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News for BCM Faculty, March 11, 2021
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College News


Award-Winning Pods: The ACCESS2HEALTH SmartPods in Harris County Precinct 2 have won an American City & County 2020 Crown Communities Award. The SmartPods, developed by Baylor Global Health, provide COVID-19 testing and other healthcare services in Aldine and Pasadena. President Paul Klotman and Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, professor of medicine and director of Baylor Global Health, are pictured with Commissioner Adrian Garcia at the Aldine opening in October.

Academic Council: President Paul Klotman and the executive leadership team provided updates on Baylor College of Medicine’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the March 8 meeting. The vaccine supply should increase markedly in the next 30 to 60 days with criteria expanding to include teachers. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center will open a drive-through vaccination hub at Rice University Stadium next week.

  • Elizabeth Youngblood, president of Baylor St. Luke’s Houston Market, described progress on the O’Quinn Tower, which will be a 12-story ambulatory care center on the McNair Campus and the home of Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Completion of the project and its adjacent parking garage is anticipated by early 2023. The buildout of the hospital is continuing simultaneously to accommodate moving some service lines from the Bertner Ave. hospital in the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Research Dean Mary Dickinson presented an analysis of Baylor’s fiscal year 2020 National Institutes of Health funding as reported by Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. The College ranks 20th in the nation, with $49 million more awards than in 2019. Four of the top five NIH-funded investigators at Baylor are women, with nine women in the top 20 Baylor investigators. The top 20 are, in descending order: Drs. Richard Gibbs, Hana El Sahly, Helen Heslop, Mary Dickinson, Susan Rosenberg, Brendan Lee, Joseph Petrosino, Sharon Plon, Cheryl Walker, Chris Amos, Mary Estes, Matthew Ellis, Bert O’Malley, Hugo Bellen, Jin Wang, Martin Matzuk, David Nelson, Karen Rabin, Ashok Balasubramanyam and Margaret Goodell.
  • School of Medicine Dean Jennifer Christner reported a successful mock site visit from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education last week. Of the 93 elements of evaluation, the team identified six that were problematic and was inconclusive about two. She remains concerned about the results of the 2021 AAMC Graduation Questionnaire, which will be released a month before the September site visit, and emphasized the importance of faculty and residents attending the LCME prep sessions.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe thanked the chairs and center directors for submitting their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plans, which identified strengths, resources and opportunities within the units. The next step is for the leaders to schedule consultations for individual feedback with the DEI team.

Faculty Kudos

Susan Fernbach, assistant professor and co-director of the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics Office of Community Engagement and Diversity, received the Rare Impact Award from the National Organization for Rare Disorders. She and other award winners will be honored at a virtual event on June 28.

image Dr. Robert McLaughlin, dean of the School of Health Professions, will retire on June 30. Dr. Ashley Mullen, program director for Orthotics & Prosthetics, has been named interim dean while a search is conducted to name a permanent dean for the school. Sally DiBello, associate director, will assume the responsibilities as interim program director of the Orthotics & Prosthetics program until Dr. Mullen returns to that role.

Dr. Ana Monterrey, assistant professor of pediatrics, contributed to a toolkit on food insecurity for clinicians from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her input in the 'Words of Wisdom from the Field' section discusses implementation of food insecurity screening in the clinic, which included working in partnership with the Houston Food Bank to train doctors and staff.

image Julie Nickell, vice president and chief financial officer, has accepted a position as vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Jamie Bailey, vice president of finance, will serve as interim chief financial officer.

Dr. Kristina Reber will join Baylor on July 1 as the new head of the section of neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics and service line chief at Texas Children's Hospital. She previously held faculty and leadership roles at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Outstanding Educators: The School of Medicine recently recognized faculty and residents 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 Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Family & Community Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry.

College (Virtual) Events

Biology Seminar: Dr. Stephan Nicholas Floor, assistant professor of cell & tissue biology in the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry, presents “RNA Chaperones Remodel Gene Expression” at 4 p.m. today, March 11, via Zoom, meeting ID: 974 5546 9222, passcode: 835679.

Cancer Symposium: The Hematologic Malignancy Virtual Symposium, hosted by Dr. Gustavo Rivero, assistant professor of medicine – hematology & oncology, and Dr. Martha Mims, Dan L Duncan Professor of Medicine and section chief of hematology & oncology, is Saturday, March 13. Topics include acute myelogenous leukemia, myelodysplasia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and the molecular basis of clonal hematopoiesis. Register online to attend.

Bioethics Grand Rounds: “One Patient, Two Minds: Clearing up confusion about ‘ambivalence’” is the topic of a presentation by Dr. Ryan Nelson, clinical ethics fellow, and Dr. Bryanna Moore, assistant professor at University of Texas Medical Branch, at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, via Zoom.

Health Equity/Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Vivian Pinn, former director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health and senior scientist emerita at the National Institutes of Health, speaks on “Personal Perspectives on Women and Leadership in Academic Medicine” at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, March 18, via Zoom, passcode 041933. Continuing education credit is available.

Faculty Opportunities

Teaching Fellowship: The Master Teacher Fellowship Program is accepting applications from interested faculty members through April 2. Its primary aim is to enhance the educational mission of the College by improving the knowledge, skills and attitudes of individual faculty. Members of the Office of Faculty Development will strive to interview applicants within four weeks of receiving an application and will notify applicants of their selection decision early in June. The class will be limited to 20 participants.

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.

Faculty Resources

Big Data Tool: Training on the EPIC SlicerDicer data analytics tool starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 12, and continues into April. The virtual one-hour session is geared to clinicians and researchers with access to BCM EPIC who are interested in using clinical data to address questions that arise in their work. Read more about the tool and the training online.

Skill Boot Camps: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health offers 18 hands-on summer boot camps through its Skills for Health and Research Professionals program. These two-to-three-day trainings provide immediate take away skills for investigators at all career levels, from any institution. New topics include Multi-omics, Environmental Justice, Python and Google Earth Engine. Each training has scholarships for early-career faculty members with the first deadline Monday, March 15.

Mental Health Training: Learn about common mental health concerns of children, teens and adults and ways to address them at a free Mental Health Awareness Training at noon Monday, March 22, led by the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Contact Ashley Siverand to attend.

Alford Lecture: Dr. Michael B. Kastan, professor and executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute, presents “DNA Damage Responses: Canonical to Non-Canonical, Bench to Bedside” at the Bobby R. Alford, M.D. Grand Rounds Distinguished Lecture, 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 24, via Zoom, meeting ID: 713 798 6037, passcode MCB@BCM. The lecture is endowed by Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Medical Research Foundations.

M.D. Scholarships: Nominations are being accepted for the Association of American Medical Colleges Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships, which recognize five outstanding students entering their third year of medical school who have shown leadership in efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic inequities in medical education and healthcare. Nominations are due April 2. Please notify Dr. Jesus Vallejo, associate dean for Admissions, Diversity, Equity & Multicultural Affairs, when you submit nominations for this award.

From the Labs: In honor of International Women’s Day, the blog interviews Dr. Meagan Pitcher, licensing associate in the Baylor Licensing Group, on her journey from biomedical research to intellectual property management. 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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