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News for BCM Faculty, Jan. 9, 2020
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From the Labs: January’s Image of the Month shows the location of Schizo, a protein involved in neural development, in the fruit fly embryo. Specific staining reveals that Schizo localizes in both glia (red dots) and neurons (light blue). Image courtesy of The American Journal of Human Genetics and the lab of Dr. Hugo Bellen.

Introducing the Well-Being Index: Baylor College of Medicine has partnered with MedEd Solutions to offer the Well-Being Index (WBI) to faculty members as part of its ongoing wellness initiatives. The WBI is a brief nine-question, validated, online self-assessment that provides immediate individualized feedback, tools and national/local resources to support well-being. Users’ individual data is 100% anonymous and will never be shared with anyone, including institutional or departmental leaders, administrators or colleagues. Any valid email address may be used to create and access the account and the email address will not be tied to the user’s WBI score. The College will use the anonymous aggregated data to make informed decisions regarding resources and to promote well-being as an integral part of the institutional culture. Safeguards are in place to preserve anonymity for smaller departments and programs. Please send any questions to the Office of the Provost. To sign up, visit the Well-Being Index website and use one of the following invitation codes:

  • Physician faculty: BCM PHYSICIAN
  • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty: BCM GSBS
  • School of Health Professions, advanced practice providers and other clinical faculty: BCM SOHP

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor, March of Dimes Chair in Developmental Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has been elected the 2020 vice president and 2021 president of the Genetics Society of America. The GSA serves an international community of scientists who use genetics to make new discoveries and improve lives.

Elizabeth Elliott, PA-C, associate professor in the School of Health Professions, is this week’s featured senator. Read about her commitment to education and her service on the Faculty Senate on the faculty intranet portal.

Dr. Monica Gramatges, associate professor of pediatrics - oncology and research co-director of the long-term survivor program at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers, will give a National Cancer Institute webinar on "Canaries in the Coal Mine: What We Can Learn about Aging from Survivors of Childhood Cancer," at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14. You can register and find more information online.

Dr. Aanand Naik, associate professor of medicine, has been named section chief of the newly renamed Section of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Medicine. He has served as acting chief since November 2018. Naik is a leader in research, education and clinical practice with a focus on enhancing training across the College and its affiliates.

Dr. Ourania Preventza, professor of surgery, was appointed co-chair of the 2020 Southern Thoracic Surgical Association Program Committee, along with Dr. Harold Burkhart of University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The committee is responsible for planning the scientific education content of the STSA annual meeting in November.

Dr. Hardeep Singh, professor of medicine – health services research, received funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for his project to use electronic health record data to quantify how promptly clinicians recognize and act on concerning symptoms or test results that may indicate an undiagnosed cancer. His project is in collaboration with the University College London, the University of Exeter and Geisinger.

Dr. Andrea Stolar, professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences and assistant dean of student affairs, has been invited to serve on the ACGME Forensic Psychiatry Milestone Work Group for the review and revision of the current milestones. This group will develop milestones in the areas of interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice and professionalism to be used by all forensic psychiatry graduate medical education programs.

College Events

DocTalk: "New Year, New You" is the topic of a talk by Dr. Marc Feldman and Dr. Lizabeth Riley of the Baylor Medicine Concierge Medicine Clinic at noon Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

Evenings with Genetics: Dr. Claudia Soler-Alfonso, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, and Dr. Stephanie Sisley, assistant professor of pediatrics – nutrition, discuss the diagnosis and medical management of genetic orders of obesity at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Register online to attend this free public event.

McDougle Reception: The Student National Medical Association, Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and Houston Medical Forum host a reception for Dr. Leon McDougle, president-elect of the National Medical Association, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, in the DeBakey Library & Museum, main Baylor. McDougle is the chief diversity officer and associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. RSVP by Friday, Jan. 10, to attend.

Faculty Resources

SMART Program: Are you interested in mentoring an undergraduate student in your lab this summer? The SMART (summer undergraduate research training) program provides frontier-level summer research experiences for undergraduates from around the nation in a supportive and rigorous environment with supplemental educational activities. To participate, please complete a SMART Mentor Commitment Form before Saturday, Jan. 11.

