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News for BCM Faculty, Feb. 13, 2020
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Dr. Peggy Goodell, chair of molecular & cellular biology, was honored for her election to the National Academy of Medicine at a reception Monday. The 14th NAM member on the Baylor College of Medicine faculty, she is known for discovering a novel method to isolate adult stem cells. Goodell is the director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center and holds the Vivian L. Smith Chair in Regenerative Medicine.

Academic Council

  • Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, and Dr. Joseph Petrosino, chair of molecular virology & microbiology, provided an update on the College’s research and public information efforts related to the Coronavirus public health emergency.
    • Mayor Sylvester Turner met with President Paul Klotman, Hotez, and infectious disease specialists Dr. Laila Woc-Colburn and Dr. Robert Atmar to plan the city’s response should there be patients who test positive for the virus in Houston.
    • The Department of Medicine, NSTM and Center for Collaborative & Interactive Technologies are launching an online Continuing Medical Education unit on Coronavirus this week.
    • Researchers at the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development are exploring the possibility that vaccines for SARS and MERS already in development by Hotez's team may be effective against Coronavirus.
    • The Center for Metagenomics & Microbiome Research has identified a new potential animal carrier of the disease and submitted a paper to New England Journal of Medicine.

  • General Counsel Bob Corrigan explained new Texas Title IX mandatory reporting requirements. All faculty and staff must report incidents of sexual harassment that they witness or hear about to interim Title IX Coordinator Elizabeth Hatfield at (713) 798-5305 or the Integrity Hotline at (855) 764-7294. Institutions are required to terminate employees who do not comply with the reporting mandate and criminal penalties will apply. A training module will be released in March. See the message from Dr. Klotman for additional information.
  • Randy Langenderfer, chief compliance & audit officer, advised the council that the window for attesting and certifying Disclosure of Outside Interests opens Monday, Feb. 17. All employees must complete the DOI by March 31.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe announced the deadline for completing Faculty Evaluations is Friday, Feb. 28. Chairs and center directors will receive status reports.
  • Dr. Hashem El-Serag, chair of medicine, described “Operation Generate Knowledge,” a pilot project in his department to provide scholarly time for clinicians. Eight faculty members who submitted proposals are receiving protected time.
  • Terry Krailo, assistant vice president of marketing, introduced the first multimedia advertising campaign for Baylor Medicine. With the tagline of “Every Reason to Choose Baylor Medicine,” the radio, TV, print and outdoor ads will launch at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in March, where the College is sponsoring chuckwagon races and hand sanitizer stations.

NIH Rankings: Baylor College of Medicine received $268 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2019, ranking it 21st in the nation and first in Texas (since 2006). According to Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, 11 departments rank in the top 30 in NIH research funding, including a No. 1 ranking in Genetics, which has held this position since 2011. Other notable departments are Neurosurgery, climbing to No. 3 from No. 14 in 2018, and Pediatrics, rising to No. 4 from No. 7 in 2018.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Arthur Bracey, professor of pathology, has been selected to serve on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability subcommittee. He will be tasked with addressing measures to promote safety and innovation in the national blood supply, in response to the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act.

The Society for Pediatric Research named Dr. Lindsay Burrage, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics, as the recipient of the SPR’s 2020 Young Investigator Award. Burrage will give a presentation entitled “From Rare Disease Gene Discovery to Therapy: Urea Cycle Disorders as a Paradigm" on May 4 at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2020 Meeting in Philadelphia.

