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Faculty Commons, Aug. 3 - 9, 2017
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College News


School Days: This is the first week of classes for 185 first-year students in the School of Medicine and 104 incoming students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Learn more about these newest members of the Baylor community and watch videos from the graduate school orientation and the medical school retreat in the Piney Woods. Pictured: Dr. Todd Rosengart, professor and DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery, greets new medical students.


That's the Way: Nephrology is the newest winner of the That's the Way $10K Contest, a Faculty Group Practice competition to achieve excellence in patient satisfaction. Nephrology improved its overall Press Ganey mean score rank by 76 points. See a video of the surprise announcement in the clinic.

HIPAA for New Hires: Federal and state laws require that all Baylor College of Medicine employees complete HIPAA privacy education within 90 days of employment. BCM's policy requires completion of the Privacy and Security (HIPAA New Hire) education module within 10 days of hire. All education is available online through AMP Corporate Training. Supervisors should ensure that all new employees complete the HIPAA education within the required time frame. The Compliance Office will send out notifications of non-compliance after 11 days, 31 days and 61 days from date of hire. Failure to complete the required module within the allotted time will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Faculty Town Hall: The June 27 Faculty Town Hall included comprehensive presentations from mission leaders that gave an overview of what is taking place in research, education and patient care, along with College operations. A video is now available online. For best viewing results, use Chrome or Firefox as your browser.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Christine Beeton, associate professor of molecular physiology and biophysics, and her team are looking at the chemicals found in scorpion venom as a source of potential treatment for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. The research is spotlighted in the Arthritis Foundation’s news blog.


imageNicola Hanania, associate professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine in the Department of Medicine, was named a Distinguished CHEST Educator, a new distinction from the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) to provide national recognition of excellence in continuing medical education. The award is given to members who have maintained a large volume of high-quality education delivery and design over the prior three years and have participated in formal faculty development in CHEST or other programs. He will be honored at the CHEST 2017 Annual Meeting in Toronto in the fall.


imageDr. Jimmy Holder, assistant professor of neurology, has received the 2017 Clinical Scientist Development Award by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The highly competitive award of $495,000 will support his project, “A systematic search for targeted therapeutic entry points for SYNGAP1 hapolinsufficiency: implications for neurodevelopmental disorder therapies.”


imageimageThe St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-powered charity dedicated to raising funds for childhood cancer research, has awarded $1.38 million in grants to the College. Faculty recipients include Dr. Philip Lupo, assistant professor of pediatrics-oncology, for “Reducing Ethnic Disparities in Acute Leukemia (REDIAL) Consortium;” Dr. Carl Allen, assistant professor of pediatrics, for work in Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis; Dr. Jade Wulff, instructor in pediatric hematology-oncology, for research in Ewing sarcoma; Dr. Eveline Barbieri, assistant professor of pediatrics, for novel therapies for high-risk neuroblastoma; Dr. Maria Gramatges, assistant professor of pediatrics, for genetic markers for acute myeloid leukemia; Dr. Nino Rainusso, assistant professor of pediatrics, for his work to identify cancer stem cells in pediatric sarcomas; Dr. Saurabh Agarwal, instructor in pediatrics, for neuroblastoma tumorigenicity and relapse mechanisms; and Dr. Joseph Lubega, instructor in pediatrics, for indicators of Burkitt’s lymphoma. The eight recipients are members of Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Drs. Lupo, Allen, Barbieri, Gramatges and Rainusso also are members of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.


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. today and Friday, Aug. 3-4, in the Office of Communications, Suite 176B at main Baylor. If you have any questions, contact coordinator Katie Holtman.

Doc Talk: Join Dr. Samit Soni, assistant professor of urology, to learn more about kidney stones at noon Wednesday, Aug. 9, in Conference Room A, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Campus. Arrive before 12:15 p.m. to receive 100 BCM BeWell Vitality points.

