From the Desk: Fred Cate discusses new IU Communications video series highlighting IU research

Indiana University Communications is kicking off a new video series to highlight the impact of IU research on Hoosiers.

We regularly hear about IU research making "breakthroughs" or earning million-dollar grants. But those words don't always drive home the ways in which research and creative activity happening all around IU benefits people beyond the university.

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IU plays a key role in the CARE Consortium, a $30 million project that represents the world's largest effort to understand and protect against concussion. Photo by Indiana University

Take concussion studies, for example. It's football season, and young people across our state and country are getting ready to hit, and possibly get hit, on the field. How do sports players and their families balance love of the game with the desire to reduce the risk of concussions?

One of a three-part series of IU Communications' new research videos focuses on how IU researchers have been answering that question. Over the last several years, IU has played a key role in the CARE Consortium, a $30 million project led by the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense that represents the world's largest effort to understand and protect against concussion. The project has already collected data from 30,000 male and female athletes and military cadets at over 30 universities and military academies.

In the new video, an IU athlete and parent reflect on what sports mean in their lives and discuss their concerns about concussion and their pride in contributing to a research project aimed at protecting fellow athletes from harm. The video also features the researchers who are leading this effort both at IU and at the NCAA.

Although these new videos focus on Hoosiers, each showcases how the impact of IU research transcends state borders, with the potential to help people across the globe.

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One of the "Medical Mutts," dogs who are trained to sniff out cancer. Photo by Indiana University

Another video in the series addresses prostate cancer and an IU project to create a new, non-invasive method to screen men for prostate cancer -- by replicating the cancer-sniffing power of the canine nose.

The video introduces viewers to a military veteran with prostate cancer and his doctor, who reflect on the need for better screening methods, as well as the people behind the scenes who care for the "Medical Mutts" trained to sniff out cancer and the lab technicians laboring to create a machine capable of detecting cancer with equal accuracy.

In the third video of the series, we share the story of young campers attending an Indiana summer camp operated by the American Diabetes Association for children with the disease. The campers and their parents talk about what it means for them to spend a special week each year with others who are struggling with the same issues.

IU professor Linda DiMeglio, who is the medical director of the camp, discusses the camp's connection with her work as director of the IU TrialNet Center, which aims to understand Type 1 diabetes in order to better treat and slow the progression of the disease in children.

I hope you'll join me in thanking IU Communications for developing these new videos. You can access them at changinglives.iu.edu. As you watch them, I hope you'll take a moment to appreciate the important role that IU research -- and IU researchers -- play not only in advancing the mission of the university but also in improving the lives of fellow Hoosiers as well as citizens of the world.

Fred H. Cate is IU Vice President for Research, Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law in the Maurer School of Law.