E-mail not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Faculty Commons Banner

News for BCM Faculty, July 26 - Aug. 1, 2018
Please submit items for Faculty Commons to Erin Blair.

Archive / Faculty Affairs / Today at BCM / Employee Discounts

All Faculty

College News



Precision Medicine & Population Health Grants: The College has awarded its first round of grants for proposals on precision medicine and population health topics, in support of the strategic planning initiative. An RFP issued in February stipulated that projects leverage large data sets currently available at Baylor or an affiliate, involve multi-disciplinary teams of faculty, staff and trainees, and be relevant to population-based clinical care. It garnered 43 proposals, from which 10 were selected for one-year, $30,000 grants.

  • Winning projects include "Predicting disease outcomes using common or rare variants in individual genomes affected with recurrent deletions" with a team led by Pengfei Liu, assistant professor of genetics, "Human liver organoid infection model for hepatitis B virus" with Dr. Betty Slagle, associate professor of virology, as lead, and "Precision medicine for pediatric diabetes" with Dr. Maria Redondo, associate professor of pediatrics, and colleagues.
  • Also receiving grants were "Big data for biobanking" with Dr. Michael Scheurer, associate professor of pediatrics, and team, "Using genomic cohorts and services at BCM to elucidate the genetic etiology of childhood-onset essential hypertension" with a group led by Ian Copeland, predoctoral fellow in genetics, and "A personalized warning score predicting decompensation of acutely ill hospitalized patients" with Dr. Aanand Naik, associate professor of medicine, and colleagues.
  • "Precision diagnosis of persistent isolated hematuria in children" with Dr. Mir Reza Bekheirnia, assistant professor of pediatrics, as lead, "Accelerating precision diagnostics through genocentric analysis of aggregate Mendelian cohorts" and "A high-throughput functional assay for detection of pathogenic variation" both led by Adam Hansen, research assistant in the Human Genome Sequencing Center, and "Validation of a gene expression signature of prostate cancer aggressiveness in African Americans" with a team led by Dr. Nicholas Mitsiades, associate professor of medicine, round out the list of funded proposals.


St. Baldrick's Grants: The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-powered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, has awarded grants to seven faculty members at Baylor and Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers.

  • Dr. Nmazou Ozuah, assistant professor of pediatrics, received a $330,000 grant to support his project studying biological predictors in Hodgkin lymphoma in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Peter Wasswa, assistant professor of pediatrics, was awarded $115,000 to pursue research looking at the biological and clinical profiling of childhood hematological malignancies. To help fund her research in chemotherapy resistance through stroma-induced SYK in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia, Dr. Michele Redell, associate professor of pediatrics, received a grant for $96,012 from St. Baldrick's.
  • Dr. Kimberly Raghubar, professor of pediatrics, received $49,858 to aid in the development of an online platform for cognitive surveillance in pediatric brain tumors. To support her research exploring novel differentiating therapies for high-risk neuroblastoma, Dr. Eveline Barbieri, assistant professor of pediatrics, was awarded a grant for $111,616. Dr. Will Parsons, associate professor of pediatrics and co-director of the Brain Tumor and Cancer Genetics and Genomics Programs, and Dr. Carl Allen, associate professor of pediatrics and co-director of the Lymphoma and Histiocytosis Programs, each received $150,000 St. Baldrick’s Foundation Innovation Awards.

Faculty Kudos

imageFamily & Community Medicine Faculty: Dr. William Huang, associate professor of family & community medicine, was honored with the Chair's Recognition Award at the department’s July meeting celebrating faculty accomplishments. Dr. Anjali Aggarwal and Dr. Aymer Almutairi, both assistant professors, received Outstanding Clinician Awards, while Dr. Noreen Pirzada, assistant professor, and Dr. Mohamad Sidani, professor, accepted the department's Outstanding Educator Awards. Dr. Malvika Juneja, associate professor, and Dr. Maria Mejia de Grubb, assistant professor, received the Outstanding Researcher Awards and Dr. Irvin Sulapas, assistant professor and a faculty senator, took home the department's Outstanding Service Award.


