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Faculty Commons, May 10 - 16, 2018
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DeBakey Research Awards: The College honored five of its leading faculty with the 2018 Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award, which recognizes their significant published scientific contributions to clinical or basic biomedical research over the past three years. Their work has not only advanced their own fields of study, but it also is truly representative of the depth and breadth of research at the College. Pictured are DeBakey Award winners Dr. Erez Lieberman Aiden, assistant professor in molecular & human genetics and a McNair Scholar, Dr. Karl-Dimiter Bissig, associate professor of molecular & cellular biology in the Center for Cell & Gene Therapy, and Dr. Shawn Zhang, associate professor in the Breast Center and a McNair Scholar, standing with Dr. George P. Noon, professor of surgery, representing the DeBakey Medical Foundation, President Paul Klotman and Research Dean Adam Kuspa. Dr. Atul Chopra, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics and molecular & cellular biology and a Caroline Wiess Law Scholar, and Dr. Meng Wang, associate professor of molecular & human genetics in the Huffington Center on Aging, Robert C. Fyfe Endowed Chair in Aging and a faculty senator, also received DeBakey Awards. Read about the award winners' research online.


Nurses Week: Baylor salutes all of its nurses during National Nurses Week, May 6 - 12, for the extraordinary work they do every day. This year, Allison Carter, a registered nurse in the Transition Medicine Clinic, was honored as one of Houston’s top 15 nurses through the Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses awards program. Read more in BCM Family.


Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center was named one of "100 great hospitals in America" by Becker's Healthcare in its annual list released last week. The hospital earned its second consecutive Healthgrades General Surgery Excellence Award in 2018 in addition to Healthgrades' 2018 Stroke Care Excellence Award. Baylor St. Luke's also is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top performer in cardiology and neurology on its 2017-18 list and earned an "A" grade from The Leapfrog Group earlier this spring.


Name Change: The Baylor College of Medicine School of Allied Health Sciences has been renamed the School of Health Professions. This more inclusive and comprehensive name reflects the evolution of the role of health professionals in patient care and the expanded scope of programs in the school, which now includes physician assistants, nurse anesthetists, orthotists and prosthetists and genetic counselors. Read more about the name change.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Ricardo Flores, assistant professor of pediatrics – oncology, was awarded a travel grant to participate in the 2018 Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science – Howard Hughes Medical Institute Advanced Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. The institute prepares participants for expanded leadership roles in their organizations, with a focus on creating diversity in STEM fields that reflects the demographics of the population.


imageimageDr. Sanjiv Harpavat and Dr. Mary Tessier, assistant professors of pediatrics – gastroenterology, received $100,000 from the 12th annual Men of Distinction awards luncheon for their child health project. The charity event's honorees included Dr. David Poplack, professor and Elise C. Young Chair in Pediatric Oncology.


imageDr. Steve Scherer, professor in the Human Genome Sequencing Center, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He is represents the faculty at large on the Senate.


imageDr. Peggy Smith, professor of obstetrics & gynecology, was selected as a Texas Medical Center Women's History Project honoree. The joint project with the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce documents and records the lives of women who have made important contributions to science and healthcare. Smith was recognized for her longtime leadership of the Baylor Teen Health Clinic and efforts to reduce health risks among adolescents in Harris County and beyond.


imageDr. Patrick Turley, associate general counsel, demonstrates the College's advocacy efforts for faculty and for academic freedom in this month's BCM Family, which describes his successful defense of a faculty member sued for defamation.


College Events

The TMC Orchestra, which includes many College musicians, plays romantic masterpieces by Glinka, Rachmaninoff and Dvorak at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center. Go online for tickets and more information.

The Partnership: “The Overscheduled Family: Managing Stress and Family Dynamics in a Digital Age,” is the topic of The Partnership for BCM’s lunchtime lecture. Dr. Asim Shah, professor of psychiatry, and Dr. Monica Alzate, assistant professor of family & community medicine, are speakers at the event, which begins at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 15, at the Briar Club, 2603 Timmons Lane. Register online.

Health Equity Grand Rounds: Dr. David Buck, professor of family & community medicine, presents "Population Health: Managing Complex Patients to Learn and Fix What is Broken." The session, offered in collaboration with the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds, is set for 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 16, in Conference Rooms A and B, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. CME credit will be offered.

Education Grand Rounds: "Gender and Race Gatekeepers" is the topic of Rice University psychology and management professor Dr. Mikki Hebl's presentation on gender and race issues in the workplace, sponsored by the School of Health Professions and the Office of Faculty Development. The talk begins at noon Wednesday, May 16, in Room 201A, main Baylor.

