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Faculty Commons, Feb. 1 - 7, 2018
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College News



Precision Medicine RFA: The College has embarked on an ambitious plan to develop a premier program in precision medicine with a focus on population health, and a call for applications for the 2018 Precision Medicine/Population Health Initiative is underway. This new model will be built on the foundation of Baylor’s existing strengths in academic medicine, epidemiology and outcomes research. The goal is to leverage these strengths to accelerate advances in precision medicine that capitalize on the talent, creativity and drive of all members of the BCM community, and stimulate collaboration across the College to improve the health of populations. Application guidelines and a definition of key terms are available online. Projects must leverage large data sets that are currently available at BCM or at an affiliated hospital or health network and must be relevant to population-based clinical care. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Feb. 23.


Flu Update: This flu season is turning out to be a severe one, and you need to take the proper steps to ensure your health and that of patients, colleagues and family members. This includes frequent hand-washing, possibly wearing masks for clinical employees and staying home if ill. Learn more from Dr. Jim Kelaher, director of the Occupational Health Program, about how to protect yourself and others this flu season, and watch this video for additional tips.


Vote in the Primary: Monday, Feb. 5, is the last day to register to vote in the March 6 Texas primary elections. Go online to register or to confirm your registration.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. William Decker, associate professor of pathology & immunology and a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, has studied, trained and worked at the same institution during the span of his career. Read about his journey in the latest Growing Up Baylor blog post.


imageDr. Christopher Greeley, professor of pediatrics, was awarded a grant from the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute for his work with colleagues at Texas Children’s Hospital, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to determine the best ways to support children whose parents are incarcerated.


imageimageDr. Scott LeMaire, professor of surgery and molecular physiology & biophysics and director of research in cardiothoracic surgery, and Dr. Ying H. Shen, associate professor of surgery and director of the Aortic Research Laboratory, have received American Heart Association funding to study the pathobiology underlying the differences in aortic disease between men and women. The project is part of the University of Kentucky-Baylor College of Medicine Aortopathy Research Center, a member of the AHA Strategically Focused Vascular Disease Research Network.


imageDr. Jaime Ortiz, associate professor of anesthesiology, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents the interests of the faculty at large on the Senate.


imageDr. Richard Sifers, professor of pathology & immunology and director of operations for the Center for Drug Discovery, recently spoke on “Functional Expansion of Proteostasis in the Vertebrate” at the Environmental Drivers of Aging: Proteostasis, Metabolism and Signaling conference at Northwestern University.


College Events

Book & Author Dinner: The Friends of the Texas Medical Center Library host its annual book and author fundraiser at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 2, at the TMC Library. Dr. Nancy Beck, author of “Texas, Her Texas: The Life and Times of Frances Goff,” is the guest speaker. Goff was influential in the establishment of MD Anderson Cancer Center. Contact Sarah Keith for more information.

DocTalk: Dr. Alireza Nazeri, assistant professor of medicine - cardiology, discusses "Stroke Risk in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation" at noon Thursday, Feb. 8, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Sign in within the first 15 minutes to receive 100 BCM BeWell Vitality points.

Medical Ethics Conversation: "Public Policy or Police State? The appropriate reach of government in health interventions” is the next topic in the series that explores dilemmas in medical ethics. Dr. Stephanie Morain, assistant professor in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, leads the discussion from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at Grappino di Nino 2817 W. Dallas Street. Online registration is open.

Teamwork & Innovation: The next Team Discovery session, "Innovation: Getting Your Team Out of the Box," is 3:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 22 in Room M323, main Baylor. Learn more about Team Launch.

Faculty Opportunities

Allied Health Course Director: The School of Allied Health Sciences is seeking an enthusiastic and dynamic faculty member to serve as course director for cultural competency. The course introduces students to issues pertaining to the diversity and uniqueness of populations to be encountered as healthcare practitioners. For more information, please see Faculty Opportunities. Applications are due by Feb. 18.

Health Equity Scholars Program: Applications are now being accepted for the Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research Scholars Program 2018-2019 cohort of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students, clinical fellows and junior faculty. The center seeks scholars who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting social justice and health equities and leadership in addressing educational, societal and healthcare needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. The deadline to apply is March 2.

Faculty Resources

February Is Heart Month: Tomorrow, Feb. 2, the College joins institutions across the country in participating in National Wear Red Day in support of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign, a nationwide movement to fight heart disease in women. Take a photo of you and your colleagues wearing red and send it to Anna Kiappes by 1 p.m. Friday to be featured on Baylor’s social media channels. The Cullen Building will be lit red all month. For more information about heart health, go online.

Mentoring Seminar: "Developing your mentoring philosophy" is the topic of this Molecular & Human Genetics Faculty Development Seminar with Dr. Anna Marie Sokac, associate professor of biochemistry, set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Room M112, main Baylor.

Portfolio Preparation: Are you working on your Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award portfolio? Pick up tips on how best to demonstrate your sustained exemplary educational contributions to the College at a workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in Room N317, main Baylor. RSVP to faced@bcm.edu.