imageDr. Kenneth Altman, professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, recently published new commentaries on Becker’s Hospital Review on the effects of mergers, the electronic health record and outsourcing on physicians.


imageDr. Michael Kauth, professor of psychiatry, will accept the James Besyner Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 18 (Public Service), at its annual meeting Aug. 8. The award is named in memory of Veterans Affairs psychologist James Besyner and honors individuals who have given voice to psychology’s role in healthcare and have gained recognition as leaders in advocacy, treatment, research or education.


imageDr. Ricardo Nuila, assistant professor of medicine and medical ethics & health policy and director of the Program in Narrative Medicine, reports that the program, in partnership with literary arts nonprofit Inprint, has accepted a grant from the Harris County Hospital District Foundation to run creative writing workshops at Ben Taub Hospital as part of a wellness initiative for Harris Health employees and medical staff.


image imageDr. Mohan Pammi, associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of the NICU at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, and Dr. Krithika Lingappan, assistant professor of pediatrics, recently published a Cochrane review and podcast on a hot topic in neonatology - the use of video devices in assisting the placement of breathing tubes in babies - that has been well received.


imageDr. Edward Poa, associate professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences and chief of inpatient services at Menninger Clinic, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents the Clinic’s faculty on Senate.


imageDr. Rahel Selassie, assistant professor of anesthesiology, is highlighted in Growing Up Baylor on the Momentum blog. She came to the College as a non-traditional medical student after a career in business.

College Events

Liver Disease Conference: The 19th annual Hot Topics in Liver Disease conference is Saturday, July 28, at the Houstonian 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.

First Day of Class: It still may feel like summer but school starts next week for medical and graduate students at Baylor. The first day of class is Monday, July 30, for the School of Medicine and Tuesday, July 31, for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Recycling & Market Day: The Resource Stewardship & Sustainability Program hosts an event to recycle e-waste and shop with Market Day vendors from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. Recycling will accept lab coats, computers, laptops and batteries, hard drives, printers and cartridges, cell phones and batteries, cables and more. Baylor-owned equipment must go through proper procedures with the Office of Environmental Safety to ensure it is removed from the inventory. Contact Amanda Clark, (713) 798-1044, for more information.

Faculty Opportunities

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 Sept. 21. All Baylor faculty members are eligible to submit abstracts. The deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1. For more information or to apply, please go online.

Associate Course Directors: Nominations are now open for two leadership positions in the Medical School. Inspiring faculty members with an interest in medical education and experience in either patient safety or quality improvement are encouraged to apply for the Patient Safety associate course director position. Innovative faculty members with a heart for public health and underserved populations and an interest in medical education may want to apply for the Determinants, Disparities and Social Health of Populations associate course director position. For more information, please see the Faculty Opportunities webpage. The application deadline is Aug. 17.

Faculty Resources

Research Mentor Training: Faculty research mentors are invited to participate in a workshop to build skills in mentoring competencies including aligning expectations, maintaining effective communications, fostering independence and resilience and promoting professional development. Workshop activities are based on the mentor training curriculum of the NIH’s National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) but will be tailored to Baylor. Four workshop dates in the fall are offered. To attend, please choose your preferred date by Wednesday, Aug. 1. For more information, contact Dr. Anna Marie Sokac, NRMN master facilitator of mentor training, or Dr. Sandra Haudek, director of peer coaching in the Office of Faculty Development.

Women in Science: The Association for Women in Science Gulf Coast Houston hosts its monthly networking event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Axelrad Beer Garden, 1517 Alabama St. The first Tuesday of each month is your time to network with other women in the sciences and discuss workshops and career development opportunities. Information and registration are online.

DocTalk: Dr. Kenneth Altman, professor of otolaryngology, and Charisse Wright, speech pathologist, discuss "Voice and Swallowing Disorders" at noon Aug. 16 in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Sign in before 12:15 p.m. to receive 100 BCM BeWell points.

