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Faculty Commons, March 31 - April 5, 2017
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The Underappreciated Astrocyte: Dr. Benjamin Deneen, associate professor in the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and the Jan & Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, and Dr. Chad Creighton, associate professor of medicine in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Division of Biostatistics, share insights into the astrocyte (shown here stained with epifluorescence B), a vital link between brain tumors and epileptic seizures, in the latest From the Labs. You can receive weekly articles on research 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.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, recently accepted the John P. McGovern Award from the Southwest Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association for his work as a renowned author, physician-scientist and global health advocate.


imageDr. Daniel Lacorazza, associate professor of pathology & immunology, part of the pathology service at Texas Children's Hospital and an associate member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, received a grant of more than $325,000 from the National Cancer Institute for a project to study a novel mechanism of suppression in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemias.


imageDr. David Poplack, professor of pediatric oncology and director of the Texas Children’s Cancer Center, and Dr. Michael Fordis, senior associate dean for continuing medical education and director of the Center for Collaborative & Interactive Technologies, have received a $1.5 million grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas to expand the reach of the Passport for Care program for childhood cancer survivors.


imageDr. Huda Zoghbi, professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, will be honored this fall by the Gairdner Foundation with the 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award for her work surrounding the discovery of the gene responsible for Rett syndrome.


College Events

Positive Exposure: Rick Guidotti, who uses photographs to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical, intellectual and behavioral differences, discusses his exhibit (on display in Alkek Lobby) at 5 p.m. Monday, April 3, in Room M112, main Baylor, followed by a reception in Alkek Lobby. The event is sponsored by the Association for Graduate Student Diversity, the Office of Student Services and the Office of Philanthropy with support from the John E. Whitmore Endowed Lectureship. Learn more online.

Funding Priorities and Science: Dr. Kenneth Evans, science and technology policy scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, will speak on “Funding Priorities in the New Administration: Impacts on Science” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in Room N315, main Baylor. The talk is sponsored by the Science Policy Group at Baylor.

BeWell StairWell: Join the BeWell team and College leaders for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the BeWell StairWell at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 6, near the Anderson C stairwell (in E hall by the cafeteria), main Baylor. Take the stairs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to earn prizes, Vitality points and more.

Longevity Issues: The Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy presents Dr. Christopher Scott, professor and Dalton Tomlin Chair of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, discussing “No Country for Old Men: Can You Stop What is Coming?” at noon Thursday, April 13, at Grappino di Nino. For more information about the "Decisions, Issues and Values Affecting You" luncheon speaker series, or to register, please see the webpage.

The Bowling Ball: Baylor medical students invite you to attend the Bowling Ball charity event from 5:30 to 9 p.m. April 21 at the University of Houston’s games room. Proceeds will benefit the H.O.M.E.S. Clinic, a non-profit health clinic for the homeless. The night of activities includes a bowling tournament, billiards, ping pong, dinner and a silent auction. Tickets may be purchased as a team of six or individually. Register or make a donation online<.

Diversity Admissions Interviews: The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion is recruiting faculty members and chief residents with admissions or recruitment experience to conduct mock admissions interviews from 11 a.m. to noon on April 22 at main Baylor. The second annual Diversity Admissions Symposium brings together select undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students from across Texas to learn more about our allied health, medical and biomedical science programs and gain advice on academic preparation, professional development and navigating the admissions process. To volunteer, please email institutionaldiversity@bcm.edu.

Quality and Safety: Baylor’s Annual Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Conference is 4-8 p.m. April 26 in Onstead Auditorium, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 6767 Bertner Ave. It offers discussion and strategies related to patient safety and value in healthcare, and our faculty, fellows, residents and students will present peer-reviewed work in the area of quality and safety. The conference is free and is open to physicians, residents, health professionals and medical and allied health students from the Houston region. The conference qualifies for 2.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Register online.

Autism Study: Families affected by autism are invited to a special on-site registration and data collection event for SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge), the nation’s largest-ever autism research study, from 8 a.m. to noon April 29 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science during the museum’s Sensory Friendly Event. To RSVP by April 22, or for more information, contact: andrea.simon@bcm.edu or (832) 824-3624.

Global Health Hackathon: Join the College and TMC Innovation to solve some of the greatest challenges in global health. The Global Health Hackathon is a two-week summit June 12-28 that provides a collaborative environment for the best and brightest minds to be a part of something exciting, inspiring, and fun that will change the way healthcare is delivered to millions of people around the world. Registration for the hackathon is open to students, educators, healthcare professionals, researchers, bioinformaticians, engineers, entrepreneurs, developers, designers and social scientists; learn more online. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. April 28.

Faculty Resources

Financial Wellness Week: Human Resources - Benefits hosts FREE workshops presented by Fidelity, TIAA, Emeriti, the Society for Financial Awareness and the Social Security Administration Monday through Thursday, April 3-6, at Baylor Clinic, CNRC, Jamail Specialty Center, McGovern Campus and main Baylor. Topics include “Thrive for Women” at every career stage, Medicare, retirement income planning, budgeting, investing and tax planning. You can earn up to 300 BCM BeWell Vitality points for attending workshops in person. A number of workshops will be livestreamed. See the full schedule online.

