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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. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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