“My vision for Indiana University requires a balanced partnership between our two major research campuses. Both campuses need each other. Neither can reach its full potential without the other.”
- Remarks of Michael A. McRobbie, President-Elect, Indiana University, March 1, 2007 at IUPUI
IU’s President-Elect Michael McRobbie spent Monday, March 5, at IUPUI getting acquainted with our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community leaders at six different events. I hope readers of this letter were able to have an opportunity to meet him. He goes on to a series of visits on other campuses and will formally assume his duties as IU’s 18th president on July 1.
Another momentous event for Indiana occurred this month. We dedicated a new research facility on the downtown canal. The $42 million, 166,000 square foot Health Information and Translational Sciences Building opened its doors in January to occupants that include:
- Indiana Children’s Health Services Research
- IU School of Medicine Section of Adolescent Medicine
- Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and three of its programs
- Medical Informatics
- Center for Aging Research and Health Services Research
- IU Center for Bioethics
- IU Department of Medicine’s Division of Biostatics
- IU Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics’ Division of Hereditary Genomics
- IU Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
- Purdue School of Science’s Departments of Mathematical Sciences and Computer and Information Sciences at IUPUI
With President Adam Herbert presiding, Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson joined us for the dedication ceremony. The city had provided the land, which formerly was occupied by the Indianapolis Police Mounted Patrol horse barn, through a property exchange. This allowed us to locate the facility near other School of Medicine life sciences research buildings, Clarian hospitals, and the Clarian People Mover.
The Indiana General Assembly authorized $15 million in seed money for the building in 2003. Eli Lilly and Company and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation led the way in providing $27 million in private funding.
As the name of the Health Information and Translational Sciences Building suggests, this facility will provide a major impetus not only for executing the goals of the Indiana Life Sciences Initiative, now under consideration for funding by the Indiana General Assembly, but also in making IUPUI a national model for Translating Research into Practice, the TRIP initiative.
Tom Inui, President and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute, and Sam Regenstrief Professor of Health Services Research in the School of Medicine, eloquently described our vision for the facility in remarks at the dedication:
“And what do we have in common, then, this remarkable collective of academics? I would suggest we share three things: a perspective on science, a passion for discovery, and a commitment to use knowledge for the public good. . . . We are committed to the translation of new knowledge and new technologies into better care of patients and healthier communities. We are mindful that in the end, it is this commitment to translation that represents our highest accountability as scientists and members of a faculty of a university supported by the public.”
One of the most basic characteristics of this campus is that it was founded on the practice-based educational model customary in professional schools. Herron, for example, was, and remains, a studio arts school. Medicine, nursing, dentistry, and social work orient towards practice in the clinical realm. The campus has developed a much stronger research effort over the last 30 years, but much of it retains the fundamental nature of turning basic research into applied practice.
This practice-based orientation is so central to the kind of work that is expected to be done on a campus like ours, that my wife, Professor Sandra Petronio, has offered to lead the TRIP initiative so that more people, locally and nationally, will be made aware of IUPUI’s distinctive capacity for translating research into solutions.
Charles R. Bantz