About the Program

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Tacos with Teachers

The Center for Professionalism and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity have initiated a new activity at the College. The goal of the Tacos with Teachers is for selected Baylor teachers to give inspirational talks about how they have found meaning in their careers, what keeps them motivated, maintaining connection and joy in their work, and their career paths. These breakfast sessions are intended to be informal and to encourage an open discussion among the participants and the teacher. Each session has a limited number of seats-please RSVP to institutionaldiversity@bcm.edu or ProfessionalismMatters@bcm.edu to reserve your seat. 

Oct. 8, 2019 from 7:30-8:30 a.m. | Dr. John Coverdale

John Coverdale, M.D., M.Ed., is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences & Medical Ethics and Health Policy. Dr. Coverdale’s primary teaching occurs at the bedside in Houston’s public hospital, where he routinely hosts residents and medical students. Learners witness firsthand how he models patience, humility, and respect for severely ill psychiatric patients. He has won multiple teaching awards at Baylor, including the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Robert J Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award and the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award for the Clinical Sciences.

Past Sessions

Sept. 10 | Dr. Tamara Ortiz-Perez

Tamara Ortiz-Perez, M.D. associate professor of Radiology received her Doctor of Medicine degree at University Of Puerto Rico School Of Medicine and completed her residency and fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. Her professional interests include breast cancer screening and detection, patient-centered and multidisciplinary care, community outreach, and education. Dr. Ortiz-Perez also serves as a Faculty Senator, Inclusion and Excellence Council member, and Faculty Inclusion Ambassador for her department.

Aug. 13, 2019 | Dr. James W. Lomax

James W. Lomax, M.D. professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis received his Doctor of Medicine degree and completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Lomax is a psychoanalyst whose clinical effort involves psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic treatment of individuals with anxiety, mood, and personality disorders, as well as those with complicated grief, traumatic loss, and other adjustment reactions. He is interested in the interface between psychiatry (from a psychoanalytic perspective), religion, and spirituality.

June 19, 2019 | Dr. Patrice A. Harris

Patrice A. Harris, M.D., MA, was elected president–elect of the American Medical Association in June 2018. A psychiatrist from Atlanta, Dr. Harris has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, public health administrator, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist. She has served on the board of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and was an APA delegate to the AMA. She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

May 14, 2019 | Dr. Alison Bertuch

Alison Ann Bertuch, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, and Program in Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences & assistant dean for curriculum in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences received her Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Rochester. She completed residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. She serves as director of the Bone Marrow Failure Program at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Bertuch’s clinical interests include oncology, osteosarcoma, and bone marrow failure disorders. Her professional interest lie in basic mechanisms of telomere maintenance, structure, and function and DNA repair in the yeast model organism and human cells.

April 16, 2019 | Dr. Antonie Rice

Antonie Rice, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics, assistant dean of Education and Student Affairs for the National School of Tropical Medicine, and director of training in the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity received both his Masters of Science degree and Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Kansas.  Dr. Rice was previously associate dean of School of Arts and Sciences, as well as department chair of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).  He has research interest in the areas of drug delivery, anticancer drug development, and Alzheimer’s disease research.

Feb. 12, 2019 | Dr. David Wesson

David Wesson, M.D., a professor of surgery and pediatrics and associate surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital, completed his medical degree and pediatric surgery residency at the University of Toronto/The Hospital for Sick Children, followed by a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Wesson has specialized expertise in the treatment of pediatric gastrointestinal disorders, especially inflammatory bowel disease. He has research interests in both the prevention of pediatric injury in the public health context and clinical treatment of childhood trauma. Dr. Wesson is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in Surgery and Pediatric Surgery. 

Nov. 13, 2018 | Dr. Timothy Porea

Timothy Porea, M.D., MPH is an associate professor of pediatrics and clinical director of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. He is also a retired medical doctor (Captain) from the United States Navy and advisor for Baylor medical students in the military. Dr. Porea graduated from Baylor with his medical degree and completed his residency at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Calif., followed by his fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Baylor. Dr. Porea is a board certified physician-specialist in pediatric hematology/oncology and a member of the American Board of Pediatrics.

