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NewsLink, Oct. 16, 2020
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Awards and Recognitions

Bershad earns space medicine grant

Dr. Eric BershadDr. Eric Bershad, associate professor of neurology and the Center for Space Medicine, was awarded a grant from NASA's Human Research Program for his project "The long-term consequences of spaceflight on brain and eye health." The Human Research Program addresses the practical problems of spaceflight that impact astronaut health, and its research may provide knowledge and technologies that could improve human health and performance during space exploration and aid the development of potential countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel.

Botas publishes new book on viruses

Dr. Juan BotasDr. Juan Botas, professor of molecular and human genetics, has published a new book, "Virus. The Billion Years War. Why humans are easy prey to pandemics." Written for a lay audience and published in Spanish by ESPASA (2020) with co-author Juan José Gómez Cadenas, it explains what viruses are and how they work. Although it dedicates special attention to SARS-CoV-2, it also shows that this new 'offender' is just the last one in a long list of criminals that has hounded humanity throughout history. To win the battle against pandemics it is necessary not only to better understand these dangerous enemies, but also to learn from our mistakes and plan for the future. The book is available online.

Schneider honored for work in resource-poor settings

Dr. Nicole SchneiderDr. Nicole Schneider, pediatric psychologist in the Department of Pediatrics, received the 2020 Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Paediatric Oncology. She is presenting her study, Pediatric Oncology and Psychosocial Care in Low and Middle Income Settings, this week at the society's pediatric oncology congress. Schneider serves as co-chair of the SIOP Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries Psychosocial Task Force and has been working with collaborators in El Salvador on this research.

Alzheimer's Center part of major brain health study

Dr. Valory PavlikDr. Melissa YuThe Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center in the Department of Neurology has been selected as one of five sites for the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER). The trial will evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that target multiple risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults at increased risk for cognitive decline. Dr. Valory Pavlik and Dr. Melissa Yu will serve as co-principal investigators of the four-year study at Baylor, and the Kelsey Research Foundation and the southeast chapter of the Alzheimer's Association will serve as partners to implement the intervention. Clinicians interested in referring patients to the trial can call 713-798-5452 for more information.

CVRI Pilot Award winners

Dr. Peggy GoodellDr. Na LiDr. Barbara Trautner

Baylor's Cardiovascular Research Institute has announced the recipients of its FY2021 Pilot Awards. Each recipient is awarded $15,000 to support their multi-PI collaborative study in the area of clinical, basic or translational cardiovascular research.

  • Dr. Margaret Goodell, chair and professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, "DNMT3A in Heart Development and Clonal Hemapoiesis-mediated Atherosclerosis"
  • Dr. Na Li, assistant professor , Department of Medicine – Cardiovascular Sciences, "Mechanisms of Lamin A/C-mediated Cardiac Conduction Disorders"
  • Dr. Barbara Trautner, professor, Department of Medicine – Health Services Research and Department of Surgery, "Bacteriophage Therapy for Drive Line Infections of Ventricular Assist Devices"


Sock Drive at Morrison Cafe

Morrison Café on the main Baylor campus hosts 'Socktober,' a donation drive benefiting Star of Hope, through the end of month. Drop off new socks for men, women and children in the marked bin in the cafeteria!

Wellness Webinar: Young Adults & Cancer

"Need to Know: Young Adults & Cancer," a wellness webinar presented by the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, is Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. Join the Zoom webinar featuring Baylor's Dr. Kent Osborne, Dr. Joseph Petrosino and Dr. Jihye Yun.

Cyber Security Month: Protecting your home work environment

Cyber Security Month continues with "If You Connect IT, Protect IT," Oct. 21, at noon. In this session one of the Office of Information Technology's implementation partners, Accudata, will provide tips and recommendations on securing your home computing environment to facilitate remote working and learning. Register to attend; BCM BeWell points available.

