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Education and Community Service

Alicia Monroe with student
Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president of Academic and Faculty Affairs, talks with a student.

The Career Development Center focused on the professional growth of the next generation of leaders in healthcare and biosciences. The center offers robust programs and services specific to the needs of the student population, and creates strong partnerships with the faculty and College leadership to develop comprehensive career services.

With support from the BCM Fund, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program provided medical and graduate students the leadership skills and practical tools to address the social factors that affect health. Baylor participants in this national program work with mentors and community-based organizations to develop and run year-long service projects including health and hygiene care for homeless women, support groups for young adults with sickle cell disease, and cervical cancer prevention for teens.

Research

Dr. Xander Wehrens and his team in the Cardiovascular Research Institute aim to reduce suffering and mortality from cardiovascular disease by conducting cutting-edge research to improve day-to-day care for heart patients. They have developed a next-generation DNA sequencing test to diagnose genetic cardiovascular diseases that soon could be available commercially and models of heart disease that can provide insight into diagnosis, testing, and treatment.

Dr. Matthew Ellis, director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and a McNair Scholar, is applying genomic techniques to breast cancer tumor mutations to identify weaknesses that could be targets for new drug treatments. Clinical trials will show whether these therapies are effective in extending the lives of some patients whose breast cancer has re-occurred and is resistant to existing chemotherapy.

Patient Care

Immune cells (320x240)
credit: Andrew G. SikoraLabeled (green) immune cells are drawn towards a head and neck cancer spheroid after therapeutic radiation.

Dr. Andrew Sikora and his laboratory team relocated from New York City to Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, where he can continue his work of understanding the many ways cancer cells evade detection and eradication by the body’s immune system. This knowledge allows us to develop new therapeutic strategies that focus the immune system on destruction of cancer cells, to benefit patients in the Texas Medical Center and beyond.

Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy wants to make medical technologies and approaches more available in the developing world. At the Baylor Global Innovation Center she is creating mobile apps and low-cost, battery operated devices to diagnose and manage chronic diseases worldwide. Her emergency smart pods are portable medical units that can be deployed rapidly in a natural disaster or infectious disease outbreak like Ebola.