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Faculty Commons, June 29 - July 5, 2017
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College News


Neurosurgery Field Day: The Neurosurgery Faculty Group Practice staff celebrated teamwork and had fun at its first field day at Hermann Park in May. The teams played dodge ball, capture the flag and tug of war, held three-legged races and raffle drawings and competed for awards including team cheerleader and best team player. Photo courtesy of administrator Amanda Sowell.


Faculty Town Hall: Mission leaders and members of the executive team presented a semiannual update on the College’s activities and took questions from faculty members at Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting. A video of the event will be available next week. Highlights included:

  • Faculty Senate Chair Mary Dickinson reported on the ways the Senate has improved communications between the faculty and the administration. Senators have reviewed and commented on 31 institutional policies, established new faculty leadership courses and proposed and endorsed resolutions on topics ranging from faculty vacation time to the Training Grant Support Office, and from the M.S. program in genetic counseling to faculty appointments and promotions (FAP) guidelines.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe discussed the guidelines developed by the Ad Hoc Committee on FAP, which include a new pathway to promotion for clinical, non-tenure track faculty. The guidelines next go to Academic Council and the Board of Trustees for review over the summer. Monroe also described the Education Mission Strategic Plan’s work with faculty focus groups to identify potential options and programs to keep education aligned with research and patient care trends.
  • Research Dean Adam Kuspa outlined the process for creating, evaluating and promoting Advanced Technology Core Labs and for repurposing lab space and operations as needs change. He said the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research will pivot to support faculty research in precision population health in the coming year.
  • Clinical Dean Jim McDeavitt introduced plans for FGP 2.0, the future direction of the Faculty Group Practice. The Access workgroup, chaired by Dr. Roger Zoorob, is addressing patient demand and staff coverage, while the Business Intelligence group, chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Steinbauer, is developing an electronic performance reporting platform. Dr. Todd Rosengart chairs the Finance workgroup, which is looking at resource utilization and faculty compensation.
  • President Paul Klotman reported that the eighth floor of the Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center McNair Campus facility is being built out for the Department of Medicine's clinics and faculty offices. He said the Board has approved the fiscal year 2018 budget and the College's institutional priorities for the year, which are to: Catalyze the FY2020 financial improvement plan; complete the FGP 2.0 transformation project; further develop strategies around population health and precision medicine; and execute the SAP re-implementation plan.

Fourth of July: The College will be closed Tuesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. On Monday, July 3, the cafeteria at main Baylor will serve a limited menu and close at 1 p.m. Mary O's Café at the Jamail Specialty Center will be closed July 3.

Congratulations TCH: Our affiliate Texas Children’s Hospital ranks No. 4 in the U.S. News & World Report 2017-18 edition of Best Children’s Hospitals. The TCH Heart Center ranks No. 1 in the nation for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery, and TCH pulmonology, cancer, gastroenterology, nephrology and neurology services all rank in the top 5.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Sarah Blutt, associate professor of molecular virology and microbiology, is featured in Growing Up Baylor on the Momentum blog. The series profiles the special group of physicians, faculty members and researchers who have spent the majority of their training and careers at the College and affiliated institutions. If you have “grown up” at Baylor, or know of a colleague who has, let us know.


imageDr. Charles Lin, associate professor of molecular and human genetics, has been named a 2017 Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research. The award supports five early-career scientists leading groundbreaking research with four years of flexible funding. Lin studies novel therapeutics for glioblastoma multiforme.


imageDr. Nagireddy Putluri, associate professor of molecular and cellular biology and director of the Metabolomics Core, was awarded a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for his project on racial disparity in bladder cancer and the identification of metabolism differences in patients with the disease who are African American versus European in origin.


imageDr. Jeffrey Rosen, professor of molecular and cellular biology, was selected as the Distinguished Lecturer in Breast Cancer Research by the American Association for Cancer Research. This award recognizes outstanding science that has inspired or has the potential to inspire new perspectives on the etiology, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer. He will receive the award and deliver a lecture at the 40th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December.


imageDr. Asim Shah, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and vice chair for community psychiatry, has been appointed to the board of directors of Mental Health America of Greater Houston, the area’s longest serving mental health education and advocacy organization. The group focuses on children and education, integrated health care, chronic illnesses, women, suicide prevention, veterans and aging.


imageDr. Huda Zoghbi, professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, was awarded the Switzer Prize for excellence in biological and biomedical sciences research from David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Honored for her work revealing the molecular basis of neurological disorders, Zoghbi will deliver the Switzer Prize lecture and accept the medallion in February at UCLA.

College Events

Welcome to Baylor: New medical residents and students in the School of Allied Health Sciences’ Physician Assistant Program and Orthotics and Prosthetics Program joined the Baylor community this week. You can read more about the entering classes of 40 PA and 24 O&P students online.

BCM Pride and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion waved the rainbow flag at their booth at the Houston Pride Festival last weekend. See photos online. Thanks to all those who donated, BCM Pride and The Montrose Center exceeded their goal to provide street relief backpacks for 100 homeless LGBTQ+ adolescents.

Faculty Opportunities

Faculty Career Coaching: Faculty Development offers one-on-one sessions with experienced senior faculty coaches. These sessions are designed to provide guidance on career progression, readiness for academic promotion, development of award portfolios, academic writing and educational research and evaluation. Contact the Office of Faculty Development at (713) 798-7285 for scheduling.

Faculty Resources

Read Your SPDs: Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) are overviews of benefit programs and are excellent references when you have benefit questions. SPDs include descriptions of the benefit plans, your rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Although you may not have elected to participate in each of the benefit plans, you can access the latest SPDs by visiting HR Benefits on the intranet. For additional questions or assistance, please email or call (713) 798-1500.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Opportunity

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 online modules and attend an orientation to the course. See Faculty Opportunities for more information. For additional questions, please contact program co-director Dr. Cara Lye. The deadline to apply is July 31.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Abstracts

Metastatic Breast Cancer: The Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference seeks abstracts for consideration at the annual conference Oct. 12-13 at the College. Sponsored by the Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center, the conference will provide updates on basic science, clinical and survivorship issues. The deadline for abstract submissions is 5 p.m. Aug. 14. Theresa’s Research Foundation will offer travel stipends for early career investigators who have an abstract selected. See the website for more information.

Research Resources

Discounted Software Licenses: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center purchases in bulk and offers substantially discounted licenses for research software including Qiagen Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, Thermo Fisher Oncomine RPE, SAS Institute SAS 9.4 and IBM SPSS Statistics 24. Licenses run annually, with starting dates in July (IPA), August (SPSS) and September (SAS). For more information, see the description and pricing list or email the DLDCCC.

Gene Vector Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab provides viral vector packaging and cloning/plasmid preparation services. Of the available gene delivery systems, virus-derived vectors are among the most efficacious, as they retain the native features tested in evolutionary pressure. The lab offers production and purification of popular viral vectors including adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, lentivirus and retrovirus at very competitive prices. The Gene Vector Core team incorporates cutting edge technologies while ensuring high quality control in working with investigators. For more information about any of the cores, see the ATC website or download the catalog.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Anthony Maresso, associate professor of virology and microbiology, and his colleagues are recruiting bacteriophages to fight “superbugs” and antibiotic-resistant infections in this week's issue. 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 July.

Questions or Comments?

Faculty Senate: Please contact your Senator for faculty-related questions or suggestions.

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