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News for BCM Faculty, April 2, 2020
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Campus Precautions: Expect an enthusiastic welcome and an extra layer of security when you enter the Cullen Building (or the Garage 6 entrance) while the campus is on restricted access during the pandemic. The first day of the new protocol is pictured.

Tenure Clock Extension: Given the extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baylor College of Medicine is granting an automatic one-year extension of the tenure clock to all faculty members with current tenure-track appointments. More information about this extension can be found on the Faculty Appointments and Promotions website, including provisions for tenure-track faculty members whose promotion cases already are under review and any new tenure-track faculty appointments through the end of the calendar year.

  • In addition to the automatic extension, a faculty member may seek a second suspension of the tenure clock for up to 12 additional months in accordance with the existing Tenure Clock Suspension policy and procedures described in the Faculty Appointment and Promotion Guidelines.

Faculty Elections: Nominations are now open for seats in the Faculty Senate, with elections scheduled for May and June. With many senators facing term limits, this is your opportunity to get involved with the Faculty Senate and participate in shared governance and strategic planning for the College.

  • You may apply to represent the faculty at large or one of the following electoral units with which you are affiliated: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Center for Cell & Gene Therapy, Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Family & Community Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center, Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Medicine, Menninger Clinic, Molecular & Human Genetics, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Otolaryngology, Pathology & Immunology, Pediatrics (2 seats), Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2 seats), Center for Precision Environmental Health, Radiology, Surgery, Texas Children’s Hospital and TIRR. Information about the elections and a link to the application form are online.

Top Tips for Faculty: The Faculty Senate supports faculty members navigating the COVID-19 pandemic with news and tips you can use from the Coronavirus Preparedness website, the information hub for Baylor’s Incident Command Center:

  • Caring for Family: Bright Horizons Back-Up Care is a Baylor benefit that offers up to 25 days of high-quality caregiving for children, adults and elders.
  • Exercising at Home: The gym workout form on the Vitality Today app and the Power of Vitality website can be used for home workouts during the COVID-19 health crisis.
  • Reaching out to Others: Make a gift to show support for the Center for Comparative Medicine staff members conducting critical coronavirus research.
  • Checking in with Yourself: The Well-Being Index is a brief online self-assessment that provides individualized feedback, tools and national/local resources for mental health. Get started with invitation code BCM PHYSICIAN (physicians), BCM GSBS (researchers) or BCM HEALTHPROF (advanced practice providers).

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Kim Worley, professor of molecular & human genetics, has been elected Chair Elect of the Faculty Senate in a special election. She has served as the Senate’s Basic Sciences Representative for the last two years. The Chair Elect position became available when Dr. Christie Lincoln, assistant professor of radiology, became Chair of the Senate in March.

The Baylor Board of Trustees appointed four faculty members to endowed positions during its March 25 meeting.

Dr. Joanna Jankowsky, professor of neuroscience, neurosurgery, neurology and molecular & cellular biology, was named to the Vivian L. Smith Endowed Chair in Neuroscience for her research into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and her leadership in neuroscience education. A faculty senator, she came to Baylor in 2008.

Dr. Mohit Khera, professor of urology, was appointed to the F. Brantley Scott Chair in Urology for his clinical research and academic leadership in sexual medicine. Khera, whose surgical practice is at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, joined the faculty in 2007.

Dr. Mohamed Othman, associate professor of medicine – gastroenterology, was named to the William T. Butler Endowed Chair for Distinguished Faculty for his expertise in advanced endoscopy practice and training. The chief of gastroenterology at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, he has been with Baylor since 2014.

Dr. Ivan Rosas, professor of medicine – pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, was appointed to the Lester and Sue Smith Endowed Chair in Lung Health for his research into clinical biomarkers for pulmonary fibrosis. A national leader in interstitial lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, he joined the faculty in 2019.

Women of Excellence: Baylor honored faculty, staff and trainees as Women of Excellence and Allies for leadership, mentorship and commitment to academic medicine during Women’s History Month in March. The Women of Excellence Program was developed in 2018 by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. Unfortunately, this year’s ceremony was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the College recognizes these award recipients through a video and full list of winners in BCM Family.

Faculty Resources

DocTalk: Isabel Valdez, PA-C, answers questions related to COVID-19 by live stream at noon Tuesday, April 7. Register to receive the Zoom information and to send your questions. Eligible employees and spouses/domestic partners will receive 50 BCM BeWell Vitality points for submitting the verification survey and verification code given during the presentation.

Blood Donations: The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is taking necessary precautions and adhering to social distancing by asking that donors make appointments. See information online for a mobile donation near you.

UHC-Methodist Update: The Human Resources - Benefits team remains in contact with UnitedHealthcare regarding the negotiations between UHC and Houston Methodist. The contract between UHC and Houston Methodist hospitals ended on Dec. 31, 2019. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Houston Methodist physician's contract has been extended to June 1, 2020. The Houston Methodist facilities still remain out-of-network at this time. Please see the update for additional information.

Grants Roundup: The Office of Institutional Advancement has identified several funding opportunities that may be of interest to researchers. Please contact Andrea Calo at 713-798-5776 with any questions.

  • Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation letter of intent is due Friday, April 10.
  • Whitehall Foundation letter of intent for neural mechanisms and behavior research is due Wednesday, April 15.
  • National Psoriasis Foundation Bridge Grants application is due Friday, April 17.
  • Qatar Foundation Global Health Initiative - World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) Innovation Booster Competition application for treatment initiatives and technological solutions is due June 27. WISH Innovation Spark Competition application for healthcare startups is due June 29.

From the Labs: Read how Drs. Manu Banadakoppa and Chandra Yallampalli in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology discovered that a unique combination of variants of three genes in the mother/fetus pair was associated with preeclampsia in this week’s post. 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?

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.

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