For some of us, graduation means no more grades or homework. For those who can’t get enough of the college experience, it means the cycle is about to start all over again with graduate school.
If you’re going to graduate school and you know it, clap your hands — and give these tips a try.
Research the program Whether or not you know what you want to study in graduate school, it’s always a good idea to research any program you’re interested in. Find out what the program offers and what’s required to get in. You should also look up the faculty and their interests and strengths. This will help you create your personal statement and cater it specifically to the program you want to enter.
Take the GRE early Similarly to taking the SAT when you were looking past high school, it’s a good idea to take the GRE your sophomore or junior year in college. That way, if your score is lower than you want, you have time to retake the test. Also, some of your general education classes, such as math and English, help prepare you for the GRE questions, so it’s good to take it when the information is still fresh in your mind. If you missed this mark and are taking the test later, it’s not the end of the world. It only means you have a little less time than people who started earlier.
Write, revise and tailor your personal statement Your personal statement is not something you should write overnight. You might have several drafts throughout the process, and that’s OK. The more revisiting and revising you do, the more satisfied with the final product you’ll be. This is your chance to showcase your accomplishments and goals and explain why you’re a perfect fit for the program.
Ask for strong letters of recommendation Making sure to ask the right people for “strong” letters of recommendation is key. Ask people who will promote you and your abilities in an effective way. It’s important to choose people who know how you work, what your accomplishments are and what your future goals are. Specifically requesting a “strong” recommendation letter shows that you’re serious about this program, and it encourages the recommender to put real thought and effort into what they write for you.
Ask for help and pay attention to deadlines Getting all your materials turned in on time is extremely important. Make sure you know when the deadline is and have everything done a little early. That way, if you have questions about the application process, you’ll have time to ask people who know. Reach out to the admissions staff in your program, and they’ll help you create a successful application. The IUPUI Graduate Office offers workshops on getting into graduate school; see the website for details.
Practitioners are often reluctant to ask about a patient’s spirituality for a variety of reasons. We will explore the reasons many say you should not inquire, then we will take a dive into why it is okay (and important) to inquire. We will look at the ways it can impact patient care, time in the hospital, and patient satisfaction. Finally, we will look at boundaries that do need to be respected when addressing spiritual issues.
1. Explain the Different between spirituality and religion 2. Identify 3 benefits of inquiring into a patient’s spirituality
3. Identify 2 boundaries to be respected when addressing spirituality
Presented by Robyn M. Axel-Adams, M.Div, BCC Manager and Faculty, Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics
Come see the event Thursday, January 17th from 12-1pm in Campus Center CE409!
The display effectively reinforces the toll and sheer numbers behind the devastation of the Civil War.
“For certain regiments, out of 1,000 people, only 150 came back,” said Jane E. Schultz, a professor of English at IUPUI with expertise in 19th-century American literature, culture and medicine.
An on-set consultant for the PBS series “Mercy Street,” Schultz will give a talk, “Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space,” at noon Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Lilly Medical Library.
Complementing the “Life and Limb” exhibit, Schultz’s talk will focus on surgical interactions. According to the National Library of Medicine, the number of wounded was about the same as the number of casualties throughout the war — about 500,000.
Localized pieces from the library’s archives are displayed on the third floor of the library in conjunction with “Life and Limb.” An authentic surgical kit featuring amputation knives and handsaws in a small carrying case sits next to the Jan. 9, 1906, issue of the Indiana Medical Journal, which features early Indianapolis physician Dr. William H. Wishard’s account of his Civil War experience.
“What I’m looking at are the ways surgeons wrote about their experiences with patients,” Schultz said. “They change from a clinical register if they’re talking to their colleagues to a far more personal narrative if they’re keeping written documents for their wives to read later. This material is recorded in letters and diaries at the National Library of Medicine, the National Archives and the Library of Congress.”
While movies and television shows have successfully captured the brutality of the war and the bravery of the soldiers and surgeons, the medical lens is sometimes blurred. Sue London, Lilly Medical Library’s research librarian, cringes for more than one reason at movie scenes in which a Union or Confederate soldier is about to get a limb amputated without real anesthetic, usually held down by a fellow soldier for dramatic effect.
“Not the case,” she countered. “Ninety-five percent of the time, they used chloroform or ether. They were dosed lightly, as the operations were brief. The light anesthesia, not pain, caused the patients to move about while insensible.”
