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Faculty Commons, Aug. 10 - 16, 2017
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GOAL! U.S. Women's National Team member and two-time Olympic gold medalist Carli Lloyd is joining our team as the College's new brand ambassador. She will be featured in digital and print advertising focusing on the strength, confidence and dedication our community will find when receiving care at Baylor College of Medicine. Learn more about how her goals and the College's goals line up in this short video, and complete this online form for a chance to win a jersey or soccer ball signed by Carli Lloyd.


NeuroNex Awards: The National Science Foundation has awarded two Next Generation Networks for Neuroscience (NeuroNex) awards to projects involving Baylor researchers. Dr. Xaq Pitkow and Dr. Ankit Patel, assistant professors of neuroscience, are part of a group that includes researchers from Rice University, the University of Houston and Notre Dame that has been awarded $4.3 million to develop new methods to analyze and interpret neural data. Dr. François St-Pierre, assistant professor of neuroscience, and Dr. Andreas Tolias, associate professor of neuroscience, were awarded an $800,000 Innovation Award from the NeuroNex program to develop new sensors for imaging brain activity in animal models. Drs. St-Pierre and Pitkow are both McNair Scholars.

Excellence in Health Equity: The College’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and Department of Family and Community Medicine have received a five-year, $3.3 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to develop the Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research. The Center will promote diversity in medicine by focusing on programs aimed at undergraduate students and current students, fellows and faculty. Dr. Toi Harris, associate provost of institutional diversity, inclusion and equity and student services, serves as the program director and principal investigator of the new center. Dr. Hamisu Salihu, professor of family and community medicine, is the center’s director. Immediate priorities include supporting the efforts of the School of Medicine to enhance curricula and programs for medical students that focus on healthy equity and social determinants of health.

Hospital Rankings: The U.S. News & World Report Adult Hospital Rankings are out and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, our joint venture hospital, along with our hospital affiliates, did quite well. Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center moved to the No. 4 spot in the state list of comprehensive hospitals. It was No. 5 last year. Ahead of Baylor are Houston Methodist, UT Southwestern Medical Center and Baylor University Medical Center. Baylor St. Luke's was the No. 2 hospital in the City of Houston. Memorial Hermann TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) was again ranked 2nd in the country for rehabilitation care, and the Menninger Clinic took the No. 3 spot in psychiatric care, moving up from No. 5 last year. Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke's was ranked No. 24, moving up from No. 38 last year. The previously unranked Neurology/Neurosurgery program at Baylor St. Luke's rose to No. 40. Texas Children's Hospital was ranked 4th nationally in U.S. News & World Report Children's Hospital Rankings in June.

Team Launch concluded its first year with the Team Projects Capstone event on June 28. The Team Launch initiative provides innovative, interdisciplinary, team-based learning to prepare students for success across the broad spectrum of career paths in healthcare and science. Read about the inaugural group's experiences and learn how Dr. Nana Coleman, the initiative's education director, and the team are working with faculty and students to build on Team Launch's successes in this month's BCM Family.

Integrity Hotline: The company that provides the Baylor College of Medicine Integrity Hotline will be upgrading its system on Friday, Aug. 11. During this time, no new cases will be able to be reported via the Integrity Hotline web portal or by phone at (855) 764-7294. If you have an incident that needs to be reported during this time, please contact your supervisor or department or school administrator. The Integrity Hotline will be available Saturday, Aug. 12.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Gerd Brunner, assistant professor of medicine, was awarded a five-year, $2.89 million R01 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, for his research on magnetic resonance imaging and machine learning in patients with peripheral artery disease, a malignant form of atherosclerosis.


The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees recently approved eight appointments to endowed positions at Baylor College of Medicine. Endowed chairs and professorships set the standard for recognition and appreciation in the academic world and represent one of the highest honors that an institution can bestow on its faculty members. The following faculty are the newest to hold endowed positions:


imageDr. Mauro Costa-Mattioli, associate professor of neuroscience and a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, was appointed to a Cullen Foundation Endowed Chair.


imageDr. Yingbin Fu, associate professor of ophthalmology, was appointed to the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Endowed Chair.


imageDr. Steven Ludtke, professor of biochemistry and co-director of the National Center for Macromolecular Imaging and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biomedical Research, was appointed to the Charles C. Bell, Jr., Professorship in Structural Biology.


imageDr. Joseph L. Mills Sr., professor and chief of the division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy, was appointed to the John W. “Jack” Reid, M.D., ’43 and Josephine L. Reid Endowed Professorship in Surgery.


imageDr. Joseph Petrosino, professor of molecular virology and microbiology, director of the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research and a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, was appointed to a Cullen Foundation Endowed Chair.


imageDr. Andreas Tolias, associate professor of neuroscience, was appointed to the Brown Foundation Chair in Neuroscience.


imageDr. Meng Wang, associate professor of genetics in the Huffington Center on Aging, a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and a Faculty Senator, was appointed to the Robert C. Fyfe Endowed Chair on Aging.


imageDr. Thomas Westbrook, associate professor of molecular and human genetics and biochemistry and molecular biology and a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, was appointed to the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry.


