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News for BCM Faculty, June 16, 2022
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College News

An arial view of the Texas Medical Center.

How dangerous is Saharan dust? Individuals with seasonal allergies may encounter the typical bout of runny noses, sore throats and itchy eyes, according to Dr. David Corry, professor of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor. Corry offers the following tips: 

  • Stay indoors as much as possible while the dust is in the air or wear a mask while outside
  • Run a HEPA filter indoors to purify air, especially in the bedroom
  • Patients who use rescue or controlling medications for pulmonary conditions should have them on hand at all times and use as prescribed
  • Seek professional medical advice at the first sign of difficulty breathing
  • For less severe symptoms, standard allergy medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays might be helpful
  • If you are experiencing a sore throat and runny nose and are unsure whether it is COVID, get tested 

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Philip Lupo, professor of pediatrics – hematology and oncology, was recently elected as vice president-elect of the Society of Birth Defects Research and Prevention and will advance to president in 2024. The mission of the society is to understand the cause and pathogenesis of structural and functional birth defects, developmental delays, perinatal death and other disorders of developmental and reproductive origin to prevent their occurrence and improve diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Cintia S. de Paiva, associate professor of ophthalmology, has been granted a Research to Prevent Blindness Stein Innovation Award for up to $300,000 over three years. Dr. de Paiva is one of 45 researchers who have received the prestigious award, named after RPB founder, Dr. Jules Stein, since it was established in 2014.

image Dr. Christie Ballantyne and Dr. Richard Gibbs have been awarded the Common Spirit Physician Enterprise VISION Award in Academic Excellence. Out of 26 submissions, their project HeartCare, a collaboration between Baylor cardiologists and the Human Genome Sequencing Center and published in Genetics in Medicine, was selected. The pilot study demonstrated how the application of genomic technology has the potential to help a healthcare system improve cardiovascular care. It is now being followed up by another study on cardiometabolic precision medicine with Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam.

Dr. Katherine King, associate professor of pediatrics – infectious diseases, published research last year that has been recognized in Cell Stem Cell's "The Best of Cell Stem Cell" for 2021. She was ranked eighth for her findings that inflammatory signaling during infection drives Dnmt3a mutant clonal hematopoiesis. Read more in Baylor's From the Labs.

Coming Up

Pride Palooza: At 3:30 p.m. June 19, BCM Pride will host Pride Palooza, the group's first drag and talent show, which will raise funds for Covenant House Texas, a Houston shelter that serves unhoused youth, including LGBTQ+ teens. The show will be at the Montrose Center, 401 Branard Street, on the second floor. Admission is donation-based.

Faculty Opportunities

SlicerDicer/i2b2 Self-Service Data Query: On June 17, participants will learn how to use i2b2 systems and a database to generate predictive, prescriptive data and research cohorts, improve core data sets with derived and additional data to gain insight, and identify strategies to refine searches, examine trends, drill down to line-level details quickly to find related records. Register for the 1:30 p.m. virtual event. SlicerDicer and i2b2 learning sessions will be held in September, as well.

Science & SciLifeLab Prize: Apply for the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists, an annual prize awarded to early career scientists. The prize is presented in four categories: cellular and molecular biology, ecology and environment, molecular medicine, genomics, proteomics and systems biology. Applicants will submit a 1,000-word essay that is judged by an independent editorial team, organized by the journal Science. Essays are assessed on the quality of research and the applicants' ability to articulate how their work would contribute to the scientific field. If selected as a winner, you will have your essay published by Science, win up to $30,000 and be invited to Sweden to receive your award, present your research and meet with leading scientists in your field. Deadline to apply is July 15.

Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP): The Human Resources and Service Administration Health Workforce's application cycle is now open and will close at 7:30 p.m. ET June 30. An application assistance webinar will be held from 2-4:30 p.m. ET June 16.

The FLRP is open to individuals who meet the following eligibility criteria

  • Disadvantaged background based on environmental and economic factors
  • Eligible health professions degree or certificate
    • Allopathic medicine
    • Osteopathic medicine
    • Podiatric medicine
  • Faculty member at an approved health professions school, and who have signed a contract for two years or longer
  • Faculty at a health professions school located in the U.S. or U.S. territory at an eligible public or private non-profit school

Course Director for Service-Learning: The Office of Student Affairs is seeking qualified applicants for the role of course director of the Service-Learning Course. The course is part of the combined Service-Learning and Narrative Medicine Intersession Course. The course occurs every six weeks during the two-week intersession period following the surgery core rotation and will contain between 32-36 students. The course director will oversee the components and logistics of the course and be aided by a coordinator. To apply, submit a letter of interest, a copy of your curriculum vitae and a letter of support from your department chair to Yvette Pinales at ypinales@bcm.edu by June 27. For qualifications, visit Faculty Opportunities.

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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