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Faculty Commons, July 27 - Aug. 2, 2017
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College News


Dr. Gayle Slaughter, senior associate dean for graduate education and diversity, reads notes from former students and colleagues at her retirement reception July 21. During her 38 years of service to the College, Slaughter designed and directed the SMART summer undergraduate research program, SMART PREP post-baccalaureate program, IMSD program for underrepresented Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and the REACH-UP IRACDA postdoctoral research/teaching program, influencing the education and career of thousands of young people.


Safer Dx Learning Lab: Researchers from the College and Geisinger Health have received a $3.5 million grant to develop a new program to systematically measure and improve the safety of clinical diagnosis. Led by Dr. Hardeep Singh, associate professor of medicine and chief of the Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program at the DeBakey VA Medical Center, the Safer Dx Learning Lab will analyze data on missed diagnostic opportunities by leveraging Geisinger’s robust electronic health record data warehouse and evaluate how best to gather diagnostic safety concerns directly from patients and clinicians. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established by the founder of Intel, awarded the three-year grant as part of its focus on the patient care experience.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Christie Ballantyne, professor of medicine and chief of cardiology, has been elected by his peers to the Association of University Cardiologists. Members are the 125 academic cardiologists who shape the course of research and training in cardiovascular disease as leaders and top investigators in the United States.

imageDr. Megan Bullerwell was appointed associate director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program – Nurse Anesthesia. She will join Dr. Rachel Davis, associate director, and Dr. Jim Walker, director, in the leadership of the program. A Baylor alumna, Bullerwell has a proven track record of academic and clinical excellence.

imageimageimageThree young investigators beginning their independent research careers are recipients of the 2017 Chao Physician-Scientist Awards, made possible through the generosity of the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation of Houston. This year’s awardees and their projects are: Dr. Jonathan Davies, assistant professor of pediatrics – neonatology, “Adenosine signaling in bronchopulmonary dysplasia;” Dr. James Orengo, assistant professor of neurology, “Unraveling the mechanism of motor neuron degeneration in Spinocerebellar Ataxia, Type 1;” and Dr. Geoffrey Preidis, clinical postdoctoral fellow in pediatrics – gastroenterology, “Nuclear receptor mediated bile acid alterations and coagulopathy in protein-energy undernutrition.”

imageDr. Nasser Lakkis, professor, T.L.L. Temple/William H. Spencer, M.D., Chair in Clinical Cardiology and chief of the cardiology service at Ben Taub Hospital, led his team of committed physicians, nurses, technologists and staff to win the 2017 Action Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award. The American College of Cardiology award recognizes delivery of the highest quality care to patients with acute myocardial infarction. The BTH cardiology service also received the American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Gold Plus Achievement Award for the second year in a row under Lakkis’ leadership.

imageDr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president for academic and faculty affairs, has been named to the Baylor University Board of Regents. The College has an affiliation agreement with the Waco institution that includes joint appointments of faculty, an undergraduate summer program in tropical medicine and the B2B program that provides provisional acceptance of six students per year to matriculate to BCM upon graduation.


imageDr. Cynthia Peacock, associate professor of medicine and director of the Transition Medicine Clinic, and Dr. Michelle Cornacchia, class of 2017 pediatrics resident, won Local Hero Awards for their outstanding leadership and service to the community at the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry Conference.


imageimageDr. Lee Poythress, associate professor of medicine and associate program director for the internal medicine residency program, and Dr. Andrea Stolar, associate professor and residency program director in psychiatry, were appointed as assistant deans of student affairs. Both have been recognized for their educational leadership at the College.


imageimageIn the School of Medicine, Dr. David Rowley was named director of foundational curriculum and Dr. Elaine Fielder was named director of clinical sciences curriculum. Rowley, professor and vice chair of education in molecular and cellular biology, will continue his leadership in the Curricular Renewal Task Force as well as his current research and administrative duties at the College. Fielder, assistant professor of pediatrics – emergency medicine, currently serves as clerkship director for pediatrics. In her new role, she will oversee the clinical curriculum and chair its subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee.


imageDr. Melanie Samuel, assistant professor of neuroscience in the Huffington Center on Aging, was highlighted in the National Institutes of Health Director’s Blog for her research into reprogramming the synapses of brain circuits that are affected by aging and disease. Samuel received a 2016 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award to further her work.


imageDr. Asim Shah was appointed executive vice chair in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and chief of the new Division of Community Psychiatry. He is responsible for overseeing the integration and functioning of extensive community-based services and is the point person for the department’s commitment to the underserved population.

College Events

Volunteer T-Shirts: Faculty and staff who participated in the Volunteer Time Off Program can pick up their T-shirt from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 2-4, in the Office of Communications, Suite 176B at main Baylor. If you have any questions, contact coordinator Katie Holtman.

Tacos with Teachers: Students, trainees and faculty are invited to have breakfast and talk with Dr. James Walker, associate professor and director of the DNP – nurse anesthesia program, about his career path and tips for maintaining connection, meaning and joy in work. Sponsored by the Center for Professionalism and Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the monthly event is set for 7 to 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8. RSVP to Institutional Diversity.

Faculty Opportunities

Curriculum Committee: Nominations are open for an at-large faculty member position on the Curriculum Committee. Candidates should be current Baylor faculty members from any discipline and have a strong interest in promoting and strengthening the medical student curriculum. The committee meets the first and third Mondays of every month from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Nominations including a personal statement, CV and brief letter of support from the department chair are due to Jamie Smith no later than close of business Friday, July 28. For more information, see the job description or contact committee chair Dr. Frank Gannon at (713) 798-4340.

