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Faculty Commons, March 9 - 15, 2017
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College News



Engaging Play: Read how a collaboration between the College and Hess Corp. uses toy trucks and dragsters to introduce STEM concepts like friction, velocity and energy transfer, and has made the free guide BioEd Online’s most popular download. You can receive weekly articles on science at Baylor as they are posted in our newsletter by going to https://fromthelabs.bcm.edu/ 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.


Clinical Research Update: Two key centralized clinical research support functions formed under the Dan L Duncan Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) have been constituted as separate offices within the Office of Research reporting to Dr. Adam Kuspa, senior vice president and dean of research.

  • The Office for Research Information Technology will move from ICTR to the Office of Research with Dr. Uma Ramamurthy as its executive director. Ramamurthy formed the Research Informatics team in ICTR that developed BCM's Clinical Trial Management System and has established research-related connectivity to the electronic medical record, EPIC and BCM business applications in support of our clinical research efforts.
  • The Office for Clinical Research also will form a new unit within the Office of Research and Erica Malkasian will serve as its executive director. Malkasian was instrumental in the formation of centralized services, including clinical trial agreement review, review of qualifying clinical trials, oversight of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center research and clinical trial management.
  • Search is underway for a director of ICTR to further its vision to catalyze interdisciplinary, collaborative clinical and translational research. See background information about the reorganization.

AAALAC Site Visit: Representatives of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International will be on campus Monday through Friday, March 13-17. The Center for Comparative Medicine reminds faculty that accreditation by AAALAC demonstrates excellence in our animal care and use program.

Match Day: Join us for Match Day festivities for our fourth-year medical students at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 17, in the courtyard of the Cullen Building at main Baylor. As you know, Match Day is the culmination of four years of tireless work for our medical students, and we are thrilled to celebrate their accomplishments as they learn where they will do their residencies. The Match Day board is revealed precisely at 11 a.m. The event will be streaming live here.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Justin Coffey, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor and vice president and CIO at Menninger Clinic, has been invited to serve as a faculty member of the Institute for Mental Health and Wellness, a new national foundation formed in July 2016 by Providence St. Joseph Health. The institute will make investments and partnerships that help eliminate stigma, build resilience, reduce suffering, curtail substance use, create hope and grow healthy communities. Read more news from the clinic in this month’s Menninger Update.

imageDr. Colin Duckett has been named the first chief scientific officer for the new research collaboration between the College and Baylor Scott & White Health. He will report directly to Dr. Adam Kuspa and work closely with the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute in Dallas and Temple.

imageDr. Alexis Frazier-Wood, assistant professor of pediatrics in the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, has been named a Fellow of the American Heart Association. She serves on the Behavior Change Council and the Early Career Committee.

imageDr. Aimee Gardner has been named assistant dean of evaluation and research in the School of Allied Health Sciences, where she will ensure best practices in program evaluation, promote faculty development and scholarship and develop interprofessional activities. Read more about Gardner in the March BCM Family.


imageDr. Thomas Giordano, associate professor of medicine, was honored with the 2017 Think Innovation Transformation Award by Harris Health System for his leadership as medical director of HIV services at the Thomas Street Health Center.


imageDr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, was recognized by B’Nai B’rith International with its Distinguished Achievement Award for his work on neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. Baylor President Dr. Paul Klotman and Dr. Mark Kline, physician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital, spoke at the awards dinner.


imageDr. Michael Paldino's paper, “Brain Network Architecture and Global Intelligence in Children with Focal Epilepsy,” was selected as the 2016 Lucien Levy Best Research Article Award Winner by the American Journal of Neuroradiology. Paldino, an assistant professor of radiology, co-authored the paper with
Dr. Zili David Chu, assistant professor of radiology,
Dr. Farahnaz Golriz, radiology resident, and Dr. Wenhao Zhang, senior staff neuroscientist.


imageDr. Alexander Pastuszak, assistant professor of urology, received the AUA/Urology Care Foundation 2017-2019 Research Scholar Award for his project, “Characterization of the role of NELL1 in the predisposition to fibrosis in Peyronie’s disease” during the American Urological Association 2016 annual meeting.


imageDr. Thuy Phung, assistant professor of pathology and immunology, was awarded a $101,000 grant from the Lymphatic Malformation Institute for her research on the molecular cause of lymphatic abnormalities, a collaboration with the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

College Events

Free Faculty Photos: The Office of Communications is continuing its free faculty photo sessions. Participants will receive one digital headshot (a $40 value), which works well for online bios, Faculty Commons mentions and other professional uses.