Dr. Ricardo Nuila, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Narrative Medicine Program in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, read from his upcoming book on safety net hospitals as a featured speaker at the Inprint Poets and Writers Ball on Feb. 8. Inprint is Houston's premier literary arts nonprofit group.

image Three Baylor faculty members recently received Chao Physician-Scientist Awards. Made possible through a gift from the Tsing Tung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation, the awards provide funding to young investigators who are beginning their independent research careers. Dr. Laurie Robak, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, received a grant for “Lysosomal storage disorder genes as risk factors for Parkinson's disease.” Dr. Ronit Marom, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, was funded for “Activation of ERK/MAPK signaling contributes to the bone fragility in osteogenesis imperfecta type V.” Dr. Venée Tubman, assistant professor of pediatrics – hematology, received a grant for “Characterization of B Lymphocyte Deficiency in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease.”

image Dr. Melanie Samuel, assistant professor of neuroscience, and Dr. Buck Samuel assistant professor of microbiology and a faculty senator, recently served as International Teaching Program Fellows at Tel Aviv University. As part of the highly selective fellowships, Dr. Melanie Samuel taught a concentrated course in Developmental Neuroscience, while Dr. Buck Samuel taught a course on the Microbiome in Health and Disease. Both courses employed team- and active-learning based strategies developed at Baylor. Each also gave talks about their research and presented a session to the TAU Sackler Medical School faculty on integrating active learning into the graduate curriculum.

Outstanding Educators: The School of Medicine recently recognized educators with the Clerkship Feedback and Teaching Award for their outstanding abilities in medical education by providing valuable feedback and/or teaching to medical students. See the full list of awardees from Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Psychiatry and Surgery.

College Events

Estate Planning: The Foundation for Financial Education presents a MoneyTalk seminar on estate planning at noon Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Eligible employees who sign in by 12:15 p.m. can earn 50 BeWell Vitality points.

Alford Grand Rounds: Dr. Ronald Kahn, chief academic officer and head of the Section of Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at Joslin Diabetes Center and Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, speaks on “Exosomal miRNAs as Hormones – a Novel Model of Tissue Communication” at the sixth annual Bobby R. Alford, M.D. Grand Rounds Distinguished Lecture endowed by the Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundations at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Room M112, with a reception to follow.

Professionalism: “Thriving: Wisdom and Life Lessons from Happy Physicians” is the topic of two CME-eligible talks by Dr. Benjamin Doolittle, associate professor of medicine, pediatrics, religion and health and medical director of the faculty resident continuity clinic at Yale School of Medicine:

  • Medicine Grand Rounds - 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in Room M112
  • Professionalism Support Series – 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in Room 301A

Faculty Opportunities

Call for Abstracts:The Texas Educator’s Academies Collaborative for Health Professions Southeast will hold its Annual Educational Symposium on May 7, with the theme of “Curriculum Innovation and its Impact on Educator Identities.” You are invited to participate by submitting an abstract by March 10. The daylong event providea a forum for showcasing scholarly innovations of the regional community of educators with a plenary speaker, workshops, small group discussions, demonstrations, and oral and poster presentations. More information is available online.

Curriculum Committee: The Medical School Curriculum Committee is soliciting nominations for a vice-chair and an at-large position. Interested faculty members from all disciplines are encouraged to apply for this important leadership role by close of business March 6. The Curriculum Committee has the integrated institutional responsibility for the overall design, management and evaluation of a coherent and coordinated curriculum. For more information, please see the Faculty Opportunities page.

Faculty Resources

Black History Month: The Association for Graduate Student Diversity, African American Women in Science, African American Men in Science and Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity sponsor a panel discussion on “Racial Disparities in the Lab, Clinic and Community,” 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in Room M321, with a short reception to follow. All members of the Baylor community are invited to attend. RSVP to Dr. Kim Lopez, associate director of community outreach, to attend.

Rodeo Tickets: General Admission tickets and season passes to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, barbecue contest tickets and half-price carnival e-packs can be purchased in the Office of Communications, suite 176B at main Baylor, through noon Friday, Feb. 28. Please note that the carnival pack is now a phone app; instructions will be provided upon purchase. Concert tickets are not available. Bring cash or a check payable to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. For more information, call the Office of Communications at (713) 798-4710.

