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Faculty Commons, Feb. 9-15, 2017
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College News

Vote on Constitutional Amendments: Faculty members are asked to approve amendments to the Faculty Senate Constitution that address reallocating Senate seats in the advent of additional Electoral Units, increase the tenure of Basic and Clinical Science Representatives to two years, and create the office of Past-Chair, among other provisions. A highlighted revision of the Constitution may be found on the Senate's website. Click here to vote now. The ballot is open through Feb. 28.


New Immigration Policy: Everyone in the BCM community with concerns about the current immigration policy is encouraged to attend a Compassionate Conversations event from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Cullen Auditorium. Leadership and staff from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of General Counsel, the International Services Office, and others will be available to answer questions and provide support that will focus on the immigration policy concerns and discuss resources available at BCM. If anyone potentially affected by the policy is scheduled to leave the country on business, please contact the Office of General Counsel at (713) 798-6392 for guidance.


Policy Update: As of Jan. 25, the Employee Wages, Overtime, and Extra Work Policy (02.4.05) superseded the following policies, which have been archived and are no longer visible in the Policies and Procedures Manual: 02.4.05 – Hours Worked, Non-Exempt, 02.4.12 – Exempt vs. Non-Exempt, 02.4.42 – Minimum Wage, and 02.4.52 – Overtime Pay.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Erez Lieberman Aiden, McNair Scholar and assistant professor of genetics, has been awarded $3.3 million by Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project for the Center for Genome Architecture. The center will be responsible for mapping how the genome folds inside the nucleus of about 100 different types of cells. The project’s overall goal is to create a catalog to serve as a resource for the scientific community.


imageDr. Robert Britton, professor of molecular virology and microbiology, and Dr. Buck Samuel, assistant professor of molecular virology and microbiology, participated in a workshop organized by the National Academy of Sciences that included leaders from the microbiome field and highlighted the utility of non-mammalian systems in research, including C. elegans (the focus of Samuel’s lab) and mini-bioreactor arrays (Britton’s lab). The workshop, “Animal Models for Microbiome Research: Advancing Basic and Translational Science,” can be seen online or through a webcast.


imageDr. Paul Checchia, professor of pediatrics and medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital, received a RIITE Role Model Reward for Leadership for mentoring his CVICU team, leading by example and valuing relationships and communications.


imageDr. Benjamin Musher, assistant professor of medicine and holder of the Barry Stephen Smith Memorial Endowed Professorship, discussed a new Phase 1 trial at the Leo and Anne Albert Pancreatic Trials Symposium in San Francisco. The College and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center recently opened the trial, which uses a novel oncolytic virus combined with chemotherapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. More information is available online.


imageDr. Jim Phillips, senior associate dean for diversity and community outreach, was honored as a mentoring leader by Houston Cares in January. He is the founding director of Baylor’s Saturday Morning Science program for inner city middle and high school students. Houston Cares is part of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, which promotes mentoring opportunities in the African American community.


imageDr. Andrew Rice, professor of virology and microbiology, was a presenter at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory meeting on “HIV/AIDS Research: Its History and Future,” which gathered some of the most important researchers on HIV/AIDS from the past and present. You can view his presentation on mechanism of Tat transactivation in slide format or as a video.

College Presentations

Profiles in Professionalism: The Center for Professionalism in Medicine welcomes Dr. Peter Moskowitz, executive director of the Center for Professional and Personal Renewal in Palo Alto, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 9, for two talks as part of the Profiles in Professionalism Lecture Series. Dr. Moskowitz, a nationally-recognized radiologist, keynote speaker and certified career transition and life coach, will speak on “Well-Being and the Quest for Balance: Survival Strategies for Physicians and Scientists” at 12:15 p.m. in Room M112 in the DeBakey Building at main Baylor (pizza will be served) and at 4 p.m. in Rooms M321-323 of the DeBakey Building (light reception to follow). Topics will include physician career satisfaction, modern career theory and physician self-renewal. Please RSVP to ellenf@bcm.edu or ProfessionalismMatters@bcm.edu.


