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Faculty Commons, April 19 - 25, 2018
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College News



Women of Excellence: Pioneering academic leader and Prairie View A&M President Ruth Simmons recently visited the College to deliver an inspirational speech on the importance of women role models. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, the event also recognized the 114 Baylor faculty, staff and trainees nominated by their peers as Women of Excellence. Pictured are Associate Provosts Nancy Moreno and Toi Harris and Provost Alicia Monroe with Dr. Simmons. Read the article in BCM Family.


Faculty Senate Elections: With less than two weeks remaining in the nomination period, 42 faculty members have submitted their names for electoral unit and at-large Senate seats. There is still time for you to get involved in College governance and represent your colleagues on the Faculty Senate. May 1 is the deadline to self nominate. Information about the elections and a link to the nomination form are online.


Faculty Kudos

imageimageDr. Peter J. Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, and Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Baylor, both also with Texas Children’s Hospital, have been elected as the newest members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary titles. The Academy is among the oldest societies and independent policy research centers in the country. It recognizes exceptional scholars, leaders, artists and innovators and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing challenges facing the world. This year, Hotez and Zoghbi join more than 200 other individuals from a wide range of disciplines and professions as elected members of the Class of 2018.


imageDr. Courtney Hodges, assistant professor of molecular & cellular biology and a member of the Dan L Duncan Cancer Center, was selected for the Medical Research Award from the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research. The grant will fund his studies of chromatin regulatory mechanisms in mixed-lineage leukemia.


imageDr. Lisa Kahalley, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and her collaboration with neuro-oncologists and other healthcare professionals to study the cognitive effects of a novel treatment for brain tumors in children, were profiled in the American Psychological Association Monitor on Psychology.


imageDr. Ruth Ann Luna, assistant professor of pathology and a faculty senator, recently received the Lotte Strauss Prize from the Society for Pediatric Pathology for her paper, “Distinct Microbiome-Neuroimmune Signatures Correlate with Functional Abdominal Pain in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology.


imageDr. James Lupski, the Cullen Endowed Chair in Molecular Genetics, received the March of Dimes Colonel Harland Sanders Award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of birth defects at the American College of Medical Genetics meeting in North Carolina. The award is granted annually to an individual whose career of research, education or clinical service has made a significant contribution toward the prevention of birth defects.


imageDr. Ourania Preventza, associate professor of surgery – cardiothoracic surgery, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. She represents the faculty at large on the Senate.


imageDr. Victor Rivera, distinguished emeritus professor of neurology, was appointed advisor and coordinator of scientific and clinical activities of FOCEM, an educational and collaborative forum on multiple sclerosis involving 12 Central American, South American and Caribbean nations, at its inaugural meeting in Panama City.


imageDr. Todd Rosengart, professor and DeBakey Bard Chair of Surgery, and the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery have been awarded $1.4 million to support postdoctoral trainees in cardiovascular surgical research. The National Institutes of Health T32 grant will fund two M.D. or Ph.D. trainees each year for two years of mentored training.

College Events

NIH Training Director: Dr. Sharon Milgram, director of the Office of Intramural Training and Education, National Institutes of Health, discusses "Becoming a Resilient Scientist" at 11 a.m. Friday, April 20, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor, hosted by the Association for Graduate Student Diversity.

Multicultural Festival: Explore cultures and regions from around the world through food offerings, information tables, performances, artwork and other interactive activities from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Friday, April 20, in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor.

TMC Hackathon: The 3rd Annual TMC Biodesign Hackathon, where healthcare solutions are developed in 72 hours, happens this weekend, April 20 – 22. The final pitch presentation and networking event starts at 1 pm. Sunday, April 22. RSVP online to attend.

Quality & Safety: Baylor's 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 4 – 8 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in Onstead Auditorium, 6767 Bertner Ave. 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. Register online.

Team Discovery: “Finding Your Seat on the Bus: Negotiation Skills for Minimizing Conflict and Maximizing Team Effectiveness,” with Dr. Margaret Conner, associate professor of virology and microbiology, Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, and Dr. Jill Weatherhead, assistant professor of pediatrics – tropical medicine, is set for 3:30 – 5 p.m., Thursday, April 26, in Room M323, main Baylor. Team Discovery is part of the Team Launch program.

Faculty Opportunities

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 Friday, April 27. Please email healthequity@bcm.edu for additional information.

Critical Thinking Facilitators: The School of Medicine will offer 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 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.

Inclusion & Excellence Council: The Office of the President seeks to fill an at-large faculty position on the Inclusion and Excellence Council, a forum for engaging trainees, faculty and staff and supporting the diversity and inclusion goals of the College. Meetings are held once a quarter and subcommittee meetings are once a month. The position’s term runs through June 30, 2019. To apply, please submit a CV and a completed application form to president@bcm.edu and copy institutionaldiversity@bcm.edu by May 2.

