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Shekhar appointed IU associate vice president for university clinical affairs

Nov. 21, 2013

Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for translational research and Raymond E. Houk Professor of Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine, has been named associate vice president for university clinical affairs at IU.

An internationally renowned clinical psychiatrist, Shekhar will coordinate all clinical research at the IU School of Medicine and at its clinical partners statewide. He will also serve on the University Clinical Affairs Cabinet as well as on the Research and Education Subcommittee of the IU Health Board.

Shakhar Anantha

Shakhar Anantha, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Shekhar also serves as director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, a collaboration among IU, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame to advance translational research across Indiana and beyond. The institute has to date received over $60 million in Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, plus support from the three member universities, the state of Indiana and public and private partnerships.

Translational research is the practice of taking results from research labs and clinics into safe and innovative treatments and therapies used in general medical practice.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Shekhar in this role during such a critical time, when many institutions are striving to build their clinical research programs,” said Jay Hess, M.D., Ph.D., School of Medicine dean and IU vice president for clinical affairs. “He has shown strong, collaborative leadership of the Indiana CTSI program and will now be well positioned to ensure IUSM is a leader in clinical trials and other innovative clinical research.”

In addition to his role at IU, Dr. Shekhar serves as president of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, an independent organization of clinical and translational research scientists created to advance the goals of the NIH CTSA program; and as co-chair of the scientific advisory board for the Sino-American Symposium on Clinical and Translational Medicine. The board is a collaboration of medical school deans and health care leaders across the U.S. and China led by GlobalMD and created to advise the Chinese government on developing a national infrastructure to accelerate translational research in the country.

As a scientist, Dr. Shekhar's research focuses on defining the neutral basis of panic disorder, social anxiety and stress-induced emotional disorders, including developing novel treatment targets for major psychiatric disorders in patients with anxiety disorders, mood disorders and schizophrenia. He has several grants from the NIH and private foundations, including being the principal investigator on a longitudinal study of disease risk factors in Indiana's population, a $10 million project supported by the Fairbanks Institute of Indiana.

His previous clinical experience includes nine years as the director of adult psychiatry services at the IU School of Medicine as well as director of the neurosciences clinical research center at IU Methodist Hospital; director of the neurosciences clinical research center at LaRue D. Carter Hospital; and medical director of inpatient psychiatry services at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

Dr. Shekhar is the editor or co-editor of three books and more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles. He holds a Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph's College in Bangalore, India, and a medical degree from St. John's Medical College in Bangalore, India. He served a medical residency and fellowship at the IU School of Medicine. He also holds a Ph.D. in medical neurobiology from IU.

“It is a great honor to be named to this new position at IU, and I look forward to leading the efforts to make IU’s health sciences schools and its health care partners, such as IU Health and Eskanazi Health, be recognized nationally as outstanding places to conduct innovative clinical research projects efficiently,” said Dr. Shekhar, who is also a professor of neurobiology and pharmacology and toxicology at the School of Medicine. 

Dr. Shekhar is a board certified member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

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