Rodeo Tickets: General admission tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, barbecue contest tickets and half-price carnival packs can be purchased through 5 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Office of Communications, Room 176B, main Baylor. Concert tickets are not available. Please bring cash or a check payable to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. For more information, email Rudy Lopez or call Communications at 713-798-4710.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminars

Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Joseph Mills, professor and chief of vascular surgery & endovascular therapy, discusses “The Evolution of the Specialty of Vascular Surgery” at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in Room N315, main Baylor. Webcast live, meeting ID 517 471 817.

Esophageal Diseases: Dr. Stuart Spechler, chief of gastroenterology and co-director of the Center for Esophageal Diseases at Baylor University Medical Center, and Dr. James Luketich, chief of thoracic and foregut surgery at UPMC Pittsburgh, are keynote speakers at “Current Medical and Surgical Management of Esophageal Diseases,” sponsored by the College and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Feb. 22 – 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston. CME credit is available. Register online before Feb. 17 for best pricing.

Breast & Ovarian Cancer: The 7th Annual Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Patient Conference, hosted by Dr. Julie Nangia, assistant professor of medicine, DLDCCC member and faculty senator, and Cathy Sullivan, instructor and genetics counselor, features talks from medical experts related to the healthcare of BRCA mutation carriers. The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. Feb 24 in Conference Rooms A&B, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. More information is available online.

SDS Congress: The 9th International Congress on Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome is set for April 8 – 11 at the Rice BioScience Research Collaborative. Chaired by Dr. Tarek Elghetany, professor of pathology, and Dr. Alison Bertuch, associate professor of pediatrics – hematology & oncology and molecular & human genetics, the conference focuses on the latest information about this rare condition that affects the bone marrow, pancreas and skeletal system. Early registration ends March 8.

Call for Abstracts

Quality & Safety: The 5th Annual Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Conference is April 26, offering health professionals and students interested in quality and safety an opportunity to present their ideas in an interactive forum. The conference highlights a peer-reviewed selection of quality and safety research projects and program innovations. Submissions including quality improvement projects, patient safety initiatives, educational innovations and similar topics are encouraged. Abstracts may be submitted online by 5 p.m. Feb. 16.

Clinical Event

Alpha Omega Alpha: The Baylor College of Medicine Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha is updating its records of current AΩA members in the BCM community. If you have been inducted into AΩA, please email your contact information to chapter coordinator Yvette Pinales. All faculty and trainee AΩA members are invited to attend the chapter’s celebration and induction banquet on March 7. Contact Ms. Pinales for more information and to RSVP. Please direct any questions to Dr. Daniel Chelius, BCM AΩA chapter councilor and assistant professor of otolaryngology.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Cancer Joint Symposium: Drug discovery and target identification and validation are the topics of the 12th Annual Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center – MD Anderson Cancer Center Joint Symposium, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 2, in Kleberg Auditorium, main Baylor.

Neuroscience Seminars: The Department of Neuroscience hosts weekly seminars that attract leaders from across the United States and the world.

  • Dr. Alexander Huth, assistant professor of neuroscience and computer science at The University of Texas at Austin, speaks on “The cortical interface between language and vision” at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2, in Room N315, main Baylor.
  • Dr. Charles Limb, chief of the division of otology, neurotology and skull base surgery at University of California, San Francisco, discusses “Music: A Journey from the Ears to the Brain” at 11 a.m. Feb 9 in room N315, main Baylor.

ZEISS Seminars: The Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy Core invites you to learn how the newest imaging technologies could advance your research and to ask experts about your specific experimental challenges. RSVP to David Akalal to attend.

  • "ZEISS LSM 880 Airyscan: Your New Standard for Fast and Gentle Confocal Imaging" and "Biological Applications of X-ray and Electron Microscopy" are at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Kleberg Auditorium, main Baylor.
  • "An Integrated Approach to Automated Whole Slide and Live Cell Imaging" and "Imaging Large Fragile Samples with Light Sheet Fluorescence" are at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in Room 116C, main Baylor.
  • Hands-on demonstrations of the LSM 88- Airyscan, Lightsheet Z.1, Axio Scan.Z1 and Celldiscoverer 7 are available Feb. 7 – 14. Contact Mr. Akalal for an appointment.

Call for Nominations

DeBakey Research Awards: Faculty members are invited to submit nominations for the 2018 Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Awards given annually to full-time College faculty who have made the most significant published scientific contribution to clinical or basic biomedical research during the past three years. The awards are funded by the DeBakey Medical Foundation. Information on the nomination process is available online. The deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 28.

Research Resources

From the Labs has moved to its new home on the Baylor College of Medicine Blog Network, where it will continue posting about Baylor's basic research and innovation highlights. You can receive weekly articles as they are posted by going to From the Labs and entering your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the right. Or get a digest at the end of the month with links to the articles posted that month by emailing science writer Ana Rodríguez with “Subscribe me to From the Labs” in the subject line.

Funding Opportunities: See the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity’s list of funding opportunities for research on healthcare disparities and social determinants of health. The Office of Research offers a list of privately funded awards currently accepting applications for February.

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.

Items for Faculty Commons: To submit items for this weekly email update for Baylor College of Medicine faculty, please contact us.

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