Postdoc Recruitment: Senior Ph.D. candidates in biomedical sciences have until Wednesday, Jan. 15, to apply for all-expense paid trip to the College in April for three days of lab tours and faculty meetings through the Postdoctoral Research Opportunities in Science (PROS) recruitment program. Faculty members seeking postdoctoral fellows who are U.S. citizens may contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to participate in PROS.

Insurance Update: The College is aware of the current negotiations between UnitedHealthcare (UHC) and Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH). Should an agreement not be reached by Friday, Jan. 24, Baylor will have a special open enrollment to give employees the opportunity to change their medical and healthcare flexible spending account plan options during the week of Feb. 3-7. For employees who are currently under care at HMH, UHC offers a Continuity of Care program. Review information on this program and contact UnitedHealthcare at (877) 229-5671 with any questions about it.

Financial Coaching: Baylor employees now have access to Ayco, a Goldman Sachs company that offers financial advice for retirement planning and other life goals. Earn 250 Vitality points by filling out the online financial wellness assessment, reviewing the results, improving your score by completing checklist items and then talking with an Ayco financial coach at (866) 487-9446. Contact Human Resources Benefits for more information.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Events

Clinical Seminars

Buprenorphine Waiver: The Department of Family & Community Medicine offers a free Opioid Use Disorder Training from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 11, at 3701 Kirby Dr. The training is intended for physicians who are interested in obtaining a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder. This in-person training, in combination with a four-hour online session, will qualify you to apply for the Drug Enforcement Agency waiver and provide up to four hours of CME credit. RSVP to reserve a place.

Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Courtney Townsend, Jr., professor and Robertson-Poth Distinguished Chair in General Surgery at University of Texas Medical Branch, discusses “Surgical Research and Evolutions of Modern Surgery” at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in Room N315, main Baylor or via Zoom.

Heart Conference: Texas Heart Institute presents the 19th Texas Update in Cardiovascular Diseases on Saturday, Jan. 18, in Denton Cooley Auditorium, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. Dr. James Willerson directs the one-day program with topics including advances in TAVR, catheter-based repairs of the mitral valve, PCSK9 inhibitors in treating elevated LDL and stem cell treatments. Register online to attend.

Clinical Note

McNair Moves: Several Baylor Medicine specialty clinics are relocating to the 6th floor of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center on the McNair Campus, 7200 Cambridge St. Clinics will move Jan. 17-20 and will start seeing patients in their new location on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Clinics moving include Acute Care Surgery, Cardiology, Comprehensive Healthcare Clinic, Lung Institute, Cystic Fibrosis, Thoracic Surgery and Vascular Surgery. All administrative and clinic phone numbers will remain the same.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Neuroscience: Dr. Anthony Zador, chair of neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, presents “From Connectome to Computation” at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, in Room N315, main Baylor.

Biophysics: “Fishing out Regulators of Heart Development and Regeneration” is the topic of a talk by Dr. Ian Scott, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Room 409B, main Baylor.

Multi-Omics: Dr. Cristian Coarfa, associate professor and co-director of the Multi-Omics Bioinformatics Core, discusses “Coordinated Multi-Omics Dysregulation in Cancer and Other Diseases” at noon Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Room N315, main Baylor. The talk is part of the Advanced Technology Cores’ monthly seminar series that provides in-depth information on emerging technologies and their capabilities and research applications.

Research Resources

Childhood Cancer Grants: Baylor may submit one institutional nomination for the Rally Foundation’s Career Development Award in the priority areas of basic science, translational science and quality of life studies for childhood and adolescent cancers. Grants of up to $100,000 per year for three years of support will be awarded. Submit an internal letter of intent with a one paragraph summary of the proposal and an NIH biosketch to Neena Gohil by Friday, Jan. 17, to be considered.

Questions or Comments?

Faculty Senate: Please contact your senator for faculty-related questions or suggestions.

Institutional Policy Committee: Contact the Policy Committee to learn more about College policies and procedures.

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