  • 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, March 9, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center at McNair Campus Lobby
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 10, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center at McNair Campus Lobby

Taub & Alexander Research Symposium: The Henry J.N. Taub & James K. Alexander Medical Student Research Symposium is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 9, with poster presentations in Rayzor Lounge at main Baylor. Dr. Huda Zoghbi, the Ralph D. Feigin, M.D. Endowed Chair and professor of molecular and human genetics, HHMI investigator and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, will give the keynote address, “From Genes to Neural Networks and Disorders of the Nervous System” at 12:15 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium in conjunction with Medicine Grand Rounds.

Duncan Cancer Center Symposium: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center's 14th annual symposium is Friday, March 10, in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Lounge. This year’s theme is "Power in Synergy" with a focus on the collaboration between the cancer center and other Baylor research centers and departments. Keynote speakers are Dr. Stephen Chanock, director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, presenting at 11 a.m., and Dr. Damon Hostin, administrative director of Precision Medicine Alliance, presenting at 3:45 p.m. Registration information is available online.

Women’s Mixer: The College's chapter of the American Medical Women's Association invites you to a mixer celebrating women in medicine from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 10, at Salento Wine Bar in Rice Village. Women in any medical profession and at any point in their career/training/education are welcome to attend. Light bites will be provided and happy hour drink prices are available from 5 to 7 p.m. RSVP online.

Entrepreneurship Class: Dr. Jack Gill's Life Science Entrepreneurship class, "Role of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers in High-tech Startups," will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. March 20 to April 25, mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the BioScience Research Collaborative. Topics include the roles of physicians, scientists, engineers and MBAs in biotech, medical device and other life science companies and trends and innovations driving the creation of new products in established and startup companies. For more information visit the Rice website, then register online by Friday, March 17.

Partnership Educational Lunch: Join Dr. C. Kent Osborne, Dr. Andrew Sikora, Dr. Melissa Bondy and Dr. Ann Marie Leen as they discuss “Fighting the Big C … Cancer” at the Partnership for Baylor College of Medicine educational luncheon, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at the Junior League of Houston. Topics will include immunotherapy and other clinical trials, targeted genetic and emergency therapies, and genetic vs. environmental risk factors. Register online.

Breakthrough Prize Winner: Dr. John Hardy, professor and chair of neuroscience at University College London Institute of Neurology, presents the Roy M. Huffington Distinguished Lecture on “Genomic Analysis of Neurodegeneration” at noon April 26 in Cullen Auditorium, with a poster session and reception following in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. Hardy also headlines the Huffington Center on Aging’s Spotlight on Health with “Into Dementia: Where and How Far Are We from Effective Treatments” at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Junior League of Houston. For tickets to the April 25 event, contact the center at (713) 798-5804.

Faculty Opportunities

Graduate Programs for Educators: Are you interested in becoming a better educator? The University of Houston will present an information session on its graduate programs for health sciences faculty, trainees, students and staff focused on teaching, educational research and uses of instructional technologies. The information session will be held at noon Friday, March 24, in Room M413/M414, main Baylor. Detailed information about the programs may be found online or you may contact program coordinator Dr. Bernard Robin.

New Faculty Service Award: The Clark Faculty Service Award was established in 2017 to honor faculty members for exemplary service to the College with professionalism. Up to five awards are granted each year, accompanied by a cash honorarium of $1,000 and a certificate. Any Baylor faculty member may nominate a fellow faculty member for a Clark Faculty Service Award by submitting (1) a completed nomination form, (2) a letter of support (maximum of two pages) and (3) a two-page biosketch from the nominee (preferably NIH or NSF format). Additional information will be requested of nominees who are selected as finalists. Nomination letters must be submitted to Maria Lopez in the Office of Faculty Development by Friday, March 17. Additional details and the nomination form may be found online.

