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Faculty Commons, Feb. 15 - 21, 2018
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Considering a Career in Medicine: More than 300 sixth graders from the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan practiced their surgical skills during a field trip to the College hosted by the Center for Educational Outreach on Tuesday. Dr. Nilson Salas, assistant professor and director of the Surgical Simulation Lab, led the knot-tying activity. Photo courtesy of Travis Kelleher.


Academic Council: President Paul Klotman presented a second quarter update on the College’s goals as they relate to department and center goals and metrics at the Feb. 12 meeting. Academic Council and the Faculty Senate will receive a strategic planning survey on precision medicine and population health in March.

  • Provost Alicia Monroe reported on preparations for the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) of the College’s affiliates. The CLER site visit is similar to a Joint Commission inspection, but is managed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. A mock site visit conducted at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center indicated areas for focus in resident training and hospital integration.
  • Evaluations are complete for 80% of some 3,000 faculty members in the Faculty Performance Assessment and Development Planning process. Dr. Monroe noted that this is an improvement over the 48% completion rate in 2016. The tool is still available for chairs and center directors who have not finished their faculty reviews.
  • Research Dean Adam Kuspa announced that a new standing committee of the Board of Trustees will oversee commercialization and intellectual property development at the College.

Faculty Senate: At the Feb. 8 meeting, Senate Chair Oluyinka Olutoye introduced a mentorship program that will pilot with the Faculty Senate. The goal is to roll out the program College-wide to address the mentoring needs of growing numbers of junior faculty.

  • Dr. Nadia Ismail, associate dean of curriculum, gave an update on the curriculum renewal underway in the School of Medicine. Introduction to Problem Solving will be replaced by two new courses: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving and Translational Research & Population Health, which will recruit faculty facilitators.
  • General Counsel Bob Corrigan presented an overview of the federal Tax Bill. Excise taxes on private college endowments and executive compensation will affect the College. Individual taxpayer provisions may impact philanthropy. Baylor is working for legislative relief on several fronts.
  • The Senate’s Curriculum and Educational Mission Committee announced that the Graduate School transformation plan will be presented for committee endorsement and full Senate vote in March.
  • The Strategic Planning Committee is meeting twice a month to assist with information gathering and faculty engagement in the Integrated Health Sciences University vision.

Honorary Degrees: Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and Houston Emergency Medical Services Director Dr. David Persse, professor of emergency medicine, will receive honorary degrees from the College at commencement ceremonies May 29. Both played major roles in serving the community after Hurricane Harvey. Also receiving honorary degrees will be the College's commencement speaker, Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, and Dr. Alice McPherson, professor of ophthalmology and one of the foremost retina specialists in the world.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Horacio Adrogue, professor of medicine – nephrology, has been invited to present at a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine Workshop for the Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium on March 7. An expert in electrolyte and acid-base balance, especially on dysnatremias, he will discuss the minerals’ interaction in the kidney, blood vessels and brain.


imageDr. Coreen Domingo, assistant professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. She represents the interests of the faculty at large on the Senate.


imageDr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, has been appointed to the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation Board of Governors. The foundation promotes scientific cooperation between the two countries by supporting collaborative research projects, workshops and travel grants. It has funded more than 4,500 research projects since its founding in 1972.


imageDr. Gabriel Loor, associate professor of surgery and surgical director of lung transplant at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, received a grant from the Roderick MacDonald Research Fund for his proposal "Gender-specific Molecular Phenotypes Predict Long-term Survival Post-Lung Transplant." He also recently received a grant from the JLH Foundation to support his Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion program.


imageDr. Ying Shen, associate professor of surgery and director of the Aortic Disease Research Lab, was awarded funding from the Roderick MacDonald Research Fund for her protocol "Potential Effects of Ciprofloxacin Use on the Susceptibility to Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection Development in Marfan Syndrome." MacDonald Fund grants support innovative clinical research conducted at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center.


imageimageDr. Sameer Sheth, associate professor of neurosurgery, and Dr. Wayne Goodman, professor and chair of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, have been awarded an $8.5 million grant from the BRAIN Initiative to work toward a better understanding of the neurocircuitry of depression. The investigators will study how deep brain stimulation could be used as a new approach to treatment-resistant depression.

Alpha Omega Alpha Inductees: The Baylor College of Medicine Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha will induct the following outstanding faculty into the medical honor society at its March 7 ceremony and banquet: Dr. Michael Belfort, professor and chair of obstetrics & gynecology, Dr. Joseph Coselli, professor of surgery and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Joan Friedland, professor of medicine in the Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy, and Dr. John Goss, professor of surgery and chief of abdominal transplantation. Dr. Andrea Stolar '90, associate dean of student affairs and associate professor of psychiatry, will be an AΩA alumna inductee. Contact Yvette Pinales to RSVP for the event.

College Events

Preventing Partner Violence: Mrs. Texas 2017, Ann Marie Reigrut, a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard, will share her story on the dynamics of emotional abuse in a panel discussion on intimate partner violence at noon Feb. 21 in the 4th floor conference room at Ben Taub Hospital. CNE and CME credit is available for the event, held in conjunction with the February Healthy Relationships awareness campaign.

DocTalk: Dr. Irvin Sulapas, assistant professor of family & community medicine, presents "Common Exercise-Related Injuries and How to Prevent Them" at noon Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Sign in within the first 15 minutes to receive 100 BCM BeWell Vitality points.

