Advanced Scholars Program for Internists in Research and Education (ASPIRE)
Wondering what comes next in your career development?
Looking to restore the “joy of medicine”?
Interested in converting your ideas into scholarship and promotion?
Want to build a strong regional and national reputation?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, the ASPIRE program may be right for you!
ASPIRE fosters professional development in a close-knit community of colleagues, offers a comprehensive curriculum for developing or advancing scholarship and scientific writing skills, and the opportunity to work closely with nationally and internationally acclaimed faculty mentors.
ASPIRE is designed for junior to mid-level faculty members at IU School of Medicine.
Faculty from the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and other divisions or departments are selected for each program.
The ASPIRE Program
ASPIRE is an eighteen-month program designed for junior to mid-level faculty members at IU School of Medicine. ASPIRE fosters professional development in a close-knit community of colleagues, facilitates the development of mentored scholarship and supports career goals such as academic promotion.
Eligible candidates are junior to mid-level faculty at the level
of Assistant Professor. This includes individuals who are
employed by any of our units and health system partners,
including IU, EMG, VA, IUHP. Applicants must be on the
clinical/educator, clinical or other non-research track, at the assistant professor rank, and have an identified area of
scholarship they are interested in pursuing.
Each ASPIRE Scholar
Develops a project and is paired
with a faculty research mentor with dedicated time to time and mentoring expertise to help bring the project to fruition
Receives 0.20 FTE for 12 months and 0.10 FTE for 6 months to develop, implement and write up their project. Compensation is provided at the Academic rate.
Receives funding to travel to a national meeting to present their work
Has access to expert research assistants and biostatistics support
Participates in a comprehensive core curriculum of biweekly half day education sessions featuring expert speakers, community development, and peer feedback
Has an opportunity to present their work locally (e.g., grand rounds), regionally and nationally
Each scholar’s home Division or Department will be asked to cover scholar protected time and the cost of the program. This coverage is guaranteed for scholars within the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
Previous ASPIRE scholars have presented their work at local Work in Progress sessions, led Department Grand Rounds,
been invited to give grand rounds at other academic health science centers, participated in national scientific meetings, and published their work in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Rich has devoted his career to nurturing the social and emotional contexts of the
doctor-patient relationship and the researchers who study it. He has been a senior mentor
for more than 35 research fellows and more than 15 junior faculty in medicine, pediatrics,
OB/GYN and family medicine.
Dr. Sotto serves as the Vice-Chair for Faculty Affairs, Development, and Diversity in the Department of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. She co-chairs the school’s Diversity Council; serves on numerous institutional committees; and teaches several courses in research ethics.
Sarah Roth has been a Research Coordinator at the Regenstrief Institute Center for Health Services Research since 2018. Her research interests and activities include process improvement, interdisciplinary care coordination, wrap-around support services, senior health, collaborative partnerships and community education. Research support skills include project design, IRB submission, data management, reporting, evaluation, qualitative analysis, and manuscript writing. She loves creative problem solving and designing or improving REDCap databases. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism at Ball State University and her Master of Health Administration and Master of Public Health degrees from the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. While pursuing her graduate degrees, Sarah was honored to be among the inaugural cohort of Eskenazi Health Scholars.
ASPIRE Program Administrative Support
Donna Burgett has been a Center Coordinator at the Regenstrief Institute Center for several years. As the central point of contact for the ASPIRE program, Donna helps to facilitate communication, provide resources, as well as monitor and report on program activity and scholarship. In addition to her work coordinating research education and training programs, she has a broad range of experience providing support to faculty members as well as activities within the William Tierney Center for Health Services Research at Regenstrief Institute.
Thomas F. Imperiale
Thomas F. Imperiale, MD
Dr. Imperiale’s primary research involves screening and surveillance for colorectal cancer, and includes tailoring screening and surveillance based on individual patient risk. He has mentored more than 50 medical residents, faculty, and fellows and is a staff gastroenterologist serving patients in four Indiana hospitals.
An internationally respected expert in physical and psychological symptoms, Dr. Kroenke’s principal research interests include pain, depression, anxiety and other symptoms without discernible cause. He has developed multiple patient-reported outcome measures which have been translated into 80 or more languages and used globally. He has mentored more than 35 fellows and junior faculty.
Dr. Matthias focuses on communication in chronic pain care and in mental health, with specific research interest in patient-provider communication and clinical decision-making. She is a member of the Roudebush VA Medical Center’s Ethics Consultation Committee and serves on the editorial board of the journal Pain Medicine.
