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IU School of Medicine research leader honored with Sagamore of the Wabash Award


Anantha Shekhar, PhD, (right), executive associate dean for research affairs, receives the Sagamore of the Wabash Award at the Indiana CTSI annual meeting. The award was presented by Dean Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA,

Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, joined an elite group of presidents, astronauts and other heroes as he received the state’s highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, at the 2019 Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Annual Meeting. Shekhar leads Indiana University School of Medicine’s research enterprise as the executive associate dean for research affairs.

“Anantha continues to make an incredible impact at IU School of Medicine,” said Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU’s executive vice president for university clinical affairs. “Under his leadership, the school’s research excellence and reputation have grown. One of the many ways we’ve seen that is through the amount of National Institutes of Health funding being awarded to our scientists, which has broken records for the last three years and will do so again this year.”

Shekhar is also the founding director of Indiana CTSI, which is a statewide research partnership among Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and many local life sciences businesses and community organizations. The institute’s mission is to bring together Indiana’s brightest minds to solve the state’s most pressing health challenges.

“All the collaborative efforts within Indiana CTSI would not be possible without the guidance and direction of Dr. Shekhar,” said Carmel Egan, PhD, associate dean of research affairs at IU School of Medicine and chief operating officer for the Indiana CTSI. “He established the Indiana CTSI 11 years ago and with it created hundreds of high-paying, highly rewarding research jobs in the state. He simultaneously leads the IU Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative, tirelessly encouraging research teams who are trying to find solutions to some of the most dreadful diseases Hoosiers suffer.”

Shekhar was nominated for the award by Dan Petersen, who is the vice president of industry and government affairs at Cook Medical.

The Sagamore of the Wabash is the state’s highest civilian award. Other notable Hoosiers to receive the honor include comedian David Letterman, WWII hero Gabriel DeLobbe, and former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker.

The Indiana CTSI Annual Meeting was held Friday, September 13, 2019, in Hine Hall on the IUPUI campus.

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