Indiana University Northwest

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Graduate Studies 2008-2010

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Medical Sciences

Indiana University School of Medicine—Northwest Campus

Web site:
(219) 980-6550

Administrative Officers

D. Craig Brater, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine, Director of the Indiana Statewide Medical Education System, and Director of Indiana University Medical Center
Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., Assistant Dean and Director of the School of Medicine—Northwest Campus, and Interim Dean, College of Health and Human Services
W. Marshall Anderson, Ph.D., Associate Director of Education of the School of Medicine—Northwest Campus,
Carl Marfurt, Ph.D., Associate Director for Research of
the School of Medicine—Northwest Campus
Dawn C. Ilgenfritz, Director of Operations and Finance,
School of Medicine—Northwest Campus


W. Marshall Anderson, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Taeok Bae, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Pathology
Roman Dziarski, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Stephen F. Echtenkamp, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cellular and Integrated Physiology
Dipika Gupta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Brian Kennedy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cellular and Integrated Physiology
Mary Ann Kirkish, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Tatiana Kostrominova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Nancy Mangini, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anatomy Carl F. Marfurt, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Elizabeth Sengupta, M.D., Assistant Professor of
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Subbish Sivam, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and
Ernest Talarico, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Krishna Yelavarthi, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of
Medical and Molecular Genetics
Janice Zunich, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of
Medical and Molecular Genetics

Faculty Emeriti

William Baldwin, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology
Virgil Hoftiezer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Panayotis G. Iatridis, M.D., D.Sc., Professor Emeritus of Cellular and Integrated Physiology
James C. Vanden Berge, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology

The Patient-Centered Learning Program

The academic program at the Northwest Campus is designed around the principle that the learning of essential basic science information should occur in the context of patient interaction, patient case studies, and practice of clinical skills. To that end, the faculty of the Northwest Campus have dedicated themselves to a student-centered and patient-centered approach that involves their widely acclaimed Problem Based Learning Curriculum, the unique History and Physical Learning Center, the Steven C. Beering Library, externship opportunities with local physicians and hospitals, and the participation of 132 volunteer community physicians.

The Northwest campus Patient-Centered Learning Program provides an unique opportunity within the Indiana system for students to experience a different, and we think excellent, approach to medical student learning.
We welcome visits from prospective students who would like to learn more about our Patient-Centered Learning Program and to participate with our first or second year medical students in one of the case-based learning sessions described below. Please contact Dr. Pat Bankston, assistant dean and director,, to schedule a visit.

Our Problem-Based (Case-Based) Learning Approach

For 19 years after its founding in 1972, Indiana University School of Medicine—Northwest offered a traditional first and second year medical curriculum. Beginning with the 1989-1990 academic year, the Northwest Campus introduced an innovative curriculum with heavy emphasis on problem solving and active learning. The highlights of this new curriculum include: (a) Problem-based learning (PBL) sessions, where small groups of five to seven students meet three times a week for two hours to discuss and analyze patient cases in the presence of a faculty moderator. During these student-directed PBL sessions, students set learning objectives, generate and test hypotheses, share learned information, and apply knowledge of basic science principles to the care of patients. (b) Small numbers of lectures presented by experienced faculty supplementing the PBL sessions by providing helpful overviews of key concepts; (c) Organization of the first- and second-year curricula into seven sequential "steps" or units, allowing students to concentrate all their studies to one subject at a time; (c) Basic science laboratories in Gross Anatomy, Histology, Neuroscience, and Pathology, providing active-learning experiences that reinforce and expand the knowledge base attained during PBL sessions and lectures; and (e) PBL sessions, lectures, and laboratories end by noon each day, allowing ample time for independent study and one or more afternoons per week for other patient based activities.

The seven steps (courses) of the IU School of Medicine—Northwest PBL curriculum are:

First Year

Step 1 The Molecular Basis of Medicine (6 weeks) (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology)
Step 2 Human Structure                              (11 weeks)
             (Gross Anatomy, Histology, Cell Biology)
Step 3 Systemic Function and Drug Action       (6 weeks)
Step 4 Neural Control and Disease        (6 weeks)
Step 5 Medications and Diseasee           (6 weeks)
Doctor-Patient Relationship (dispersed throughout the first-year)

Second Year

Step 6 Invasion and Defense      (11 weeks)
            (General Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology)
Step 7 Pathophysiology and Advanced (24 weeks)
             Problem Solving (Introduction to Medicine, Systemic Pathology, Advanced Doctor / Patient Relationship)

Our library, librarian, and library assistant help students gather information and provide a place to study.

