to protect migrants,” said Adam Strom, director of Re-Imagining Migration at UCLA and IUPUI Holocaust Remembrance Week scholar-in-residence. “These protections are being tested today with the largest number of displaced persons since the end of the Second World War. It is time we take seriously the role of migration in the Holocaust in order to better understand our choices, challenges and responsibilities today.”

The IUPUI Jewish Faculty and Staff Council is hosting a series of events to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Week. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

A Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony will take place at noon Monday, Jan. 28, in Hine Hall Auditorium, 875 W. North St. Holocaust survivor and refugee Esther Davidson Fishman will share her story of survival and immigration to the United States. The program will also include remarks from Karen Dace, IUPUI vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, and a memorial candle-lighting by community leaders and IUPUI students, faculty and staff.

At noon on Jan. 29, Strom will lead a discussion titled “The Past Is Still Present: Migration, Immigration and the Holocaust.” He will discuss the history and consequences of the rise of the Nazis and the Holocaust and describe the role of migration in the Holocaust in order to better understand the challenges and responsibilities we are faced with today. The talk will be held in the IUPUI Global Crossroads Classroom: Room 2132 in the Education/Social Work Building, 902 W. New York St.

Holocaust Remembrance Week events will conclude with a panel discussion in Hine Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m. Jan. 29, titled “Refugees of the Holocaust, Refugees of Today: Opportunities and Challenges of New Lives in America.” The panel will be facilitated by Tamra Wright, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Jeremy Price, professor in the IUPUI School of Education and chair of the Jewish Faculty and Staff Council. The panelists — Strom; Debora Haber, executive artistic director of DEEP Arts and daughter of Holocaust survivors and refugees; and Winnie Betili Bulaya, founder of Refugee Welcome Baskets — will discuss personal experiences as well as historical and contemporary issues relating our responses to refugees in the past to our responses in the present.

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‘Art and Refugees: Shine the Light’ Gallery Exhibition Highlights Experience of World Refugees

INDIANAPOLIS — The experiences of refugees will be highlighted in a multi-arts exhibit that opens Jan. 9 at IUPUI, with affiliated events in Indianapolis and Bloomington.

“Art & Refugees: Shine the Light” brings together glass, photography and documentary art to create awareness of the refugee experience, telling stories of perseverance that transcend cultures, time and religion. The United Nations reports that refugee crises across the world have forced an unprecedented 68.5 million people from their homes.

“Todesmarche Revisited” is composed of cast glass and cement footprints, some of which were taken from Holocaust survivors.

The exhibit will be open Jan. 9-31 in the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. It is free and open to the public.

Pieces of the exhibit are housed in the Cultural Arts Gallery on the second level of the Campus Center as well as on the first floor. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Visitor parking is available in the adjacent Vermont Street Garage.

Members of the campus and community will have a chance to meet the artists at an opening reception taking place 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in the Campus Center Atrium. The reception will include light refreshments and a short program.

The exhibit includes “Todesmarche Revisited” by Laura Doneferan installation of cast glass and cement footprints, some of which were taken from Holocaust survivors, telling the story of the forced marches and displacement.

The glass installation is juxtaposed by German photographer Charlotte Schmitz’s “Take Me to Jermany” photography installation, capturing the faces and experiences of displaced refugees living in Europe, and excerpts of the “Finding Home” documentary by multi-Emmy Award-winning filmmaker David Marshall in collaboration with Deborah Haber, creator/playwright of the “Moses Man: Finding Home” musical.

Affiliated Events

  • “Exploring Stories of Holocaust and Displacement,” hosted by the Jewish Federation of Indianapolis, will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in the Laikin Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center, 6701 Hoover Road. This program will feature testimonials from local Holocaust survivors as well as a panel of visiting artists. Participants can also view a photography exhibit of and by contemporary refugees in Europe. The event is free. Preregistration is preferred at the JCC website, by calling 317-251-9467 or at the JCC membership desk.
  • An open house and panel discussion with the exhibit artists will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 10 in Room 1060 of the Indiana University Global and International Studies Building on the IU campus in Bloomington.
  • “Refugees of the Holocaust, Refugees of Today” will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan 29 in IUPUI’s Hine Hall Auditorium, 875 W. North St. The program will feature a panel discussion with Tamra Wright, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, and will include IUPUI’s scholar-in-residence, Adam Strom, Director of Re-Imagining Migration; artist Debbie Haber, director of Shine the Light and daughter of Holocaust-survivor refugees; and Winnie Betili Bulaya, director of Refugee Welcoming Baskets.

