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Faculty Commons, May 24 - 30, 2018
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College News



Faculty Excellence: More than 100 faculty members were recognized for their outstanding contributions to education, community service and clinical care before their colleagues, family members and College leaders at Faculty Awards Day. The 2nd annual omnibus ceremony on May 17 recognized recipients of the Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award, Clark Faculty Service Award, Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Awards, Faculty Awards for Excellence in Patient Care, Graduating Class Outstanding Faculty Award and Ben and Margaret Love Foundation Bobby Alford Award for Academic Clinical Professionalism. Pictured are the recipients of the 2018 Norton Rose Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching & Evaluation.


imageChancellor Named: The Board of Trustees has named Dr. Bert O’Malley, longtime chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, as chancellor of the College, effective July 1. He will step down as chair of the department to assume the responsibilities of chancellor, but will continue directing his research lab. As chancellor, he will advise the president and provost, participate in strategic planning activities and act as an ambassador for Baylor. Dr. Jeff Rosen, professor of molecular & cellular biology, will serve as interim chair while a national search is conducted.

imageNew HHMI Investigator: Dr. Meng Wang, associate professor in the Huffington Center on Aging and the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator at the College. She is interested in identifying natural metabolites that derive from metabolic reactions, to try to understand their function and how they can be used as a new target to promote healthy aging and improve longevity. Dr. Wang, a faculty senator, joins Dr. Huda Zoghbi, professor of molecular & human genetics and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor of molecular & human genetics, and Dr. Jeffrey Magee, professor of neuroscience as HHMI Investigators at Baylor.

VA Research: President Paul Klotman testified at a May 17 joint hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations entitled "VA Research: Focusing on Funding, Findings and Partnerships," AAMC News reported. In his testimony, Dr. Klotman highlighted the benefits, value and innovations that result from VA research collaborations with medical schools as well as academic affiliations broadly. Read the article.

Faculty Kudos


imageimage Dr. Hashem El-Serag, professor and chair of medicine, and Dr. Douglas Burrin, professor of pediatrics, received the National Institutes of Health Silvio O. Conte Digestive Diseases Research Core Center Grant, worth $3.67 million over five years, to continue the work of the Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center.


imageDr. David P. Graham, associate professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents faculty at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center on the Senate.


imageDr. Katherine King, assistant professor of pediatrics – infectious diseases, received the Society for Pediatric Research New Member Outstanding Research Award at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, held May 5 - 8 in Toronto. Her research focuses on how inflammation affects blood and immune cell production by hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow, with the long-term goal of reducing deaths from infectious diseases.


imageimageDr. William Mitch, professor of medicine, and Dr. Yanlin Wang, associate professor of medicine, each received a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases grant worth more than $350,000 for their nephrology research. Dr. Mitch studies complications that occur in patients experiencing loss of kidney function. His research team, which includes Dr. Liping Zhang, Dr. Sandhya Thomas and others, has identified biochemical signals that may be involved in chronic kidney disease. Dr. Wang’s research is on cellular and molecular mechanisms of renal fibrosis.


imageDr. Ricardo Quinonez, associate professor of pediatrics, was selected as winner of the 2018 Pediatric Hospital Medicine Excellence in Clinical Care Award for his work to improve care for hospitalized children. He will accept the honor in July at the national educational conference sponsored by the Academic Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Hospital Medicine in Atlanta.

College Events

Holiday: The College will be closed Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day.

Commencement 2018: The ceremony for graduating M.D. and Ph.D. students starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. Doors open at 5 p.m. Commencement speaker and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, Texans star J.J. Watt and faculty members Dr. David Persse, Houston Emergency Medical Services director, and Dr. Alice McPherson, professor of ophthalmology, will receive honorary degrees at the event. Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor of molecular & human genetics and a faculty senator, will be honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence. Additional events scheduled for May 29 include:

  • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Brunch, 10 a.m. in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor
  • Military Commissioning Ceremony, 1 p.m. in DeBakey Library & Museum, main Baylor

Faculty Opportunities

Health Equity Research Summit: The Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research (COE) invites poster presentation proposals from Baylor faculty, staff, trainees and affiliate hospital team members in all departments, centers and schools for the annual COE Summer Research Summit June 19. Posters should highlight innovative research that will contribute to the promotion and improvement of minority health and the elimination of health disparities. To submit a project for consideration, please e-mail an abstract to healthequity@bcm.edu by Thursday, May 31. See the announcement for detailed instructions.