Scholarship Abstracts Sought: The BCM Annual Showcase of Educational Scholarship will be held Sept. 29, and abstracts for poster presentation are being accepted through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. The Showcase is the College's premier venue for highlighting scholarship within medical education using a peer-reviewed format, offering the opportunity for conversation and collaboration with colleagues. Find more information online.

Faculty Resources

Faculty Orientation: You don’t have to be a new faculty member to join the Faculty Development team for an overview of Baylor College of Medicine resources and opportunities for faculty. Faculty orientation is held at 11:30 a.m. every Monday in Room N112, main Baylor.

Baylor/CHI St. Luke's Custom Network: Did you know that the College offers lower health insurance copays for employees who visit a physician or provider within the Baylor/CHI St. Luke’s custom network? The network includes more than 70 facilities and 5,000 providers and physicians. A list of the participating facilities, providers and physicians is now available.

For a Good Cause

Range of Motion Project: Alex Dahinten, trainee in orthotics and prosthetics, will join an elite team of amputees and able-bodied athletes this summer in climbing the 18,996-foot Cayambe volcano in Quito, Ecuador. He is raising awareness and donations for the Range of Motion Project a non-profit that provides appropriate prosthetic services and educational opportunities to Central American amputees who could not otherwise afford them. He hopes to raise at least $5,000, which will fund new arms and legs for 10 local amputees. Support Alex's fundraiser online.

Toy Drive: Students from the BCM SMART Program are holding a toy drive for Texas Children's Hospital through Friday, July 28. Drop-off bins are located at: CNRC Main Lobby, Office of Communications (176B) main Baylor, and McNair Campus next to the 1st floor staff elevators. Please check donation guidelines and contact Katie Holtman with any questions.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Opportunities

Health Data and Analysis Courses: The Department of Family and Community Medicine offers two course for healthcare professionals and trainees related to health data and analysis. CHAT-CEA is an online course that uses a technology platform called Community Health Analytics Training to provide cost-effectiveness analysis in an easy-to-understand format. Register and complete the course online. Clinical Research Methods is an in-person course on how to analyze simple data scheduled for Aug. 26-27 at the Kirby Clinic. The course is $500 for early bird registration by Aug. 1, $750 thereafter. For more information, contact Dr. Hamisu Salihu at (713) 798-7646.

Assistant Program Director, Genetic Counseling: The assistant program director works with the program director to administer the Master of Science degree program in Genetic Counseling. An M.S. degree or higher in genetic counseling or a field related to administrative and teaching responsibilities of the position is required and the applicant must be knowledgeable in human genetics. Responsibilities include supporting the program director to complete the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling accreditation processes and ongoing institutional reviews, and to effect other aspects of program functions as assigned to ensure excellence and efficacy of the program's organization, administration, budget proposals and management, planning, assessment, development and implementation and continuous review. The assistant program director will work with administration and teaching faculty across the College including the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics. A complete job description is available on the Faculty Opportunities intranet page. To apply by the Aug. 10 deadline, please email a statement of interest (one page maximum) and your BCM-formatted CV to program director Dan Riconda. Please contact him for more information.

Medical Director, Genetic Counseling: The program medical director serves as a critical member of the faculty team, participating in the organization, administration, planning, and evaluation of the 21-month the Master of Science degree program in Genetic Counseling. The medical director is a Baylor College of Medicine faculty member with a background in clinical genetics and the training of genetics professionals who holds a medical degree and is certified in clinical genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics or Canadian College of Medical Geneticists and Genomics. Responsibilities include providing guidance and oversight to ensure that the medical components of the didactic and clinical curricula support development of the required competencies. A complete job description is available on the Faculty Opportunities intranet page. To apply by the Aug. 10 deadline, please email a statement of interest (one page maximum) and your BCM-formatted CV to program director Dan Riconda. Please contact him for more information.

School of Medicine Group Leaders: The Medical School seeks clinical faculty members to participate as preceptors for the Undergraduate Medical Education Patient, Physician and Society Courses and as facilitators for the Patient Safety Course. These courses help prepare first- and second-year medical students to function effectively in a clinical setting. Sessions begin in August. Read the Faculty Opportunities listing for more details. Please let the appropriate course coordinator know of your interest by Monday, July 31.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Opportunities

Research Mentor Training: Faculty research mentors are invited to attend a four-hour workshop focused on skill-building activities in the mentoring competencies of aligning expectations, maintaining effective communications, fostering independence and resilience and promoting professional development. The workshop curriculum is based on materials generated by the NIH-funded National Research Mentoring Network but will be tailored to research mentors at the College. Four workshop dates are offered; to attend, please select your preferred date in this Doodle Poll by Tuesday, Aug. 1. For more information, contact Anna Marie Sokac, NRMN master facilitator of mentor training.

Research Resources

Protein and Monoclonal Antibody Production Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab, formerly known as the Monoclonal Antibody and Recombinant Protein Expression Core, has been renamed and expanded to include new services and additional personnel to meet the growing needs of Baylor investigators for quality purified protein products for biochemical and structure analysis and as targets for drug screening and drug development. Expression of recombinant proteins in bacterial cells and purification and Q/C analysis of protein products expressed from either insect or bacterial cell systems are among the new services offered. The Core will continue to provide custom generation of mouse monoclonal antibodies, construction of baculovirus vectors and expression of recombinant proteins in insect cell cultures. For more information on services, pricing and contact information please visit the core website.

From the Labs: Dr. Meng Wang, associate professor in the Huffington Center on Aging, recently found that bacteria and mitochondria can communicate at the metabolic level. Learn why she is interested in the way microbes and their hosts influence each other’s functions 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 August.

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