Grand Challenges Webinar Series

IU Grand Challenges webinars: 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.

Webinar 2: Preparing for Environmental Change — January 19, 2021, 3-4 p.m.

Ana Bento, assistant professor, IU School of Public Health-Bloomington

Ana Bento is an eco-epidemiologist who focuses on ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and an adjunct in the Evolution, Ecology and Behavior Program in the Department of Biology.

Rich Hardy, professor of biology, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington

Richard Hardy is a professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences whose primary research interest is the reaction of mosquito-transmitted viruses in the insect host.

Jennifer Lau, associate professor of biology, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington

Jennifer Lau's work combines community ecology with evolutionary ecology—often capitalizing on long-term experiments—to study how human-caused global changes influence the ecology and evolution of plants and the insects and microbes with which they interact.

Ranjan Muthukrishnan, Invasive Species Ecologist Fellow, Environmental Resilience Institute

As the invasive species ecologist fellow and a community ecologist, Ranjan Muthukrishnan is broadly interested in the causes and consequences of major transitions in ecological systems. He comes to the Environmental Resilience Institute following postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he studied the spread dynamics and impacts of both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.

Irene Newton, associate professor of biology, College of Arts and Sciences, IU Bloomington

Irene Garcia Newton is a microbiologist in the Department of Biology at IU Bloomington, where she conducts research on host-microbe interactions. She studies the intracellular symbiont Wolbachia and how this bacterium colonizes insects.

Webinar 1: Responding to the Addictions Crisis — December 17, 2020, 11 a.m. - noon

Matt Aalsma, professor of pediatrics, IU School of Medicine

Matthew C. Aalsma is also director of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Research Program at the IU School of Medicine. His current research includes exploring efforts to improve mental and physical health care for children and adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system.

Zack Adams, assistant professor of psychiatry, IU School of Medicine

Zachary Adams is an assistant professor of clinical psychology and licensed health service provider in the Department of Psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine. His clinical and research interests center on improving behavioral health care and promoting healthy outcomes for young people with co-occurring mental health and substance use problems, with a particular emphasis on youth and families impacted by trauma and adversity.

Gerardo Maupomé, associate dean for research, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

Gerardo Maupomé is a public health researcher with primary interests in dental health services research and oral epidemiology; clinical needs among patients at high risk of disease or subject to health and social disparities; and analysis of how dental professionals make clinical decisions. In addition to his positions as professor and associate dean at the Fairbanks School of Public Health, he is also an investigator with the Center for Urban Health in Indianapolis.

Tamika Zapolski, associate professor of clinical psychology at the Purdue School of Science at IUPUI

Tamika Zapolski focuses her research on risk for substance use and problems among African Americans, with the hope of understanding whether particular subgroups of African Americans are at heightened risk of engaging in problematic drinking behaviors and related problems. The ultimate goal is to develop interventions to mitigate this risk process across development.