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News for BCM Faculty, Feb. 25, 2021
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Emergency Relief Fund: Last week, an extreme winter storm caused widespread power and water outages, damaged homes and displaced families. If you want to help members of the Baylor College of Medicine family who are in need of assistance, please donate to the Employee Emergency Relief Fund. Direct requests for accessing relief funds to your administrator. A list of recovery resources is available online.

Faculty Senate: President Paul Klotman provided an update on the Strategic Plan at the Feb. 11 meeting, using Baylor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as one example of how an interconnected “Learning Health System” functions effectively: 1) It works with different entities to gather and analyze data in order to gain a better understanding of the virus, 2) develops and revises strategies for prevention and treatment based on the data, 3) generates new data from the revised strategies, and 4) feeds the data into a continuous loop of improvement. Similar examples exist across the campus. A goal of the Strategic Plan is to strengthen the College’s bioinformatics resources and increase the use of data to advance research, healthcare and education. The Senate Strategic Planning Committee is tasked with engaging the faculty in the plan as it is implemented this year.

  • Process improvement was also the topic of an update by Research Dean Mary Dickinson, who outlined projects including infrastructure development for clinical trials and vaccine research, changes to sponsored research processes, a plan with Institutional Advancement to raise seed funding and a strategy for the Center for Comparative Medicine.
  • Medical School Dean Jennifer Christner discussed plans for the school’s regional campus in Temple, which will be overseen by the dean and educated by Baylor faculty following the same curriculum as the Houston campus. An inaugural class of 40 medical students, selected through the SOM admissions process, is anticipated to begin training in fall 2023, expanding enrollment from 186 to 226 students per class. The Senate voted this week to endorse the Temple campus.
  • Senate Chair Christie Lincoln announced the dates for the 2021 General Elections. Applications to be a senator or to run for re-election will be accepted April 1-29. Electoral unit elections will be May 10-17, with at-large elections June 1-8. The new Senate term starts July 1.

NIH Rankings: Baylor College of Medicine received $318 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2020, ranking it 20th in the nation and first in Texas (since 2006). According to Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, 12 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 Molecular & Cellular Biology at No. 5, up from No. 8 in 2019, and Medicine, rising to No. 30 from No. 33 in 2019.

Faculty Kudos

The Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees recently appointed eight faculty members to endowed chairs. Honorees include:

Dr. E. Ramsay Camp, professor and chief of surgical oncology in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, was appointed to the Olga Keith Wiess Chair in Surgery. He also serves as the chair of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer program for the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Kim-Lan Czelusta, associate professor and vice chair for education in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was appointed to the Brown Foundation Chair in Psychiatric Education in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Dean Edwards, professor of molecular & cellular biology and pathology & immunology, was appointed to a Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Professorship. He also is associate director of research infrastructure at the Duncan Cancer Center and executive director of the Advanced Technology Cores.

Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, associate professor and director of the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities in the Duncan Cancer Center, was appointed to a Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Professorship. She also is associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement at the center.

Dr. Sharon Plon, professor of pediatrics – hematology & oncology and molecular & human genetics, was appointed to a Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Professorship. She also is co-leader of the pediatrics cancer program at the Duncan Cancer Center and director of the Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Hemant K. Roy, senior faculty in gastroenterology & hepatology and vice chair for Harris Health System and Ben Taub Hospital in the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine, was appointed to the Herman Brown Endowed Chair in Medicine.

Dr. Sameer Sheth, associate professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Neurosurgery and McNair Scholar, was appointed to the Cullen Foundation Endowed Chair. He also runs the Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab.

Dr. Xiang "Shawn" Zhang, professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and McNair Scholar, was appointed to the Butler Chair. He is a member of the Duncan Cancer Center and associate director of basic science at the Smith Breast Center.

College Events

Global Health: The Houston Global Health Collaborative will host its annual conference virtually today, Feb. 25, and March 4 and 11. The conference includes speakers from Baylor and other institutions addressing topics like COVID-19, immigrant health and more. Register online.