Biometric Screening: Registration is open for onsite BCM BeWell biometric screenings, to be held Sept. 12-14 in Rayzor Lounge at main Baylor and Sept. 28 at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Complete a biometric screening and 2017 Vitality Health Review by Nov. 25 to receive 2,000 BCM BeWell Vitality Points. The biometric screening can be completed through BCM BeWell or by your primary care physician to qualify for the incentive. Find registration instructions online for the onsite screenings. Questions? Email wellness@bcm.edu.

Faculty Resources

Back-Up Care: Whether you are experiencing a breakdown in your regular child care arrangements, looking for an after school sitter, have adult/elder care needs or need someone to walk the dog - the Bright Horizons Care Advantage Program is ready to help with an upgraded website that makes registration and scheduling easier. Learn more about this College benefit online.

Box at BCM: Are you familiar with Box? Box at BCM is a cloud-based file sharing and storage workspace that enables individuals to collaborate and share information. It can be accessed with your Baylor login through mobile devices as well as desktops and notebooks. Baylor Enterprise Box license is free to use and provides unlimited storage, full text search and encrypted data. Read more about it.

For a Good Cause

Blood Drive: The Baylor St. Luke's blood drive held here in June was a success with 16 whole blood donors. When those blood units were separated into red cells, platelets and plasma, 48 patient lives were extended or saved by these generous donors. Mark your calendars for the next blood drive Aug. 15 at main Baylor.

Chikungunya Study: Researchers at the BCM Vaccine Research Center are looking for volunteers to participate in a study evaluating a chikungunya vaccine. Are you 18-45 years of age? Are you in general good health? Can you make it to study visits at Baylor College of Medicine and answer phone calls? If yes, then you may be eligible! Call (713) 798-4912 to schedule an appointment or to get more information. Your time and travel will be compensated.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Symposia

Thymus Bioengineering: Dr. Yang Fan, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, presents Endocrinology Grand Rounds from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 7, in Jaworski Classroom 187A, main Baylor. His topic is “Thymus bioengineering: a novel approach to treat Type 1 diabetes.”

Cardiothoracic Conference: The 11th Current Trends in Aortic, Cardiac and General Thoracic Surgery is set for Sept. 8-9 at the Royal Sonesta Houston. Jointly sponsored by the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery and Texas Heart Institute, the conference includes Dr. Randall Griepp, honored lecturer at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, as the keynote speaker and Dr. Tirone David, professor of surgery at the University of Toronto, delivering the F. Stanley Crawford Lecture. Online registration is now open.

Clinical Resources

Life Support Certification: The Department of Emergency Medicine's advanced ACLS-BLS Program offers semi-monthly cardiac life support, basic live support and combined re-certification in-person courses. The program is American Heart Association-certified and offered for $135 for ACLS or $175 for ACLS and BLS combined. This month's courses start at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 and 26 on the main Baylor campus. Register online. Email Whitney Grant for more information.

Clinical Opportunities

Medical Student Interviewers: The medical school seeks faculty volunteers for the Medical Student Interview Preparation Program offered to all MS-4s. Volunteers will serve as mock interviewers and participate in feedback sessions with staff from the Career Development Center. Each volunteer time slot is one half day, either morning or afternoon, and faculty will receive programmatic feedback for their development portfolio. Prospective dates are in September through November. Please contact Dr. Daniel Chelius for more information or to volunteer.

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.

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.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Resources

Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab assists investigators with projects that involve generating mutations in the germline and somatic tissues of mice by performing homologous recombination in ES cells. Mouse ES cell services include electroporation, Rosa26 and Hprt locus targeting, clone expansion, the generation of primary mouse ES cell lines and murine virus testing. In addition, the core provides specialized expertise essential for the production of genetically engineered mice using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. For more information about any of the cores visit the ATC website or download the catalog.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Chad Creighton, associate professor in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a multi-institutional research team took a comprehensive approach to evaluating which molecular changes in cancer cells are most likely involved with the PI3K pathway in the development of the disease. 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.

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.

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