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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.

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How Do Media and Technology Affect Your Health? Dr. Brian Primack Offers Insight at IUPUI Talk

Brian Primack

INDIANAPOLIS — Internationally recognized physician-researcher Dr. Brian Primack will break down media influences on youth and adult health outcomes during a presentation Oct. 12 at IUPUI.

His address is part of the Somerset CPAs and Advisors Executive Leadership Speaker Series in the Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program at the Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis.

 

NIH Awards $1.75 million to IUPUI to Further Explore a Promising Brain-Obesity Link

INDIANAPOLIS — IUPUI biologist Nick Berbari has received a $1.75 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the connection between obesity and tiny hairlike projections on brain cells called cilia. Cilia are thought to function like a cell’s antennae and help in communication between cells.

Berbari’s research team is working to determine how altered signaling processes impact appetite regulation.

The knowledge Berbari and his research team acquire could potentially open new therapeutic approaches to obesity, which impacts the health and longevity of over 93 million Americans.

“With hunger, there is an initial urge to eat and to continue eating until feeling full,” Berbari said. “Cilia dysfunction is known to be associated with certain types of obesity, but it is unclear why their dysfunction leads to people overeating and results in obesity.”

“Put simply, we will be looking at how a little cellular antenna in the brain is important for appetite. When we study rare syndromes that are associated with obesity, we might learn important information and gain potentially therapeutically advantageous ideas about how to treat obesity in the general population.”

The goal of Berbari’s research, which will be conducted in mice, is to determine how altered signaling processes impact appetite regulation, feeding behavior and obesity. The research team includes a School of Science at IUPUI postdoctoral fellow, doctoral and masters’ degree students, and several undergraduate research assistants.

Nick Berbari

Educational Art Exhibit About Menopausal Hot Flashes to Travel Around North America

“Hot Flashes? Cool!” to be shown at events in San Diego, Vancouver and Indianapolis.

Janet S. Carpenter

An educational art exhibit about menopausal hot flashes created by a researcher-entrepreneur at the Indiana University School of Nursing will travel to the West Coast, Canada and around the Midwest in late 2018 and early 2019.

Janet S. Carpenter, associate dean for research, created “Hot Flashes? Cool!” to refute myths, provide accurate and culturally appropriate information, prevent use of unproven treatments, and spur dialogue about menopausal hot flashes. The exhibit comprises multiple pieces of two- and three-dimensional art, music and film.

What’s In Your Bag? Art Student Katie Becker

A first-year student in the Herron School of Art and Design, Katie Becker hopes to break through in digital animation, but a mastery of pen, pencil and paper came first. Video by Tim Brouk, Indiana University.

Drawing in a digital world is easy for Katie Becker, a first-year student in the Herron School of Art and Design.

In order to start strong in the drawing and illustration program, the Indianapolis native invested in Procreate software to go along with her Photoshop prowess. And she’s well-versed in several programs that allow drawing on-screen and 3D rendering.

Becker’s career goal is to become a storyboard digital animator for TV shows, Pixar, Disney or any other animation studio. Her Instagram portfolio portrays a strong style and execution.

But Becker wouldn’t be a digital artist without paper, pencils and pens, too. Her expressive creations wouldn’t be as fine without the foundational work, she said.

“You always need to understand the basics of traditional drawing so you can apply it to digital,” Becker explained. “I don’t think you can learn one without the other at this point in time.”

Becker shared her tools of the trade for when she works analog.

Katie Becker uses a handful of critical pieces for her manual artwork. Photo by Ashlynn Neumeyer, Indiana University

From top left:

  • 18-inch ruler for preciseness
  • Double-sided pencil and pen case
  • Drawing pencils, which range in hardness of lead for a variety of values
  • Pens — Becker explained that the inking process is essential for illustrators. The different pens create dimension with different line weights. “Lately, I’ve been using a lot of brown inks because they’re softer, and I like the effect that it gives,” she said.
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Eraser
  • MacBook Air
  • Mixed-media sketchbook, which allows the artist to use pencil, pen, charcoal and even watercolor pieces in the same place without paper deterioration.