Oct. 16, 2018 | Dr. Susan Blaney

Susan Blaney, M.D. is a professor of pediatrics, director of Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers, executive vice chair of the department of pediatrics, and section chief of hematology/oncology. She is a board-certified pediatric oncologist whose career has focused on the development of new agents and therapeutic strategies for children with recurrent or refractory cancer, particularly for those with malignancies of the central nervous system. Dr. Blaney has extensive experience in clinical translational research and previously served as the principal investigator of the Children’s Oncology Phase 1 and Pilot Consortium, as well as one of the founding members of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. She has served as a mentor to many pediatric medical students, residents, fellows and faculty who are current or developing leaders in the field of pediatric oncology. 

Sept. 18, 2018 | Dr. Kjersti Aagaard

Kjersti Aagaard, M.D., Ph.D. is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and vice chair of research. She specializes in the field of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and has specialty clinical interests in preterm birth, stillbirth, maternal obesity and cardiac disorders, ultrasound diagnosis and testing for fetal anomalies and genetic disorders, and management of pregnancies complicated by infections. Dr. Aagaard’s research interests include both basic science investigations and translation into clinical research. She is internationally recognized for her work on maternal obesity and nutrition, genomics, the microbiome and prevention of preterm birth. Dr. Aagaard completed medical school and residency at the University of Minnesota Medical School and her Ph.D. at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

May 8, 2018 | Dr. Melissa Bondy

Melissa L. Bondy, Ph.D., M.S. is a professor of epidemiology and population sciences in the Department of Medicine. Her research focus is in genetic and molecular epidemiology and is at the forefront of developing innovative ways to assess the roles of heredity and genetic susceptibility in the etiology of cancer. Dr. Bondy is a McNair scholar and associate director of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Texas at Austin and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Texas School of Public Health. Dr. Bondy also serves as the 2017-2018 chairperson of the American Association for Cancer Research's Molecular Epidemiology Working Group.  

April 10, 2018 | Dr. Olutoyin Olutoye

Olutoyin A. Olutoye, M.B.,Ch.B., M.Sc., is a professor of pediatric anesthesiology in the Department of Pediatrics. Her major areas of research are maternal-fetal anesthesia, the effect of drugs on the fetus and the fetal brain during maternal-fetal surgery, and the effect of pediatric obesity on the efficacy of anesthesia drugs. Dr. Olutoye currently serves as a faculty senator, member of the Inclusion and Excellence Council, and division chief of general anesthesiology at Texas Children's Hospital. 

March 20, 2018 | Dr. Pedro Piedra

Pedro Piedra, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Virology and Microbiology. His major area of research is to reduce respiratory virus illness burden in infants, children, and the community through successful vaccination programs. Dr. Piedra's research focuses on influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus viruses and the recently described human metapneumovirus. Dr. Piedra and his colleagues (at the Influenza Research Center) have been investigating candidate and license influenza vaccines for the prevention of disease and control of epidemic influenza

Feb. 20, 2018 | Dr. Robert McLaughlin

Robert J. McLaughlin, Ph.D., serves as the dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. McLaughlin earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and completed his internship in clinical psychology at Baylor College of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in 1975. Dr. Robert McLaughlin was recently selected as president-elect of the Texas Society for Allied Health Professions. He is the past president of the Harris County Child Abuse Task Force, the Houston Psychological Association, and the Texas Psychological Foundation. 

Jan. 9, 2018 | Dr. John Goss

Dr. John A. Goss is a professor in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor, and surgical director of the Liver Transplant Program and associate chief of the Transplant Service at St. Luke’s Medical Center. Dr. Goss also serves as the chief of the Division of Abdominal Transplantation at Baylor and the director of the liver transplant programs at Texas Children’s Hospital and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Administration Medical Center in Houston. In the summer of 2013, Dr. Goss was appointed the John L. Hern Foundation endowed chair in Transplant Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital.

