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Faculty Commons, June 22 - 27, 2017
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Close Encounters of the Fuzzy Kind: Faculty, staff and trainees took a break from the mundane when trained dogs and volunteers from Faithful Paws visited main Baylor June 8 and 15. The group offers pet therapy, stress relief and entertainment to patients in Houston-area hospitals and nursing homes. BCM BeWell sponsored the on-campus sessions. Photo courtesy of Christian Krailo.


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. You can login to the meeting on Zoom or call in at (713) 798-9666 (toll free: (855) 880-1246) and key in the meeting ID: 982 606 777.

Faculty Senate:

  • Genetics Chair Brendan Lee discussed the National Institutes of Health points system to redistribute grant support at the June 15 Senate meeting. Lee, who serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH, described the plan to prioritize support for additional meritorious early stage investigators and mid-career investigators by redistributing an estimated $210 million a year over five years, reaching a steady state cost of $1.1 billion. The NIH will encourage independent analyses of metrics that can be used to assess the impact of the NIH portfolio.
  • Associate Provost Nancy Moreno presented the Ad Hoc Committee on FAP Standards' recommendations for guidelines related to faculty appointments and promotions, which were thoroughly reviewed and endorsed by the Faculty Affairs Committee and have gone to the full Senate for a vote this week. The committee addressed the following areas: Guidelines within existing non-tenure and tenure tracks for quality and safety, academic leadership, and innovation and business development; explicit inclusion of faculty with degrees other than M.D. or Ph.D.; guidelines for a new patient care mission pathway on the non-tenure track; and new standards for voluntary clinical faculty.
  • Senate Chair Mary Dickinson reviewed outcomes of the Senate’s first strategic planning retreat. While many of the plans are structural in nature, one highlight is a strategy to strengthen relationships between Senators and their constituents by facilitating meetings with chairs or center directors and administrators. The goal is to ensure faculty have every opportunity to have a voice.
  • Dr. Olutoyin Olutoye reported that the Faculty Affairs Committee participated in a focus group for feedback on the Faculty Assessment and Development Planning Process tool introduced in September 2016. Senators discussed how evaluators had been assigned and goals assessed and identified gaps in faculty knowledge of their department’s expectations and goals.
  • Policy Director Megan Monroe presented the following administrative policies approved by the Board of Trustees May 24 after development by the Institutional Policy Committee, endorsement by the Academic Council and review by the Faculty Senate in April: 02.5.39 - Professional and Respectful Work Environment Policy: Standards for Employee Conduct; 02.5.18 - Progressive Discipline Policy and Procedures; 02.5.32 - Absenteeism and Tardiness Policy; and 32.1.01 - Office of the Ombudsman: Structure, Function, and Resources Policy.

Faculty Senate At Large Election Results: Faculty members elected the following new and returning at-large representatives to the Faculty Senate: Dr. Jason Ahuero - orthopedic surgery, Dr. Alica Goldman - neurology, Dr. Jill Hunter - radiology, Dr. Joanna Jankowsky - neuroscience, Dr. Jaime Ortiz - anesthesiology, Dr. Kiki Palacios - anesthesiology, Dr. Akash Patel - neurosurgery, Dr. Jeffrey Rogers - genetics, Dr. Nihita Shah - family and community medicine, Dr. Matthew Wall - surgery, Dr. Clavia Wooton-Kee - molecular biology, and Dr. Brian York - molecular biology. The Senators’ term begins July 1 and continues through June 30, 2020.

In-Network Care: BCM physicians in the Faculty Group Practice, AMS (providing services through Harris Health System) and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group are now in-network with Blue Medicare Advantage PPO/HMO. The Houston Area counties include Chambers, Fort Bend, Hardin, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty and Montgomery. In-network facilities include Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, CHI Lakeside Hospital, CHI Patients Medical Center, CHI Sugarland Hospital, CHI Vintage Hospital, CHI Woodlands Hospital and Ben Taub Hospital. For more information, contact LaToya Brown at 713-798-4287 or visit the BaylorMedCare website.

Faculty Kudos

imageimageIn a notable occurrence, Baylor cardiologists now lead two of the three combined task forces of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Dr. Biykem Bozkurt, professor of medicine - cardiology, has been appointed chair of the AHA/ACC Task Force for Data Standards and Dr. Glenn Levine, professor of medicine - cardiology, has been appointed chair of the AHA/ACC Task Force for Practice Guidelines. Dr. Hani Jneid, associate professor of medicine - cardiology, is chair-elect of the AHA/ACC Task Force for Data Standards. Bozkurt, who holds the Mary and Gordon Cain Chair of Internal Medicine in the Winters Center for Heart Failure Research and the W.A. “Tex” and Deborah Moncrief, Jr. Chair at Baylor, also has been appointed chair of the ACC Heart Failure and Transplantation Council and recently was named associate editor of Circulation, the leading cardiology journal. Dr. Anita Deswal, professor of medicine - cardiology, has been appointed chair of the AHA Heart Failure and Transplantation Committee.


imageDr. Yohannes Ghebre, assistant professor of radiation oncology, has received an American Heart Association grant to support his research project on the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in endothelial dysfunction and prevention of atherosclerosis. He also recently was named Educator of the Year by the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology.


imageDr. Daniel Mahoney, assistant professor of pediatrics – palliative care, was one of six storytellers to present at the third Off Script: Stories from the Heart of Medicine event, sponsored by the Center for Narrative Medicine and the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics.


imageDr. Buck Samuel, assistant professor of molecular virology and microbiology in the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, earned a Community Science Program microbial genomes grant from the Joint Genome Institute for genomic analyses of the natural microbiome of free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The grant supports the sequencing and annotation of nearly 100 bacterial genomes of a model core microbiome of C. elegans, many of which are closely related to those found in the human infant microbiome.


imageDr. John Vierling, professor of medicine and surgery – abdominal transplantation, presented grand rounds as the Andres T. Blei, M.D., Memorial Lecturer at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in May. The lecture is named for the leader of Northwestern’s liver transplant program.


