Medical Science Research Strengths

Medical Science Research Strengths

Modern medical research increasingly demands the participation of scientists with varying specialties to lend their expertise to research projects. IU School Medicine-Bloomington encourages collaboration among investigators (supported by such tools as Research Connect) through centers, institutes and groups that reach across departments and schools. The Medical Science Research Groups on the Bloomington campus are built on partnerships among multiple academic departments and different schools of IU.

The research interests of the Medical Sciences Program are broad and include molecular and cellular biology, genetics, epigenetics and cancer biology. Scientists here range from those who study the basic processes of how cells divide to those who are actively involved in clinical trials for new cancer chemotherapeutics. With a shared interest in understanding the relationship between structure and function in health and human disease, these groups provide research opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and graduate, medical and undergraduate students.

Focused Research Strengths

Genetic and epigenetic abnormalities underlie many human diseases, including inherited disorders and cancer. Other diseases result from infectious agents. Understanding the biochemical, genetic, molecular and epigenetic origins of disease offers the opportunity for treatment of such diseases. Faculty in this group study the origin, etiology, progression and treatment of diseases of multiple origins.

The mechanisms underlying the development of tumors provide significant new insight into the identification and treatment of a variety of cancers. Scientists in this group range from those who study the basic processes of how cells divide to those who are actively involved in clinical trials for new cancer chemotherapeutics. This group has expertise in cancer epigenetics, cancer genomics, cancer metastasis, cancer stem cells and therapeutic development.

Many key developmental events are regulated by intercellular signaling molecules, often in the form of secreted proteins acting through cell surface receptors. Defective cell signaling is a major cause of many human cancers where over-active or unregulated signals lead to excessive cell proliferation and inappropriate cell survival. This group focuses on understanding mechanisms of cell-cell signaling and development in organisms ranging from plants through invertebrates to mammals.

The regulated expression of genes is critical for normal cellular homeostasis. Defects in this process are associated with uncontrolled proliferation commonly associated with tumorigenesis. Research faculty in this group share an interest in the mechanisms governing genome organization, regulated gene expression, chromatin structure, and the fidelity of chromosome distribution during mitosis and meiosis.

The Educational Research Group is interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning with undergraduate students, graduate students and medical students. This group endeavors to evaluate and further implement evidence-based teaching practices at all levels of health science education. Topics of interest include development of graduate students as teacher-scholars, inter-professional education for students headed into health care professions, medical education curricular development and reform, use of technology in medical education (both inside and outside the classroom), development of evidence-based study strategies in undergraduate and medical students, development of student metacognitive skills, and use of simulations to provide active learning experiences.