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News for BCM Faculty, Jan. 21, 2021
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College News


The Texas Medical Center Library entered the new year with a refurbished interior to greet the 65,000 visitors it receives annually. Pictured is the Herbert L. Fred, M.D., MACP Student Study Hall, one of a variety of collaborative spaces available to faculty and learners and a physical complement to the library’s extensive electronic resources.

Vaccine Update: The Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit has been selected as one of more than 100 sites to participate in the Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is protein-based and includes an adjuvant to enhance the immune response. Baylor aims to enroll approximately 250 participants, with a focus on those whose racial and ethnic groups have been affected disproportionately by the pandemic. To find out more about participating in the clinical trial, please call 713-798-4912, or email COVID-VAX@bcm.edu.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Samir Desai, assistant professor of medicine, recently released the fourth edition of his book, Clinician's Guide to Laboratory Medicine. Featuring a unique step-by-step approach to lab test interpretation, the book has been rated as one of the "Best Medical Books of All Time" by the Medical Media Review. It was also named a Doody's Core Title for medical libraries by specialists who guide libraries in the development of their essential medical reference book collections.

The American Society of Nephrology and KidneyCure have established the Garabed Eknoyan Endowed Lectureship, which will be delivered annually in November at ASN Kidney Week on a topic related to advances in clinical care of patients with chronic or end-stage kidney diseases. The lectureship is named in honor of Dr. Garabed Eknoyan, distinguished emeritus professor of medicine – nephrology, who has had a 50-plus year career at Baylor and was a key architect of clinical practice guidelines in nephrology, including the Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative and the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative.

image Dr. Sachin Kumar Gupta, instructor in pathology & immunology, has received the highly competitive 2020 Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award for his project, “Investigating the Pathological Role of AZI1 RNA in TMPRSS2-ERG Gene Fusion Formations.” His mentor is Dr. Laising Yen, associate professor in the department.

Dr. Rojelio Mejia, assistant professor of pediatrics in the National School of Tropical Medicine, has received a donation of 10,000 albendazole pills from the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. Mejia and his team are studying the prevalence of hookworm infection in children 2 to 18 years of age living in rural Alabama. They will be able to treat participants with the antiparasitic pills, valued at about $2 million.

College Events

Out for Health: The Baylor community is invited to attend the eighth annual Out for Health Conference, Saturday, Jan. 23, organized by Texas medical school students to address the healthcare needs of the LGBTQIA+ population. The conference is free for medical students; see additional pricing and more details on the conference website.

Cancer Seminar: Dr. John Mathew Hancock of the University of Michigan discusses “Exploring the Structure of von Willebrand Factor” at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, via Zoom, meeting ID: 387 923 767, passcode: 832342.

CVRI Seminar: Dr. Isabelle Deschenes, professor and chair of physiology & cell biology at Ohio State University College of Medicine, speaks on “Studying Incomplete Penetrance in Inherited Arrhythmias” at noon, Wednesday, Jan. 27, via Zoom.

Quality Seminar: “Quality Improvement as Scholarship” is the topic of a presentation by Drs. Molly Horstman and Kyler Gowin, assistant professors in medicine – health services research, at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, via Zoom, meeting ID: 294 812 226, passcode: 13579.

Medicine Grand Rounds: “Cultivating Compassion with Wisdom: The Continuum of Moral Distress to Moral Resilience in a Pandemic” is the focus of a talk by Dr. Tessy Thomas, assistant professor of pediatrics and bioethics at Geisinger Medical Center and a Baylor alumna, at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, via Zoom, passcode: 041933. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Professionalism.

Faculty Opportunities

Postdoc Recruitment: Are you planning to hire a research postdoctoral associate? The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs sponsors the Postdoctoral Research Opportunities in Science program to recruit top senior graduate students from around the nation. A virtual event will be held in April where graduate students can meet with faculty, network with peers and learn about Baylor and Houston. Complete this form by Feb. 12 to identify yourself as a potential postdoc mentor. Email questions to the postdoc office.

Professionalism Award: Nominations for the Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism are being accepted through Feb. 12. The prestigious award recognizes a physician for professionalism and humanism, and the ability to model these qualities in the practice of medicine. Additional information is available online.

Faculty Resources

Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks on “Leading Houston through a Time of Racial Tension while Managing a Pandemic,” with an introduction by President Paul Klotman, at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, via Zoom, meeting ID: 961 6329 5138, passcode: 981418.

MAT Waivers: Learn the skills needed to apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorders at the free Medications for Addiction course, 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, for physicians, PAs, APPs and other prescribers. Register for training via Zoom.

Crumpler Legacy: To celebrate the legacy of Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first Black American woman to earn a degree in medicine (in 1864), Boston University School of Medicine hosts special symposia on trailblazing Black women leaders in academic medicine including Provost Alicia Monroe. Register online to livestream the panel discussion at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, and additional events.

RADIANT Study: Patients with atypical forms of diabetes can join the new Rare and Atypical Diabetes Network, RADIANT, to help shape the future of diabetes care. Participants will complete questionnaires and undergo genetic testing, blood draws and other procedures to learn more about their own disease and to help physicians and researchers better understand all types of diabetes. Baylor is one of the lead study centers for RADIANT.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Trey Westbrook, professor of biochemistry and genetics and Welch Chair in Chemistry, and colleagues found that therapeutics targeting RNA splicing can trigger tumor cell death and signal the body’s immune response in triple negative breast cancers in this week’s post. Receive From the Labs via email by entering your email address in the box at the end of any article and clicking the "subscribe" button.

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