The Indiana University School of Medicine is the second-largest medical school in the country by student enrollment. More than 900 investigators are engaged in basic and clinical research on human health and disease. The IUSM campus is the site of four hospitals, providing a diverse patient population for clinical research.
Researchers at IUSM are engaged in basic and clinical research in a wide range of disease areas. The areas of major focus include cancer, cardiovascular disease, health informatics/personalized medicine, metabolic disease, neuroscience, and regenerative medicine.
At IUSM, an interdisciplinary approach to cancer research brings together scientific excellence and capabilities to integrate a diversity of research to develop solutions for patients suffering from a variety of cancers. Cellular, molecular, and genetic studies on various types of cancers are generating a wealth of knowledge on the mechanisms of disease and molecular targets for development of therapies and early diagnosis of cancer.
The uniquely collaborative environment of IUSM helps conduct a variety of clinical trials while exploring new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer as well as new ways to counter side effects associated with conventional treatment. Some of the clinical trials currently under way at the National Cancer Institute-designated IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center include breast, bladder, colorectal, esophageal and stomach, head and neck, kidney, lymphoma and blood, prostate, liver, lung, melanoma, skin, and pancreatic cancers.
The internationally recognized research on cardiovascular disease at IUSM offers expertise in many heart and blood vessel diseases. Specialized research programs in cardiology include heart and rhythm disorders, coronary and peripheral vascular disease, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and heart valve disorders.
IUSM is recognized for its strong clinical research programs in cardiovascular disease and pediatric cardiology. Researchers at the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology & Medicine (ICVBM) are investigating the mechanisms of vascular wellness and disease as well as cell and medical therapies. ICVBM is the National Institutes of Health-designated site of cardiovascular research for clinical trials on cell therapy.
Health Informatics/Personalized Medicine
The Regenstrief Institute is developing innovative informatics solutions to improve patient care and translate these into cost-effective operational systems, including a dynamic electronic medical record system. The Indiana Health Information Exchange, with data from more than 11 million patients from 103 Indiana hospitals, is a valuable source for outcome research, patient recruitment, clinical and demographic studies, protocol compliance, and study planning and implementation.
The metabolic disease program includes research on diabetes and obesity and their complications, including cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Significant areas of research include studies on the mechanism of glucose and lipid metabolism, islet cell biology, β cell function and survival, and nutrition and physiology of obesity.
New research is focused on basic and translational research in diabetes and obesity. The Indiana Diabetes Research Center fosters knowledge, supports training and promotes basic and translational research in diabetes and related metabolic disorders and their complications. To study the renal complications of diabetes, the Research Center for Quantitative Renal Imaging is investigating renal structure, function, hemodynamics, and underlying tissue microenvironmental factors contributing to kidney disease. The innovative quantitative imaging methods are designed to diagnose kidney disease and evaluate efficacy of therapeutic interventions.
The broad-based basic and clinical research programs in neuroscience are spread across several centers of excellence at IUSM, including the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, the Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging, the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education Consortium, and the Institute of Psychiatric Research. Researchers at these centers are applying advanced molecular, genetic, and imaging technologies to fundamental questions about brain function, dysfunction, traumatic brain injury, concussion, and neuropsychiatric disorders.
IUSM is the home of the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease (NCRAD). The genome-wide, biological pathway and functional neuroimaging analysis is leading the identification of disease associated genes and biomarkers. A new gene-to-drug initiative is exploiting newly discovered disease-associated genes for drug targeting.
The strong clinical program is led by highly skilled neurologists, neurosurgeons, and neuroradiologists for investigation and treatment of neurological diseases that include Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, neuromuscular disorders, brain aneurysms, Parkinson’s disease, brain and spinal cord injuries, psychiatry, epilepsy and seizures, scoliosis, Huntington’s disease, stroke, and trigeminal neuralgia.
Investigators at IUSM are studying tissue regeneration, stem cells, and cell therapy in a number of disease areas, including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, blood vessel regeneration, bone and skeletal regeneration, stroke and spinal cord injury, opthalmology, and transplantation of Islets of Langerhans and solid organs. Inducible pluripotent stem cell (iPS) generation by nuclear reprogramming is performed to drive specific iPS cells for basic research and drug discovery. IUSM has been the site for bone marrow cell and adipose stem cell therapy trials for critical limb ischemia.