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Faculty Commons, June 7 - 13, 2018
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From the Labs: In a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, mice carrying mutant Pumilio1 genes develop progressive motor deficits and cerebellar degeneration. The Images of the Month show dramatic differences in the arborization of Purkinje cells (neurons located in the cerebellar cortex of the brain) when comparing wild type (left image), Pum1 +/- (middle) and Pum1 -/- (right) mice. Read more about the Zoghbi lab study on the blog. 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.


Faculty Senate Elections: The ballot is open through midnight Monday, June 11, for all faculty members to vote for at-large representatives to the Faculty Senate. Twenty-six candidates are running to represent the interests of the general faculty. You may vote for up to 12 of them. Information about the candidates and a link to the ballot are online (BCM login is required to vote).

  • Colleagues have elected the following faculty members to represent their departments in the Faculty Senate: Drs. Olutoyin Olutoye and Nihar Patel, Anesthesiology; Dr. Carina Wasko, Dermatology; Drs. Jennifer Carnell and Alison Haddock, Emergency Medicine; Dr. Kenya Steele, Family & Community Medicine; Dr. Fidaa Shaib, Medicine; Dr. David Moore, Molecular & Cellular Biology; Dr. Hugo Bellen, Molecular & Human Genetics; Dr. Anthony Maresso, Molecular Virology & Microbiology; Dr. Melissa Yu, Neurology; Dr. Russell Ray, Neuroscience; Dr. Jocelyn Greely, Obstetrics & Gynecology; Dr. Michael Yen, Ophthalmology; Dr. Abdul Diwan, Pathology & Immunology; Dr. George Mandy, Pediatrics; Drs. Michael McClam and Phuong Nguyen, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, Surgery; and Dr. Chester Koh, Urology.
  • Also elected to the Senate were Dr. Richard Finnell (delegate), Center for Precision Environmental Health; Dr. David Rowley, Center for Reproductive Medicine; Dr. Weiwei Dang, Huffington Center on Aging; Dr. Kim Worley, Human Genome Sequencing Center; and Dr. Laila Woc-Colburn, National School of Tropical Medicine.

World Rankings: Baylor College of Medicine ranks 94th in the world and 57th in the United States in the latest study from the Center for World University Rankings. The consultancy firm examined data including the number of pending international patents and research papers published to measure the college’s global impact. It annually ranks the top 1,000 out of 18,000 universities worldwide.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Brenda Cowan, instructor and nurse practitioner in pediatric neurology and developmental neurosciences, graduated from the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston in May with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. She was part of a cohort of 14 to earn the DNP degree.


imageDr. Kiki Palacios, associate professor of anesthesiology, 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. Alan Garber, professor of medicine, biochemistry & molecular biology, was awarded the Master of the American College of Endocrinology Award by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists at its annual meeting in Boston. The award honors AACE fellows who are distinguished endocrinologists, role models for trainees and contributors to the science of the field.


imageDr. Rajani Katta, clinical assistant professor of medicine - immunology, allergy & rheumatology, has published a new book, Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. The book emphasizes the importance of eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.


imageDr. Karen Rabin, associate professor of pediatrics – oncology, has been invited to be part of an expert panel at the Capitol Hill briefing on cancer, leukemia and Down syndrome. She will update members of Congress on research investigating the interplay between trisomy 21 and Down syndrome.


imageDr. Huda Zoghbi, professor and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, accepted the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine at the New York Academy of Sciences June 5. The honor recognizes her research identifying the genetic causes for neurological diseases, such as spinocerebellar ataxia and Rett syndrome.

College Events

Drug Prices & Policy: Dr. Vivian Ho, professor of medicine – health services research at Baylor 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 campus. Tickets available online.

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

Meet Your Senator: The Faculty Senate Roadshow comes to the McNair Campus from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 14, in Conference Room A, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. Drop by to meet Senate leadership and your McNair-based representatives and to learn more about how the Senate works for you.

