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News for BCM Faculty, Feb. 6, 2020
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From the Labs: February’s Image of the Month shows human breast epithelial cells organized as a cobblestone layer that is revealed by epithelial cadherin (green), a cell adhesion protein located on the cell surface. Cell nuclei are highlighted in blue. Image courtesy of Dr. Chonghui Cheng, associate professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, and Nature Communications.

Coronavirus Update: Baylor College of Medicine has enacted a temporary policy change to cease all College-funded travel to China. This action is consistent with the State Department’s Level 4 travel advisory. Individuals who recently have traveled anywhere in mainland China may not return to work for a 14-day period from the time of re-entry to the U.S. At the end of the 14-day period, furloughed employees must be evaluated by the Occupational Health Program prior to resuming their professional duties at Baylor. To reach OHP regarding a post-travel evaluation, please call (713) 798-7880 or email ohp@bcm.edu.

Faculty Kudos

The Baylor Board of Trustees appointed seven faculty members to endowed positions during its Jan. 29 meeting.

Dr. Paul Austin, professor of urology at Texas Children’s Hospital, was named to the Edmund T. Gonzalez, Jr., M.D. Chair in Pediatric Urology for his research expertise in biomarkers predicting upper tract damage and pharmacology in lower urinary tract disease. He came to Baylor in 2013.

Dr. Jeffrey Jones, professor of urology, was appointed to the Jamail-Abramson Chair in Urology for his academic focus in prostate cancer. Jones, who joined Baylor in 1997, served in the Space Medicine Program at NASA and developed the Urology Service and robotic surgery program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

Dr. Aanand Naik, associate professor of medicine, was named to the Robert J. Luchi, M.D. Chair in Geriatric Medicine in the Huffington Center on Aging. Naik was recognized for his scholarly delineation of “patient-centeredness” as a distinct dimension of healthcare quality. He joined the faculty in 2004.

Dr. Daniel Nento, assistant professor of surgery at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, was appointed to the Rowena C. Gorman Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery for advancing children’s heart surgery in South Texas. Chief of congenital heart surgery at the hospital, he has been with Baylor since 2015.

Dr. Alan Swann, professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, was named to the Linda and John Griffin Family Endowed Professorship as a dedicated and skilled clinician and nationally known leader in mood disorders and regulation of action. Swann, author of more than 350 publications and chapters, joined the faculty in 2013.

Dr. George Taffet, professor of medicine, was appointed to the Robert J. Luchi, M.D. Professorship in Geriatric Medicine in the Huffington Center on Aging. A faculty member since 1988, he was honored for his contributions to the field as a clinician at DeBakey VA Medical Center, educator and mentor to junior faculty and more than 115 geriatrics fellows.

Dr. Michael Yen, professor of ophthalmology and a faculty senator, was named to the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Chair for his international leadership in ophthalmic and reconstructive surgery and his innovation and effectiveness as an educator and clinical investigator. Yen has served on the faculty since 2002.

College Events

Wear Red Friday: Baylor participates in National Wear Red Day Friday, Feb. 7, in support of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign, a nationwide movement to fight heart disease in women. Be sure to take a photo of you and your colleagues wearing red and send it to Anna Kiappes by 1 p.m. Feb. 7 to be featured on Baylor's social media channels.

LCME Kick-Off: You are encouraged to attend “LCME Kick-Off,” a school-wide presentation by Dr. Barbara Barzansky, LCME co-secretary and director of Undergraduate Medical Education with the American Medical Association, at noon Friday, Feb. 7, in Kleberg Auditorium, main Baylor or via Zoom. The event signals the start of the School of Medicine's Liaison Committee on Medical Education Self-Study, an important part of Baylor's re-accreditation. Lunch will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Read more about the accreditation process in the monthly LCME Newsletter.

Goodell Reception: Dr. Peggy Goodell, chair of molecular & cellular biology, will be honored for her election to the National Academy of Medicine at a reception at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, in the DeBakey Alkek Lobby, main Baylor. She is the director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center and holds the Vivian L. Smith Chair in Regenerative Medicine.

DocTalk: Dr. Arunima Misra, associate professor of medicine - cardiology, speaks on women’s heart health at noon Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

Valentine Pop-Up Shop: Kendra Scott jewelry is on sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. The event, hosted by Realtor Katherine Brown, offers 15% off purchases for Baylor employees.