Biology Seminar: Dr. Jason Kaelber, assistant professor and director of the Rutgers CryoEM and Nanoimaging Facility, addresses “How colicin E1 stoppers the multidrug efflux pump TolC” at 4 p.m. today, Feb. 25, via Zoom, meeting ID: 933 37704474, passcode 168983.

Mesothelioma Panel: Dr. Daniel Yang, assistant professor of medicine – oncology, hosts a round table on “Lung-Sparing Surgery for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma” with Dr. Taylor Ripley, associate professor of surgery, and international thoracic surgeons and oncologists at 6 p.m. today, Feb. 25, via YouTube Live.

Rare Disease Day: Join families, caregivers and physicians at a virtual event to build advocacy for increased research and timely access to affordable diagnostics, treatments and cures for rare disease patients and their families in Texas at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. Register online.

Faculty Opportunities

Course Positions: The School of Medicine seeks associate course directors for the MS1 Head and Neck Anatomy course and the MS2 Respiratory course. Innovative clinical faculty members with a passion and expertise in the subject matter and an interest in medical education are encouraged to apply for these positions that assist the course director and are supported by 10% FTE. For more information, please see Faculty Opportunities online.

Leadership Program: The American Psychological Association’s Leadership and Education Advancement Program (LEAP) for Diverse Scholars seeks applicants for its evidence-informed mentoring and leadership development program. Early career social and behavioral scientists from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations who show promise in research related to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases mission but have not yet received R01 funding are encouraged to apply by March 1.

Mock Interviews: Volunteers are needed to conduct virtual mock admissions interviews with students from diverse backgrounds, including UR and UiM, first-generation, non-traditional, and sexual orientation and gender minority groups during the Sixth Annual Diversity Admissions Symposium April 17. The event supports and encourages these students to pursue medical, health professions or biomedical sciences careers. Email the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to sign up.

Call for Papers: Technology & Innovation, the journal of the National Academy of Inventors, is currently accepting manuscripts from a broad range of perspectives and disciplines for upcoming issues on “COVID-19: Crisis as Spur to Innovation” and “Diversity, Invention and Innovation.” Click on the link to view the full CFP.

Call for Abstracts: The Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Research and Training is conducting a nationwide call for abstracts for its May 20 Summer Research Summit on the following topics: Innovative research in health equity or health disparities in one of eight thematic areas and "Strengthening Our Commitment to Racial and Social Justice to Improve Public Health." See the website for additional information.

Faculty Resources

Evenings with Genetics: “Race & Genetics: Perspectives of Precision Medicine” has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. March 9, via Zoom. Registration is required for this free event.

Data Analysis: The Department of Family and Community Medicine offers virtual session of Clinical Research Methods in March and May. This beginner's course aims to train health professionals to analyze simple data using statistical analytics software. Learn more and register online.

LCME Update: The School of Medicine's February LCME newsletter is available online. This issue features upcoming events and an overview of Element 11.1 — Academic Advising and Element 11.2 — Career Advising.

TMC Library News: In partnership with the University of Texas Digital Library System, the Texas Medical Center Library has acquired access to a robust collection of Cambridge University Press journals, including 403 multi-disciplinary titles in biology, medicine, technology, law, music, social sciences, arts and humanities. Cambridge titles may be easily accessed via the TMC Library's PubMed link, or the OneSearch discovery portal on its website.

DOI Update: Have you submitted your 2020 Annual Financial Disclosure through the DOI Portal yet? If you previously entered "Financial Disclosures" but have not completed the “Annual Financial Disclosure,” which is a separate workflow, please log into the portal to "review," "affirm" and "submit" everything previously entered as accurate and complete. This closes out all 2020 reporting. Training materials are available on the DOI webpage, including a list of department representatives who can offer assistance ahead of the April 9 deadline.

From the Labs: The Black History Month Spotlight is an interview with Dr. Kathryn Jones, associate professor of pediatrics - tropical medicine and molecular virology & microbiology and a faculty senator, who studies Chagas and other parasitic diseases. 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.

Questions or Comments?

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Institutional Policy Committee: Contact the Policy Committee to learn more about College policies and procedures.

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