Scientech Logo


...a club for people who never stop learning...

The Scientech Club provides a forum for weekly presentations and discussions in the fields of science and technology and other topics for the enlightenment of its membership.

Regular, one-hour Meetings are, with the exception of holidays, held every Monday at noon at The Northside Knights of Columbus, 2100 East 71st Street, Indianapolis. Club Members, as well as the general public, may attend our Regular Meetings for a nominal contribution to pay for the facility. For those who wish, a buffet lunch may be enjoyed before the meeting. Occasionally, instead of a presentation, members and their guests may take a tour to a place of interest, such as a plant or historical site.

The Scientech Club is associated with an outstanding local charitable Foundation, The Scientech Club Foundation, established by Scientech members to promote science education. Information about the foundation may be found under the heading Foundations above.

Club News ! !

Click on underlined items in blue for more information

At the January Board meeting, Trudy Doyle tendered her resignation as Club Secretary for personal reasons. The Board appointed John Rathman to fill this position for the rest of this year. John has been the Club Treasurer in the past. Our best of luck to Trudy and our thanks for your past service.

Congratulations to the new Officers and Directors and Committee members of the Club in 2016

Chris Edwards, Director of the Scientech Summer Institute, included a note of gratitude to Scientech in his book Connecting the Dots in World History, a Teacher's Literacy-Based Curriculum, published 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield. The book is a curriculum which Chris has developed for high school World History teachers. One of the goals of the Scientech Summer Institute is for each teacher/participant to develop a curriculum for the class the teacher will be teaching and which could be published to be used by other teachers in the field.

From the Acknowledgments page in Chris's book:

"I'd like to thank the Indianapolis-based Scientech Foundation for supporting many of my ideas for educational reform through their generous funding of the Scientech Summer Institute for math and science teachers."

Vol 93 No 6 - February 8, 2016

State of Pediatric Research Today

Presented By: Mervin C. Yoder, Jr., MD


Yoder, MD

Dr. Mervin Yoder, a 1980 graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, is Director of the Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University. The Wells Center has over 300 researchers and lab staff, including 30 principal investigators, 50 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, 20 research assistants, over 200 research technicians and staff, and administrative staff. Their objectives are: to increase knowledge about pediatric diseases, to develop new approaches for diagnosis and treatment, and to provide proper training.


Wells Center

The research groups of the Center include Molecular Oncology, Diabetes, Infectious Disease, Pulmonary/Asthma/Allergy, Hematologic Malignancies, Cardiovascular Development Biology and Cardiovascular Genetics. The Scientech Club Foundation has given nearly $36,000 to the Wells Center over the past four years. Dr. Yoder covered the advances in every one of these areas. It is too detailed for our purposes, so certain examples and principles will be given.

Pediatric disease in the past was mostly concerned with acute illnesses, especially infection. However, the rate of chronic disease has doubled in the past two decades. Most new drugs are not made for children. In cancer research, the five-year survival has risen from 10% to 90%. New medicines have been developed for relapsed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Neuroblastoma. A new discovery into non-surgical treatment for Type I Neurofibromatosis has been made.

Recent advancements have been made in personalized chemotherapy using genome-guided dosing to maximize efficiency and minimalize side effects. This allows a more specific treatment. In diabetes research, it is thought that one in three children will develop the disease in their lifetime. In one recent year, over 18,000 young people developed type 1 diabetes and over 5,000 developed type 2 diabetes. Collaborative studies are being done with IU and Purdue on diabetes. New molecular pathways are being identified that can alter or prevent type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

In global health, two million children die every year from pneumonia, diarrhea or malaria. AIDS affects 3.2 million children but death rates are down 1/3 in the past decade. Efforts are being made to decrease the brain damage from malaria. Asthma and allergic diseases are common and research is being done to try and understand the development of cells that promote allergic diseases.

Progress is being made in childhood malignancies, especially acute lymphocytic leukemia and others. Studies are being done to discover biomarkers of complications following hematopoietic cell transplantation. Significant research is progressing in congenital heart disease which affects 1 in 100 babies born each year. Work into regenerative growth of heart muscle in being done. Normally scar tissue develops where muscle has been injured in a heart attack. New muscle growth would be revolutionary. Efforts are also being made in blocking heart muscle damage.

This thrilling overview of research projects at the Wells Center demonstrates that important and outstanding research is being done at Riley Hospital. The Scientech Club Foundation is proud to have supported scholars at the Wells Center.

Notes by Bill Dick