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News for BCM Faculty, Aug. 23, 2018
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College News


Baylor after Harvey: It’s been almost one year since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston with devastating rain. While many people affected by the flooding are still recovering and rebuilding, the College stands ready to help the Baylor and Houston community weather the next storm, just as it did last August. Pictured are President Paul Klotman with Dr. Cindy Buckmaster and members of the Harvey ride-out team. Read the BCM Family retrospective and watch the video.


Faculty Senate: Following an orientation session, new faculty representatives received a warm welcome at the Aug. 16 Senate meeting. Jennifer Tessin, assistant vice president for SAP Reimplementation, provided an update on Concur, the travel and expense component that will be the first part of Project Mosaic to roll out to the College this fall. Concur establishes a single, streamlined process for employee reimbursement and P-card reconciliation. Pilot groups of senators and departments are identifying issues and providing feedback on Concur prior to its Oct. 22 launch.

  • The Senate Communications & Public Affairs Committee reported on its efforts to improve communications for faculty at affiliate sites. This includes access to BCM email and online information and availability of Zoom video conferencing. The committee is working with Information Technology to address technical issues and will make recommendations on policy issues.
  • The Strategic Planning Committee assisted in identifying experts in precision medicine and population health for an upcoming speaker series and will attend this evening’s Strategic Planning Kickoff Meeting.

Research Training Grants: The National Institutes of Health recently awarded the College grants to establish research training programs in cardiovascular surgery and precision environmental health sciences:

  • A collaborative effort between Baylor, Rice University, the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute and the University of Houston has resulted in the T32 Research Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery. The program will accept two postdoctoral fellows each year, who will receive two years of mentored training in cardiovascular surgical research, including bioengineering, biodesign and outcomes research. The two inaugural fellows are Dr. Tarah A. Word and Dr. Waleed Ageedi. The grant, awarded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, provides $1.4 million over five years.
  • In a new five-year, $1.2 million T32 training grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Baylor and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health will launch a joint program with the Gulf Coast Consortia for Qualitative Biomedical Sciences to train researchers interested in population health and precision medicine. The goal of the interdisciplinary Training Program in Precision Environmental Health Sciences is to train the next generation of scientists working at the interface of genetics, environmental health and data science.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Biykem Bozkurt, professor of medicine - cardiology, was appointed president-elect of the Heart Failure Society of America. She will serve as president-elect in 2018-2019 and president in 2019-2020.


imageDr. Hamisu Salihu, professor of family & community medicine and director of the Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research, is the newly elected executive editor of the International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS.


imageDr. Tina Shah, assistant professor of medicine – cardiology, was designated as a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography, which recognizes her commitment to the field of cardiovascular ultrasound.


imageDr. Barry S. Smith, associate professor emeritus of physical medicine & rehabilitation and American Academy of PM&R past president, was recently elected chair of the American Board of Medical Specialties Board of Directors. ABMS is the leading not-for-profit organization overseeing physician certification in the United States.


imageDr. George Van Buren II, associate professor of surgery, is featured in the Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center faculty on the Senate.


imageDr. Cheryl Walker, director of the Center for Precision Environmental Health, was awarded a $1.58 million grant from the John S. Templeton Foundation to study a new role of the epigenome in evolution. She and her team recently discovered that epigenetic machinery controls many key aspects of cell biology such as cell size, shape and movement, by acting directly on the cytoskeleton.

College Events

Vote on Flood Bonds: The Harris County Flood Control District Bond Election is Saturday, Aug. 25. The district wants to issue up to $2.5 billion in bonds for flood risk reduction projects across the county’s watersheds. See the county website for polling locations.

DocTalk: Sarah Keyes, assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Program, presents “Lifestyle Medicine” at noon Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Conference Room A, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. Bring your lunch, join the conversation and earn BeWell points.

