At the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, we are guided by five core values—teamwork, integrity, innovation, inclusion and collaboration. It’s our commitment to collaboration that leads us to work within our community to help improve Hoosier health, foster entrepreneurship and educate STEM leaders.
Connecting science to a global community
As leaders at the IBRI saw that the COVID-19 pandemic would keep us quarantined through the summer of 2020, they felt it vital to keep scientific collaborations going. This led to the launch of the “Summer of Science” at the IBRI seminar series.
At the direction of Decio Eizirik, MD, PhD, scientific director of the IBRI Diabetes Center, our goal was to introduce our scientists to 12 researchers from around the world and to inspire ideas to improve the health of Indiana residents and those beyond our borders.
Researching—and walking—for a diabetes cure
As with so many events in 2020, the JDRF One Walk went virtual. We joined Team BETA Watch Out, which is made up of families, scientists and health care workers from the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, IU Health and Riley Hospital for Children, to walk at least 1,600 miles.
Our commitment to being a catalyst for innovation also extends beyond research and to entrepreneurship through AXIS, a mentoring program focused on developing Indiana’s life sciences entrepreneurial talent. We are proud to be a founding partner of this program that launched in 2019 and is currently nurturing 10 burgeoning innovators.
By November 1, 2020, the IBRI team had walked 380 miles and raised more than $3,000 toward the $10,000 goal.
Life sciences go virtual
When the COVID-19 pandemic sent everyone safely behind computer screens, so, too, did many life sciences events. We worked with our colleagues at BioCrossroads to coordinate two virtual Frameworx events featuring Michael Pugia, PhD, director of bioanalytical technologies, and Daniel Robertson, PhD, vice president of digital technology.
Our leaders shared their expertise on the topics of digital transformation in healthcare and disruption in point-of-care diagnostics. Robertson also served as a moderator for a discussion at InnovationDigi about innovating organizational culture to embrace digital transformation.
Mentoring STEM leaders
During the summer of 2020, members of our team helped mentor students from our neighborhood. Brad Mills and Dan Robertson, PhD, worked with students from TechPoint’s SOS (Summer Opportunities for Students) Challenge. Mills and Robertson guided students who developed an app, Go-VID U, for colleges and universities to track COVID-19 hotspots on campus.
And seven of our scientists participated in the five-week Indiana CTSI (Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute) K-12 Virtual Summer STEM program. They worked with five rising seniors, who come from families that are economically disadvantaged.