Forensic Training: Physicians for Human Rights hosts its second annual training event on conducting forensic evaluations for asylum seekers on Saturday, Feb. 29, at main Baylor. Applicants who have a forensic medical or psychological evaluation are three times as likely to win their asylum cases compared to those without documentation. Training is open to physicians, mental health providers, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical students, and will include sessions on human rights and asylum law, physical and psychological forensic evaluations, and medical-legal affidavit writing. All who receive training will be eligible to volunteer in the Baylor Human Rights and Asylum Clinic, which has been conducting these evaluations since summer 2019. Register online for the training. Contact Physicians for Human Rights with any questions.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Events

Clinical Seminars

Obstetrics & Gynecology Grand Rounds: Dr. Jim Dornan, chair of Health and Life Sciences at University of Ulster and retired chair of fetal medicine at Queen’s University of Belfast, speaks on “Women: The Journey is Far from Over” at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Texas Children’s Hospital, Auditorium B1, Abercrombie Building.

Cancer: Dr. Akiva Diamond of University Hospitals at Case Western Reserve University discusses “Stratification and Treatment Escalation in Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma” at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in Room R408, main Baylor.

Girls Elevated: Teen and preteen girls and their parents are invited to an event focused on living a healthy adolescence. Hosted by the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the interactive sessions cover the critical topics girls want and need to know about, such as healthy relationships, contraceptives and personal safety. The event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at the United Way – Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Dr. Ticket price includes breakfast, lunch and parking. Purchase tickets online.

Clinical Note

Love Award: Nominations are open for the Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism. Candidates are considered for their professionalism in patient care, clinical research and education as well as their humanism. The opportunity to nominate a faculty candidate for this prestigious award is limited those at the highest levels of leadership at the College or affiliated institutions. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Feb. 28. Nomination information is available online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Genetics: Dr. Wilfred Wu of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School speaks on “Genetics and Genomics at the Intersection of Population and Precision Mediine: Examples from Congenital Anomalies of Kidney and Urinary Tract and Kidney Stones” at noon Friday, Feb. 14, in the First Floor Conference Room of the Dan and Jan Duncan Neurological Research Institute.

Microbiology: The American Society for Microbiology and the Texas Medical Center host “Clinical Microbiology: Bedside to Bench,” featuring Dr. Jonathon McNeil, assistant professor of pediatrics – infectious diseases, presenting “Staphylococcus aureus with reduced susceptibility to antiseptics in a pediatric population” and UTHealth graduate student Ayesha Khan discussing “Precision Medicine: Applying mechanistic insights on antimicrobial resistance to patient care,” at 3:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in Room B.100, McGovern Medical School.

Research Resources

Bladder Cancer: The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network offers Young Investigator Awards in bladder/upper tract urothelial cancer research and patient-centered bladder cancer research (such as health disparities, quality of life or outcomes research). Each award provides $50,000 to support one year of research. Proposals are due Monday, Feb. 24.

DeBakey Awards: Nominations are open for the 2020 Michael E. DeBakey M.D. Excellence in Research Awards, given to Baylor faculty who have made the most significant published scientific contribution to clinical or basic biomedical research during the past three years. Any faculty member may submit a nomination packet comprising a nomination letter and statement of significance, copies of up to three papers upon which the nomination is based and a copy of the nominee’s biosketch. Online nominations are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28.

Research Mentoring: Faculty research mentors are invited to attend a four-hour workshop focused on skill-building activities in the mentoring competencies of aligning expectations, maintaining effective communications, fostering independence and resilience and promoting professional development. The workshop curriculum is based on materials generated by the NIH-funded National Research Mentoring Network, tailored to research mentors at the College. RSVP to attend and specify date:

  • March 4, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Room N311, main Baylor
  • March 6, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Room N302, main Baylor

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Zhandong Liu, associate professor of pediatrics at Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, is contributing to the debate about whether herpes virus infections play a role in Alzheimer’s disease 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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