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Faculty Commons, April 4 - 11, 2018
Please submit items for Faculty Commons to Erin Blair.

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From the Labs: Measuring the effects of microgravity on vision is April’s Image of the Month. Dr. Eric Bershad, assistant professor of neurology – vascular critical care, is shown conducting a non-invasive Vittamed Intracranial Pressure study at the Center for Space Medicine. Read more about the device and the center on the blog. You can receive twice-weekly articles on Baylor's research and innovation highlights as they are posted by going to From the Labs and entering your email address in the "Subscribe" 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 Senate Elections: Senate Chair Oluyinka Olutoye announced that nominations are now open for 36 Senate seats and two officer positions, with elections scheduled for May and June. This is your opportunity to participate in shared governance and strategic planning for the College through involvement with the Faculty Senate. Information about the elections and a link to the nomination form are online.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Arthur Bracey, professor of pathology, has been appointed to the Harris County Health System Board of Managers by the Harris County Commissioners Court. Based at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, he also serves on the medical staff of Ben Taub Hospital.


imageDr. Wayne Goodman, chair and professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was awarded a grant of more than $181,000 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, for a project on the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.


imageDr. George Hutton, associate professor of neurology, was named to the Linda and John Griffin Endowed Chair in Multiple Sclerosis at the March meeting of the College’s Board of Trustees. A faculty member for almost 18 years, he serves as medical director of the Maxine Mesinger MS Comprehensive Care Center and the Neurology Clinic and directs the neurology fellowship programs.


imageDr. Scott LeMaire, professor of surgery and molecular physiology & biophysics, was appointed to the Jimmy and Roberta Howell Professorship in Cardiovascular Surgery when the Board of Trustees met in March. A resident alumnus of the College, he has served on the faculty for 19 years and is director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Laboratory.


imageDr. Olutoyin Olutoye, professor of pediatric anesthesiology, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. She represents the anesthesiology faculty on the Senate.

imageimageDr. Eric Storch and Dr. Asim Shah, professors in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, accepted a $2.6 million grant from the Greater Houston Community Foundation to provide behavioral health services for those who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. The goal of the project, a collaboration between the College, Harris Health and Texas Children’s Hospital, is to increase patient access to care. Shah is also a faculty senator.


College Events

Second Look Reception: Accepted medical school applicants return to Baylor for a second look before committing to a medical school at 6 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the courtyard. You are welcome to stop by to share your Baylor pride.

Girls Elevated: Teen and preteen girls and their parents are invited to an event focused on living a healthy adolescence. Led by Dr. Jennifer Dietrich, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology, the interactive sessions cover the critical topics girls want and need to know about, such as healthy relationships, the real image of beauty and coping with sexual pressures. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 7, at the United Way – Greater Houston. Purchase a ticket online.

CVRI Symposium: The 6th Annual Cardiovascular Research Institute Symposium, featuring keynote speakers Dr. Eric Olson of UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas and Dr. John Cooke of Houston Methodist Research Institute, is set for Tuesday, April 10, at main Baylor. CME credit is available and walk-in registrations are welcome. Contact cvri@bcm.edu for more information.

Environmental Health Symposium: The Center for Precision Environmental Health hosts its inaugural symposium, “The Environment and Your Health,” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in Kleberg Auditorium, main Baylor. The event features a keynote address by Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, who will focus on the opportunities and challenges for environmental health in the era of precision medicine. Additional topics include environmental influences on birth defects, chronic and metabolic disease and cardiovascular health.

Faculty Opportunities

Critical Thinking Facilitators: The School of Medicine will be offering a new course called Critical Thinking and Problem Solving beginning in July 2018. The dean is soliciting nominations for the team-based learning facilitators and session designer positions. Directed by Dr. Sarah Bezek, associate professor of emergency medicine, the new critical thinking course will replace the current Integrated Problem Solving I course and be required for all first-year medical students. The positions' administrative efforts and FTE will be supported by the Office of Curriculum. Please see Faculty Opportunities for more information. The deadline for nominations is April 30.

Health Equity Scholars: Applications are still being accepted for the Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research Scholars Program 2018-2019 cohort of Baylor clinical fellows and junior faculty. The center seeks scholars who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting social justice and health equities and leadership in addressing educational, societal and healthcare needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. The deadline to apply has been extended through April 27. Please email healthequity@bcm.edu for additional information.

Faculty Resources

TMC Library: The library introduces a new way to access its electronic resources through OpenAthens authentication software on Sunday, April 15. Baylor users do not need to register for OpenAthens; they will be recognized and granted access with their institutional email account. Other users will need to register for personal OpenAthens accounts through the TMC Library.

