March 24, 2023

Advancing health research in Indiana

This week brought the announcement that the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) has secured nearly $38 million in renewed funding from the National Institutes of Health for the next seven years—the fourth consecutive successful grant submission for the statewide research enterprise. 

The Indiana CTSI, which brings together Indiana’s brightest minds to solve the state’s most pressing health challenges, is a partnership among Indiana’s top research universities—Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame—and the Regenstrief Institute Inc. The Indiana CTSI provides resources, education, training and funding opportunities to researchers across the state. These efforts span the translational research spectrum, from basic science to the clinic and into the community. The institute also facilitates opportunities for the community to inform further research in labs and hospitals. 

Since its founding in 2008, the institute has experienced major success, including expanded educational and training opportunities to build a broader array of translational researchers, such as medical, undergraduate and high school students. It has also developed engaging collaborations with public-private partnerships, as well as individuals and community-based organizations, such as the Monon Collaborative, which includes Wellbeing informed by Science and Evidence (WISE) Indiana and Community Impact Hubs. 

The state and federal relations teams in IU's Office of the Vice President for University Relations worked to secure statements of support for the Indiana CTSI from state leaders, including Indiana’s U.S. congressional delegation, Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, as the institute sought its new NIH award. 

With its renewed federal support, the Indiana CTSI will build on its strengths by expanding community-based efforts such as All IN for Health, a program to engage the public in research and help them understand its value toward improving health in the state. Other initiatives include improving opportunities for donating specimens to the Indiana Biobank to facilitate research, focusing on nuanced social issues in research through a bioethical lens, and developing a recruitment concierge service to help researchers enroll diverse participants in their studies. 

“As one of the nation's premier research universities, IU has world-class researchers who drive innovation,” IU President Pamela Whitten said. “The Indiana CTSI collaboration will continue to play a pivotal role in transforming and growing our statewide research ecosystem.” 

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Statehouse Update

The IU State Relations team has reviewed every bill that has been introduced at the Statehouse, and determined if and how the bill could impact the university. This Statehouse Update provides a summary of bills the team is tracking that have had activity up to this point during the tenth and eleventh weeks of session.

Read the Statehouse Update


Economic Engagement Update

Helping northwest Indiana realize its economic potential 

In a new op-ed in the Times of Northwest Indiana, IU Northwest Chancellor Ken Iwama writes about how the campus is leveraging its vast intellectual resources and creative power to help advance economic and community development, seed an entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, and develop a new generation of leaders in northwest Indiana.  

Iwama highlights several of IU Northwest’s key engagement initiatives, including a comprehensive study by the campus’ Center for Urban and Regional Excellence to address an excess of tax-delinquent properties in Lake County; the “Northwest Indiana Housing Study,” which was recently designated one of 34 projects to receive funding under the READI grant, spearheaded by the Northwest Indiana Forum; and plans to create a collaborative Regional Research/Data Analytics Hub, bringing together expert knowledge and experiences within communities with the expertise of IU Northwest faculty. 

Read the op-ed 


A transformational approach to community engagement 

Five years ago in March, IU established the Center for Rural Engagement to create transformative university-rural community partnerships that improve Hoosier lives. Rooted in that early charge, the center has collaborated with more than 87 Indiana communities across 58 counties, engaging 33,700 residents in new and expanding initiatives. In a new article for IU Bloomington Today, the center’s executive director, Kerry Thompson, describes several of the center’s novel programs to address quality of place, health and wellness, and community resilience and how they reflect IU’s commitment to ensuring thriving rural communities across the Hoosier state.  

Read the article 


Moving innovation to market to improve Hoosier health 

In the last 30 years, Indiana University researcher Mark Kelley has disclosed 61 inventions, been awarded 19 patents, created a startup and licensed three of his technologies. He credits partnerships with IU’s Innovation and Commercialization Office (ICO) and IU Ventures, IU’s early-stage venture and angel investment arm, for helping to advance his research innovations, bringing them to market and ultimately allowing him to positively impact lives here in Indiana and beyond. Kelley’s startup, Apexian Pharmaceuticals, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, is focused on the treatment of life-threatening diseases, including cancers of the colon, pancreas, skin, blood, diabetic macular edema, inflammatory bowel disorders and others. 

“The support IU has given me has been critical in furthering my research to find more effective therapeutics for hard-to-treat cancers and diseases,” Kelley said. “Bringing laboratory research to market and getting investors interested in your scientific discoveries, especially at the earliest stages, can be incredibly tough sledding, and it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. That’s why it’s been so important to have the talent, expertise, connections and resources that IU has made available to innovators. It’s ensured that great discoveries don’t just die on the vine and that IU research is used to dramatically improve the lives of the people of Indiana and beyond.” 

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IU in the news

First cohort enters Urban Medicine program at IU School of Medicine-Northwest 

For 15 years, the IU School of Medicine has offered a rural medicine program in Terre Haute. Now there is a similar curricular track for medical students who want to study urban medicine in Gary, Ind.  

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IU residency program aims to address tri-state doctor shortage 

A recent report on WFIE 14 News in Evansville spotlights the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the IU School of Medicine, which is working to solve a shortage of doctors in southwest Indiana by connecting IU’s medical graduates with area residencies.  

Read the full story and view the report 


IU Athletics, local nonprofits help each other through concessions sales 

IU needs an army of volunteers to successfully operate all the concessions stands at sporting events. Fortunately, eager local nonprofits have provided IU with critical help while receiving needed — and record — funding in return. 

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