Read the original article by IUPUI NewsTim Brouk

Two IUPUI Students Heading to Spain to Cover FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

IUPUI Sports Capital Journalism Program students Frank Bonner and Ryan Gregory, from left, are covering the 16-nation FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Tenerife, Spain. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

The lineup of major sporting events covered by IUPUI students in the Sports Capital Journalism Program reads like a sports journalist’s bucket list: Olympic Games, Final Fours, Indianapolis 500s and the College Football Playoff.

It’s a list no other college program can match, and another spotlight event will be added this week as two journalism students fly to Tenerife, Spain, for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. Teams from 16 nations, including the two-time defending champion U.S. team, will compete Sept. 22-30 to determine the world’s best.

Ryan Gregory, a junior from Fort Wayne majoring in sports journalism, and Frank Bonner, a graduate student from Indianapolis studying sports journalism, are making the trip along with Malcolm Moran, director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program. They’ll be writing stories primarily for USAB.com, USA Basketball’s official website, working from press row and interviewing players and coaches at arguably the biggest event in the sport.

“A lot of countries focus on this tournament more than the Olympics, because basketball can get overshadowed there. For this event, the whole focus is pure basketball,” Moran said.

“We’ve had students who have covered women’s basketball games in the Olympics, but this is the first time we’ve done the World Cup.”

The Sports Capital Journalism Program is part of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Students who take part in the program’s remarkable range of top-shelf sports opportunities have their expenses completely covered, which also differentiates IUPUI’s offering from many other schools.

The students will arrive in Spain with plenty of experience covering events. Gregory has covered the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Fever and Indy Fuel, as well as the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships last year at the IU Natatorium. Bonner, before entering the sports journalism graduate school program, was a sports reporter at the Columbus Republic for two years.

“We have two seasoned veterans, and that’s important because there are going to be logistical challenges, your patience is tested, you’re dealing with all that — and you’re dealing with it somewhere else in the world,” Moran said.

The event can be a challenge for students, with the time commitment of nearly two weeks, including games and travel, in the heart of the semester. But the students’ professors are supportive of the trip, and there is time for classwork between games.

There’s plenty of studying to go around, as FIBA rules are different from what American fans and journalists are used to. The court is slightly smaller, timeouts can only be called by coaches and teams may inbound the ball without an official first touching it, similar to throw-ins in soccer.

“I want to be familiar with the tournament itself before learning the players,” Gregory said. “I feel like those details will come.”

Moran, who will travel with the students as an advisor and editor, covered the creation of USA Basketball nearly three decades ago while writing for The New York Times. He also wrote extensively about U.S. women’s team coach Dawn Staley and assistant coach Jennifer Rizzotti when they played in college.

The U.S. women’s team is vying for its third consecutive gold medal, a feat it has never achieved in the Women’s World Cup.

IUPUI professor lands NIH grant to research methods to strengthen bones, resist fractures

INDIANAPOLIS — There may be a new way to treat degenerative bone conditions in osteoporosis and diabetes sufferers, among others, thanks to a researcher in the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

IUPUI associate professor of biomedical engineering Joseph Wallace. Photo courtesy of John Gentry

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year grant of nearly $2 million to Joseph Wallace, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, in support of research that is expected to identify ways to build bone mass and improve bone quality.

Wallace’s research involves both mechanical properties of bone and bone mass, attempting to keep bones from fracturing by increasing the amount of bone through mechanical stimulation and improving the quality of the bone with pharmaceutical treatment. Collagen is targeted as an interventional approach to improving the bone material properties.

“We’re trying to use combination therapies, where we can both increase the amount of material that’s present but at the same time modify the quality of that tissue to enhance its ability to bear load without fracture,” Wallace said. “That’s the focus of this grant, to understand those quality-based effects that can enhance bone fracture resistance.”

The research project, “Targeting Collagen as an Interventional Approach to Improve Bone Material Properties,” is being funded through the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Wallace likens collagen to rebar, the metal reinforcement put in place before concrete is poured. Collagen helps support loads on the bones, such as the impact of one’s weight while walking. While most research today is focused on the mineral portion of bone, Wallace is looking at ways to modify the collagen component so that bones can better resist fractures. He is working with the FDA-approved drug raloxifene to determine if certain components of the drug can increase bone’s mechanical properties by improving tissue quality.