Curriculum Workgroup Members: The School of Medicine is recruiting seven faculty members to support the Undergraduate Medical Education curriculum by serving on the Curriculum Renewal Workgroup. The school is looking for innovative faculty members (assistant professor or higher rank) who have experience in developing curricula or an interest in medical education. This is an administrative appointment and efforts will be supported by the Office of Curriculum. More information is available online. Applications are due by May 31.

Faculty Resources

Poll Everywhere: Dr. Sandra Haudek, assistant professor of medicine and a faculty senator, and Michael Cannon, senior project manager in the provost’s office, present a faculty workshop on Poll Everywhere, the audience response system, 4 – 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in Room N317, main Baylor. RSVP to Deborah Fernandez to attend.

Faculty Portfolio: The Office of Professional Development offers an introduction to portfolios for academic promotion and awards, 2 – 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, in Room N317, main Baylor. To attend, RSVP to Deborah Fernandez.

Faculty Orientation & Promotion Reception: Learn about resources available across Baylor’s mission areas, and hear career tips and strategies from a faculty panel at New Faculty Orientation, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. May 1 in Kleberg Auditorium, main Baylor. It is followed by a reception in Alkek Lobby to recognize new faculty members and those recently promoted to the ranks of associate professor and professor. Both events are open to all faculty members. RSVP to Deborah Fernandez.

Alumni Awards: Join the Alumni Association in celebrating the College's alumni and faculty for excellence in achievement and service, Including Dr. Carol Baker ’68, Dr. Joseph Coselli ’82, Dr. Jennifer E. Dietrich (Res.) ’04, Elizabeth Elliott P.A.-C ’06, Dr. Ellen M. Friedman, Dr. Sean McGuire ’03 and Dr. James L. Phillips. The Alumni Awards and Recognition Dinner kicks off Reunion Weekend at 6 p.m. May 3 at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston. Special pricing is available for faculty; contact the Alumni Office to RSVP.

For a Good Cause

Ride for Mental Health: Join the Peace of Mind Foundation in the Ride for Mental Health on Saturday, April 21, to raise awareness for mental health and end the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Learn more and register online.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminar

Endocrine Grand Rounds: Dr. Lori Zeltser of Columbia University discusses “Identifying novel therapeutic targets for anorexia nervosa” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in Jaworski Classroom, Room 187A, main Baylor.

Clinical Events

SPARK for Autism: Enjoy a sensory friendly morning at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and register with SPARK, an autism research program, from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28, at the museum, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. Participation involves completing an online registration (20-30 minutes) and providing a saliva sample. Individuals with autism as well as their biological family members are invited to join SPARK. Families will receive up to $50 in gift cards (one gift card per family). RSVPs are required to attend.

Asthma Town Hall: Patients, healthcare professionals, policy makers and community members are invited to attend the first-ever Houston-area Town Hall on Asthma, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. May 1, at United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive. The event is free but you must RSVP to attend.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Precision Environmental Health: Dr. Curtis Harris of the National Cancer Institute presents “A Tale of Two Evils: Aging and Cancer” at 2 p.m. Monday, April 23, in Room N1318, main Baylor.

Molecular Physiology & Biophysics: Dr. Monte Winslow of Stanford University School of Medicine, speaks on “Molecular Determinants of Lung Cancer Growth and Metastasis” at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Room 409B, main Baylor.

Research Events

DeBakey Research Awards: You are invited to attend the 2018 Michael DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Awards ceremony and symposium, 2 – 4 p.m. May 8 in Room M112, main Baylor. The awards recognize faculty members who have made significant published scientific contributions to clinical or basic biomedical research during the past three years. The 2018 honorees are Dr. Karl-Dimiter Bissig, Dr. Atul Chopra, Dr. Erez Lieberman Aiden, Dr. Meng Wang and Dr. Shawn Zhang. A reception follows the event.

Research Resources

Brain Research Award: Baylor may submit one letter of intent for the Brain Research Foundation 2019 Scientific Innovations Award. To be eligible, the researcher must be at the associate professor or professor level, working in the area of neuroscience and brain function in health and disease, with evidence of major NIH or other peer-reviewed funding in the past three years. The grant amount is $150,000 over two years for new research projects of the highest scientific merit. Internal submissions are due by 5 p.m. May 9 through the online portal.

From the Labs: Read what Dr. Paul Ling, associate professor of molecular virology & microbiology, learned when he took a closer look at how elephants fight herpesvirus in this blog post. You can receive 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.

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.

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