Nov. 14, 2017 | Dr. Laura A. Petersen

Dr. Laura Petersen is a professor in medicine and chief of the health services research section at Baylor College of Medicine. She is also the director of the Center for Innovations In Quality, Effectiveness and Safety. Her professional interests include the assessment of the influence of financing of health care services (structure) upon the quality (process and outcome) of health care, development of state-of-the-art methods for assessing the quality of health care for cardiovascular disease, and implementing best evidence into best clinical practice. She graduated from Case Western University School of Medicine and completed residency in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Petersen also completed a faculty development fellowship and Master of Public Health degree at Harvard.

Sept. 19, 2017 | Dr. Fred Milton Sutton Jr.

Dr. Fred Sutton is an associate professor in medicine-gastroenterology at Baylor. Dr. Sutton sees patients at the Ben Taub Gastroenterology Clinic. His professional interests focus on the quality of care in gastroenterology, management of GI bleeding and functional bowel disorders. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed Advanced Training with Affiliate Hospitals from Baylor in 1979 and 1982. 

Aug. 8, 2017 | Dr. James R. Walker

Dr. James Walker is an associate professor of anesthesiology and allied health sciences and director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (Nurse Anesthesia) program at Baylor. He is also a certified registered nurse anesthetist with Harris Health System's Ben Taub Hospital and a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Walker earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from Baylor College of Medicine and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Texas Christian University. 

June 20, 2017 | Dr. Sharon Plon

Dr. Sharon Plon is a professor of molecular and human genetics and pediatrics and director of the Medical Scientist Training Program. She received her Ph.D. and M.D. from Harvard University and completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowships in medical and cancer genetics at the University of Washington. Dr. Plon is director of Baylor Cancer Genetics Clinics and Neurofibromatosis Clinic. Her research focuses on the genetic basis of inherited susceptibility to cancer. She has clinical interests in cancer genetics syndromes, breast ovarian cancer susceptibility, von Hippel Lindau syndrome, neurofibromatosis, and retinoblastoma and familial adenomatous polyposis.

May 9, 2017 | Dr. Jesus Vallejo

Dr. Jesus Vallejo is a professor of pediatrics in the section of infectious disease and assistant dean of admissions in the School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed a residency in general pediatrics and an infectious disease fellowship at Baylor. Dr. Vallejo is co-director of the Clinical Scientist Training Program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the medical director of International Patient Services at Texas Children's Hospital. He provides care for infants, children and adolescents with a variety of infectious diseases and teaches the full spectrum of learners from medical students to fellows as well as peers. He has a clinical interest in sepsis, viral myocarditis and left ventricular assist device-related infections.

April 18, 2017 | Dr. Biykem Bozkurt

Dr. Biykem Bozkurt is a professor of medicine in the section of cardiology. She received her medical degree from Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine and completed residency in internal medicine and a cardiology fellowship at Baylor. Dr. Bozkurt an advanced heart failure and cardiac transplantation specialist, with active participation in clinical practice, research and education. She serves as the director of the Winters Center for Heart Failure and Associate Director of Cardiovascular Research as well as the Cardiology Chief at the DeBakey VA Medical Center. 

March 21, 2017 | Dr. Cynthia Peacock

Dr. Cynthia Peacock is an associate professor of medicine in the transition medicine section. She began her healthcare career as a RN-BSN and later completed a medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Peacock completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at Baylor. Dr. Peacock has held numerous academic positions, including residency program director, and is currently Transition Medicine Clinic Director at Baylor Clinic. Dr. Peacock is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is a Certified Aviation Medical Examiner.

Feb. 14, 2017 | Dr. Janet Butel

Dr. Cynthia Butel served as the inaugural guest teacher for Tacos with Teachers Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Dr. Butel is a distinguished service professor and recently retired as chair of the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology. She completed both her Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor. Her area of expertise is on polyomavirus pathogenesis of infections and disease.