To facilitate self-directed study, students have 24-hour access to the Steven C. Beering Medical Library and Medical Resource and Learning Center, which houses a Student Learning Center with 19 computer stations, audiovisual and computer-directed learning programs, and an extensive series of periodicals, textbooks, and other reference materials. A professional librarian and assistant are available to help students locate the latest in medical information to aid their studies. The library complex has 10 comfortable study rooms for students and a lounge area for reading journals or medical literature. The Northwest campus is the only regional campus in the School of Medicine that maintains a large medical library and student study center of this nature.

Our Doctor/Patient Course facilitates learning of professional skills, values, attitudes and behaviors important to our student doctors.

An important part of the IU School of Medicine— Northwest Patient-Centered Learning Program is the Doctor/Patient Relationship course. One element of this course is eight weeks of exposure to patients in family practice physicians' offices beginning in the first week of medical school. A similar eight-week experience with specialty physicians begins the second year of medical school. Student clinical skills are taught by local doctors, who instruct students in the fundamentals of doctor /patient interactions, patient interviewing, and many other aspects of primary care ambulatory medical practice. Topics such as medical ethics and behavioral science also are part of the Doctor / Patient Course.

The History and Physical Learning Center helps student doctors learn and practice interviewing and physical exam skills early in their curriculum.

To facilitate the Doctor/Patient Relationship course, the Northwest campus maintains for the exclusive use of its students a state-of-the-art History and Physical Learning Facility, the largest and most extensive H&P learning facility of all the regional campuses. The facility has six private examination rooms for students to practice their skills with standardized patients (SPs). SPs are individuals trained to present a patient's history and physical examination findings in a "standardized" manner, and to evaluate the clinical and interpersonal skills of the medical student examiners. Instruction and extensive practice sessions in H&P skills at IU School of Medicine—Northwest is offered during the first year of medical school (all other programs at IUSM teach these skills in the second year); thus, our students are uniquely prepared to apply their H&P skills to real patient experiences between the first and second years (summer externships).

Students follow an ill patient as the patient's own student doctor for two years to learn the real-life problems, family situations, financial difficulties, and changes that occur in the course of receiving medical care.

Another important and unique element of the IU School of Medicine—Northwest Doctor/Patient course is TheChronic Patient. Each first-year student is assigned a patient with a chronic medical problem to monitor and care for during the two years that the student is on campus. The Chronic Patient program provides the student multiple opportunities to practice H&P skills on a real patient and offers a unique opportunity to develop a special relationship with a patient for a two-year period. Some students become like family members, attending birthday parties, accompanying the patient on visits to the doctor, and attending surgeries. Through these interactions, each student learns about the humanistic side of medicine and gains knowledge of patient social, financial, cultural, and spiritual matters that may influence medical care and patient management.

Competency education is an easy matter in our student-centered and patient-centered approach.

The Northwest campus has been a leader in the implementation of the IU School of Medicine Competency-Based Curriculum, and all courses and all faculty participate in competency training and assessment. The goal of the Competency Curriculum is to develop and graduate physicians with characteristics that represent the highest aspirations of the profession. We expect our students to strive for the qualities of altruism, honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, accountability, and excellence, and upon graduation to pursue their work as a virtuous activity and a moral undertaking. In other words, our goal is for our students to become virtuous physicians. At IU School of Medicine— Northwest, the patient-centered approach, the small student-to-faculty ratio, three-times-per week small group PBL sessions, and H&P training with SPs allow multiple opportunities to teach competencies and to provide fair evaluations, feedback, and timely help if skills need improvement.

Scholarships and summer research opportunities are available.

A limited number of Northwest Indiana scholarships are available for eligible students attending the Indiana University School of Medicine—Northwest. Inquiries should be made to Dr. Bankston.

A small number of research-oriented medical students are chosen each year to participate in the Summer Research Fellowship Program. Students in this program are awarded a stipend to work on biomedical research projects under the supervision of a campus faculty member in the summer between the first and second year.
Medical students at IU School of Medicine— Northwest are also welcome and encouraged to attend any of the numerous educational programs hosted by the Northwest campus, including (a) our annual fall and spring seminar series in basic and patient-based research; (b) visiting professor lecture hour series presented by guest lecturers; (c) any of the large number of additional medical educational activities that are offered by seven local hospitals.