Faculty Awards Day: Cheer for your peers at this omnibus awards ceremony encompassing the Clark Faculty Service Award, Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Awards, Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award, Faculty Awards for Excellence in Patient Care, and Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism. See the list of winners online. The event is set for 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 17, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor, with a reception to follow.

Faculty Resources

Emergency Notification System: Are you prepared for hurricane season? Baylor has an emergency notification system (ENS) to alert you of a crisis or catastrophic event, but first you have to sign up for it. To receive phone, email and text messaging notifications, log in to the ENS using your Baylor user name and password. Your information will be used to contact you only during an emergency. For more details, see the ENS FAQ.

For a Good Cause

Arthritis Walk: Meet up with the BCM Walkin' Warriors for the Walk to Cure Arthritis at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana St. Dr. Melvyn Harrington, associate professor of orthopedic surgery, chairs the Houston Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, which is sponsoring the one- or three-mile walk. Dogs are welcome. Register or donate online.

Career Day: The Center for Educational Outreach is looking for volunteers to talk about their work at the 2018 Day for Health-Related Careers at Baylor College of Medicine Academy at James D. Ryan. This is an exciting opportunity for 8th grade students to learn about a variety of career options in the health professions. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m. on May 22. For more information or to register, see the webpage.

BCM Beastmode: The Center for Comparative Medicine is participating in a virtual 5K to support Homes for Animal Heroes, a national program dedicated to rehoming retired research dogs and sharing knowledge about the important role animals play in finding cures for diseases. Join the Baylor team, BCM Beastmode, by donating online and participating virtually through May 31.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminars

The Texas Heart Institute Cardiac Society 10th Symposium is led by Dr. Wilson Lam, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Guilherme Silva, assistant professor of medicine, and features Dr. David Holmes of Mayo Clinic delivering the Igor F. Palacios M.D. Distinguished Lecture in Cardiology at 8:10 a.m. Friday, May 11, in Denton Cooley Auditorium, Texas Heart Institute. CME credit is available. Register online.

Pri-Med Southwest starts Wednesday, May 16, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Baylor is the academic partner of the conference, which offers up to 20.75 CME credits and features the most current clinical updates in primary care and subspecialties as well as live orthopedic demonstrations, interactive sessions and keynote addresses. Course directors are Dr. Stephen Greenberg, distinguished service professor of medicine, and Dr. Michael Fordis, senior associate dean of continuing medical education. Registration is open online.

Liver Disease: The 19th Annual Hot Topics in Liver Disease Conference is July 28 at the Houstonia Hotel. Co-program directors Dr. Prasun Jalal, assistant professor of surgery, Dr. Norman Sussman, associate professor of surgery and a faculty senator, and Dr. John Vierling, professor of medicine and surgery, offer the latest information in cirrhosis and its clinical complications, non-alcoholic and alcoholic liver diseases and drug-induced liver injury, viral hepatitis, hepatobiliary malignancy and liver transplantation. CNE and CME contact hours will be provided. Register online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Frank Greenberg Lecture: Dr. Cynthia Casson Morton of Harvard Medical School speaks on "A Time to Sequence in Clinical Cytogenetics: The Need for Nucleotide Level Precision" at the 19th annual memorial lecture, noon Friday, May 11, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

Helis Lecture: The Helis Medical Research Foundations Cancer Research Lecture Series presents Dr. William G. Kaelin Jr. of Harvard Medical School on "New Treatments for Anemia, Ischemia, and Cancer Emerging from Studies of the von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein" at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

The DLDCCC Breast Disease Research Group Seminar Series presents Dr. Geoffrey Wahl of the Salk Institute discussing "Lessons About Cancer from Development: Reprising the Past for the Future" at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, in McMillian Auditorium, main Baylor.

The NMR & Cell Tracking Symposium includes presentations by Dr. Robia Pautler, associate professor of molecular physiology & biophysics, Dr. Naomi Halas and Dr. Ed Nikonowicz of Rice University, Dr. Matt Allen of Wayne State and Eric Ahrens of UC San Diego. Hosted by the Gulf Coast Consortium for Magnetic Resonance, the free event begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 16, at the Rice BioScience Research Collaborative. Register online.

The Gulf Coast Consortia Mental Health Research Symposium starts at 9 a.m. Friday, May 18, at the Rice BioScience Research Collaborative. Confirmed speakers include Ronald Duman of Yale University, Mary Kay Lobo of University of Maryland School of Medicine and Susan Koester of NIMH. For more information and registration, visit the website.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Read why Dr. Christine Beeton, associate professor of molecular physiology & biophysics, thinks a component in scorpion venom may one day treat rheumatoid arthritis 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 May.

Questions or Comments?

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