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IU Grand Challenges

In October 2017, Indiana University (IU) President Michael A. McRobbie announced the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, in partnership with Governor Eric J. Holcomb, IU Health, and Eskenazi Health. This initiative is part of IU’s Grand Challenges Program, which aims to marshal the university’s research strengths with partners across the state to address some of the most critical issues facing Indiana and the world and affirms the university’s mission as a partner to Hoosier communities.


The Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge is IU’s commitment to prevent and reduce substance use disorder in Indiana and beyond. Alongside community partners, the initiative was created to combat this crisis with 32 interdisciplinary research projects and community partnerships throughout the state. The initiative has the following focus areas: (1) education, training, and certification; (2) data science and analysis; (3) policy analysis, economics, and law; (4) basic, applied, and translational research; and (5) community engagement and workforce development. Activity is centered around three primary priorities for the state of Indiana: (1) to reduce the incidence of substance use disorder; (2) to decrease the number of overdose fatalities; and (3) to reduce the number of babies exposed to substances in utero.


Leveraging the strengths of IU’s seven campuses, and in partnership with more than 100 partner organizations, this statewide initiative is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive state-based responses to the substance use disorder crisis and the largest led by a university. The interdisciplinary team of researchers participating in this multifaceted effort is led by IU School of Nursing Dean Robin Newhouse.

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