Long Term Disability Change: Effective Jan. 1, 2018, Baylor will eliminate LTD continuation coverage of medical and dental benefits due to changes in the Affordable Care Act. Certain aspects of LTD continuation coverage will phase out beginning June 1. In place of the current coverage option, COBRA premium payments for the employee only will be paid by Baylor for up to six months. For questions, please contact the Human Resources - Benefits Office at ask-directbill@bcm.edu.

Recruitment Update: Effective July 1, staff positions will be posted for a maximum of 90 days. Personnel Action Forms (PAFs) will be approved for 120 days, giving departments 30 days after the position is unposted to finalize an offer. Staff positions that are not filled during this time will undergo evaluation if a PAF is submitted for re-approval. The expectation is that posted positions follow an active recruitment process that includes promptly reviewing applications referred by recruiters, conducting interviews and making an offer to a candidate. Your recruiter will be contacting you to discuss your currently posted positions and recruitment strategy.

For a Good Cause

Partnership Gala: The Partnership for Baylor College of Medicine hosts the Café Society Soirée at 7 p.m. Friday, April 7, at the Briar Club, benefiting the Phase One Clinical Trial Unit at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer and honoring Dr. C. Kent Osborne, Dudley and Tina Sharp Chair for Cancer Research and director of the center. For tickets, call (713) 798-5460 or email partnership@bcm.edu.

March for Science: The March for Science – Houston is April 22 (Earth Day) at a location to be determined. Scientists and science enthusiasts are uniting as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and evidence-based policies. Speakers include Dr. Brian Bruel, associate professor of physical medicine & rehabilitation, Dr. Andreas Tolias, associate professor of neuroscience, and Dr. Huda Zoghbi, with music by Baylor neuroscience band Tulipfinger. Information on getting involved is available online.

Bladder Cancer Walk: The Amp Up BCAN Walk/Run to End Bladder Cancer starts at 9:30 a.m. April 23 in Terry Hershey Park. Join Team Baylor to participate in this family- and pet-friendly event.

BP MS150: Thank you to all those in the Baylor community who have donated already to Team BCM’s efforts to end multiple sclerosis. It is not too late to join the ride. The team bikes from Houston to Austin in the BP MS150 April 29-30.

Cystic Fibrosis 5K: The Baylor Adult CF Center Team is walking in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides 5K May 13 at the Houston Zoo. Lace up, walk and help cure Cystic Fibrosis.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Call for Volunteers

Avon Walk Medical Tent: This year’s Avon Walk is April 22-23, and once again the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center will be running the medical tent. For this walk, more than 1,000 walkers complete a two-day, 39-mile journey to support breast cancer awareness and treatment. Led by Dr. Stacey Carter, assistant professor of surgery, medical volunteers will help care for the walkers, who may develop blisters, dehydration, heat stroke, strains and sprains, allergic reactions and other special circumstances. Volunteers are needed for Saturday shifts: Noon - 5 p.m., 3 - 8 p.m. and 4 - 9 p.m. Plus a Sunday shift: 6 - 8:30 a.m. To volunteer, complete the medical volunteer form and send back to Rosa Contreras along with a copy of your credentials.

Clinical Symposia

Mastering Resilience at Work: Dr. James Doty, clinical professor of neurosurgery and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, speaks on “Practicing with Compassion Improves Outcomes for Providers and Patients” at noon Friday, April 7, in Onstead Auditorium, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 6767 Bertner. His presentation is co-sponsored by the Center for Professionalism in Medicine, the University of Houston and MDACC.

Venom Conference: Join the National School of Tropical Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Houston Zoo for the fifth annual Houston Venom Conference, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Led by Dr. Spencer Greene, director of medical toxicology and assistant professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, the course features medical toxicologists and wilderness medicine experts from around the country and is designed to teach providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and EMS providers how to manage common envenomations like snakebites, spider bites and jellyfish stings. CME credits are available. Register online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Symposia

CVRI Symposium: The fifth annual Cardiovascular Research Institute Symposium, set for Tuesday, April 4, in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Lounge at main Baylor, features keynote speakers Dr. Christin Seidman, co-director of the Seidman Lab in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Cardiovascular Division of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dr. Richard Gibbs, Wofford Cain Chair and professor of molecular & human genetics and director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor. Please call (713) 798-6580 or (713) 798-6951, or email cvri@bcm.edu for more information.

Bone Scientific Retreat: Dr. Maurizio Pacifici, the Bong S. Lee Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedics 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

AAALAC Safety Reminders: During the Association for Assessment & Accreditation of Lab Animal Care site visit, visitors identified recurring safety concerns in labs where animal research is performed. The Office of Environmental Safety reminds lab teams to flush stationary eye wash stations weekly and to weigh charcoal canisters on anesthetic gas scavenging systems immediately before and after each use. More information on eye wash stations (page 74) and anesthetic gas systems is available online.

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

Questions or Comments?

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