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News for BCM Faculty, July 16, 2020
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Frontline Team: Medical assistants Kristina Smith, dermatology, and Amelia Flores, medicine, perform a COVID-19 test at Baylor College of Medicine’s drive-through site. Face shields now are required for all healthcare providers during patient encounters in Baylor Medicine clinics and some hospital affiliate locations. You may request one from your department administrator. In non-clinical areas, you may wear a face shield as a personal preference, but it is not required. On the other hand, the wearing of gloves is not allowed outside of clinical and research areas. Catch up on all the latest safety guidelines on the coronavirus website for the Baylor community.

Academic Council: Dr. Amy McGuire, director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, introduced a position statement on Institutionalized Racism and Public Health at the July 13 meeting. The draft document, produced in collaboration with Dr. Toi Harris, associate provost for diversity, inclusion and equity, and faculty colleagues, outlines steps needed to increase competence and address race-related trauma and violence to protect public health – both within Baylor and in local and national communities. Following a brief discussion, chairs and center directors provided written comments and will vote this week. The Board of Trustees will review and give final approval to the position statement.

  • In their coronavirus pandemic update, Clinical Affairs Dean Jim McDeavitt and Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, vice president for academic integration and senior associate dean for academic affairs, described the surge planning underway at the College and its affiliates Ben Taub Hospital, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the DeBakey VA Medical Center. In addition to key recruitments of intensivists and hospitalists, some clinical faculty members are being redeployed voluntarily to assist with the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. Ben Taub and BSLMC have set up tents to accommodate emergency department overflow.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe said Baylor, with the support of affiliate hospitals, has changed its status with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to "Level 2 emergency status" effective July 8 for 30 days. Residency and fellowship program directors may move trainees to different clinical assignments and rotations in response to COVID-19-realted clinical demands. The deans have developed a list of ways to safely engage students to lighten the load of clinical staff as well.
  • Research Dean Mary Dickinson reported that coronavirus-related studies are ramping up and several vaccine trials are anticipated.

College (Virtual) Events

Cancer Grand Rounds: "Advances in adult AML therapy" is the topic of a talk by Dr. Gustavo Rivero, assistant professor of medicine – hematology & oncology and a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, at 12:30 p.m. Friday, July 17, via Zoom, passcode 936868.

Cancer Seminar: Dr. Arpit Rao of the University of Minnesota Medical School, speaks on “Precision medicine in prostate cancer – the story of PARP inhibitors” at noon Monday, July 20, via Zoom, passcode 085829.

Hematology Conference: Dr. Christopher Hourigan of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, discusses “Acute Myelogenous Leukemia measurable residual disease – what is new?” at 7:30 a.m. Monday, July 20, via Zoom, passcode 704350.

Health Equity Grand Rounds: The Center of Excellence in Health Equity Training and Research presents Dr. Francis Lu, professor emeritus of the University of California, Davis, discussing “Advancing Health Equity in the Clinical Encounter: The Role of Cultural Identity in Patients and Healthcare Providers,” 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28. Register to attend via Zoom.

Faculty Resources

AIDS Research: Baylor, the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston and Texas Biomedical Research Institute are jointly applying for a Developmental Center for AIDS Research (D-CFAR). The mission of the D-CFAR is to promote HIV research at the institutions by facilitating collaboration in HIV research, offering pilot funding to all early stage investigators and to established investigators not currently involved in HIV research, and offering core services to researchers. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey to tell the D-CFAR leadership about your research and your needs for core services.

Journal Club: The Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity are launching the Journal Club on Social Determinants of Health, Medicine and Ethics. Its aim is to bring together faculty, staff, students and trainees across Baylor to discuss issues related to health disparities, inform research and teaching and explore opportunities for collaboration. The club will meet bi-monthly and asks those who commit to participate in at least 75% of sessions and be willing to lead at least one. If interested, please email Dr. Hadley Stevens Smith.

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. Wednesday, July 22. One or two $45,000 grants endowed by Chang, a Baylor scientist, philanthropist and entrepreneur, will be awarded in fiscal year 2021. For more information and to apply, please see the website.

NIH Director's Award: 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 online with an internal application deadline of midnight Aug. 1.

Rita Allen Scholars: The College may nominate one candidate for the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Program, which supports research scientists in cancer, immunology and neuroscience in the early stages of their careers. Individuals chosen will receive support of up to $110,000 annually for up to five years. The internal deadline to submit a nomination is Aug. 4. More information is available on the online portal.

Kleberg Foundation Grants: The Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation seeks highly innovative and groundbreaking medical research proposals in basic and applied research that will have the greatest impact on scientific knowledge and human health. Proposals should be distinctive and novel in their approaches, question the prevailing paradigm, and lead to advancement of knowledge in the field. Grants average $200,000 a year for three years. Baylor may submit one proposal. The internal submission deadline is Aug. 15.

Beaudet Mentoring Award: The Department of Molecular and Human Genetics is accepting nominations for the Arthur L. Beaudet, M.D. Award for Outstanding Mentorship, endowed by Dr. Huda Zoghbi. All Baylor faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary mentorship, as reflected by the success of trainees, are eligible. Mentorship includes advice, feedback and guidance on research activities and/or patient care, coaching on work-life balance, fostering independence, providing professional opportunities, and assisting in the development of speaking, writing, and teaching skills. Contact Laura Rosales for submission details. The nomination letter, up to five letters of support and a CV are due by Sept. 1.

Surgery Research: The Research Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery is accepting applications from M.D. surgical residents and Ph.D. post-doctoral fellows interested in academic careers in cardiovascular research through a highly structured, collaborative surgeon-scientist research experience. The program offers tracks in bioengineering & biodesign, basic & translational research and clinical & outcomes research and supports two trainees per year for two years. More information is available online. Applications are due Jan. 8, 2021.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Sarah Elsea, professor of molecular & human genetics, is using metablomics with genomics to identify the genetic cause of undiagnosed conditions in this week's post. Receive From the Labs via email by entering your email address in the box at the end of any article and clicking the "subscribe" button.

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