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Faculty Commons, Feb. 22 - 28, 2018
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College News


Dr. Bobby R. Alford, distinguished service professor, chancellor emeritus and longtime chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, died Tuesday, Feb. 20. In more than 50 years at the College, he contributed in every mission area and served in many leadership roles. Read more about his legacy on the website. Two upcoming activities at Baylor serve as lasting tributes to Dr. Alford's pursuit of excellence:

  • 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. This prestigious award is presented on Faculty Awards Day, May 18. Nomination information is available online. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. March 9.
  • Helis Lecture: Dr. Daniel Kastner, scientific director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, presents the 4th Annual Bobby R. Alford, M.D. Grand Rounds Distinguished Lecture at 4 p.m. March 21 at DeBakey Auditorium M112, with a reception to follow in the Alkek Lobby, main Baylor. His topic is “Horror Autoinflammaticus: Cutting Gordian Knots at the Pool of Bethesda.” The lecture is endowed by the Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundations.


Commencement Plans: The ceremony for graduating M.D. and Ph.D. students will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 29 at Jones Hall. The commencement speaker is Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and professor of biochemistry and chemistry at Duke University Medical Center, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012. Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor of molecular and human genetics and a faculty senator, will be honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence for his leadership in research and research mentoring. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and holds the March of Dimes Chair in Developmental Biology. Graduation is an important event at the College and faculty members are encouraged to attend and support the students. Complete the form to RSVP as well as to reserve regalia, if needed, and submit it by April 2.


Counseling Program Accredited: The College's Genetic Counseling Program has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling and is now reviewing applications from prospective students seeking enrollment in the inaugural class. The 21-month program prepares graduates to educate individuals and families who are at risk for, or affected by, conditions that may have a genetic cause. The program, directed by Dan Riconda, associate professor of genetics, will award a Master of Science degree through Baylor's School of Allied Health Sciences. The inaugural cohort will consist of eight students who begin classes in July.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Joseph Coselli, professor and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, received the Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement from the Texas Heart Institute during the 17th Annual Texas Updates in Cardiovascular Advancements Symposium. He also recently traveled to Beijing as an invited speaker at the 9th Annual Fuwai Symposium of Aortic Diseases, where he spoke on thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair and performed the surgery on a patient with Marfan syndrome.


imageDr. Jocelyn Greely, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. She represents her department's faculty on the Senate.


imageDr. Hani Jneid, associate professor of medicine – cardiology, will lead the "Heart Health: Prevention, Treatments and Innovations" course at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Rice University, in April. Cardiology professors Dr. Anita Deswal, Dr. Biykem Bozkurt and Dr. Christie Ballantyne are scheduled as guest lecturers.


imageDr. Ourania Preventza, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery and faculty senator, was appointed associate editor of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the journal of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association.


imageDr. Fernando Scaglia, professor of molecular and human genetics, led the 10th annual Genetics Night for advanced placement biology students at Bellaire High School this week. The event included medical students in the Genetics Track as well as fellows in the genetics department who judged student presentations on genetic disorders.


imageDr. John Vierling, professor of medicine – gastroenterology and hepatology, was elected to fellowship in the American Gastroenterological Association in recognition of his contributions to the field. He also recently was invited to present the 24th Annual Leon Schiff Lecture at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.

College Events

NHGRI Director: 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, leads 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 advocacy group booths, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at The Health Museum. The event is free but online registration is required.

NIDA Program Director: The Career Development Center hosts Dr. Amy Lossie, program director for the genetics, epigenetics and developmental neuroscience branch of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and BCM alumna, in three sessions Monday, Feb. 26, at main Baylor. See the website for more information:

  • "An Insider’s View: Strategies for a Successful NIH Application,” 11 a.m. in Room N315.
  • Faculty Roundtable Discussion on NIDA Funding Opportunities, 1 p.m. in Room N302.
  • Career Pathway Discussion, 3:30 p.m. in Room 201A. Please RSVP to Angelica Almarez to attend.

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

Early Voting: You may vote in the Democratic or Republican Party Primary Elections in any early voting location through 7 p.m. March 2. Election Day is March 6.

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 has been extended to 5 p.m. Friday, March 2. Guidelines are available online.

Women of Excellence: The Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity is accepting nominations for Women of Excellence 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.

Storytelling: The Narrative Medicine Program seeks story submissions for Off Script: Stories from the Heart of Medicine on the theme of "Regeneration/Degeneration." The submission deadline is March 1 and the storytelling hour is set for March 29. For more information, please see the website.

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.

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

Compliance Training: This year’s required annual compliance training covers fraud, waste and abuse and runs through March 30. All BCM employees and learners must complete the training through AMP by March 30 or be subject to sanctions. Awareness of the College’s new and significantly revised policies is a requisite part of the training. See the new or revised policies approved in 2017.

