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Celebrating research's new era

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IUPUI's newest and largest research facility got a fitting launch this fall with the dedication of Joseph E. Walther Hall.

The new crown jewel of the campus's research facilities is located in the heart of the three-building complex along Walnut Street, just north of the People Mover.

The building will play a vital role in the research future of the campus and the IU School of Medicine. It's the home of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute and other key centers of inquiry into adult and pediatric cancers, immunological challenges, neurological diseases, genetic disorders, blood-related cancers and diseases, and other medical concerns.

The building features nearly 240,000 square feet of space for research teams, including nearly 120 laboratories. As the largest research building in Indiana University's statewide system, Walther Hall dramatically expands IUPUI's research capabilities in the health and life sciences, cementing the campus's pivotal role in the state's ongoing effort to become a magnet for healthrelated businesses and industries.

IU President Michael McRobbie led the dedication ceremonies for Walther Hall, named for the Indianapolis physician who created the Walther Cancer Foundation. Besides McRobbie, other dignitaries on hand for the celebration included Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz.

$60M grant boosts medical school physician research

Physician researchers like Keith March (left) at the IU School of Medicine will have $60 million in new resources for projects that shape the future of health care in Indiana and beyond, thanks to a grant from Lilly Endowment announced in December.

The grant will launch the Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative, headed by David Wilkes, the executive associate dean for research affairs for the IUPUI-based medical school. The initiative will promote the development of important scientific discoveries in the laboratory, determine how those discoveries could improve human health, then help turn them into new products and treatments that benefit patients and produce new businesses and jobs — a process known as translational research.

The grant is a strategic addition to the foundation's previous investments in university research programs, including the Indiana Genomics Initiative (INGEN), funded by $155 million in grants from the Endowment in 2000 and 2003. In addition to expanding biomedical research, the INGEN funds were a catalyst for the development of life sciences economic investments more broadly in Indiana. Those included the creation of BioCrossroads, which provides funding and support to life sciences businesses and markets the state's life sciences economy.

Foundation gift backs new school

A $1 million gift from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation is helping the Department of Public Health at IUPUI take its first steps toward becoming the School of Public Health at IUPUI.

The department already has the largest MPH (master's of public health) program in the state, and will be able to serve an expanded role in meeting community needs in epidemiology, public health research and policy, continuing education for health providers and much more.

Dr. G. Marie Swanson was named last fall as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Health, heading up the growth from a department to a School of Public Health. She will build on a solid base of talented public health experts and researchers already working at IUPUI and augment them with new faculty and staff.

At IUPUI, the public health school will work closely with the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, the Clinical Translational Sciences Institute and other campus-based and community-based organizations that impact the daily health needs of people.

View the news release for more details on the Lilly gift and the School of Public Health.