BCM Family NewsLink, May 6, 2011

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Awards and Recognitions

Wu recognized for ophthalmology research

Dr. Samuel M. WuDr. Samuel M. Wu, professor of ophthalmology, is a recipient of a 2011 Alcon Research Institute award. He was honored at the April 30 Alcon reception at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The award recognizes Wu for his outstanding contributions to ophthalmic research. In addition to being honored at the symposium, Wu has received an unrestricted research grant and is now a member of the Alcon Research Institute. The institute supports research in eye health and seeks to expand the frontiers of vision sciences globally.

Aagaard honored by Houston Woman Magazine

Dr. Kjersti AagaardDr. Kjersti Aagaard, assistant professor of obstetrics-gynecology, received the 2011 "Maximum Mom" award from Houston Woman Magazine. The award is presented to a woman who has been an extraordinary mother to her children in providing a strong moral character and role model. Aagaard will be presented with the award at a luncheon May 24 and will be featured in the June issue of Houston Woman Magazine.

For more information or to attend the luncheon visit Networked Blogs.

Parsley named Health Care Hero

Dr. Brian Parsley, associate professor of orthopedic surgery, was named a finalist in the Houston Business Journal's Health Care Heroes awards. He was recognized in the category of service philanthropy (individual).

Parsley and other finalists will be recognized at the Health Care for Heroes luncheon Wednesday, May 18, at the Wortham Theater in downtown Houston. Dr. Richard Wainerdi, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, will be the keynote speaker at the lunch.

Five students named to next class of Schweitzer Fellows

John LinElizabeth Rossman BeelMinal ShahDennis ShungShirali Patel

BCM medical students John Lin, Dennis Shung, Shirali Patel, Minal Shah, and Elizabeth Rossman Beel, have been selected for the 2011-12 class of Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows.

The fellows will spend the next year addressing health needs through the Houston-Galveston area while developing lifelong leadership skills.

Lin and Shung will create a student-run volunteer program that complements and supports the work of HIV/AIDS workers in educating newly diagnosed patients and linking them to care at Thomas Street Clinic and Ben Taub Emergency Clinic

Patel and Shah will implement a mental health education initiative that aims to improve help-seeking behavior and reduce the stigma associated with adolescent depression in Houston's South Asian community at a site to be determined.

Beel will work to increase vaccination for pertussis among family members and caregivers of newborns through direct educational interventions at Ben Taub General Hospital.


Renowned cancer researcher to speak at Helis foundations lecture series May 17

Dr. Charles L. SawyersDr. Charles L. Sawyers, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and chairman of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will be the speaker at this year's Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundations joint lecture series.

Entitled "Overcoming Cancer Drug Resistance," the lecture will be held in Cullen Auditorium Tuesday, May 17, at 3:30 p.m. Following the lecture, a reception honoring Dr. Sawyers and the Helis foundations project recipients and funded employees will be held in the BCM courtyard.

The Helis foundations fund a variety of research projects at BCM, including prevention and population sciences, lung cancer, systems chemical biology screening, translational and functional genomics and Parkinson's disease.

For more information, contact Jennifer Hopkins at 713-798-4590 or jh3@bcm.edu.

College News

Beaudet recognized at reception

Dr. Arthur BeaudetDr. Arthur Beaudet, chair of molecular and human genetics, was recognized at reception by Dr. Paul Klotman, BCM president and CEO, and other members of the college for his election to the National Academy of Sciences. The champagne and cake reception was held May 3 in the Alkek Lobby and was open to the college.

Beaudet is only the fifth faculty member at BCM to be elected to the academy. His research focuses on the role of epigenetics in human disease with an emphasis on diseases associated with mental retardation and autism.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Faculty in the News

BCM faculty members are regularly featured or cited in news and media outlets. Check out this week's faculty in the news.