CVRI Seminar: The Cardiovascular Research Institute hosts Dr. Junichi Sadoshima, professor and chair of medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, speaking on “Regulation of myocardial survival and death by autophagy,” at noon Wednesday, Feb. 15, Room 301A in the Cullen Building at main Baylor (lunch will be provided).

College Events

The Texas Two Step: A collaborative CPR training effort organized by all 11 medical schools in Texas, including Baylor, takes place Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11-12, at various locations in Houston and across the state. Participants will learn how to act quickly in the event of cardiac emergencies by following two easy steps: 1) Call 911 and 2) Initiate hands-only CPR. Find locations and other information online.


RecycleMania: Baylor is one of more than 400 university campuses competing in RecycleMania through April 1. Help us reduce waste (and win the contest!) by requesting personal sized recycling bins for your office, ensuring cans, plastics (Nos. 1, 2 and 5) and paper are recycled into the correct bins and recycling pipette tip boxes and other accepted lab materials. For more information, email Gabi De la Rosa.

Faculty Opportunities

Call for Applications: The School of Medicine seeks applicants for three new assistant dean positions (0.4 FTE) in the offices of Student Affairs and Curriculum. Innovative faculty members with experience in medical education and working with students are encouraged to read the job descriptions and apply by Wednesday, Feb. 15.


Master Teachers Fellowship: The Office of Professional Development is accepting applications for the Master Teachers Fellowship Program through April 1. The primary aim of the two-year program is to enhance the educational mission of the College by improving the knowledge, skills and scholarship of faculty members. More information about the program and its application form can be obtained online.

Faculty Resources

Pathways to Promotion Workshops: Is your academic career progression on track? Start the new year by participating in a Pathways to Promotion workshop that provides an overview of the Baylor promotions process and standards and a workbook tool to enable you to assess your individual progress. If possible, bring a copy of your CV (paper or electronic) for reference. The next workshop is Friday, Feb. 24, 12:15-1:30 p.m. (Room M319.01-M309.03, Main Campus). RSVP to Remy Elizondo in the Office of Faculty Development at (713) 798-7285 to attend.


Faculty Career Coaching: Faculty Development now offers one-on-one sessions with experienced senior faculty coaches. These sessions are designed to provide guidance on career progression, readiness for academic promotion, development of award portfolios, academic writing and educational research and evaluation. Contact the Office of Faculty Development at (713) 798-7285 for scheduling.


Baylor CHI St. Luke’s Custom Network: During the annual open enrollment period, Human Resources introduced a new custom network that offers lower copays for employees who visit a physician or provider within the Baylor CHI St. Luke’s custom network. The custom network includes more than 70 facilities and 5,000 providers and physicians. A list of the participating facilities, providers and physicians is now available.


Retirement Catch-Up Contributions: A new year presents new opportunities to take advantage of special rules to save more for retirement. Participants in the Baylor 403(b) Tax Deferred Savings Plan may be able to take advantage of two special provisions in the tax code that allow for additional contributions over the usual annual limits – the 15-year catch-up for long-term employees regardless of age, and the age 50+ catch-up for those nearing retirement. Click here for a more in-depth explanation of the two contributions. Letters will be sent out in February to notify those individuals who qualify for the 15-year catch-up. Those who reach age 50 in 2017 are automatically eligible to increase their contribution to take advantage of the special contributions. For additional questions, please contact ask-retirement@bcm.edu or call (713)798-1500.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Events

Call for Nominations

Excellence in Patient Care: The Selection Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Faculty Awards for Excellence in Patient Care. Faculty members involved in the direct care of patients and in clinical areas such as clinical or translational research, patient safety and quality, clinical diagnostics and healthcare leadership are eligible, with three categories of awards available: Early Career (2-5 years of service), Star (at least 6 years) and Master Clinician (15 or more years). For more information, please see the website. The deadline for Early Career and Star nominations is Friday, Feb. 10, March 1 for Master Clinician.


Vote on Hospital Rankings: The U.S. News & World Report Hospital Rankings voting is now available on the Doximity app. Login to your Doximity profile and vote for Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in your area of specialization. Voting ends Feb. 28. If you haven’t claimed your profile on Doximity, be sure to do so to be eligible to vote next year. It’s quick and easy, visit Doximity.com.

