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.
Dr. Butt is an assistant professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Indiana University School of Medicine and is the director of the adult infectious diseases fellowship-training program. She trained at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and served as associate program director at that institute. Her educational interests include curriculum development and the development of learners as teachers. Her clinical interests are HIV, Hepatitis C, NTMs and medical education. She participates in HIV/HCV outreach clinics at Scott County, Indiana’s local health department and at the Scottsburg jail. She also maintains outpatient practices in general infectious diseases and HIV care at University Hospital and attends on the inpatient infectious diseases consult services at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
Amy W. Johnson
Amy W. Johnson, DO
Faculty, General Internal Medicine
Mentor: Kurt Kroenke, MD
Dr. Johnson is an assistant professor of clinical medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. She joined IU Health’s Palliative Care Service in July 2017 after completing her fellowship at Indiana University. She received her medical degree from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012 and completed her internal medicine training at Indiana University in 2015. Her clinical work involves caring for patients with serious illness in both hospital and ambulatory settings. She focuses on education of residents and fellows in palliative medicine, as well as teaching clinical medicine at the medical school level. Her research interests are palliative care for patients with end-stage liver disease and the effect of communication education on moral distress in medical residents.
Physician EM, Faculty Geriatrics – Administration
Mentor: Nicholas Rattray, PhD
Dr. Kaehr is an assistant professor of clinical medicine in geriatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. She currently serves as associate medical director of the OPTIMISTIC project, for which she provides clinical support and education to APPs and RNs embedded in nursing homes. She is a certified medical director in post-acute and long-term care and enjoys quality improvement. She also provides outpatient dementia care via the Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation and has a passion for advance care planning in dementia care across all settings. As a clinician educator she mentors fellows (both geriatric internal medicine and geriatric psychiatry), internal medicine residents, and medical students. She completed her training at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and joined the faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2016.
Abhishek Khemka, MBA, MD
Mentor: Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD
Dr. Khemka is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He serves as a cardiologist with specific clinical and research interests in cardiooncology, cardiac imaging and structural heart disease. He completed medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine, followed by an internal medicine residency at Boston University. He returned to Indiana University for his general cardiovascular fellowship at the Krannert Institute of Cardiology. He is interested in cardiovascular outcomes in cancer patients. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids and reading.
Vinod Kumar, MBBS
Faculty, General Internal Medicine
Mentor: Thomas Imperiale, MD
Dr. Vinod Kumar, MD is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. He currently serves as a hospitalist at IU Health Methodist Hospital. He received his medical degree from Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan and then completed his Internal Medicine Residency at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. His primary interests include management of acute illness in inpatient settings with focus on GI pathology. He loves teaching nurse practitioners, medical residents and students. He enjoys reading and spending time with his family. He considers himself as a lifelong learner and wants to contribute to medical fraternity and well-being of the patients.