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Showing results for Winter 2016

A Battle Worth Waging

PEER BAEKGAARD had a knack for cheating death. As a young man growing up in Denmark during World War II, he joined the Danish Underground and helped Jews flee to freedom. He was eventually captured by the Nazis, shipped by train to a prisoner-of-war camp, and sentenced to die. On one occasion, Peer and his five cell mates complained to a seemingly friendly guard that their cramped quarters meant they had to sleep in shifts. The guard asked for volunteers. […]

Karen Spataro  |  Feb 01, 2016

Getting a Head Start

TO ANDREW Saykin, PSYD, Alzheimer’s disease is a race against time. He and other researchers now believe that most forms of dementia begin to develop at least two decades before someone arrives at a doctor’s office worried about misplaced keys or slipping memory. By that point, the damage could be irreversible. “It could be 20 or 30 years too late,” said Saykin, director of the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “To actually do something […]

Karen Spataro  |  Feb 01, 2016

Life in the Blood

ON A slow afternoon in early July, Hal Broxmeyer, PhD, was counting. The longtime professor of microbiology and immunology hunched over an Olympus CKP-TR microscope. Peering down its binocular tube into a well, his 70-year-old eyes scanned small clusters of cells before he lifted his head to scrawl digits in a column on a sheet of paper. Scoring cell colonies is as rudimentary as bench research gets. It’s also a task veteran researchers tend to cede to newbies in their […]

Entering Suffering

THIS PAST June, Dr. Kent Brantly lay in the same bed, in the same house, where Ebola almost took his life just 11 months before. The Indiana University School of Medicine alumnus had returned to Liberia for the first time since he was evacuated to America under the glare of the international media in August 2014. During the visit, Brantly and his wife, Amber, stayed with their two young children in a house on the Atlantic Ocean that they had […]

Karen Spataro  |  Feb 01, 2016

Voicing a Tenor of Hope

Mary Beth Gadus has been battling metastatic breast cancer for 27 years. Think about that for a few seconds. Allow it to sink in. Now imagine that during that time, she’s launched one of the most collaborative fundraising initiatives at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center: 100 Voices of Hope. The campaign hit the cumulative $1 million mark in December—the ultimate way to pay it forward for everyone affected by this devastating disease. First diagnosed in 1988, […]

Karen Spataro  |  Feb 01, 2016

Catching the Enemy

THE CREEPING ache nagged at Jane Ransel. As she watched movers load up boxes headed to her new home in Westfield, Indiana, Ransel told her husband it was probably just a mild strain from packing. “It was just like this finger was pressing against my stomach,” she said. Still, the discomfort lingered. So Jane scheduled a rare trip to her family physician. A couple of days later, she was taken aback when he unveiled the results of an ultrasound: A […]

Right Into the Fire

DR. JEROME ADAMS had little time to settle in after Gov. Mike Pence appointed him commissioner of the Indiana Department of Health in October 2014. Within six months, an outbreak of HIV, tied to needle-sharing among users of prescription pain killers, broke out in Scott County. Meanwhile, data from the Centers for Disease Control showed Indiana had the seventh-highest infant-mortality rate in the country, featuring a wide gap between white mothers and those who were black and Latino. “I stepped […]

A Medical School for the Future

The Indiana University School of Medicine welcomed its largest class ever this year as part of a steady expansion aimed at stemming a projected physician shortage throughout the state. The growth of the entering class—to 355 students—now makes IU the largest medical school in the country. “We train more than half of all physicians in Indiana, so we have a huge stake in making sure there are adequate numbers of professionals in the right specialties, with the right skills,” said […]

Karen Spataro  |  Feb 01, 2016