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News for BCM Faculty, April 8, 2021
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College News


From the Labs: April’s image of the month shows the effects of early physical training of Rett mice, which results in the development of more dendritic arbors or cellular projections in a task-specific group of neurons in the hippocampus (red). Image courtesy of M.D./Ph.D. student Nathan Achilly in the laboratory of Dr. Huda Zoghbi, published in Nature, 2021.

Committees Election: Faculty members have through Thursday, April 22, to cast ballots for your candidates for at-large seats on the Faculty Committee on Awards, Institutional Committee Governance and Student Services Committee. The election is sponsored by the Office of the President and Institutional Committee Governance, chaired by Dr. Christie Lincoln, to increase faculty engagement and participation in the life of the College.

Faculty Website: Have you noticed the new “Faculty” button on the Baylor College of Medicine homepage? (it’s just below the big photo at the top.) Click it to go directly to your one-stop shop for guidance and workshops that span the faculty life cycle. See how Baylor can help you thrive.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Biykem Bozkurt, professor of medicine – cardiology, has updated American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association heart failure data standards. The 2021 ACC/AHA Key Data Elements and Definitions for Heart Failure were published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Bozkurt also serves as associate provost of faculty affairs and senior associate dean of faculty development.

Dr. Catherine Gordon has been appointed chair of the Department of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital. Currently professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chief of adolescent medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, she is internationally known for her research on factors that affect bone health in teens and young adults. She joins Baylor and TCH on Oct. 1.

Dr. Tamara Ortiz-Perez, associate professor of radiology and clinical sciences representative on the Faculty Senate, shares her insights on the culture of professionalism at Baylor in this month’s BCM Family. She provides care and directs the breast imaging fellowship program at the Breast Care Center at Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

At the March 31 meeting of the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, three faculty members were honored with endowed chairs:

Dr. Robert Bolland was appointed to the Brown Foundation Endowed Chair in Psychiatry. He was recruited to Baylor in January as vice chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and senior vice president and chief of staff at the Menninger Clinic. With expertise in medical education, psychosomatic medicine and and geriatric psychiatry, he succeeds Dr. John Oldham, who retired in September.

Dr. Chethan Venkatasubba Rao, associate professor of neurology, neurosurgery and space medicine, was named to a William T. Butler, M.D., Endowed Chair for Distinguished Faculty. He serves as medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and studies cerebral function during neurological illnesses and prolonged space flight. He has been a Baylor faculty member since 2011.

Dr. Harinder Singh was appointed to the Richard S. Wayne, M.D., Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology. Since joining the Baylor faculty in 2015, he has built the pediatric cardiology electrophysiology lab at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio into one of the best in Texas, mentored more than 15 fellows and gained a national reputation for his care of pediatric arrhythmia disorders.

College (Virtual) Events

Biology Seminar: Dr. Michael Xi Zhu, professor of integrative biology & pharmacology at UT Health Houston, speaks on “Regulatory mechanisms of lysosomal degradation in acute nutrient shortage – new roles of glutamine and MLKL” at 4 p.m. today, April 8, via Zoom, meeting ID: 918 5085 0798, passcode 999999.

Off Script: “Stories from the Heart of Medicine,” Baylor’s Narrative Medicine Program and UT Health’s McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics storytelling event, is back with tales on the theme of "Family" at 6 p.m. today, April 8, via Zoom. Register to attend.

Cancer Seminar: Dr. Peter Kurre, professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, speaks on “Regulation of residual hematopoietic function in the AML niche” at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 9, via Zoom, meeting ID: 387 923 767, passcode 831342.

Autism Webinar: The SPARK for Autism study at Baylor and Texas Children's Hospital hosts a free webinar for parents and caregivers of children with autism, "Should My Child See a Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrician," at noon Friday, April 9. Dr. Renee Rodrigues-D'Souza will explain the role of these specialists in evaluating and supporting children with autism spectrum disorder. Registration is open.

COVID Tracking Project: Dr. Vivian Ho professor of medicine – health services research, and data specialist Judith Oppenheim take a deep dive into the Texas data from the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization from The Atlantic magazine that collects and publishes data on the pandemic, at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 12, in a webinar sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for Health and Biosciences at Rice University. RSVP to attend.

Faculty Opportunities

Faculty Senate: Applications are open for seats on 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 one of the following electoral units with which you are affiliated: Anesthesiology (2 seats), Dermatology, Education Innovation & Technology, Emergency Medicine (2 seats), Huffington Center, Medicine (2 seats), Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Neurology (2 seats), Neuroscience, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Pathology & Immunology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (2 seats), Surgery and Urology.
  • Or consider running for one of nine at-large faculty positions; the Senate particularly encourages those in the basic sciences to apply. Information about the elections and a link to the application form are online.

Seed Funds: The Junior Faculty Seed funding program supports new investigators at the assistant professor level who are beginning their careers as independent researchers. The purpose of this award is to help prepare junior faculty members to submit applications to obtain independent research funding. Several awards of $30,000 each are available for fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022). These funds are unrestricted and must be spent in the fiscal year in which they are awarded. Eligibility criteria and instructions are available online; Monday, April 19, is the deadline for submissions.

Curriculum Renewal: The School of Medicine's Office of Curriculum seeks innovative and committed faculty members who are biomedical scientists to join the Curriculum Renewal Workgroup. This workgroup is tasked with redesigning the current four-year medical school curriculum, specifically the foundational sciences courses and concepts for first-year students. For more information, please see Faculty Opportunities online.

Faculty Resources

Compassionate Conversation: Dr. Francis Lu, emeritus professor of psychiatry at University of California, Davis, leads a discussion on “Stop Asian-American Pacific-Islander Hate,” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, co-sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Chinese Student Scholars Association. Participate by registering.

Genetics Seminar: Take a look at Long Read Sequencing Opportunities at the Human Genome Sequencing Center, with a focus on the Pacific Biosciences sequencing platform, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 23. Register to attend.

TEACH-S, The Texas Educators Academies Collaborative for Health Professions Southeast, hosts a symposium on “Educator Identities in the New Healthcare Environment, with Dr. Neil Osheroff, president of International Association of Medical Science Educators, as plenary speaker May 14. Registration information and a call for abstracts are online.

Vaccine Update: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated public health recommendations to allow small gatherings of vaccinated people outside of the healthcare setting. These guidelines do not apply to the healthcare setting, which includes Baylor College of Medicine, regardless of your work or academic function and location. All Baylor employees and learners should follow the CDC's Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations while in the workplace or academic setting.

Disability Services: The College is committed to providing equal access to learning opportunities for students and trainees with disabilities. To ensure access for all, please contact Student & Trainee Disability Services for a confidential conversation about accommodations for classroom and clinical settings. More information can be obtained online.

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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