“With this grant, we will continue research to provide new ways of approaching the treatment of fragility-related diseases,” Wallace said. “From osteoporosis to diabetes’ effects on bone mass to genetic childhood diseases, this research could have a far-reaching positive impact for those suffering from many diseases with musculoskeletal complications.”

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American Academy of Nursing Selects Four Current and Former IU Nursing Faculty for Prestigious Award

INDIANAPOLIS — Three current and one former faculty member at the Indiana University School of Nursing have been named 2018 American Academy of Nursing fellows.

Lisa Carter-Harris

Lisa Carter-Harris, Wendy Miller, Joyce Pittman and former faculty member Kimberly Harper will be inducted as fellows during the organization’s annual policy conference Nov. 1-3 in Washington, D.C.

“Our new IU School of Nursing fellows join an esteemed group of leaders past and present who have made a significant impact on nursing practice, patient care and health,” said Robin Newhouse, dean and Distinguished Professor at the nursing school. “On behalf of the school, I congratulate my colleagues on receiving national recognition by the academy for their outstanding contributions.”

Academy fellows include renowned researchers and academic, clinical and government leaders who have transformed health care, nursing practice or education. The academy is currently composed of more than 2,500 nurse leaders representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 29 countries.

Lisa Carter-Harris is an assistant professor who focuses on improving patient-provider communication and the shared decision-making process in lung cancer screening. Her research has been used widely by clinicians, patients and policymakers to help more people get early screening and treatment for lung cancer. Carter-Harris is a board-certified adult nurse practitioner, teacher and mentor. She is an invited member of the American Cancer Society’s National Lung Cancer Roundtable as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s expert panel on shared decision-making in lung cancer screening.

Wendy Miller

Wendy Miller is an associate professor and director of the Social Network Health Research Lab, where she oversees interdisciplinary projects that focus on capturing the patient’s voice. Her independent program of research focuses on generating knowledge that will advance the state of science in the area of chronic disease self-management with an emphasis on improving the quality of life of adults with epilepsy via patient-centered interventions. She was awarded the New Investigator Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health via the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

Joyce Pittman

Joyce Pittman is an adjunct assistant professor and coordinator of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Program at IU Health Academic Health Center, leading a team of 10 nurses. Her research is focused on improving the quality of life of those individuals with wound, ostomy and continence issues, specifically prevention of pressure injuries and ostomy-related complications. She has 38 years’ experience in clinical practice, including 18 as a certified WOC nurse and 15 as a nurse practitioner. She is the deputy editor for the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing; a board member for the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel; and a member of the Governing Guidance Group for the International Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Treatment Guideline. Pittman has published numerous articles, authored chapters, and given presentations both nationally and internationally.

Kimberly Harper

Kimberly Harper is chief executive officer of the Indiana Center for Nursing and serves as the nursing co-lead for the Indiana Action Coalition. Previous positions held include Nursing 2000 executive director; vice president for public affairs and the foundation at Wishard Health Services, now Eskenazi Health; and a 30-year stint serving Indiana University in a variety of nursing, marketing and human resources senior leadership roles. She is active in numerous professional organizations and has held various leadership roles within them; currently she is the chair of the board of directors of the national Nurses on Boards Coalition, where her leadership has contributed to improved health of our communities and nation through the voices of nurses on boards, commissions and governmental appointments all across the nation. Harper has served as a guest lecturer and a national and international speaker and has earned many awards, including the Nursing Professionalism and Practice Award for her “outstanding professional contributions and excellence in the practice, science and art of nursing” from the Indiana State Nurses Association.

About the Indiana University School of Nursing

Established in 1914, the IU School of Nursing has been empowering leaders in practice, research, education and service for over 100 years. Ranked 12th among public schools and colleges of nursing for National Institutes of Health funding, the school boasts a robust program of research focused on quality of life in chronic illness, nursing education and behavioral oncology. Programs offered include three undergraduate and nine graduate options in the master’s program. At the doctoral level, the school offers a Ph.D. in nursing science, the only Ph.D. program in the state of Indiana, and a leadership-focused DNP. There are also multiple graduate certificate and continuing education opportunities.

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