Faculty Opportunities

Educational Scholarship: The annual Academy of Distinguished Educators Showcase of Educational Scholarship is Baylor's premier venue for highlighting scholarship within medical education, using a peer-reviewed format. This year the showcase is set for noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 21 in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. For more information or to apply, please go online. The deadline to submit an abstract is 5 p.m. Aug. 1.

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 Friday, June 15. See the website for more information.

Patient Safety Course: 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 online.

Faculty Resources

Health Equity Research Summit: Baylor’s Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research (COE) hosts its inaugural summit Tuesday, June 19, for faculty, staff, trainees, hospital affiliates and community members who are committed to workforce diversity in the health and biomedical sciences and quality healthcare for underserved and under-represented populations in the United States. COE Scholars, who include Baylor faculty and trainees and students from local academic institutions, will showcase their research. See the full schedule and register online.

Health Equity Grand Rounds: Dr. David Acosta, chief diversity officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, presents Health Equity Grand Rounds, hosted by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity, at noon Wednesday, June 20, in Room 201A, main Baylor. His talk, "Bridge over Troubled Waters: Crossing the Cultural Divide to Talk about Race & Racism in Academic Medicine and Scientific Institutions," is open to the Baylor community.

Faculty Leadership Course: Human Resources offers a one-day "Leading through Influence" course on July 12 at O’Quinn Medical Tower, 6624 Fannin. Designed to empower faculty members with techniques on hiring, conflict resolution and employee morale, the course includes Insights Discovery, a program for understanding working styles and interactions. Register online. For additional information, contact Tomeka Johnson.

For a Good Cause

Pride Tees: Support campus groups participating in the Houston Pride Festival June 23 by purchasing a Pride-themed T-shirt. The shirts are on sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, June 7, and Friday, June 8, in the E hallway at main Baylor. LGBT+ Pride Month serves as an important reminder that Baylor is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all community members, guests and visitors. All individuals have the right to be free from all forms of sex and gender-based discrimination. Learn more online.

Cancer Survivor Month: Join the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center in celebrating National Cancer Survivor Month. If you are a survivor, or know someone who is, and would like to participate, visit the Cancer Center on Facebook or Twitter for details on how submit your story and photo.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Events

INSTINCT Think Tank: Join a discussion sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Surgical Technology and Innovation Center on innovative and game-changing ideas in global surgery led by Dr. Rachel Davis, a global surgery fellow, at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in Room 187A (Jaworski Classroom), main Baylor. Register for the free event.

Clinical Symposia

Women Veterans: In honor of the inaugural Women Veterans Day, the advocacy group Give an Hour and Texas Women’s University bring together women veterans, researchers and subject matter experts for a community roundtable discussion on women veterans’ experiences in healthcare disparity, body image and more. The Because She Served: Women Veterans Community Symposium is 4 – 8 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at Texas Women’s University. Register online.

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 Friday, 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 Saturday, June 23, at Onstead Auditorium, 6767 Bertner Ave. CME credit is available. Register online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Applications

The Searle Scholars Program supports the research of early-career scientists who were appointed as assistant professors in the following fields on or after July 1, 2017: biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and related areas in chemistry, medicine, and the biological sciences. Baylor may submit two nominations for this grant worth $300,000 over three years. If interested, please see the listing online and submit the required information by 5 p.m. June 25.

Space Postdoc: Baylor's Transitional Research Institute for Space Health, TRISH, is seeking applications for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship focused on finding solutions to space health issues defined by NASA's Human Research Program. Applications are encouraged from those performing research on terrestrial human health and performance, which may be adapted for use in space, and research that involves bioinformatics, big data analysis, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and image processing. The proposal deadline is July 31. Learn more online.

Research Resources

Tissue Engineering: Rice University hosts its 26th annual short course, Advances in Tissue Engineering, Aug. 8 – 11 on its campus. Dr. James Dennis, Benjamin Ford Kitchen Professor of Orthopedics, is a guest speaker at the course, which surveys the latest technologies in the world of patient-specific therapeutics, from cellular treatments to 3D printing and biofabrication of complex tissues. Register online.

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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