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News for BCM Faculty, June 3, 2021
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College News


Commencement 2021: Baylor College of Medicine graduated 200 students in the School of Medicine, 80 Ph.D. and six Master of Science students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and eight in the School of Health Professions’ Genetic Counseling Program on May 27. The 2021 Commencement Ceremony also included the presentation of Baylor’s Distinguished Leadership Award to Dr. Robert McLaughlin, dean of the School of Health Professions, pictured here, who will retire from this role on July 1. He was recognized for his leadership at Baylor and in the community. Read about the event.

Faculty Senate At-Large Elections: All faculty members are eligible to vote for at-large representatives on the Faculty Senate. Look for an email from the Senate with your link to the ballot, which is open until midnight Tuesday, June 8. Information about the candidates is online.

COVID Update: New pandemic guidelines for masking and physical distancing are now in effect at Baylor. In summary, vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask in non-healthcare settings, except in cafeterias and breakrooms where unvaccinated people must remove their masks to eat. Masks must still be worn by all in healthcare settings. Read the full guidelines and a chart of masking and other rules based on role and activity at the College.

New Intranet: The offices of Communications & Community Outreach and Information Technology are building a new intranet to improve the employee experience. This Baylor digital workspace will be called InTouch and will streamline internal communications, allow seamless collaboration and offer improved sharing and searching of information. Most of the current intranet content will be migrated to the new site. Other new features include improved departmental pages, easy access to widely used applications, and future capabilities for targeted content and communications most relevant to the various job roles of faculty, staff and learners.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Sanjay Devarajan, assistant professor of medicine – pulmonary & critical care, was awarded a $120,000 grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for his research, “Cystic Fibrosis in Minorities: A CFF Patient Registry Analysis."

Dr. Farrah Kheradmand, professor of pulmonary, critical care & sleep medicine, has received the American Thoracic Society 2021 Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments. This award recognizes outstanding scientific contributions in basic or clinical research to enhance the understanding, prevention and treatment of respiratory disease or critical illness.

Dr. Robia Pautler, associate professor of molecular physiology & biophysics and a faculty senator, was among the 2021 ISMRM Fellows of the Society announced at the organization's annual meeting May 15-20. She was recognized for her contributions to preclinical manganese-enhanced MRI for neuronal tract tracing and for outstanding service to the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Dr. Asim Shah, professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, was recognized for his work championing the mental health and wellbeing of the residents of Fort Bend County and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Judge KP George led the ceremony at the Fort Bend County Courthouse last week, during Mental Health Awareness Month.

The first international congress of the Central American and Caribbean Forum on Multiple Sclerosis and the launching of the Central American Committee for Treatment and Research in MS were held virtually May 6-10. Sixteen countries participated in the event, which was named in honor of Dr. Victor M. Rivera, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Neurology and founding director of the Maxine Mesinger MS Clinic.

image Drs. Eric Storch, Sophie Schneider, Brendan Lee, Reid Sutton and Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz were recently awarded a multi-year supplement from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to Lee’s NIH-funded Brittle Bone Disorders Consortium of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network. Titled “Understanding Psychosocial Needs of Individuals with Osteogenesis Imperfecta Across the Lifespan,” the award ($315,000 per year for three years) allows the consortium to comprehensively examine mental health concerns in people with Osteogenesis Imperfecta and their association with disease status variables using a patient-centered approach. NIMH joins the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Research, National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases in supporting this research.

College Events

Faculty Workshops: This week the Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development offers two professional development opportunities; email faced@bcm.edu to attend on Zoom. The full summer workshop calendar is available online.

  • Preparing a portfolio for the Norton Rose Fulbright Awards, 3 p.m. Monday, June 7.
  • Pathways to Promotion Workshop, 4 p.m. Monday, June 7.

Thoracic Oncology: The Department of Surgery presents the Thoracic Oncology Working Group webcast live at 4 p.m. Monday, June 7, via Zoom, meeting ID: 95831683233, passcode: 036444.

Blue Square Discoveries: Baylor and Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment management firm, announce the launch of Blue Square Discoveries at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 8. The virtual event will explain how Blue Square Discoveries will help in accelerating Baylor’s biomedical discoveries and bringing life-saving therapeutics to market. Find more information and a link to join the WebEx here.

CME Course: Primary Care Now, a Pri-Med virtual conference developed in partnership with Baylor, starts Thursday, June 10. It includes a keynote address by Dr. Peter Hotez and sessions covering the latest in primary care. Up to 12.50 CME credits are available. Learn more and register.

Faculty Opportunities

Inclusion & Excellence: The Inclusion and Excellence Council is seeking applications to fill vacant faculty, staff and learner positions. The council provides a forum for engaging the Baylor community and supporting the diversity and inclusion goals of the College. Meetings are held once a quarter and subcommittee meetings are once a month. Candidates must obtain written approval from their dean, program director or supervisor and self-nominate through submission of their C.V. and a completed application form to the Office of the President, copying institutionaldiversity@bcm.edu. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 18.

PA Faculty: Join the faculty of the #3 Physician Assistant Program in the nation - here at Baylor College of Medicine. The School of Health Professions is looking for a PA interested in expanding their skills in education and student advising, as well as working with a team of other PA educators to ensure delivery of the curriculum. See the job description and submit your application today.

Faculty Resources

Environmental Health Grants: The Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health announces the availability of funds to support pilot studies designed to promote precision environmental health research at the intersection of genetics/epigenetics, environmental health and data science to understand individual and place-based determinants of disease risk. The grants are for one year with a budget not to exceed $40,000. The letter of intent package should be emailed to Tracie Albritton no later than 5 p.m. Monday, June 14.

Advanced Core Labs: The Population Sciences Biorepository (PSB) Core serves as a resource for centralized cost-effective biospecimen processing and storage for epidemiological, translational, and clinical studies. It offers subject recruitment from all Baylor-affiliated clinics, risk factor questionnaire development and clinical data abstraction, specimen collection, processing, shipment and long-term storage. The PSB team will consult with you to plan for data collection and specimen processing and storage needs for your projects. In addition, the PSB has a banked collection of annotated samples from a variety of cancer types that are available for individual investigator use. For more information visit the PSB website or email the core.

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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