CVRI seminar series continues

Dr. Huaizhu Wu, associate professor of medicine, presents, "Metabolic Inflammation in Obesity: Friend or Foe," part of the Cardiovascular Research Institute Seminar Series, Wednesday, Oct. 21, at noon. Open to all via Zoom.

Bioethics Grand Rounds: 'What Counts as a Disease'

Bioethics Grand Rounds, sponsored by Baylor's Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Houston Methodist, will address "What Counts as a Disease, and Why Does it Matter?" featuring Dr. Quill R. Kukla, professor of philosophy and disability studies, Georgetown University, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 5 – 6 p.m., by Zoom. To register, dial 713-798-9666; Event ID 996 1006 4920.

Celebrating innovation in thyroid treatment

The celebration of innovation at Baylor and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center continues with a Zoom event on Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. marking Dr. Raymon Grogan's 100th scarless thyroid/parathyroid removal procedure. Read more about this procedure. CME credit available for this event; register online.

Insights from BCM space medicine experts

Join USA Today's live storytelling event, Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m., where Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Dr. David Hilmers and Dr. Emmanuel Urquieta, all with Baylor's Transitional Research Institute for Space Health and Center for Space Medicine, will share insights on how astronauts work to be resilient against loneliness, with the help of researchers and scientists, and what everyday Americans can learn from them. The event will be streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube.

See data in action at first-ever BCM Datathon

The College's first Datathon will be held virtually this month to build an understanding of the data that is available across BCM and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center for use in clinical practice and research. Final projects submitted by Baylor clinical and research faculty will be presented Oct. 22, 2 – 5 p.m. Find details on presenters and Zoom info on the BCM intranet.

Applications open for QI & patient safety course

Baylor's Institute for Continuing Professional Development in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (I-QIPS) is now accepting applications for its spring 2021 course "Leading Healthcare Improvement – Advanced-Level QI Leadership Training Course." Apply by Nov. 1. Learn more, and email CCIT-mgmt@bcm.edu with questions.

College News

Applications open for health disparities research funding

The Maternal and Infant Environmental Health Riskscape (MIEHR) Research Center, a P50 Center of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research, announces the availability of funds to support pilot studies focused on environmental health disparities. These pilot studies are available to all BCM postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows or junior faculty from health disparities populations. A letter of intent should be sent to MIEHR-IDC@bcm.edu no later than 5 p.m. on Oct. 21 – see full guidelines. The MIEHR IDC sub-Committee will evaluate LOIs and invite full applications by email on Oct. 29.

Relationship violence awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Baylor is showing support by lighting the main Baylor building purple the week of Oct. 19 – 23 to acknowledge the more than 100 Texans who lose their lives to relationship violence each year. Learn what you can do to help on Baylor's intimate partner violence page, the Houston Area Women's Center and the Texas Council on Family Violence.

HR news: Open Enrollment ends Monday

The 2021 Benefits Open Enrollment periods ends Monday, Oct. 19, at 11:59 p.m. There is still time to learn about next year's benefits options by attending the virtual open enrollment Zoom meeting on Monday, Oct. 19, at 8 a.m. You can also still access virtual benefits fair resources. Complete your open enrollment in Employee Self-Service. Questions? Email ask-insurance@bcm.edu.

Volunteer opportunity – school screener

Baylor's three affiliated schools in Houston, DeBakey High School and Ryan and Rusk middle schools, are in need of volunteers to conduct COVID-19 screening for students arriving to school each morning starting Oct. 19. Volunteer shifts are about two hours, and eligible BCM staff members may use paid Volunteer Time Off for this activity. Interested? Email Maria Lopez, and register with HISD's Volunteers in Public Schools program.

Faculty in the News

Dr. Alastair Thompson was interviewed on Fox26 Houston about using artificial intelligence to treat breast cancer. Check out this and all of Baylor's news media mentions, including extensive COVID-19 coverage, in this week's Faculty in the News, and follow BCMHouston_News on Twitter to keep up with our experts in the media. Interested in science news? Read the latest in From the Labs.

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