Team Discovery: "Innovation: Getting Your Team Out of the Box," a Team Discovery session with Dr. Lance Black, TMC Innovation, Dr. Marc Willis, associate professor of radiology, and Dr. Tyson Pillow, associate professor of emergency medicine, is set for 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in M323, main Baylor.

NHGRI Director on Black History Panel: Dr. Bettie Graham, director of extramural operations at the National Human Genome Research Institute and the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from the College, takes part in a panel discussion, "The African American Journey in Science: Accomplishments, Struggles and Perseverance," from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in Room M323, main Baylor. Sponsored by the Association for Graduate Student Diversity, the event’s panelists include Dr. Kathryn Marie Jones, assistant professor of pediatrics in the School of Tropical Medicine, Dr. Julianne Pollard-Larkin, assistant professor of radiation physics at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. Antentor Hinton, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Iowa. Read an interview with Graham on our blog.

Rare Diseases Day: The College and Texas Children's Hospital host an event to raise awareness about rare diseases and their impact on patients' lives, featuring physician seminars and 30 booths for advocacy groups, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at The Health Museum. The event is free but online registration is required.

Physician Burnout: Dr. Tom Lee, chief medical officer for Press Ganey Associates and Harvard Medical School professor, speaks on “Burnout, Resilience and Grit: A Positive Path Forward” from 3:30 to 4:30 Monday, Feb. 26, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. The event is sponsored by the BCM Quality Program and the Office of Professionalism.

Faculty Opportunities

Precision Medicine RFA: Applications are sought for one-year proposals on the topics of precision medicine and population health from multi-disciplinary teams. The project 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 (such as diagnosis, risk prediction, treatment, prevention and healthcare delivery). The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23. Guidelines are available online.

Nominations for Women of Excellence are being accepted in the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity through Wednesday, Feb. 28. The BCM community is encouraged to nominate BCM faculty, staff, student and trainee women who exemplify excellence and Baylor’s other values of respect, integrity, innovation and teamwork. Women of Excellence will be highlighted in campus media and events during March.

Curriculum Committee: The Medical School Curriculum Committee is soliciting nominations for the vice chair position, which will be open in July 2018. Interested faculty members from all disciplines are encouraged to consider applying for this important leadership role by close of business March 2. 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 announcement.

Faculty Resources

IT Service Portal: The new Information Technology Service Portal makes it easier to report a problem, request a service or find instructional aids and articles. You can access the IT Service Portal by going to IT.BCM.EDU and logging in with your Baylor ID. If you use a Baylor PC, you can navigate to the portal using the IT Service Portal desktop icon. Please explore the portal to find out more about IT service and support offerings. As always, you can contact the IT Help Desk at 713-798-8737 for assistance.

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. Friday, 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

TMC Health Policy Course: Dr. Laura Petersen, professor of medicine – health services research and director of the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, is a panelist on “Quality of Care,” 5:30 – 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, on the 6th floor of 6550 Bertner Ave. Attendance is free and open to the public. More information is available online.

Esophageal Diseases: Dr. Stuart Spechler with the Center for Esophageal Diseases at Baylor University Medical Center and Dr. James Luketich 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 by Friday, Feb. 16, 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. Saturday, Feb 24, in Conference Rooms A&B, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. More information is available online.

GLOCAL 2018: The 6th Annual Houston Global Health Conference featuring global surgery, disaster recovery, local opportunities, global health humanities, healthcare business & innovations and sustainability topics, happens March 9 – 10 at Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University. Registration is open online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

DLDCCC Symposium: Dr. Cornelis Melief, professor emeritus of immunohematology and blood transfusion, Leiden University Medical Centre, is the keynote speaker at the 15th Annual Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Symposium, March 1 – 2 in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. Register online.

Digestive Diseases Symposium: The 9th Annual Frontiers in Digestive Diseases Symposium, "Frontiers of the Microbiome Gut-Brain Axis," is set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 3 in Onstead Auditorium, 6767 Bertner Ave. Dr. John Bienenstock of McMaster University, Dr. Emeran Mayer of UCLA, Dr. Michael Helmrath of Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Dr. Kara Margolis of Columbia University are among the guest speakers. Register for the symposium online.

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. Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Call for Abstracts

CVRI Symposium: The deadline to submit abstracts for the CVRI Symposium is 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19. Abstract guidelines are available online. The 6th Annual Cardiovascular Research Institute Symposium, featuring keynote speakers Dr. Eric Olson of UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas and Dr. John Cooke of Houston Methodist Research Institute, is set for April 10. Register online.

CDKL5 Grants: The Orphan Disease Center and the Loulou Foundation are accepting grant applications for research related to CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder, a condition characterized by treatment-resistant epilepsy and severe cognitive and motor disability. Application materials are online. Letters of interest are due by 5 p.m. March 8.

Junior Faculty Seed Funding: Full-time, tenure-track assistant professors appointed on or after Jan. 1, 2015, are eligible to submit a clinical or basic science research proposal for a $30,000 seed award for use in fiscal year 2019. Application instructions and frequently asked questions are available online. The application deadline is 5 p.m. April 9.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Follow Distinguished Service Professor Dr. Mary Estes' rotavirus research from initial understanding of the virus to an animal vaccine in this week’s blog post. You can receive weekly articles on Baylor's research and innovation highlights 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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