Course Content Accessibility: Help is now available to assist you in making your Blackboard course content more accessible to students with different learning styles and disabilities. Blackboard Ally, a new tool offered by the Education Resource Center, automatically generates a variety of alternative accessible versions for all your course content, while keeping your original files. Students have the flexibility to select the version that works best for them. Ally also will help you improve the accessibility of your content by providing guidance and tips for lasting improvements. Full instructions are available in the “On Demand Help” box on the right-hand side of the Blackboard landing page

Financial Wellness Week: Human Resources hosts seminars by Fidelity, TIAA, Social Security Administration, Society for Financial Awareness, Optum Bank and new vendor Social Finance at a variety of locations during Financial Wellness Week, April 9 – 12. Earn up to 300 BCM BeWell Vitality points for attending in person, or live-stream a session. See the schedule or contact ask-retirement@bcm.edu for more information.

For a Good Cause

Mock Admissions Interviewers: Faculty from all departments are needed to conduct mock interviews with participants at the Third Annual Diversity Admissions Symposium from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, April 14, at the College. The event focuses on undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students from across Texas who are underrepresented in medicine and science and interested in applying to graduate or professional programs in medicine, allied health sciences and biomedical sciences. To volunteer, please email the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Marfan Walk: Dr. Joseph Coselli, professor and chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery, and his Coselli’s Crusaders team raised more than $14,000 in the Marfan Foundation's Walk for Victory last month, making them the top fundraising team. Money raised helps provide funding for Marfan syndrome research and education, including the foundation's annual conference, which helps affected patients and families connect with each other and with doctors who treat the genetic connective tissue disorder that affects the heart, eyes, bones and spine.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Event

AMWA Mixer: The College chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association hosts a Women in Medicine Mixer from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at Salento Wine Bar, 2407 Rice Boulevard. This event is an opportunity to discuss ways to promote leadership, mentoring and strategic alliances among female faculty, residents and students at BCM in a relaxed environment. RSVP online by Friday, April 6.

Clinical Symposia

Neuromuscular Disorders: The 4th Annual Neuromuscular Disorders Seminar: Diagnostic Modalities is scheduled for April 7 at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center McNair Campus. Dr. Aziz Shaibani, clinical professor of medicine, is the course director for this CME activity. Register online.

Venom Conference: Dr. Spencer Greene, assistant professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, directs the 6th Annual Houston Venom Conference Wednesday, April 11, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor, and the Houston Zoo. The conference, sponsored by the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor, Texas Children's Hospital and the zoo, teaches healthcare providers about envenomations and how to treat them. CME credit is available. Register online.

Quality & Safety: The 5th Annual Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Conference, offering health professionals and students an opportunity to present their ideas in an interactive forum, is set for is April 26. Directed by Dr. Emily Sedgwick, associate professor of radiology and chief quality officer for the Faculty Group Practice, the conference highlights a peer-reviewed selection of quality and safety research projects and program innovations. Registration is open.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminar

ATC Seminar: “Targeted Proteomics as a Discovery Platform for Cancer and Other Applications” is the topic of Dr. Shixia Huang’s presentation in the Advanced Technology and Analytics Seminar Series at noon Monday, April 9, in Room N315, main Baylor. Huang is associate professor of molecular & cellular biology and director of the Antibody-based Proteomics Core.

Research Training

Research Mentor Training: Faculty research mentors are invited to participate in a four-hour workshop on skill-building in mentoring competencies including aligning expectations, maintaining effective communications, fostering independence and resilience and promoting professional development. Workshop activities are based on the mentor training curriculum of the NIH’s National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) but will be tailored to research mentors at Baylor. Four workshop dates in May and June are offered. To attend, please choose your preferred date by April 16. For more information, contact Dr. Anna Marie Sokac, NRMN master facilitator of mentor training, or Dr. Sandra Haudek, director of peer coaching in the Office of Faculty Development.

Research Resources

Core Facility Open House: The Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models Core Facility hosts an open house on its egg-based PDX and biological models from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, in Room NA511, Neurosensory Building. More information about the core’s services is available on the website.

Interim Funding: The BCM Interim Funding Program provides short-term relief funding up to $100,000 for established laboratories that have experienced a lapse in federal funding. The program provides awards for up to twelve months' duration. Full eligibility, award and application information for fiscal year 2019 is available online. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. April 16.

Bridge to Independence: The Bridge to Independence Program provides bridge funding of up to $100,000 for junior faculty members who have spent down their seed but not yet obtained independent funding. Full eligibility, award and application information for FY 2019 is available online. The application deadline is 5 p.m. April 16.

Funding Opportunities: See the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity’s list of funding opportunities for research on healthcare disparities and social determinants of health. The Office of Research offers a list of privately funded awards currently accepting applications for April.

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.

Items for Faculty Commons: To submit items for this weekly email update for Baylor College of Medicine faculty, please contact us.

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