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Several IUSM faculty honored for achievements in research and academics

July 31, 2014

Leslie Ann Hulvershorn, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine, has been named the recipient of the Elaine Schlosser Lewis Journal Award for Research on Attention Deficit Disorder from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

eslie Hulvershorn

Leslie Ann Hulvershorn, M.D.

The $5,000 annual award is given to the writer of the best scientific paper on ADHD in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Award recipients are also invited to to present their work during the AACAP's annual luncheon. Dr. Hulvershorn's article was titled "Abnormal amygdala functional connectivity associated with emotional lability in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder."

The Elaine Schlosser Lewis Fund was established by AACAP in 1994 through the generous gift of a private benefactor to support ongoing research in the area of Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. The fund bears the name of Elaine Schlosser Lewis, a special education teacher, child advocate and mother of AACAP member Owen Lewis, M.D., whose goal was to offer children affected by attention disorders hope for a productive and fulfilling future while educating her community about attention disorders, long before the diagnosis was commonly accepted. 

Michael LaMantia, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, has received a five-year Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes on Aging. The award supports a project entitled "DEEDS: Delirium Evaluation in the Emergency Department for Seniors." 

Delirium affects approximately 10 percent of older adults who seek care in the emergency department, yet is unrecognized in the majority of cases. To improve the care and management of older adults with delirium, it is critical that we understand the dynamics that affect delirium recognition by emergency providers. The goal of Dr Lamantia's research will be to determine the factors that influence delirium recognition and to discern those approaches to delirium assessment that are most associated with its identification.

Dr. LaMantia is also an investigator at the Regenstrief Institute and a scientist at the IU Center for Aging Research.

Yan Liu

Yan Liu, Ph.D.

Yan Liu, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a member of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and IU Simon Cancer Center, has been named a St. Baldrick's Foundation Scholar.

A researcher focused on pediatric cancer, Dr. Lui will receive $330,000 over the next three years to advance research acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the leading cause of cancer death in children. Despite improvements in treatment outcomes, a considerable number of patients relapse or do not respond to conventional chemotherapy. Dr. Liu's team recently found that an enzyme, called PRL2, is elevated in T-ALL cells, and that blocking PRL2 activity kills these cancer cells. This research aims to determine the effect of PRL2 inhibitors on T-ALL cells, in hopes it can be a new target in treatment of T-ALL. Reuben Kapur, PhD, is Dr. Liu’s mentor.  Dr. Liu collaborated with Zhong-Yin Zhang, Ph.D., who provided PRL2 knockout mice and PRL2 inhibitors for the proposed study. James Croop, M.D., Ph.D.; Angelo Cardoso, M.D., Ph.D.; Nadia Carlesso, M.D., Ph.D.; and Mervin Yoder, M.D., contributed to the project. 

In addition, Michael Ferguson, M.D., has been awarded an optional third year of his fellowship award for his study that focuses on finding a life-saving treatment for children with neurofibromatosis type I, a rare genetic disorder that affects about 100,000 people in the United States alone. Twenty five percent to 40 percent of children with this disease form slow growing tumors called plexiform neurofibromas. These tumors can cause disfigurement, disability, and even death, depending on their location. There is currently no effective therapy to treat these tumors. His project is testing drugs, already developed by pharmaceutical companies, that block growth in other cancers for plexiform neurofibromas.  

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation Fellowship Award provides two to three years of funding for new doctors training in childhood cancer research. These grants support the next generation of pediatric oncologists by keeping new doctors focused on a childhood cancer research-oriented career path. Dr. Ferguson was one of only 12 fellows awarded an additional third year of funding in 2014.

Jeffrey M. Rothenberg, M.D., associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the IU School of Medicine and chief medical office for IU Health University Hospital, has been named recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice of obstetrics and gynecology through the integration of the arts and humanities in patient care. 

Dr. Rothenberg will accept the award at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, during the 2015 ACOG Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Francisco.

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