Team Shop Pop-Up: Check out the new collection of Baylor-branded apparel, workout wear and accessories from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Feb 22, in Rayzor Hall, main Baylor.

Rodeo Roundup: The College celebrates the start of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with Go Texan Day Friday, Feb. 23. Stop by Rayzor Lounge from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a fun photo-op or take a photo of you and your colleagues wearing western gear and send it to Social Media Manager Anna Kiappes by 2 p.m. Friday to be featured on Baylor’s social media channels. Please include names and department information with your photo.

  • Tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, including general admission tickets (but not concerts), barbecue cook-off admission tickets and discounted carnival packets, can be purchased with cash or check in the Office of Communications, Suite 176B, main Baylor, until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23.
  • The College is a sponsor of the Rodeo Run Saturday, Feb. 24. Visit the BCM Sports Medicine Recovery Zone tent at the Post-Race Party and enter a drawing to win an autographed soccer ball from 2-time Olympic gold medalist Carli Lloyd. Athletic trainers will lead a free post-race stretch out and injury assessment. Rodeo Run registration is available online.
  • Baylor’s Chuck Wagon Race sponsorship allows the College to provide tickets and parking passes to members of the Baylor community for rodeo performances Feb. 28 - March 18. Register online for a chance to win these tickets.

For a Good Cause

Marfan Walk: Dr. Joseph Coselli, professor and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, invites you to join Coselli’s Crusaders at noon March 3 at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St., for the 3rd Annual Walk for Victory benefitting The Marfan Foundation. To help raise awareness for Marfan syndrome, see the website.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminars

Women Surgeons: The Texas Multi-Institutional Women Surgeons Career Development Program is set for 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, in Classroom FC1.2002, MDACC Academic Tower, 1400 Holcombe Blvd. Presenters include Dr. Mary Brandt, professor of pediatric surgery. There is no fee or registration required and lunch is provided for the first 25 attendees.

Huckins Lecture: Dr. Kevin Eva, associate director of health education and senior scientist with the University of British Columbia, presents the Huckins Medical Education Lectureship at 9 a.m. March 2 in Room M112, main Baylor. His topic is "What Learning to Diagnose Pneumonia Can Teach Us About Judging Competence in the Health Professions."

GI & Liver Course: The 18th Annual GI & Liver Course, honoring Dr. Frank L. Lanza for more than 45 years of service and teaching, is scheduled for March 24 - 25 in Onstead Auditorium, 6767 Bertner Ave. Dr. Manreet Kaur, assistant professor of medicine – gastroenterology, is the course director, with Dr. David Katzka of Mayo Clinic and Dr. Brennan Spiegel of David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA as guest faculty. CME credit is available. Register online.

Intensive Bioethics Course: The Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy partners with Houston Methodist to offer the five-day course April 16 - 20 in the Texas Medical Center. The course hosts participants from all over the country who come from various backgrounds including chaplaincy, clinical case management, clinical ethics, internal medicine, nursing, palliative medicine, pediatrics, risk management and social work. Online registration is now open.

Primary Care Conference: The annual Pri-Med Southwest conference will be held May 16 - 18 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Sessions will cover all aspects of primary care with the goal of providing the latest knowledge and tools to provide high-quality care. Baylor is the academic sponsor of the conference with Dr. Michael Fordis, senior associate dean of continuing medical education, and Dr. Stephen Greenberg, distinguished service professor of medicine, serving as course directors. BCM healthcare providers, faculty, alumni and residents can use the discount code "BaylorVIP" to register for $70. See the full agenda and register online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

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.

Research Seminars

Neuroscience: Dr. Kristen Harris, professor and fellow in the Center for Learning and Memory at UT Austin, speaks on "Silent Synaptic Growth and the Augmentation of Long-Term Potentiation" at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in Room N315, main Baylor.

Physiology: Dr. Yi Li, professor in the Smith Breast Center and faculty senator, presents "Understanding the Evolution from Precancerous Lesions to Cancer in the Breast" at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Room 409B, main Baylor.

Call for Applications

Interim Funding: The BCM Interim Funding Program provides short-term relief funding up to $100,000 for established laboratories that have experienced a lapse in federal funding. The program provides awards for up to twelve months’ duration. Full eligibility, award and application information for fiscal year 2019 is available online. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. April 16.

Bridge to Independence: The Bridge to Independence Program provides bridge funding of up to $100,000 for junior faculty members who have spent down their seed but not yet obtained independent funding. Full eligibility, award and application information for FY 2019 is available online. The application deadline is 5 p.m. April 16.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Juan Botas, professor of molecular & human genetics and molecular & cellular biology, studied fruit fly models of Huntington’s disease to identify a potential treatment for the condition 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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