College Events

Reception for Dr. Wah Chiu: You are invited to the farewell reception for Dr. Wah Chiu, distinguished service professor and Alvin Romansky Chair in Biochemistry, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 23, in Alkek Lobby, next to the DeBakey Library and Museum at main Baylor.

Pride Festival: Visit the BCM Pride and Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion booth at the Houston Pride Festival, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 24, and stay for the Pride Parade at dusk downtown. The festival is at Hermann Square in front of City Hall and our booth is located at E34, on the corner of Walker and Bagby Street. June is LGBT+ Pride Month, an opportunity to remember the College’s commitment to providing a safe, respectful and supportive environment for all community members and visitors.

The Global Health Hackathon finalists will pitch their concepts to a panel of judges Wednesday, June 28, at the TMCx accelerator. Sponsored by the Baylor Global Innovation Center and TMC Innovation, the Hackathon's topics are innovations in women’s health in procedural care, global health security/refugee health, orthopedics and rehabilitation, and space exploration

Faculty Resources

Emergency Notification System: There's a storm in the Gulf; 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.

For a Good Cause

Blood Drive: One donation saves three lives at the BCM blood drive 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. T-shirts, cholesterol tests, cookies and juice will be provided.

Backpacks for Youth: The student group BCM Pride and The Montrose Center are raising money for street relief backpacks for the up to 2,000 homeless LGBTQ+ adolescents living in Houston. Support the initiative online.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Symposia

Stroke Symposium: The Congress of Neurological Surgeons Acute Stroke Care Symposium is Saturday, June 24, at the Houston Marriott Medical Center. Geared toward critical care and emergency department health professionals, the symposium will include the latest research, best practices and insight needed to provide state-of-the-art care for acute ischemic stroke, with breakout sessions on developing a stroke center and actions to take before a stroke occurs. Register online. Sponsored by Baylor, Houston Methodist Hospital and The University of Texas McGovern Medical School.

Space Surgery: The Department of Surgery Incubator-Think Tank focuses on “Outer Space Surgery” with guest speaker Jimmy Wu, chief engineer at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, leading the conversation from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 29, in Room N315, main Baylor. Register online. Candidates interested in submitting proposals to the newly established NASA Translation Research Institute should plan to attend.

Clinical Opportunities

Patient Safety Facilitator: The School of Medicine is recruiting clinical faculty to serve as small group facilitators for the Patient Safety Course, which meets weekly from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 1 - Sept. 19. Each facilitator will be assigned nine or 10 MS2 students to work through a clinical case. Facilitators will complete evaluations of their students and be evaluated by their students. These evaluations can be used in an education portfolio or as evidence of excellence in an award application. Facilitators are asked to complete free on-line modules and attend an orientation to the course. See Faculty Opportunities online for more information or contact program co-director Dr. Cara Lye. The deadline to apply is July 31.

H&P Preceptor: Clinical faculty members are invited to participate as preceptors for the Undergraduate Medical Education Clinical PPS3 Course (Patient, Physician and Society). This course helps prepare second-year medical students to function effectively in a clinical setting by improving their patient history and physical (H&P) exam skills, as well as their communication skills. In this course students practice these skills with hospitalized patients. Ten preceptor sessions (five per group) are scheduled from Aug. 2 through Nov. 8 and the time involved to precept two groups of students is approximately 20-30 hours. Read the Faculty Opportunities listing for more details. Please let course coordinator Colleen McCampbell know of your interest in precepting before July 31.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Event

Redesigning Physiology: Dr. Ronald M. Evans, professor and director of the gene expression laboratory and March of Dimes Chair in Developmental and Molecular Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, delivers the Wylie W. Vale, Jr., Ph.D. Honorary Lecture at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, in Kleberg Auditorium, main Baylor. His topic is "Redesigning Physiology: Can Exercise Mimetics Replace Exercise?"

Call for Applications

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.

A Month in Italy: ACRI (Associazione di Fondazioni e Casse di Risparmio Italiane) is sponsoring research prizes to young investigators (maximum age 40) who attend the Biennial Congress of the Italian Association of Cell Biology and Differentiation Sept. 21-23 and choose to spend a month in a hosting laboratory in Naples, Rome or Milan to strengthen collaboration among international research institutions. The application deadline is July 1. More information is available on the ACRI website.

Research Resources

Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab provides instrumentation, services and consultation for a wide variety of flow cytometry and cell sorting needs. The lab has six flow cytometric analyzers including a five-laser BD LSR Fortessa for analysis of up to 18 different fluorochromes, two four-laser BD LSR IIs with 16 and 14 channels, two eight-color BD FACSCanto II and a 14 color Invitrogen Attune NxT Acoustic Focusing Cytometer. High throughput systems are available for automated analysis of small volume samples from multi-well plates. An Amnis ImageStreamX image scanning cytometer can detect up to ten separate fluorescent images per cell, allowing detailed high throughput morphological analysis. The core also provides services for separation and isolation of cells with three high-speed cell sorters that can sort up to four different populations or single cells into a multi-well plate. A Silicon Biosystems DEPArray microfluidic cell sorter is available as well as a Miltenyi AutoMACS Pro magnetic cell separator for depletion/isolation assays. For more information about any of the cores, see the ATC website or catalog.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Daryl Scott, associate professor of genetics, solved a medical mystery in a day, thanks to global collaborations and dataset access. You can receive weekly articles on research at Baylor as they are posted in our newsletter by going to From the Labs 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.

Funding Opportunities: See the Office of Research's 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.

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