Baylor physicians are included in Houstonia magazine's fifth annual guide to the city's top doctors, covering 70 specialties. Find the list in print in the magazine's August edition or online.

College Events

Compassion and the Art of Medicine: The annual student elective and lecture series hosted by the Department of Family and Community Medicine is underway with the first public lecture featuring Houston Playback Theatre at noon Friday, Aug. 11, in Cullen Auditorium. In this unique production, an audience member tells a story from his or her life and chooses actors to play the different roles. Then the story is recreated and given artistic shape.

TMC Orchestra: The Texas Medical Center Orchestra will play music of the Beatles at Miller Outdoor Theater, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12: The second half of the concert will feature an all-male vocal group called The Fab 5, a Beatles cover band. Admission is free.

Softball: The RIITE Rewards Program, BCM BeWell and the BCM Federal Credit Union will be co-hosting a softball tournament for Baylor employees and students on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Houston Sportsplex. The hosts are looking for team captains to recruit players and organize a co-ed team. If you are interested in serving as a team captain, please click here to sign up by 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18. For additional information, please contact youfirst@bcm.edu.

Shine the Light: The Office of Professionalism hosts renowned guitarist Seamus Kelleher performing and sharing meaningful stories about his personal journey of recovery from medical crisis at 12:15 and 4 p.m. Aug. 31 in M112, main Baylor. The sessions are sponsored by the Pete & Erin Huttlinger Series on Humanism in Medicine Foundation. Please RSVP to ProfessionalismMatters@bcm.edu for the 4 p.m. session.

VA Quality Scholars' Summer Institute: The Houston VA Coordinating Center for the national VA Quality Scholars Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center invites you to this year’s conference, “Demonstrating Value and Impact.”

  • Dr. Malaz Boustani, founding director and chief innovation and implementation officer of the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science at Indiana University, speaks at a plenary session at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Onstead Auditorium, adjacent to the TMC Commons. A reception hosted by the Department of Medicine, Vice Chair Group for Quality Improvement and Innovations at Baylor College of Medicine, follows the session.
  • Dr. Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health, speaks at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at Onstead Auditorium.
  • A poster presentation featuring quality improvement scholarship by VA Quality Scholars fellows and alumni as well as faculty from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and the College is set for 1:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, in the Onstead Auditorium lobby.

Faculty Opportunities

Alumni Award Nominations: Faculty are invited to nominate prominent BCM alumni and faculty members for 2018 Alumni Awards. Categories for every school and every training program at the College include: Distinguished Alumnus Award, Young Alumnus Award, Distinguished Faculty Award, Distinguished Service Award, Humanitarian Award and Lifetime Achievement Award. See the alumni website for nomination forms and past recipients. Contact the alumni office for more information. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 29.

For a Good Cause

Blood Drive: Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center will host a blood drive on Wednesday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Rayzor Lounge at the main Baylor campus. Donors will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win dinner for a year, a 60” flat screen TV or a Galveston cruise for two. Schedule your appointment online or by calling (713) 343-7288.

Kids' Book Drive: The Med-Peds Interest Group, in partnership with the BCM Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program, is hosting a book drive through Sept. 3 to benefit the Harris Health MLK Clinic. The group accepts new and gently used books for ages 6-18, with the greatest need for books for teens and pre-teens. Donate your books in the Office of Communications, the Cafeteria or the Coffee Corner at main Baylor, or in the CNRC Lobby or at Bertner Café, Baylor St. Luke’s. For more information or questions please email onyewuen@bcm.edu or marcanto@bcm.edu.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Events

Physician Happy Hour: Come network with your fellow Faculty Group Practice colleagues and meet the physicians that have recently joined at the Find a Physician Networking Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, in Conference Rooms A and B, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. Food, beverages and free underground parking will be provided. This is a great way to build meaningful relationships and promote internal referrals. If you have any questions, please email Hannah Munsey.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Events

Building a Sustainable Research Program: Send your trainees to hear Dr. Brendan Lee, Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics, talk about building a sustainable research program at 4 p.m. Aug. 31, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. The Career Development Center and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs are sponsoring the event, which includes faculty-facilitated roundtable discussions on the academic job search for students and postdocs from 5 to 7 p.m. Trainees may register online.

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: Did you know that From the Labs is number 14 on the Top 50 College and University Blogs list by HTML.com? The coding website said it “selected blogs that are active, and constantly updated with new content.” This week you can read how Dr. Miao-Hsueh Chen, assistant professor of pediatrics and nutrition in the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, discovered that mice seem to be natural models of human brown fat. 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.

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

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