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Faculty Commons, May 31 - June 6, 2018
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College News


Commencement 2018: Family, friends and faculty members gathered at Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts on May 29 to celebrate this year’s graduates in the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Pictured are Presidential Award for Excellence recipient Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor of molecular & human genetics and a faculty senator, and honorary degree recipients Dr. David Persse, professor and director of Houston Emergency Medical Services, and Texans star J.J. Watt congratulating GSBS graduate Deric Griffin. See more Commencement photos plus videos, articles and data about the class of 2018 online.


Faculty Town Hall: President Paul Klotman invites all faculty members to join him for a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. June 28 in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. The agenda includes the "Finance 101" presentation that he and CFO Julie Nickell recently gave at the Faculty Senate Lunch & Learn, in response to requests for the information from those who could not attend the noon event. The meeting will be videotaped and available online the following week.

New Trustees: The Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees Wednesday added two new members – real estate executive David Dominy and former U.S. Rep. Jack Fields, now a public affairs consultant. Their appointments are effective Friday, June 1.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Brian Gilbert, associate professor of virology and microbiology, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents faculty in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on the Senate.


imageimageDr. MeghaShyam Kavuri, assistant professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, and Dr. Mathew Ellis, a McNair Scholar and director of the center, part of the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, have received three Department of Defense grants for breast cancer genomics. The awards include a Breakthrough Level 2 grant to identify gene anomalies in ER+ breast cancer that are associated with recurrence and poor outcome, a Breakthrough Level 1 grant to develop alternative therapies to target endocrine therapy-resistant ER+ breast cancers, and a large, collaborative Breakthrough Level 3 grant to develop combinatorial strategies using proteogenomic approaches to targeting HER2-activating mutations in ER+ metastatic breast cancers.


imageDr. Brendan Lee, Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair of Molecular & Human Genetics, led the Joint Symposium in Clinical Genetics and 14th Asia Pacific Congress in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong May 18 – 21. The meeting brought together students and practitioners from across Asia to focus on prenatal, pediatric and cancer genetics. Leading Baylor faculty, including Drs. Huda Zoghbi, Arthur Beaudet, Shashikant Kulkarni, Christine Eng, Sharon Plon, Fernando Scaglia, Igna Van Den Veyver and Sau Wai Cheung also participated in the symposium.


imageDr. Laura Petersen, professor and director of the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuESt), has been appointed to the Performance Measurement Committee of the American College of Physicians. The committee encourages the use of high-quality, evidence-based performance measures to guide improvements in the quality of patient care and the practice of internal medicine.


imageDr. Richard Strax, associate professor of radiology and a faculty senator, was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the American College of Radiology on May 21. ACR represents more than 38,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists.


College Events

Surgery Resident Research Day: The Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery hosts its sixth annual Resident Research Day Symposium on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 5 – 6, at the Denton A. Cooley Auditorium, Texas Heart Institute. The poster session and reception are set for 4 to 6 p.m. June 5. The symposium, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Rachel Kelz, director of the Center for Surgery and Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, on "Defining Metrics for Use in the Assessment of Graduate Medical Education" is 7 a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 6. More information is available online.

Pediatric Resident Scholarship Day: The scholarly work of Baylor pediatric residents is highlighted in this annual event, which begins with grand rounds presentations by residents Drs. Aya Fanny, Xavier Rios, Kyle Schmucker and Maggie Taylor at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 8, in the Texas Children’s Hospital Auditorium. A poster session and reception follows at noon in the Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women 4th Floor Conference Center.

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 Friday, June 8, at James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University. Tickets are available online.

Faculty Opportunities

Admissions Interviewing: 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 online. Applications are due by Friday, June 8.

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.

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 Opportunities.

Faculty Resources

Drug Disposal Day: The Office of Environmental Safety’s DEA Controlled Substances Collection/ Disposal Event is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 6. The Reverse Distribution vendor, Sharps Compliance, Inc., will collect controlled substances in the ground floor hallway to the Alkek Building for Biomedical Research from the Jones Building, main Baylor. Please complete and submit the online DEA registrant controlled substances disposal form to participate in the event.

DocTalk: Dr. Eric Storch, professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, will discuss child anxiety at noon June 14 in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Sign in before 12:15 p.m. to receive 100 BCM BeWell points.

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 or update your information if anything has changed. 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

OCD Walk: Join Baylor's OCD program team in raising awareness of obsessive compulsive disorder at the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk on Saturday, June 2, at Stude Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit the International OCD Foundation. To donate or register, go online.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Courses

Geomedicine: Dr. Abi Oluyomi, assistant professor of medicine – environmental health service, in partnership with colleagues in the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UTHealth School of Public Health, presents a comprehensive introduction to geomedicine and the use of geographic information system, or GIS, applications in the healthcare field, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Friday, June 1, in Room M321, main Baylor. The course is designed for healthcare professionals with primary roles in clinical care and research with little or no previous training in this area. Register online.

The Tropical Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology CME Conference, set for Sept. 10 – 15 at the College, is designed to train physicians for surgical practice in tropical, remote and resource-limited settings around the globe. Sessions will use tissue and model-based simulations to prepare participants for a wide range of emergent and essential surgical procedures. Participants will receive 43 CME credits and either a Certificate of Completion or a Diploma in Tropical Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology. Register online by Friday, June 1 to attend.

Call for Applications

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is now accepting Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the 2018 Psychosocial Grants. Funding is set to begin in February 2019. These grants offer opportunities for talented early career and established investigators to conduct innovative and clinically relevant research that addresses the psychosocial and behavioral health outcomes for children diagnosed with cancer and their families. Guidelines and submission information are available online. The LOI deadline is June 11.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Therapeutics of Gene Regulation: The Therapeutic Innovation Center (THINC@BCM) hosts its first symposium to further the understanding of diseases of gene regulation, especially RNA and chromatin biology, with academic and industry leaders including keynote speakers Dr. Arthur Sands, CEO of Nurix, and Dr. Richard Young of the Whitehead Institute and MIT. The event is today and Friday, May 31 – June 1, at Onstead Auditorium, 6767 Bertner Ave. Register online.

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, Thursday, June 7, at TMCx, 2450 Holcombe Blvd. Register online.

Gut Health: Dr. Phillip Hylemon of Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine, Dr. Jonathan Monk of University of California San Diego and Dr. Ken Blount of Rebiotix are speakers at the Gulf Coast Consortia’s Second Annual Antimicrobial Resistance and Gut Health Symposium on June 15 at Rice University’s BioScience Research Collaborative. Go online for more information and registration.

Call for Applications

Damon Runyon Cancer Research: Applications are now open for the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award for early career researchers with “high-risk/ high-reward” ideas in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The initial award is $150,000 a year for two years, with the opportunity for up to two additional years of funding. The program description and guidelines are online. Applications are due by July 6.

Research Resources

Reproducible Research: The Gulf Coast Consortia offers the first of its Rigor and Reproducibility Program targeted modules, the R and RStudio Workshop, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, at the Rice Bioscience Research Collaborative. More information and registration are online.

From the Labs: Read what motivated McNair Scholar Dr. Xaq Pitkow’s pursuit of a career in neuroscience and how he manages his laboratory 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 June.

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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