Grand Challenges Virtual Roundtable Series

IU Grand Challenges: Progress and Impact

Grand Challenges are major large-scale problems facing humanity that can be solved only by teams of dedicated researchers working across disciplines in collaboration with community partners. IU has three Grand Challenges initiatives in progress: Precision Health, Prepared for Environmental Change, and Responding to the Addictions Crisis.

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to host a series of virtual roundtables to share progress and stories of impact from the innovative research empowered by IU's Grand Challenges program. Roundtable discussions will feature Grand Challenge researchers and partners, and offer participants the chance to engage via live Q&A.

Looking for previous roundtable recordings? Find them in the archive.

Registration closed

Registration for Prepared for Environmental Change: The social dimensions of climate change is now closed.

Prepared for Environmental Change: The social dimensions of climate change, Nov. 29, 1 p.m.

Elizabeth Grennan Browning, Environmental Resilience Institute, IU Bloomington

Browning is a U.S. historian focused on how people in the Midwest have thought about and engaged with environmental issues since the nation’s founding. She recently led the creation of Hoosier Lifelines, an artistic and historical exhibition that follows the historic Monon railroad, using the abandoned route to explore Indiana’s changing landscape and the possibilities for ecological, economic, and social renewal.

Matthew Houser, University of Maryland

Houser is an environmental sociologist and regenerative agriculture fellow at the University of Maryland. He conducts interdisciplinary research to inform policy and engagement strategies focused on the resilience of managed ecosystems and human communities. While a research fellow with the Environmental Resilience Institute, Houser co-led the Hoosier Life Survey, one of the most comprehensive environmental public-opinion surveys ever conducted in Indiana.

Nathaniel Geiger, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington

Geiger is an assistant professor of communication science. He conducts experimental and survey research in lab, field, and online settings to examine how people become motivated and empowered to take action on climate change and other environmental issues. He is particularly interested in understanding how engagement with topics such as climate change can be influenced by interpersonal relationships and perceptions of other groups in society.


Jason Kelly, School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI

Kelly is a professor of British history and the director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, which identifies and fosters transdisciplinary research collaborations and organizes research workshops. He leads The Anthropocene Household, a community-based research project that uses the household as a way to understand the lived experiences, knowledge, and practices associated with environmental change.

Eric Sandweiss, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington

Sandweiss is Thomas and Kathryn Miller Professor of History. He has played an active role in the Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge since its founding, connecting environmental scientists to other scholars in the humanities and social sciences. He co-led the Hoosier Life Survey, which yielded Indiana-specific insights on public attitudes toward environmental change, personal values, trust in news media, and attitudes toward a variety of risks.

Precision Health Initiative: Multiple Myeloma Roundtable, Oct. 25, 3 p.m.

Rafat Abonour, M.D., Harry and Edith Gladstein Professor of Cancer Research

Abonour joined the IU School of Medicine in 1995, where he is also professor of medicine, professor of pathology & laboratory medicine, and director of Multiple Myeloma, Waldenstrom's Disease and Amyloidosis Program. As leader of the multiple myeloma program, he has practiced research using IMID's and proteasome inhibitors. With the help of the IU Grand Challenges program, Abonour and his team have created infrastructure to support research aimed at preventing myeloma and improving the treatment of those suffering from the disease, especially those with high-risk disease where both remission and survival are short. He is also active with the international Myeloma Foundation and the American Society of Hematology (ASH). His work with ASH is focused on developing a larger set of patient data to help understand the natural course of myeloma. Abonour's work has been published in Nature Medicine and New England Journal of Medicine, among others.

Dorothy Frapwell, multiple myeloma patient

Frapwell joined the IU legal staff in 1975 as an associate university counsel. For a dozen years, beginning in 1978, she served as the IU Medical Center attorney, advising doctors and administrators on matters of patient care, ethics, hospital law and medical education. In 1990, she was named special counsel to the president and associate university counsel. In 1994, she was named university counsel, heading an office that includes six associate attorneys in Bloomington, Ind., and Indianapolis. She was appointed vice president and general counsel in 2006. Throughout the course of her career, Frapwell advised the trustees of IU, four university presidents and other senior IU administrators. She retired from IU in 2012. Frapwell holds a B.S. degree from Penn State University and a J.D. from the IU Maurer School of Law. She served on the Maurer School's board of visitors for 16 years and as a member of the law alumni board, culminating in a term as president in 1993. She was inducted into the Maurer School of Law's Academy of Law Alumni Fellows and has received the IU President Medal for Excellence.