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Faculty Commons, June 14 - 20, 2018
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Sharing a Bond: Dr. Michael Belfort, professor and chair of obstetrics & gynecology, had the chance to reunite with one of some 6,000 babies he has delivered when Sonny Nguyen introduced himself following a grand rounds presentation by Dr. Belfort. The medical student recognized the name of the Texas Children’s Hospital obstetrician- and gynecologist-in-chief from his baby book. Read the rest of the story on the blog.


Academic Council:

  • Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, vice president for academic integration, presented an overview of the College’s precision medicine and population health initiative at the June 11 meeting. A team comprising the Human Genome Sequencing Center, Section of Cardiology, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is piloting a cardiovascular genomics project to see how genomics can benefit diagnosis in adult clinical care and how the College can operationalize a big data study. Forty-three interdisciplinary proposals were submitted in response to the inaugural call for applications in precision medicine and population health. The winning 10 – 12 projects will start July 1.
  • President Paul Klotman introduced CHI Texas CEO Doug Lawson and gave an update on the Houston Chronicle-ProPublica heart transplant series. Your chair or center director attends Academic Council and can brief you on the topic.
  • Dr. Klotman summarized the Board of Trustees’ May 23 meeting. The Board approved the College’s fiscal year 2019 budget and institutional goals, which include the 2020 financial improvement plan, the Faculty Group Practice transformation project, the precision medicine and population health strategic plan, beginning the implementation of the education mission strategic plan and SAP re-implementation.
  • He also announced that the College will conduct a faculty engagement survey using the Association of American Medical College’s StandPoint Survey in October.
  • Senate Chair Oluyinka Olutoye reminded the chairs and center directors of the Faculty Senate Roadshow at BSLMC McNair Campus from 3:30 to 5 p.m. today. Faculty members are invited to drop by Conference Room A to meet their representatives and learn how the Senate works for them.

More Rankings: Baylor College of Medicine was ranked No. 1 on the U.S. News and World Report list of least expensive private medical schools, based on data submitted by 52 ranked medical schools as part of the publication's annual survey. Baylor was the only school on the top 10 list for cost that also was a Top 20-ranked medical school for research (No. 16) and primary care (No. 5) by U.S. News and World Report.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Brooke Bernhardt, assistant professor of pediatrics – hematology & oncology, was appointed to the Board Certification in Oncology Pharmacy Oversight Committee for the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. In this role, she will collaborate with other members on the planning, development and delivery of advanced continuing education that addresses the scope of oncology pharmacy practice.


imageDr. Edward Buchanan, associate professor of surgery, was named chief of plastic surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Buchanan, who has been with Baylor and TCH since 2011, specializes in pediatric plastic surgery and craniofacial surgery. During his tenure, he has served in numerous leadership roles and has been integral to many complex cases, including the successful separation of two sets of conjoined twins.


imageDr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao, instructor in pediatrics – neurology, was awarded the highly competitive 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists. The award, granted to physician-scientists who are taking advanced postdoctoral training, will help Chao establish an independent research program to understand the mechanisms underlying transcriptional dysregulation of inhibitory signaling pathways in childhood neurodevelopmental disorders.


imageDr. Herman Dierick, associate professor of molecular & human genetics and neuroscience, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents the genetics faculty on the Senate.


imageDr. Spencer Greene, assistant professor of emergency medicine, is medical advisor to the “Death by Natural Causes” exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The interactive exhibit, open through Sept. 4, features deadly minerals and chemicals, toxic plants like mushrooms, poison ivy and angel trumpets and live venomous snakes and arthropods.


imageDr. Mingshan Xue, assistant professor of neuroscience, was awarded the prestigious 2018 McKnight Scholar Award, granted to young scientists who are in the early stages of establishing independent laboratories and research careers and who have demonstrated a commitment to neuroscience. Xue’s work at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute explores how the brain maintains constant balance between excitation and inhibition while navigating complex environments and changing internal states.

College Events

Health Equity Research Summit: Baylor’s Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research 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 lecture, "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.

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.

Faculty Opportunities

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.

TRAP Facilitators: The Dean of the School of Medicine is soliciting nominations for team-based learning facilitators for the new Translation Research and Population Health (TRAP) course. Innovative faculty members with experience or a strong interest in translational research and population health concepts, as well as problem-based learning or team-based learning instructional modalities, are encouraged to apply by Friday, June 29. See Faculty Opportunities for more information.

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.

Faculty Resources

Faculty Town Hall: President Paul Klotman invites all faculty members to join him for a town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, 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.

Team Launch: The Team Launch Capstone will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, in M112. During this event, student teams from the Team Projects course will present their project proposals for competitive judging and faculty, student and staff contributions to the Team Launch program will be recognized.

Faculty Portfolio: The Office of Faculty Development offers "An Introduction to Portfolios for Academic Promotion and Awards," 1 – 3 p.m. July 13 in Room N317, main Baylor. Dr. Geeta Singhal, associate professor of pediatrics, Dr. Susan Raine, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology, and Dr. Nancy Weigel, professor of molecular & cellular biology, present tips and strategies for preparing a clinical or educational portfolio. RSVP to Debbie Fernandez to attend.

For a Good Cause

Knee Study: Volunteers are needed for a study led by Dr. Theodore Shybut, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants must be between 21 and 80 years old with osteoarthritis in only one knee. See more information online or contact Patricia Marino at (713) 798-4516.

Diabetes Program: A series of weekly seminars to engage, educate and empower those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or are at-risk for the disease starts in July and runs through the summer. Registered dietitian Roberta Anding leads the "E3:diaBEATes" meetings, which will be held at the Children's Nutrition Research Center. Learn more at an information session at noon Wednesday, June 20 or June 27, in the Howland Auditorium at the CNRC. For more information, contact diaBEATes@bcm.edu.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminar

Liver Disease: The 19th annual "Hot Topics in Liver Disease" conference is July 28 at the Houstonia Hotel. Co-program directors Dr. Prasun Jalal, assistant professor of surgery, Dr. Norman Sussman, associate professor of surgery and a faculty senator, and Dr. John Vierling, professor of medicine and surgery, offer the latest information in cirrhosis and its clinical complications, non-alcoholic and alcoholic liver diseases and drug-induced liver injury, viral hepatitis, hepatobiliary malignancy and liver transplantation. CNE and CME contact hours will be provided. Register online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminar

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 Friday, June 15, at Rice University’s BioScience Research Collaborative. Go online for more information and registration.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Read why Dr. Stephen Richards, associate professor in the Human Genome Sequencing Center, says the time is right for the Earth BioGenome Project in this article from 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.

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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