IUSM Transforming Research Initiative officially launched

Feb. 6, 2014

On Monday, Feb. 3, Jay Hess, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and vice president for university clinical affairs at IU, officially announced the Transforming Research Initiative.


David Wilkes, M.D., is one of the leaders of the TRI, created by IUSM faculty, with input from  health sciences partners and schools at IU.

The Transforming Research Initiative, or TRI, is the new strategic plan for research at the IU School of Medicine, a path to the changes needed to make the school’s research enterprise as competitive as it needs to be in the coming years.

“The TRI plan was created by the faculty at the School of Medicine, with input from our health sciences partners and schools at IU,” said David Wilkes, M.D., executive associate dean for the research affairs at the IU School of Medicine. “This is not the ‘David Wilkes Transforming Research Initiative,’ nor is it the ‘Jay Hess Transforming Research Initiative,’ it is our initiative for the School of Medicine.”

Members of the IU School of Medicine community may download the plan’s complete executive summary online.

The TRI emphasizes six fundamental goals in an era of tight research funding: team science, health care reform, an emphasis on translational research, and the need to focus the school’s efforts in order to maintain its standing among research-intensive schools of medicine:

  1. Development of research themes: School-wide input led to the establishment of seven themes, three of which (cancer, cardiovascular disease and neuroscience) are key elements of the Strategic Research Initiative with IU Health. The others are:
    • Obesity/Metabolism
    • Personalized Medicine
    • Health Services Research (with population health a key component)
    • Regenerative Medicine
  2. Increased focus on team science
  3. Improved research communication
  4. Evaluating, rationalizing and reorganizing our research cores, centers and institutes
  5. Focusing on and improving faculty recruitment and retention
  6. Improving our mentoring systems

Although this plan is only now official, steps to implement these goals have already begun, including the Peer Review and Mentoring Committees, or PRMC, which begin in March 2013. 

In addition, IUSM has hired a recruitment specialist in the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development and created the position of an assistant dean for research mentoring nearly a year ago.

“These are just first steps,” Dr. Wilkes said. “The goals are something we all have to work toward.”

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