Photography and artists’ renderings of such scenes were often staged, Schultz added. Research has shown that war operations were private matters, giving the patients dignity and allowing the surgeons to concentrate on their harrowing work.
The panels from the National Library of Medicine display rare photos from the front as well as portraits of survivors, who are usually missing a limb or two. The exhibit shows surgical methods and the advancements in prosthetics and products created for the hundreds of thousands of men who were wounded. One example: A combined fork-and-knife eating utensil was made for those missing an arm.
According to the exhibit, veterans were given $50 toward a prosthetic arm and $75 for a leg from the federal government.
The years following the Civil War saw the establishment of the nursing profession. Schultz, who taught a Civil War literature class last spring, has studied women’s roles in the war, namely assisting surgeons and caring for the wounded post-surgery. Gangrene and other diseases were responsible for many more deaths than were bullets and cannon fire, she said.
“As people understood the enormity of the problem, more and more women were needed,” Schultz explained. “They would take care of the soldiers at the bedside, feed the soldiers and bring medicine. Occasionally they would help on some kind of operation.”
Many soldiers suffered after the war, but some wounded veterans were able to live full lives after surgery with the help of prosthetics. Their bravery helped them earn jobs, and some even held elected office.
The survivors also spurred the government to establish welfare and war veteran financial assistance. Because the pensioning system was not standardized until after the war, most disabled veterans had to wait for the assistance that could have helped them sooner.
Scholars like Schultz are still researching one of America’s most brutal eras. The estimated 60,000 surgeries that occurred during the Civil War are still bringing interest and visceral reactions 150 years later.
“Studying this aspect of the war really helps us see advancements in medical technologies in the era,” Schultz said. “People might have occasionally seen what amputation saws looked like, but the pictures of the amputees, the crutches, the human factor of this, I think, effectively conveys the traumatic impact of the costs of war.”
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or call 317-278-3333.
“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
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.
Third-year School of Dentistry student Maria Contreras’ hands-on clinical experience is being sharpened daily in the new IUPUI Fritts Dental Care Center.
The San Cristóbal, Venezuela, native now living in Indianapolis uses an array of tools to make the city’s smiles shine. Most of the tools synonymous with a visit to the dentist are checked out each day from the clinic and returned — scaling tools for removing plaque, resin guns for filling cavities, impression materials and plates for mouth X-rays.
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.
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.
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.
“I think we often underestimate the media’s influence on daily life — including health — and the different ways that media messages operate,” Primack said. “I hope people come away from this presentation with a better understanding of how media affects their health and the well-being of their family members. For physicians, I hope to deliver new knowledge that empowers them to talk to their patients about these issues and to generate ideas for leveraging the power of media to the benefit of health and health care.”
Primack is a pioneer in the study of media, technology and health care, and his work has substantially influenced international dialogue and policy. At the University of Pittsburgh, he is the Bernice L. and Morton S. Lerner Chair and dean of the University Honors College; a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and clinical and translational science; and director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.
“The Somerset CPAs and Advisors Executive Leadership Speaker Series provides a forum — a training ground — that challenges both our Physician MBA students and the greater Indianapolis community to think about the future of health care,” said Christopher O.L.H. Porter, professor of management and chair of the graduate business programs in medicine. “These discussions will prepare attendees to be health care influencers by honing their ability to successfully communicate ideas and grow their networks in medicine and business.”
Held twice annually, the Somerset CPAs and Advisors Executive Leadership Speaker Series is supported by gifts from Somerset CPAs and Advisors and the Kelley Physician MBA Class of 2016. These talks feature prominent experts who address some of the most pressing issues in health care today.
The event will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Hine Hall Auditorium, located at 875 W. North St. on the IUPUI campus. It is free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St., and the Tower Garage, 875 W. North St., for a nominal fee.
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.
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.
The work, which will focus on the cilia located in the hypothalamus, a feeding center in the brain, is especially complex due to the large number of cellular communication pathways, many of which are interwoven.
Berbari doesn’t anticipate finding a silver bullet to prevent obesity, but notes that “anytime you gain insight into how obesity occurs, you are learning something that might be useful for a pharmacological toolkit of potential drugs to prevent or treat the condition.”
Two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight, including the more than 93 million who are obese. Many diseases occur with increased frequency in adults as a consequence of obesity, including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer — some of the leading causes of preventable premature human death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 and that the added yearly cost to the health care system for an individual with obesity was $1,429.
R01DK114008-01A1 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is a five-year award. School of Science faculty currently hold more than $20 million in external research funding.