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Faculty Commons, June 8 - 15, 2017
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From the Labs Image of the Month: Fat droplets inside a transparent C. elegans roundworm are visualized with stimulated Raman scattering microscopy in this image courtesy of Chih-Chun Lin and Dr. Meng Wang, associate professor of molecular and human genetics at the Huffington Center on Aging. You can receive weekly articles on research at Baylor as they are posted in our newsletter by going to https://fromthelabs.bcm.edu/ and entering your email address in the 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 At-Large Elections: The ballot opens today, June 8, for all faculty members to vote for at-large representatives to the Faculty Senate. Twenty-six candidates are running for a dozen positions that represent the interests of the general faculty. Information about them and a link to the ballot are online (BCM login is required to vote).

DeBakey High School: Provost Alicia Monroe joined Houston Independent School District leaders and local and state representatives at the grand opening celebration last week for the new campus of the Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions at 2151 West Holcombe. The five-story building includes state-of-the-art training equipment with teaching labs for dentistry, rehabilitation and patient care, among other special features. The school was founded in 1972 in partnership with the College as the first health-focused high school in the nation.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Lindsay Burrage, assistant professor of pediatrics and a clinical geneticist, was honored as a top physician-scientist by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. She was awarded the highly competitive BWF Career Award for Medical Scientists, which provides $700,000 in funding over five years as physicians transition into their full-time careers. It will support her work in studying impaired glycogen metabolism and chronic liver disease in urea cycle disorders.


imageDr. Yohannes T. Ghebre, assistant professor of radiation biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology, was awarded $1.98 million from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the efficacy of combining one of the current drugs for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with a small molecule that he discovered to possess antifibrotic action. The five-year study also will interrogate the molecular mechanisms involved in the process.


imageDr. Sundeep Keswani, associate professor of surgery, was awarded a $300,000 research grant from the March of Dimes Foundation for his project “Targeting the Extracellular Matrix: An Innovative Strategy to Improve Pulmonary Hypertension in Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.” He is a pediatric/fetal surgeon and director of surgical research at Texas Children’s Hospital.


imageDr. Michael McClam and Dr. Harrell Woodson, both assistant professors of psychology and behavioral sciences, were recognized for their service at Menninger Clinic during a celebration of National Mental Health Month in May. McClam received a Spirit of Social Work Award for sharing and emulating the values of the discipline, and Woodson received a Menninger Pillar Award for embodying the clinic’s values. Read more clinic news in this month’s Menninger Update.


imageDr. Peggy Smith, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received the 2017 Champions of Children Award from the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas in May. She was recognized for her leadership in programs that address health disparities and health risks among teens and young adults.


imageDr. Bryan Vartabedian, assistant professor of pediatrics – gastroenterology, has published a guide to newborn digestive health. "Looking Out for Number Two: A Slightly Irreverent Guide to Poo, Gas, and Other Things That Come Out of Your Baby," draws on his 20-plus years of experience as a physician and father to address some of the leading causes of pediatrician visits.


imageDr. Marc Willis, associate professor of radiology, received his Master of Medical Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College in May. The MMM program offers management and leadership training to physician executives who lead today’s healthcare organizations and will shape the future of tomorrow’s healthcare industry.

College Events

TMCx Showcase: More than 20 startups that participated in the TMCx accelerator program showcase their projects at the TMCx Demo Day from noon to 7 p.m. today, June 8, at the TMC Innovation Institute, McGovern Campus. One of the startups is ConsultLink, a mobile platform that manages handoffs, consult and team collaboration in the hospital setting, led by Dr. Alexander Pastuszak, assistant professor of urology. Find the day’s agenda and register online.

Fuzz Therapy: The Faithful Paws pet therapy group and BCM BeWell offer you a chance to interact with four-legged friends and experience stress relief from noon to 2 p.m. today, June 8, and June 15 in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor.

Off Script Storytelling: The Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy's Narrative Medicine Program and the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics invite you to the Texas Medical Center’s storytelling hour, "Off Script: Stories from the Heart of Medicine," at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, at MSB 2.135, UTHealth McGovern Medical School.

Faculty Town Hall: Join the executive leadership team and your colleagues for a College update and Q and A session at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

Faculty Opportunities

Clinical Genetics Course Director: The Physician Assistant Program seeks a course director for this one-semester hour course, offered during each Fall Term 3 (mid-October through mid-November) to teach PA students basic clinical genetics to prepare them for further studies and practice in primary care. The course reviews fundamental genetic concepts, principles and information (patterns of inheritance, mitosis and meiosis, the structure of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis), and concepts underlying clinical genetics (human development, gene analysis, disease producing mutations). See the Faculty Opportunities webpage for more details and let Katherine Erdman, PA program assistant director, know of your interest by email or at (713) 798-5632 by June 30.

