Indiana University's three Grand Challenge initiatives are making a real and lasting difference in Indiana and beyond. What follows are a few of the important strides made by harnessing the combined forces of IU Grand Challenges teams and our partners in businesses, local and state government, other universities, and community organizations.
Precision Health Initiative
Pursuing the goal of getting the right treatment for the right patient at the right time, the Precision Health Initiative, led by Dr. Anantha Shekhar, is targeting five disease areas: Alzheimer's disease; multiple myeloma, a blood cancer; pediatric sarcomas, which is a childhood cancer characterized by tumors in nerves, muscles or bones; Type 2 diabetes; and triple negative breast cancer.
Since 2016, Precision Health Initiative teams have worked tirelessly to achieve the initiative's stated goals and with remarkable success, such as the creation of Precision Genomics Clinics in Indianapolis and in rural Indiana communities. This means, for the first time, Hoosiers no longer have to leave the state to access individually tailored treatments based on their DNA.
Working with IU Health, the Precision Health Initiative also brought the first CAR T-cell therapy to adult cancer patients in Indiana. IU Health is the only approved site in Indiana to administer these FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies, which are widely considered to be a cure for certain types of leukemia and known for improved remission rates in certain lymphomas.