The student-centered approach helps our students to succeed.

The philosophy of the faculty and support staff toward medical students is one of helpfulness and nurture of adult learners, as student doctors learn the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes characteristic and unique to the special profession that they are entering. The faculty and support staff see themselves as partners, facilitators, and resources to help students realize their goal of becoming the best doctor they can be, for their own sake and that of their future patients.

Location and Facilities

Indiana University School of Medicine—Northwest is located on the Indiana University Northwest campus in the Glen Park area of the city of Gary and occupies approximately 35,000 square feet of a new building on the southwest corner of the campus. The safe and attractive campus is bounded on three sides by the Little Calumet River, the well-kept residential community of Glen Park, and the Gleason Golf Course. Students have 24-hour access to the building and all its facilities. The new building includes a student lounge with a small kitchen area and refrigerator for personal food storage and preparation. Locker rooms and showers provide students with a place to freshen up after exercise or sessions in the gross anatomy laboratory.

The current undergraduate enrollment at the IU Northwest campus is approximately 5,000 students. IU Northwest has a student union complex with gymnasium and fitness center available for medical student exercise and a cafeteria with low-priced food. Cultural activities on campus are numerous, including an IUN-sponsored local drama group, the Northwest Theater, and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the numerous sports events, museums, ethnic neighborhoods, restaurants, and cultural attractions of Chicago are less than an hour's drive from the campus. For those who prefer an escape to the out-of-doors, the Hoosier Prairie and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in addition to numerous parks in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties, are outstanding areas for hiking, swimming, picnics, and cross-country skiing.


Northwest Indiana offers a variety of housing opportunities within easy driving distance of the campus. IUN is a commuter campus and, as such, has no dormitories or other student housing. However, IU School of Medicine—Northwest maintains two apartment buildings directly across from the medical building with a limited number of apartments for reasonable rent to medical students. Arrangement to see the apartments is strictly by appointment only with Dawn Ilgenfritz, director of operations and finance, Indiana University School of Medicine—Northwest, phone (219) 980-6551, Unscheduled visits cannot be accommodated.

Noncredit Activities Basic Science Seminars

Invited scientists and clinicians present advanced topics and results of their research. Local physicians and Indiana University Northwest faculty and students are invited to attend these weekly presentations.

Mini Medical School Program

Since 1995, the Indiana University School of Medicine—Northwest has conducted an outreach program to inform residents of Northwest Indiana of timely and medically relevant topics of interest to them. The sessions are free and open to the general public. The program is formatted to give the community a flavor of medical school. Usually, a medical faculty member or local medical expert provides a basic 45-minute lecture on a topic of interest. Following a break with refreshments, a local clinician addresses issues pertinent to the patient's perspective. Programs to date have been characterized as thought-provoking and informative.

Third-Year Clerkships

Family medicine, a required third-year clerkship, is available at the School of Medicine—Northwest Campus. This clerkship is designed to familiarize medical students with the principles and practice of the discipline in a primary care setting. The four- week clinical rotation provides students with an extensive exposure to the discipline in an ambulatory, community-based setting where a board-certified local area physician supervises students.

Fourth-Year Electives

(Instructors and credit units to be arranged)

Physicians of northwest Indiana participate in offering fourth-year elective courses at St. Catherine, St. Margaret\Mercy Healthcare Centers, Methodist (Northlake and Southlake), St. Mary Medical Center (Gary and Hobart), St. Anthony Medical Center and Porter Memorial hospitals, and Our Lady of Mercy hospitals in collaboration with the School of Medicine—Northwest Campus and the Indiana University School of Medicine. Those courses cover medical subspecialties including internal medicine, inhalation therapy, cardiac catheterization, clinical nephrology, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, pathology, psychiatry, radiology, surgery, and general emergency care.

Graduate Programs

(Instructors, courses of study, and credit hours to be arranged.)

Since the School of Medicine—Northwest Campus faculty also hold appointments in the University Graduate School, graduate programs for the M.S. or the Ph.D. degree are offered in cooperation with the basic science departments of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Most course work and all research leading to an advanced degree can be completed on this campus. Graduate students select courses from the medical school curriculum and/or advanced graduate courses offered by the respective basic science departments. Interested students are encouraged to contact the office of the director.

For additional information concerning Indiana University School of Medicine—Northwest, please visit our Web site at