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News for BCM Faculty, Aug. 6, 2020
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COVID-19 Testing: Baylor College of Medicine’s Human Genome Sequencing Center is a leader in large scale DNA sequencing research, and the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research is leading research related to how bacteria and viruses impact human health. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, researchers at both centers have come together to serve the need for COVID-19 testing in the Houston area by combining the expertise of each group’s laboratories. Baylor is partnering with Harris County Public Health, providing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for more than 30,000 samples since May. The lab also provides COVID-19 testing for other groups in the area. On average, results are returned to the tested person within 48 hours. Read more about the program online.

New Trustees: Six new members recently were appointed to the Baylor Board of Trustees. Vijay Goradia is founder and chairman of Vinmar International, a chemical and polymer distributor. Dr. Austin King, an otolaryngologist and former Texas Medical Association Board president, is the Alumni Association appointee. Frank Liu is founder of Lovett Commercial, Lovett Industrial, Lovett Homes and InTown Homes. Brooks McGee is a managing partner of Icon Wealth Partners. Christopher Sarofim is vice chairman of Fayez Sarofim & Co., president of Sarofim International Management Co. and a director of the Sarofim Group. Gail Stewart is a partner with Baker Botts law firm, specializing in employee benefits.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Shad Deering, professor of obstetrics & gynecology, has been appointed associate dean of faculty affairs at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. He will serve as a resource for faculty in collaboration with the Offices of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development at the College. Deering joined the hospital in 2019 after a career in the U.S. Army, where he founded the Army Central Simulation Committee and established simulation centers at all 10 Army training hospitals.

Dr. Faith Ihekweazu, assistant professor of pediatrics – gastroenterology, has been appointed to serve on the Harris County S.A.F.E. Elections Medical Advisory Committee. Harris County is prioritizing the S.A.F.E. initiatives to ensure that the Nov. 3 election is safe, secure, accessible, fair and efficient, even in a pandemic.

Dr. Joseph Kass, professor and chief of neurology, and his colleagues at Ben Taub Hospital have earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association 2020 Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Achievement Awards. The awards acknowledge the hospital’s adherence to the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Dr. Susan Rosenberg, professor of molecular & human genetics, biochemistry & molecular biology and molecular virology & microbiology, has been elected to the Faculty Senate to represent her genetics colleagues. The holder of the Ben F. Love Chair in Cancer Research, she has a commitment to fostering scientific communities, collegiality, collaboration and opportunities for faculty and trainees.

Dr. Melissa Yu, associate professor of neurology and a faculty senator, recently completed the Transforming Leaders Program, a yearlong leadership fellowship with the American Academy of Neurology. It focuses on helping innovative leaders transform their practices and the field of neurology through retreats, coaching, research and group projects.

College Events

Hibernation Workshop: Join the Translational Research Institute for Space Health at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7, for the “Science of Suspended Animation in Deep Space.” This virtual workshop delves into multiple aspects of hibernation, from medical and physiology to CO2 footprint and terrestrial applications. Learn more and RSVP.

Financial Wellness: Human Resources and and TIAA offer a day of webinars on the topics most relevant to your financial well-being on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Register to receive the Zoom information and to send questions in advance.

  • Tomorrow in Focus: Saving for Your Ideal Retirement, 9-10 a.m.
  • Money at Work: Foundations of Investing, noon-1 p.m.
  • Halfway There: A Retirement Checkup, 3-4 p.m.

BeWell Seminar: Join registered dietician Roberta Anding via Zoom as she discusses key lifestyle factors that influence immune health including diet, sleep and limiting alcohol intake, noon Wednesday, Aug. 12. Sign up now, email wellness@bcm.edu.

Sleep Apnea: Dr. Andrew Huang, assistant professor of otolaryngology, hosts a free community education session on Inspire, an FDA-approved, hoseless sleep apnea treatment, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, via Zoom. Register to attend.

Behavior Webinar: SPARK for Autism at Texas Children’s Hospital hosts a free webinar on “The Why Factor: Understanding Challenging Behavior,” 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Aug. 15. Online registration is open.

Faculty Resources

Datathon Projects: Submissions are being accepted for the College's first Datathon, to be held virtually in October. Hosted by the Office of the President and the Faculty Senate, the event will help to build an understanding of the data that is available across the College and how it can be accessed to address questions that arise in clinical practice and research. Datathon projects should be related to patient care at Baylor Medicine or Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and encompass quality improvement and population health. Proposals are due by noon Friday, Aug. 21. Visit the Datathon webpage for more information.

GI Research: The Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center announces the availability of seed funding for pilot/feasibility projects in the area of GI infection and injury. Awards range from $15,000 to $40,000 for one year. Join a Zoom session at 2 p.m. today, Aug. 6, for more information. Notice of intent is due by Aug. 31. Questions on application eligibility and instructions can be directed to Sara Tristan, DDC administrator, at 713-798-3478, or program director Dr. Doug Burrin at 713-798-7049.

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.

GI Clinical Trial: Researchers at Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital are investigating diet in childhood stomach fullness and/or bloating. Enrollment is open to 10-17 year olds in the Greater Houston area who have undergone an endoscopy. If you are interested, please e-mail tstrickl@bcm.edu.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Ping Yi, assistant professor of molecular & cellular biology, discovered that the N-terminal domain of the androgen receptor is at the heart of its action 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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