Student Promotions Committee: Nominations for membership on the School of Medicine M.D. Committee on Student Promotions and Academic Achievement are now open to the clinical and basic science faculty. The peer review committee is charged with reviewing the academic and professional progress of each medical student. For more information, see the online notice. Please email your nomination material to Pamela Ashley no later than midnight, July 7.

Faculty Resources

Emergency Notification System: Hurricane season is here; are you prepared for whatever the weather brings? 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, login 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.

BeWell Benefits: Did you know that you can become eligible for gift cards and even a medical premium reduction by collecting BCM BeWell Vitality points? Or that you can earn points for healthy habits and exercise that may be part of your routine already? The BCM BeWell portal lets you participate in our health and wellness program anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Find out how to get started today. Email wellness@bcm.edu with any questions.

For a Good Cause

Barbecue Competition: The Center for Comparative Medicine is hosting a barbecue competition from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 9, in Rayzor Lounge with funds supporting Homes for Animal Heroes. Lunch plates by chefs (and CCM managers) Darrin Shiver and Dennis Murray are $10. Be sure to cast your vote for the best barbecue! It is not too late to join the center’s virtual 5K fundraiser, see "Run" below.

BCM Fund: Friday, June 9, is the last day of Baylor’s annual employee giving campaign. Thank you to the many members of the BCM community who contributed this year. Your gifts play an important role in advancing our mission and strengthening our institution. If you are not yet a donor, please consider supporting the College’s strategic initiatives through the BCM Fund. A small token of appreciation will be offered to the first 500 to make a commitment by payroll deduction (BCM login required), credit card or check.

Run for Research Awareness: This virtual 5K benefits Homes for Animal Heroes, which rehomes post-study dogs and educates the public about biomedical research. You can join the Center for Comparative Medicine’s BCM Beastmode team and walk/run on Saturday, June 10, or create your own team and share on social media through June 30.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Call for Applications

TMC Health Policy Grants: The Health Policy Institute is accepting letters of intent for TMC collaborations devoted to policy impact through research through 5 p.m. Thursday, June 15. Prior to submitting an LOI, please provide a copy of your letter and/or a brief project summary with budget and the documented approval of your mission leader or chair to BCM's Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy.

Transition Medicine Grant: Through a generous gift from the family, the Ligums Family Transition Medicine Grant is available to support projects focusing on adolescents and young adults who have chronic conditions originating in childhood and are transitioning from pediatric to adult care. The grant’s purpose is to support quality improvement in the transition experience, with the ability to partner with community leaders or interest groups. Its maximum annual amount is $10,000, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. Please see the announcement for more information. Letters of intent are due by 5 p.m. June 30.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Symposia

Matzuk Drug Discovery Lecture: Dr. Christopher P. Davie presents "DNA-Encoded Library Technology at GSK: An Emerging Platform for Drug Discovery" at the Alexander R. Matzuk Lecture in Drug Discovery, 10 a.m. Friday, June 16, in Room N315, main Baylor. Davie is manager of discovery chemistry, encoded library technologies, NCE molecular discovery and R&D platform technology and science at GlaxoSmithKline.

Call for Applications

NIH Director's Grant: The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award Program supports exceptional investigators who wish to pursue independent research directly after completion of their terminal doctoral/research degree or clinical residency, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career. Baylor may submit two nominations for this five-year grant valued at up to $250,000 per year. Qualifications and details are listed online with an internal application deadline of 5 p.m. Monday, June 12.

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. June 19. 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 2018. For more information and to apply, please see the website.

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, 2016: 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 23.

Space Postdoc Fellowship: The Translational Research Institute led by BCM offers funding to support postdoctoral fellows conducting research related to human space flight. Two-year fellowships are available in any U.S. biomedical research laboratory. For more information, see the website or contact Dr. Dorit Donoviel, TRI interim director. Proposals are due July 31.

Research Resources

Antibody-Based Proteomics Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab provides highly customized services for targeted proteomics platforms that are valuable as tools for both validation and protein biomarker discovery, particularly for low abundance regulatory proteins and activation states of proteins with phosphorylated antibodies. Services include reverse phase protein arrays (RPPA) with more than 210 antibodies for total proteins and phosphoproteins of major cell signaling pathways, Luminex bead technology for multiplex quantitative analyses of intracellular and extracellular signaling proteins, and antibody arrays. This core is complementary to the Mass Spectrometry Proteomics Core. For more information about any of the cores, visit the ATC website or catalog.

Funding Opportunities: See the Office of Research's list of privately funded awards currently accepting applications for June.

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