Mid-Career Faculty at the Associate Professor Level are invited to apply to attend the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Mid-Career Minority Faculty Leadership Seminar June 15-17 in Washington, D.C. The Office of the Provost will nominate one faculty member to attend. The internal application process requires a CV (no more than 5 pages) and statement of interest (less than 500 words) that includes your goals for attending the conference and how it will benefit your career and the College’s mission and vision. Please submit that information to InstitutionalDiversity@bcm.edu by Friday, March 17. Your department chair or center director will need to support your nomination if you are selected.

Faculty Resources

Win Rodeo Tickets: The College’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo sponsorship, featuring a Baylor Chuck Wagon, allows us to provide tickets and parking passes to members of the Baylor community for Rodeo performances through March 26. Register for a chance to win Rodeo tickets.

Fitness Presentation: Join wellness coordinator Jesse Gavin for tips on how to build a fitness program to fit your individual needs at noon March 14 and 16 in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. He will discuss the various types of physical activity, exercise equipment, fitness center costs and more. Benefits-eligible employees may attend one of the two presentations to earn 200 BCM BeWell Vitality points.

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.

Bill Pay in MyChart: The College’s MyChart system now includes a billing function, allowing patients to pay their bills online, contact customer service and update demographic information. For more information, log in to MyChart or call Patient Business Services at (713) 798-1900.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Symposia

Schwartz Rounds: Baylor physicians are invited to attend this multi-disciplinary forum for discussing the emotional and social issues that arise in patient care from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the Denton A. Cooley Auditorium at Texas Heart Institute. A box lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. Schwartz Rounds are designed to increase clinicians’ sense of community and enhance compassionate care.

DFCon 2017: This international, interdisciplinary diabetic foot conference is set for March 23-25 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston. Led by Dr. Joseph Mills, Dr. Bijan Najafi and Dr. Miguel Montero-Baker, all in the division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy, the conference is designed for the wide spectrum of generalists and specialists who diagnose and manage the diabetic foot. CME credits are available. Register online through March 22. Or attend virtually via Clinician’s Matrix.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Applications

Bone Research Award: The deadline to apply for the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Research Award is 5 p.m. Friday, March 17. The award’s purpose is to provide initial funding for promising laboratory, pre-clinical, translational or clinical studies in metabolic or metastatic bone disease. Preference will be given to proposals from junior faculty within the first five years of their appointment. Finalists will present at the Scientific Retreat April 28. Guidelines and application are available online.

Chao Physician-Scientist Award: Promising junior faculty members who are in the process of securing K08 or K23 grants but need interim funding are encouraged to apply for a Chao Physician-Scientist Award, made possible by a generous gift from the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation. Basic, clinical and translational research projects will be considered for one-year awards (up to $100,000) through ICTR. Applicants must hold a primary appointment in a Baylor department and be in the process of seeking or awaiting funding of a K08 or a K23. Applications are due by 6 p.m. Friday, March 31. Read more information and apply online.

Research Forum

Bone Scientific Retreat: Dr. Maurizio Pacifici, the Bong S. Lee Professor of Pediatric Orthopedics and director of orthopedic research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will deliver the keynote lecture, “Hereditary Multiple Exostoses: a complex pathology involving biological borders,” during the Scientific Retreat for the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Disease Program of Texas, 1 to 6:30 p.m. April 28 at Hickey Auditorium, MD Anderson Cancer Center. The deadline for registration and poster submission is April 7. More information is available online.

Research Resources

Genetically Engineered Mouse Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab provides essential mouse services to Baylor investigators and their collaborators. GEM Core microinjects mouse ES cells, transgene DNA constructs, and CRISPR sgRNA/Cas9/donor DNA into mouse embryos to generate genetically engineered founder mice. GEM Core also performs cryopreservation of mouse embryos and sperm for long-term storage of mouse lines; mouse line rederivation to remove pathogen contamination, re-establish mouse colony, or help importation of mouse lines into the Baylor facilities; in vitro fertilization; and mouse colony expansion. For more information about any of the cores, visit the ATC website.

Funding Opportunities: See the Office of Research’s list of privately funded awards currently accepting applications for March.

Questions or Comments?

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