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 Thursday, May 31.

Patient Safety Facilitators: The Medical School is recruiting clinical faculty to serve as small group facilitators for the Patient Safety Course, which meets weekly, July 31 - Sept. 18. Each facilitator will be assigned about 10 MS2 students to work through a clinical case. Facilitators will complete evaluations of their learners and will be evaluated by their students. Training will be provided. For more information, see Faculty Opportunties.

Admissions Interviewers: The Office of Medical School Admissions is soliciting faculty, fellow, resident and alumni nominations for a position on the Admissions Interviewing Subcommittee that starts July 1. The subcommittee is charged with interviewing and evaluating applicants from varied backgrounds and with varied values, beliefs, interests, experiences and cultural viewpoints in order to ensure a diverse student body. For more information, please see Faculty Opportunities. June 8 is the deadline for applications.

M.D. Promotions Committee: Nominations for both general membership and the second vice-chair position on the M.D. Committee for Student Promotion and Academic Achievement (also known as the M.D. Promotions Committee) are open. This peer-review committee is charged with reviewing the academic and professional progress of each medical student at the College. Broad faculty representation including both clinical and basic science faculty is highly desired. Applications are due by June 15. See the website for more information.

For a Good Cause

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.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminars

Resident Research Day: The Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery hosts its 6th annual Resident Research Day poster session, 4 p.m. June 5, and conference, 7 p.m. June 6, at Denton A. Cooley Auditorium, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center.

Stroke Care: The College of Neurological Surgeons Acute Stroke Care Symposium offers targeted education for emergency physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, nurses and other health professionals involved in the care of acute stroke patients. Hosted by Baylor, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, Houston Methodist and the University of Texas McGovern Medical School, the event is set for June 22 at Houston Marriott Medical Center. CME credit is available for physicians and nurses. Register online.

Geriatrics: Dr. Syed Nasrat Imam, associate professor of medicine, and Dr. Angela Catic, assistant professor of medicine, lead a one-day practical review of topics encountered in primary care of the elderly, including dementia, depression, delirium, pain management, falls and osteoporosis on June 23 at Onstead Auditorium, 6767 Bertner Ave. CME credit is available. Register online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Events

BYO Brainstorm: Enventure hosts a mini-hackathon where participants from the scientific, medical, technological, and business communities address problems in developing and implementing precision medicine, whether it's genomics, population management, big data, or 3D printing. The event is 6 – 9 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at TMCx, 2450 Holcombe Blvd. Online registration is open.

TMCx Digital Health: Companies, including Houston-based Luminare, ORIntel and Patients We Share, showcase their cutting-edge healthcare applications and connected devices and pitch to an audience of investors, health care providers, and industry professionals at Demo Day, June 7 at TMCx, 2450 Holcombe Blvd. Register online.

Drug Prices & Policy: Dr. Vivian Ho, professor of medicine – health services research and director of the Baker Institute Center for Health and Biosciences at Rice University, explores the policy options to control drug price increases being recommended by policymakers, researchers and clinicians at noon June 8 at James A. Baker III Hall, Rice campus. Tickets available online.

Call for Applications

The Nancy Chang, Ph.D. Award for Research Excellence, which funds investigators with exceptional basic, clinical or translational research projects at the College, is accepting applications through 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 29. Endowed by Dr. Chang, a Baylor scientist, philanthropist and entrepreneur, one or two grants of up to $45,000 will be awarded in fiscal year 2019. For more information and to apply, please see the website.

The Mrs. Clifford Elder White Graham Endowed Research Fund provides pilot project awards for Baylor assistant or associate professors studying muscular dystrophy or related disorders. Up to two $22,500 grants are available to be expended by June 30, 2019. Submissions through the online portal close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 29.

NSF Internships: The PI of an active National Science Foundation award may request supplemental funding for one or more graduate students to gain knowledge, skills and experiences through an internship in a non-academic setting such as an industry laboratory, start-up company, government agency, policy think-tank or non-profit organization. Requests must be submitted by Friday, June 1. For complete guidelines, please see the NSF website.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Shinya Yamamoto, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, used fruit flies as 'living test tubes' to rapidly screen potential disease-causing human genes 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?

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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