Dr. Rattray is a medical anthropologist with expertise in social determinants of health, disability, health communication, and implementation science. His research aims to improve community reintegration and rehabilitation outcomes for post-9/11 veterans.
Dr. Rollins’ research interests are primarily in studying methods for improving implementation of evidence-based mental health practices for people with severe mental illness. She has particular expertise in the implementation of assertive community treatment, illness management and recovery, supported employment, and integrated dual disorders treatment (for comorbid mental illness and substance use disorders).
Dr. Schleyer’s current research is focused on making information from various sources more accessible in clinicians’ workflows, big data analytics for population health management and research, and development of the Indiana Learning Health Systems Initiative. He co-directs the National Library of Medicine-funded Public & Population Health Informatics (PHI) Fellowship at Indiana University.
Dr. Williams is a nationally recognized expert in stroke treatment and clinical quality improvement. A staff physician at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center with more than 20 years of service to the Veterans Health Administration, she has served on guidelines development committees for the American Heart Association and American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and on the AHA Cerebrovascular Quality of Care and Outcomes Group.
Faculty, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Occupational Medicine
Mentor: Nick Rattray, PhD
Dr. Boente is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine for the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Occupational Medicine. He completed his undergraduate education at Butler University followed by medical school at the University of Illinois Chicago. Residency and Chief Residency were completed at Case Western Reserve MetroHealth Medical Center prior to coming to Indiana University for his Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship. He stayed on as faculty in 2018 and started the Interstitial Lung Disease Program that he now directs. He is principal investigator for numerous clinical trials for interstitial lung disease and performs clinical research with specific interests in improving delivery of care amongst the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Center Network Sites and rural populations in Indiana. He is director of the medical intensive care unit at Roudebush VA Medical Center and an associate fellowship program director for the pulmonary and critical care fellowship.
Dr. Eckerle is Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. She works as a hospitalist at Methodist Hospital and serves as the Quality and Safety co-lead for AAHC hospitalists for which she presents morbidity and mortality case conferences and addresses QI issues at the AAHC. Her interests include quality improvement, population health and improved access to care.
Dr. Frick is an interventional cardiologist and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine with research interests in clinical informatics, quality improvement and the effects of cirrhosis on the cardiovascular system. He is currently collaborating with the Regenstrief Institute on a project aiming to improve cardiovascular care and outcomes by directly integrating cardiovascular disease-specific health information exchange data into the electronic health record. In addition, he has a grant from the American College of Cardiology studying cardiac rehabilitation participation rates after removing frequently cited barriers to participation, cost and transportation, and an internal grant from the Division of Cardiology focused on cirrhotic cardiomyopathy and periprocedural cardiovascular care in patients undergoing liver transplantation.
Dr. Khare is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. Her clinical and research interest is in diabetes mellitus, especially in patients with cystic fibrosis. She has established a dedicated clinic to streamline care of patients with CF at IU. She is currently studying the effect of modulator therapy in patients with CF. She is Medical Director of Inpatient Diabetes at IU Health and has worked to improve and standardize diabetes care of patients during their hospital stays. She started a pilot project to use continuous glucose monitors (CGM) for remote monitoring of blood glucose for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped in diabetes management as well as decreasing exposure of nursing staff and conserving PPE.
Dr. Thippanna an associate professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. After training in India and the U.K., he worked briefly as a consultant in Pulmonary and Internal Medicine before moving to the U.S. He completed a Master’s degree in Medical Education from Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland State University. He says, “In last two decades, there has been a radical change in population demographics. Globalization has made communities more diverse, and patients’ needs are more complex than ever. Existing models of healthcare delivery are not sufficient to meet those needs. I hope to explore different models that can provide institutional and structural support. I am excited to gain academic research skills from the ASPIRE Program to improve healthcare delivery at point of care and share with my colleagues and future physicians.”
Dr. Turissini is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and a visiting lecturer at Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya. He works as a hospitalist at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. He lived in Kenya for four years working with the IU Center for Global Health to provide medical education, grow the AMPATH Population Health program, and deliver clinical care at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH). With Dr. Edith Kwobah of MTRH, he co-leads several AMPATH mental healthcare programs — including Kenya’s first transitional home for patients with severe mental illness – providing mentorship to establish mental healthcare at lower-level facilities and implementing community-based group care for people with substance use disorders. He hopes to benefit from the ASPIRE program by developing academic research skills to create implementation research projects within the AMPATH mental healthcare program as well as reciprocal innovation projects to improve implementation of mental healthcare in Indiana.