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

News for BCM Faculty, Aug. 20, 2020
Please submit items for Faculty Commons to Erin Blair.

Archive / Faculty Affairs / Today at BCM / Employee Discounts

All Faculty

College News


A Voice of Reason: Baylor College of Medicine faculty experts are advising the nation on all aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. Local, national and international media have interviewed 52 researchers, clinicians and executives – often numerous times – since March. Read more about Baylor’s experts in the news.

Faculty Senate: Senators welcomed their new and returning colleagues in the class of 2023 and quickly got down to business at the Aug. 13 meeting:

  • In his COVID-19 update, Dr. James T. McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs, described three metrics to gauge Houston’s progress in the pandemic. The first is an effective reproduction rate or R(t) below 1.0 – meaning the virus spread is slowing – for 14 days. Fewer than 200 new cases per day for 14 days is another metric. The third is a test positivity rate of less than 5% for 14 days. The metrics are reported daily by the Texas Medical Center.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe said that because the coronavirus hospitalization rate has stabilized, Baylor elected not to renew the ACGME emergency status that allowed residents and fellows to be reassigned to COVID-19-related patient care. She reported that the schools are delivering virtual standardized patient exams and didactic classes, while procedural skills simulation and anatomy labs are held in small groups on site. In the clinical environment, faculty resources have been developed to optimize safety and learner education.
  • Dr. Eric Storch, professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, discussed mental health and wellness support available to the Baylor community. Faculty, staff and learners may access counseling services and a self-guided cognitive behavioral therapy app to help cope with anxiety and stress during the pandemic by calling (713) 798-0292. Free, parent-led cognitive behavioral therapy for children expressing anxiety and stress related to COVID-19 is available by calling (832) 206-4034.
  • Dr. Nancy Moreno, chair of the Department of Education Innovation and Technology, described the new department as the academic home of education as a discipline. Its focus is educational research and scholarship, with translation and application of evidence-based practices to science, medicine and health professions education. The department will appoint and train up to 30 inaugural faculty members in the first two years.

COVID-19 Testing: Baylor Genetics has partnered with Rice University so that the school can resume in-person classes for the fall semester despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The diagnostic company will provide support for temperature checks, on-campus sample collection and transport logistics, processing of samples, and customized results reporting for individuals via email. Nearly 60,000 screening tests will be performed by Baylor Genetics with a turnaround time of 48 hours or less.

  • Baylor Genetics also has a contract with the City of Houston Health Department to provide high-throughput testing for COVID-19. While its main focus has been genetic testing of inherited disorders and cancer, the company quickly was able to validate a test for COVID-19 in its high-complexity CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory.

Faculty Kudos

The Baylor Board of Trustees appointed four faculty members to endowed positions during its Aug. 12 Executive Committee meeting.

Dr. Chadi Abdallah was appointed to the Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Chair in the Neuropsychiatry of Military Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. An associate professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, he recently came to Baylor from Yale, where he was director of neuroimaging and associate director of research at the National Center for PTSD at West Haven VA Medical Center.

Dr. Ricardo Jorge, professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, was named to the Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Chair in Brain Injury Medicine. His articles on neuropsychiatric complications following traumatic brain injury and stroke are among the most highly cited in the literature. Jorge has been at Baylor and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center since 2013.

Dr. Wei Li, professor of ophthalmology, was appointed to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Presidential Chair. A recent recruit from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami, his ocular vascular research has identified new therapeutic targets for diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity and choroidal neovascularization.

Dr. Karla Sepulveda, associate professor of radiology, was named to the Pat Korell Endowed Professorship in Breast Imaging. A member of the faculty since 2008, she works closely with the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Harris Health as a clinician and educator of medical students, PA students and radiology residents and fellows.

image Dr. C. Kent Osborne, professor and director of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, is stepping down from his leadership role at the center as of Sept. 1. He will remain on the faculty with the title of founding director of the DLDCCC. Dr. Helen Heslop, professor, director of the Center for Cell & Gene Therapy and associate director for clinical research at DLDCCC, will serve as interim director during a national search.

Dr. Joshua Shulman, associate professor of neurology, neuroscience and molecular & human genetics, has been named director of the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, a new strategic research center based in the Office of Research. Shulman studies the genetic mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Trent Watkins, assistant professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience, has been awarded the Pairs Pilot Project Award by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He is collaborating with Dr. David Simon at Weill Cornell Medicine on a project focusing on how neuronal cell death affects the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

College (Virtual) Events

Cancer Seminar: Dr. Charu Agrawal, assistant professor of medicine – hematology & oncology, discusses “Cannabis and Cancer” at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, via Zoom, passcode: 831342.

Blood Donations: Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center hosts an appointment-only blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, in the BCM Gym, 8th floor of Garage 6, main Baylor. Participants receive a free COVID-19 antibody test and Bluebell ice cream. Please schedule your time online or contact Lauren Warren. You also can find a mobile donation site near you online.

CVRI Seminar: Dr. Svetlana Reilly, associate professor and British Heart Foundation Intermediate Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, speaks on “Calcitonin Paracrine Signaling Controls Atrial Fibrogenesis and Arrhythmia” at noon Wednesday, Aug. 26, via Zoom, meeting ID: 993 2337 2404 passcode: 36664.

Ethics Grand Rounds: The Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center present “Supporting Families and Managing Moral Distress During COVID-19,” a panel discussion with Drs. Eric Storch, Andrew Childress, Charu Agrawal, Claire Horner and Deborah Whisnand, BSLMC clinical pastoral education, at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, via Zoom. Text (713) 903-7277 and enter event ID: FABBAT.

Compassionate Conversation: Join the Baylor community for a virtual discussion with Dr. Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali, associate professor of psychiatry, on how to stand up for others when you witness hate and harassment, 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27. Register by Aug. 25 to participate.

Clinical Awards Workshop: The Office of Faculty Development hosts a Patient Care Awards workshop from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28. In addition to a clinical awards overview, the workshop will show you how to document your clinical, QI and advocacy contributions and demonstrate examples of successful portfolios. RSVP to attend virtually.

School Supply Drive: Help out Rusk and Ryan Middle Schools and MacGregor Elementary School by donating school supplies. View each school’s Amazon wish list and do some online shopping by Labor Day to participate in this Texas Medical Center drive.

Faculty Resources

Datathon Projects: Submissions are due tomorrow, Aug. 21, 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. Visit the Datathon webpage for more information, available datasets, important dates and project submission guidelines.

Health Disparities Research: The William G. Coleman, Jr., Ph.D., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award supports one-year innovative research projects that have the potential for high impact in any area of minority health and health disparities research. Preference will be given to candidates under the mentorship of NIMHD intramural or adjunct intramural investigators and resubmissions are permitted. Applications are due Aug. 31.

The Johnson & Johnson Scholars Award Program promotes the development of female STEM2D leaders by supporting them at critical points in their careers in science, technology, engineering, math, manufacturing and design. Women assistant professors who do not yet have tenure are eligible. Baylor may submit one application in each discipline. To apply, send a letter of nomination, NIH biosketch and research project summary to the internal portal by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Yingbin Fu, associate professor of ophthalmology, is tackling the root cause of treatment resistance in age-related macular degeneration 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.

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 Instagram icon