Faculty Opportunities

GME Positions:The Dean of the School of Medicine has interviewed excellent candidates for the senior associate dean of Graduate Medical Education/Designated Institutional Official (DIO) without finding a replacement for the position. She now strongly encourages qualified and interested internal candidates with educational leadership experience to apply for one of several leadership positions for the GME office. The senior associate dean for GME/DIO is a .8 to 1.0 FTE who will report to the dean. The school also is recruiting for two assistant deans of GME. Read more about the positions online and apply by Friday, Feb. 14.

Associate Course Director: The School of Medicine is soliciting nominations for an associate course director for the MS1 course, Nervous System, scheduled in the spring semester. The course covers clinically relevant nervous anatomy, physiology, pathology, therapeutics, differential diagnosis and neurology to prepare students for clinical experiences. More information is available on the Faculty Opportunities webpage. Applications are due Saturday, Feb. 15.

Faculty Resources

Special Medical Election: Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, Houston Methodist Hospital became an out-of-network facility for the Premium PPO, Health&Savings PPO and ResidentCare PPO UnitedHealthcare options. For the Value EPO option, Houston Methodist Hospital is no longer part of the UHC network. Because of this special circumstance, HR-Benefits is holding a special medical election change opportunity through Friday, Feb. 7. Employees who are currently enrolled in a medical plan option have a one-time opportunity to waive or change their medical plan option and coverage level and open a Health Savings Account (if enrolled in the Health&Savings PPO) by logging into the Employee Self Service. Frequently asked questions and contact information for HR Benefits are available online.

RecycleMania: Baylor is one of more than 300 university campuses competing in RecycleMania through March 28. Join the effort by seeing what can be recycled as well as a list of drop-off locations around campus. Questions? Email recycling@bcm.edu.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Events

Clinical Seminars

Precision Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Ronald DePinho, professor and Harry Graves Burkhart III Distinguished University Chair in Cancer Biology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, presents “Targeting Cancer-Specific Vulnerabilities” at noon Monday, Feb. 10, in Cooley Auditorium, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Evenings with Genetics: “Turner Syndrome and the Heart” is the topic of a free public talk by Dr. Shaine Morris, associate professor of pediatrics – cardiology, and Taylor Beecroft, a genetic counselor in pediatric cardiology, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Children’s Museum of Houston. RSVP online to attend.

Surgery Grand Rounds: Minority MOMP: An Oncogenic Mechanism or Opportunity to Kill the Cancer Cell? Is the topic of a presentation by Dr. R. Taylor Ripley, associate professor of surgery and director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center, at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Room N315, main Baylor or via Zoom.

Clinical Notes

Clinical Scientist Training Program: The Clinical Scientist Training Program is accepting applications for the 2020-21 academic year. Attend an information session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, to learn more about the program that trains BCM junior faculty, sub-specialty fellows, and senior residents for careers in academic research. RSVP for the information session.

Alpha Omega Alpha: The Baylor Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha is pleased to announce a call for nominations for faculty and alumni inductees into AΩA. A lifelong honor, membership in the society confers recognition for a physician's dedication to the profession and art of healing. The nomination period is open through 11:59 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, with information available online. Please direct any questions to Dr. Daniel Chelius, BCM AΩA chapter councilor and assistant professor of otolaryngology.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

THINC: Dr. Jin Chen, postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Jonathan Weissman at University of California, San Francisco, discusses “Beyond the annotated proteome and the canonical rules of translation” in a Therapeutic Innovation Center talk at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 10, in Room 187A, main Baylor.

Cancer Therapeutics: Baylor and MD Anderson Cancer Center holds join symposium on Cancer Therapeutics on Thursday, Feb. 13, in Onstead Auditorium, MDACC Basic Science Research Building. Keynote speakers include Dr. Todd Golub, core institute member, chief scientific officer and director of the cancer program at Broad Institute, and Dr. Klaus Hoeflich, vice president and head of biology with Blueprint Medicines.

Research Resources

Advanced Technology Cores: Dr. Nagireddy Putluri, director of the Metabolomics Core, discusses “Oncogene-Driven Metabolic Alterations in Cancer” at noon Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Room N315, main Baylor. The event is part of a monthly seminar series providing in-depth information on emerging technologies, their capabilities and research applications.

Drug Development: Baylor seeks biological targets with supporting human genetics background information that could intelligently inform initial drug screening and clinical development. Interested scientists and clinicians may provide preliminary information about their genetically informed targets using the online form. A response to this solicitation is not a guarantee of project approval or funding. However, potential funding mechanisms could be available for drug discovery and development of select targets if a partnership to conduct the research plan is established.

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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