Call for Submissions

BridgeUp at Menninger: School-based partnerships in Houston are invited to apply for 2017-2018 Magic and Innovation Grants from BridgeUp at Menninger, an initiative funded by the Trust of David and Helen Gurley Brown to add value to school and after-school programs by bringing a focus on mental health via innovative community collaborations. Funding priorities and applications are available online. Read more about Menninger Clinic in its February newsletter.


SURF 2017: Abstracts are being accepted for the upcoming San Antonio Military Health System and Universities Research Forum (SURF 2017), “Evidence-Based Practice & Research in Healthcare: Encouraging Collaborative Partnerships,” to be held June 16 at The University of Texas at San Antonio. The deadline to submit abstracts for research, policy and practice papers, poster presentations and symposia is Friday, Feb. 17. Registration for the forum is open. For additional information, please visit the website.


Quality and Safety Conference: March 3 is the deadline for submitting an abstract for the 4th Annual Baylor College of Medicine Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Conference, 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in Onstead Auditorium. Abstracts should focus on quality and safety, including quality improvement projects, patient safety initiatives, educational innovations, and similar topics, and can be submitted by students, faculty and healthcare providers. Learn more online.

Clinical Symposia

Shearer Symposium on Immunodeficiency: Registration is open for “Innovations in Primary Immunodeficiency and Clinical Immunology” on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown. The symposium honors Dr. William T. Shearer, professor of pediatrics at Baylor and Texas Children's Hospital, who has been a leader in the area of immunological disorders, including HIV/AIDS. Register online.


Tourette Symposium: Review the latest research advances and diagnostic and treatment options for Tourette syndrome and associated conditions at this annual symposium Friday, Feb. 24, at the United Way of Greater Houston. The program includes a track for educators and families that will cover medical, behavioral, and classroom strategies for recognizing and managing symptoms. CME credits are available. Register online by Feb. 19.

Clinical Resource

Life Support Certification: The Department of Emergency Medicine's advanced ACLS-BLS Program offers semi-monthly cardiac life support, basic live support and combined re-certification in-person courses. The program is American Heart Association-certified and offered for $135 for ACLS or $175 for ACLS and BLS combined. The next course starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, on the main Baylor campus. Register online. Email Whitney Grant for more information.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Nominations

DeBakey Excellence in Research Awards: The Selection Committee is accepting nominations for the 2017 Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Awards, sponsored by the DeBakey Medical Foundation. Full-time faculty members who have made a significant published scientific contribution to clinical or basic biomedical research during the past three years are eligible for nomination. Additional information can be found online. The submission deadline is Feb. 28.

Research News

Export Control Caution: U.S. Trade Controls regulate the shipment or transfer, by whatever means, of controlled items, software, technology or services and restrict the release of certain information to foreign nationals in the United States. Non-compliance with export controls can result in severe monetary and criminal penalties against both an individual and the College, as well as the loss of research contracts, governmental funding and the ability to export items. Traveling, importing or exporting any items to or through any U.S. sanctioned country, such as Syria, Sudan, Iran and North Korea can trigger violations. The OOR Export Control site can help personnel comply with these regulations, which are complex and change depending on the needs of national security. Contact Research Compliance Services for more information.

Research Resources

Drug Discovery Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab is committed to helping investigators identify the compounds that will further their research and that may lead to new therapeutics. Its main focus is discovering what compounds bind to a target and testing them in functional assays. The lab possesses a state-of-the-art facility equipped with medicinal and DNA-encoded chemistry technology to perform screening for a wide range of cell-based phenotypic and target-based biochemical assays in high-throughput or follow-up tests. Secondary validation assays and additional assays using newly synthesized analogs also can be performed in the core, which offers training so that investigators may use the highly sophisticated instrumentation independently, if they choose. For more information about any of the cores, visit the ATC website.


From the Labs: Receive weekly articles on research at Baylor as they are posted in our newsletter by going to From The Labs and entering your email address in the 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 Research’s list of privately funded awards currently accepting applications for February.

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