For a Good Cause

Prostate Cancer Study: Dr. Melissa Bondy, professor of medicine and associate director of cancer prevention & population sciences in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, is heading the College’s participation in the $26.5 million Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry; Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers and Social Stress (RESPOND) study funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. To join the study, please see the RESPOND website.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Events

Autoimmune Encephalitis: The AE Family Day of Hope: Navigating Autoimmune Encephalitis is Saturday, July 28, at the Texas Children's Pavilion for Women. This rare condition disrupts normal communication in different areas of the brain. The free event hosted by TCH Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Service, features experts in the field, including Dr. Eyal Muscal, associate professor of pediatrics, and special guest speaker Amobi Okoye, an NFL player with the condition. For more information, contact Monica Guevara (832) 824-1206 or register online (password: family).

Book & Author Dinner: Friends of the Texas Medical Center Library hosts its annual book and author fundraiser Sept. 7 in the UTHealth Cooley University Life Center, 7440 Cambridge. Dr. Kenneth Mattox, professor of surgery and editor of "The History of Surgery in Houston," is the guest speaker. Prices range from $150 for the dinner and the book to $50 for students. Proceeds benefit the Friends Fund for Staff Development and the TMC Library McGovern Historical Collection. For details call (713) 799-7108 or email Sarah Keith.

Clinical Seminars

Professional Development Day: Texas Children’s Hospital hosts a day-long conference for Registered Nurses, physicians and all interprofessional care providers on enhancing quality care and patient outcomes in pediatrics and women’s healthcare on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the 4th floor conference center of the Pavilion for Women, as well as at TCH’s West and Woodlands campuses. Continuing education credit is available. Contact Amanda Garey (832) 824-2465 for more information.

Grand Rounds: The Albert & Margaret Alkek Department of Medicine Vice Chair Group for Quality Improvement and Innovations and the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety host two guest speakers in August.

  • Dr. Eric Coleman of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, a recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award for his work on transition of care and its impact on Medicare policy, speaks on "The Interface between Transitional and Primary Care" at noon Aug. 14 in Room N315, main Baylor.
  • Dr. Anne Sales of the University of Michigan School of Medicine, presents "Implementation Science: How It Can Support Healthcare Research" at 12:15 p.m. Aug. 16 in Room M112, main Baylor.

VA Quality Scholars: Dr. Anne Sales, University of Michigan School of Medicine, speaks on "Thinking about the Science of Improvement and Implementation" at the VA Quality Scholars 2018 Summer Institute, VA Care in the Community: Ensure Quality and Value, at 4 p.m. Aug. 16 at Onstead Auditorium. The VA Quality Scholars’ and BCM faculty and fellows' poster session precedes her talk at 2:30 p.m. in the Onstead foyer.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Abstracts

AML & MDS Symposium: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center present the inaugural Hematologic Malignancies Symposium on Nov. 3 at main Baylor. Abstracts in the categories of clinical and basic science acute myelogenous leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, myeloma and lymphoma may be submitted before Oct. 1. For more information, contact Christina Velasquez. Register for the symposium online.

Research Resources

Data Science Boot Camp: Rice University offers a week-long course beginning Monday, Aug. 6, to get you up to speed on skills required to start leveraging the latest data analytics tools. Participants should have some previous exposure to basic probability, statistics, linear regression, matrix and vector notation, as well as some familiarity with R and Python programming languages. For more information and registration, please go online.

Tissue Engineering: Rice University hosts its 26th annual short course, Advances in Tissue Engineering, Aug. 8 – 11 on its campus. Dr. James Dennis, Benjamin Ford Kitchen Professor of Orthopedics, is a guest speaker at the course, which surveys the latest technologies in the world of patient-specific therapeutics, from cellular treatments to 3D printing and biofabrication of complex tissues. Register online.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Juan Botas, professor of molecular & human genetics and molecular & cellular biology, is sorting out what gene expression changes drive Huntington’s disease in this blog article. 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 August.

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.

Items for Faculty Commons: To submit items for this weekly email update for Baylor College of Medicine faculty, please contact us.

Connect With Baylor

facebook icon facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon linkedin icon google plus icon Instagram icon