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MEDTalk 2020: Harnessing genomics, halting ALS, and finding freedom

Three presenters share how research and medical education at IU School of Medicine can shape a world of better health. 

After Early Success, IU Poised to Grow CAR T Program

The Tilley family’s experience shows the life-saving potential of immunotherapy—and underscores why Indiana University School of Medicine wants to scale up its staff to treat more patients.

Matthew Harris  |  Feb 19, 2020

Helping Babies to a Healthy Start

With a dozen community health workers, the WeCare program assists at-risk mothers in Indianapolis navigate pregnancy—and hopes the model could lower Indiana’s infant mortality rate.

Selling Out to Stop ALS

Sherry and Mike Sonneborn gave up their retirement home to fund research to halt the neurodegenerative disease.

Budding Hope to Save Sight

COMBING THE SCIENTIFIC literature, Tim Corson, PhD, searched for a new way to treat macular degeneration, the deterioration of part of the retina. It led to him to an unlikely place. A delicate orchid. Or more accurately, a medicinal compound the orchid produces. Patients diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration spend their golden years in a gauzy haze. Inside their eye, abnormal blood vessels sprout underneath tissue in the center of the retina. These vessels leak fluid, creating scar tissue. […]

Coupled in the Fight Against Cancer

XIONGBIN LU, PhD, spends his days engrossed in research into the factors that lead normal breast tissue cells to turn into Triple Negative Breast Cancer—and engineering therapies to stop it. Across the hall from Lu’s lab, Xinna Zhang, PhD, dives deeply into her the study of the biology of HER2-positive breast cancer, and what makes cells resistant to drug therapies. But Lu and Zhang share more than their proximity to one another in the Vera Bradley Foundation Breast Cancer Research […]

Truly Healed

THE PAIN pulsing in James Mikesh’s lower back was so bad it shook him from his sleep. When it hit, Mikesh—then a senior at the University of Minnesota—would trudge into his bathroom, turn on the knobs in his bathtub and slip into warm water, searching for relief. For a while, that was enough. Then the pain spread to his groin, and Mikesh sought help. It took little time for an oncologist to diagnose the problem: Testicular cancer, stage 3. At […]

Detonating Cancer

IN THE fight against one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, an Indiana University School of Medicine researcher is refining what he hopes will be a weapon as deadly as its foe—a “nanobomb.” Xiongbin Lu, PhD, the Vera Bradley Foundation Professor of Breast Cancer Innovation, is working on a microscopic cancer-fighting tool that—in its assault on triple negative breast cancer cells—acts almost like a Trojan horse, but with an explosive twist.  Lu’s nanobomb is a pair of cancer […]

The Faces of Regeneration

Chandan Sen, PhD, who came to IU in August after 18 years at The Ohio State University, is best known for conceiving a technology with the potential to regenerate flesh, restore nerves and regrow organs–all by reprogramming skin cells. It employs a nanochip the size of a dime, perched delicately atop the skin, topped with a drop of genetic material and activated by a split-second jolt of electricity. Sen’s research team has dubbed the process “tissue nanotransfection.” He often refers […]

‘We Have to Generate New Knowledge’

Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, began wondering how the human brain works as a teenager – when he saw how a tumor changed the personality and eventually took the life of a close friend. Shekhar would graduate from medical school in India before coming to IU School of Medicine in the late 1980s for his residency in psychiatry and a PhD in neuroscience. He joined the faculty in 1989. Today he oversees all research activities at IU School of Medicine. His […]