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Sledge's exit will keep IU program mostly intact

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The departure of Dr. George Sledge likely will sap the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center's breast cancer research program of about $500,000 in annual funding.

But the program that Sledge built over the past three decades mostly will remain intact even after he leaves in January to become director of the Division of Oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Sledge said he will maintain his laboratory at IU until late 2013, to avoid disrupting the progress of his two researchers. But after that time, he will likely move his lab and its roughly $500,000 in annual grant funding to Stanford.

Sledge said he plans to ask his researchers to join him, but does not yet know if they will make the move to California.

The IU breast cancer research program has 35 researchers and $9 million in annual funding. Sledge started the program when he joined the IU School of Medicine in 1983.

The team there has participated in clinical trials of some breakthrough drugs to treat breast cancer, including Taxol and Herceptin.

But it was the strong genomics program at Stanford—as well as the possibility of working with nearby biotech companies in Silicon Valley—that prompted Sledge to go west.

“Stanford offers me some opportunities that I wouldn’t have at IU,” said Sledge, emphasizing that he is not leaving because of any problem at IU. “It’s in the mecca for information technology. You’re surrounded by Silicon Valley. It’s got a cutting-edge genomics group. It’s got much of the world’s best biotech companies within 15-20 miles, which I drool over like a kid in a candy shop.”

Replacing Sledge as co-directors of the breast cancer research program are Dr. Kathy Miller, a longtime breast cancer researcher, and Harikrishna Nakshatri, a professor of surgery and of biochemistry and molecular biology at the IU School of Medicine.

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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