FGP Town Hall: All Faculty Group Practice physicians and advanced care providers are invited to the first FGP Town Hall, 6 - 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Topics to be addressed include a FGP physician compensation plan update, physician engagement, patient experience and the Deep Dive impact on operations. Gay Nord, CEO of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, will attend to give an update on the joint venture hospital. A reception with beverages and appetizers precedes the town hall at 5:30 p.m. in Rayzor Lounge. Zoom video conferencing is available for those who cannot attend in person: Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android or call 713-798-9666, meeting ID: 362 503 405.

Faculty Opportunities

AAMC Leadership Seminar: The Provost’s office will sponsor one faculty member to attend the American Association of Medical Colleges Mid-Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar Dec. 1 – 4 in Atlanta. This national program is designed for women who have a faculty appointment at the associate professor level, hold leadership positions within their department/center and are seeking to advance their leadership positions. Topics include sponsorship, negotiation, funding the academic mission, resilience and wellness, communication and influence. More information and application instructions are available online. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31

Faculty Resources

Education Technology Workshop: Learn how to apply College-supported educational technologies to your teaching with Dr. Tyson Pillow, Dr. Anoop Agrawal, Jared Howell and Jimmy Clark as facilitators. The workshop is 3 – 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, in Room N317, main Baylor. RSVP to Deborah Fernandez to attend.

Education Grand Rounds: Dr. Paul Levy of the University of Akron speaks on “Feedback Orientation: What it is and Why it Matters for Clinician Educators” at noon Sept. 6 in Room M321, main Baylor.

Safe Working & Learning Environment: Faculty, staff and trainees are required to understand, identify and report gender- and sex-based discrimination as part of Baylor's commitment to a safe and supportive working and learning environment. You recently received an email from the LawRoom system with a link to the training program, "Bridges: Building a Supportive Community." Please complete it by Nov. 30. If you completed the training as a “Responsible Employee” or as part of the new employee onboarding process, you do not need to re-train at this time. Contact Title IX Coordinator Mikiba Morehead for more information.

For a Good Cause

Blood Drive: The College hosts a blood drive with Baylor St. Luke’s Blood Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17 in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. T-shirts, cookies, juice and a cholesterol test will be provided. Contact Rudy Lopez for more information.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminars

Chronic Illness & Disability: The Chronic Illness & Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-based Care is set for Oct. 25 – 26 at the Onstead Auditorium, MD Anderson Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building. Open to physicians, health professionals and families, the 19th annual conference focuses on making a successful transition to adulthood and independence. Continuing education credit is available. More information and registration are online.

Lung Injury: Baylor’s Avoiding Lung Injury Conference tackles topics including neonatal resuscitation and ventilation, CPAP delivery, intubation, brain-lung interactions and implementing evidence-based practices into daily routines on Oct. 19 at Texas Children’s Hospital. For conference information, please contact Dr. Lakshmi Katakam at (832) 826-1365.

Clinical Events

Faculty Senate Roadshow: Find out how the Senate is working for you when the Roadshow comes to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, in the MEDVAC Auditorium.

HIV Community Event: The College and Houston Health Department present the "Sharing Science Symposium: From Research to the Real World" on the latest HIV research, 12:30 – 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5. Free registration is available online or by calling (832) 393-5010.

Medical Ethics & Health Policy: Dr. Travis Rieder of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins presents "Prescription for Addiction: Reflections on Managing Pain During an Opioid Crisis" as part of the Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy’s Conversation Speaker Series. The dinner talk begins at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at Damian’s Cucina Italiana. Register online to attend.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Abstracts

CVRI Pilot Awards: The Cardiovascular Research Institute is accepting proposals in cardiovascular research – clinical, translational and basic - that will promote collaboration between investigators and are likely to lead to externally funded grants. Faculty members of the CVRI are eligible to apply for a $25,000 pilot award. For more information, contact CVRI. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 17.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Ann Leen, Dr. Juan Vera and their colleagues at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy developed and commercialized a multi-targeted T-cell therapy in this blog post. You can receive articles on Baylor's research and innovation highlights as they are posted by going to From the Labs and entering your email address in the "Subscribe" 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 Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity’s list of funding opportunities for research on healthcare disparities and social determinants of health. The Office of Research offers a 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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