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<p>Stanley Spinola, MD, who has served as a leader at Indiana University School of Medicine for more than two decades, recently announced his intention to step down as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will remain as chair until a successor is in place. “It has been a privilege to serve as [&hellip;]</p>

Tenured leader intends to step down as chair


Stanley Spinola, MD<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=za">, who has served as a leader at Indiana University School of Medicine<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=za"> for more than two decades, recently announced his intention to step down as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=za">. He will remain as chair until a successor is in place.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

“It has been a privilege to serve as chair and to work alongside such a remarkable group of faculty and learners,” said Dr. Spinola, who will remain on the faculty and continue his research and teaching. “While I’m not ready to retire, the time is right for me to step back from my administrative role. By announcing my plans now, I hope to ensure the school has the time to thoughtfully recruit a new chair who will position the department for continued success.”<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

Dr. Spinola came to Indiana University in 1993 to join the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine and became division director in 1995. In 1999, he was named the first David H. Jacobs Professor of Infectious Diseases. He was appointed chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in October 2010.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

“Stan is a respected scientist and clinician who has made many important contributions to the field of infectious disease,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=za">, dean of IU School of Medicine and vice president for university clinical affairs. “But beyond his personal accomplishments, he was instrumental in the development and implementation of the new curriculum. He is also one of our most dedicated mentors, inspiring scores of aspiring scientists, physicians and faculty members during the formative years of their careers. In that regard, his impact extends far beyond the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and IU School of Medicine.”<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

He certainly has a great deal of wisdom to impart. Despite the increasing challenges of securing external funding, Dr. Spinola has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1990. His research focuses on Haemophilus ducreyi, <~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zem">the bacteria that causes chancroid, which is found primarily in the developing world and facilitates the transmission of HIV. Although long thought to be exclusively sexually transmitted, H. ducreyi <~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zem">was recently found to be a major cause of painful leg ulcers in children in the tropics. Dr. Spinola is working closely with investigators in Papua New Guinea to understand how H. ducreyi <~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zem">became a major pediatric pathogen and to develop strategies to prevent this infection.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

Under Dr. Spinola’s leadership, research has thrived throughout the Department of Microbiology and Immunology with a focus on host-pathogen interactions, anti-viral therapies, the microbiome, basic immunology, hematopoiesis and stem cell biology. In fiscal year 2017, the department’s faculty received more than $8.7 million in NIH funding, a 34 percent increase over fiscal year 2011.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

“It’s significant that in addition to being a great scientist, Stan is a practicing physician,” said Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=za">, executive associate dean for research affairs. “I think that helps explain why Stan is such an impactful researcher and department leader. While he excels in the laboratory setting, he looks at everything through the lens of a physician, and that has allowed him to remain focused on how discoveries will impact patients’ lives.”<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

In addition to the contributions he makes on a daily basis, Dr. Spinola’s commitment to IU School of Medicine is also evident through his philanthropic support. He and his wife, Marianne, have given generously to the school for many years and most recently made provisions to establish an endowed scholarship that will support medical students with financial need.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

Dr. Spinola received his BA in Biology from Brown University in 1974 and his MD from Georgetown University in 1978. He completed a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982 and served in the National Health Service Corps from 1982-84. He completed a fellowship in adult and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina in 1987, where he was funded through the National Research Service Award (NRSA). Before coming to IU, Dr. Spinola was at the State University of New York at Buffalo where he served as an assistant and then associate professor in the Department of Medicine from 1987-93.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

Dr. Spinola is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology and in the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He served for two terms as a member and chair of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Review Committee, a standing study section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

He earned the distinguished Indiana University School of Medicine 2017 Basic Science Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award and an Indiana University Trustee Teaching Award in 2007.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

A national search for Dr. Spinola’s successor will begin in March. In addition to serving as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the successful candidate is also likely to be a significant contributor to the newly established Brown Center for Immunotherapy<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=za">.<~ ink.aspx?_id="92302C6E9AFF496F9C96F9952B50ABB7&_z=zp">

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Karen Spataro

Director of Strategic Communications

Karen Spataro served as director of the Indiana University School of Medicine Office of Strategic Communications from 2018-2020. She is now the Chief Communications Officer at Riley Children's Foundation.