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Faculty Commons, Aug. 24 - 30, 2017
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College News


Time Off to Do Good:The College launched the Volunteer Time Off Program in 2015, and since then faculty and staff members have committed more than 870 hours to community service. The program gives employees one paid day off a year for service activities during the work week. Pictured are Simone Tiu, project manager of the tropical medicine section in the Department of Pediatrics, and her colleagues, who volunteered at the Houston Food Bank on their paid day off. She described the opportunity as “Truly invaluable in terms of helping us develop teamwork and compassion and sharing our talents to make Houston a better place.” Read more about the program in this month’s BCM Family.


Emergency Notification System: There’s a storm in the Gulf – are you and your lab prepared? Baylor has an emergency notification system (ENS) to alert you of a crisis or catastrophic event, but first you have to sign up for it. To receive phone, email and text messaging notifications, login to the ENS using your Baylor user name and password. Your information will be used to contact you only during an emergency. For more details, see the ENS FAQ.

CPRIT Awards: Researchers in the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center have received more than $13 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for six new grants focused on evidence-based cancer prevention services, the recruitment of an established investigator, individual investigator and early translational research and core facility support. Dr. Christopher Amos, a bioinformatician and expert in the genetic epidemiology of lung cancer, was awarded $6 million as a Baylor recruit. Currently the interim director of Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, he will serve as director of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and the associate director for quantitative sciences in the Duncan Cancer Center.

  • Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, director of the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities, received $1,347,590 to expand a community network to improve cervical and colorectal screenings and follow-ups among an urban, medically underserved population. Dr. Michael Lewis, professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, was awarded a $3,822,860 core facility support grant for the Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced in Vivo Models (PDX-AIM) Core Facility. Dr. Carl Allen, assistant professor of pediatrics in the section of oncology, was awarded $200,000 for his work with the Individualized Pediatric Tumor Analysis Center of Texas. Dr. Bert O’Malley, chair and professor of molecular and cellular biology, will use a $914,006 award to develop next generation steroid receptor coactivator small molecule inhibitors as novel agents to target therapy-resistant breast cancer. Dr. Jeffrey Rosen, professor of molecular and cellular biology and leader of the breast cancer program within the Duncan Cancer Center, received an individual investigator award for $823,500 for his work targeting therapy resistance using epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathways in preclinical claudin-low breast cancer models.
  • Dr. Michael Mancini, professor of molecular and cellular biology, is the principal investigator for the GCC Center for Advanced Microscopy and Image Informatics, a $5,793,075 joint center grant with Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. Dr. Ann Leen, assistant professor of pediatrics in the section of hematology and oncology and gene therapy, is part of ViraCyte LLC, which has received $8,998,067 to support the development of its product to improve the outcome of stem cell transplants for cancer treatment using multi-virus specific T cells.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Mark Entman, professor, William J. Osher Chair in Cardiovascular Research and scientific director of the DeBakey Heart Center, will accept the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in Cardiovascular Sciences, Medicine and Surgery from the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences at its Forum in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.

imageDr. Araceli Flores, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences based at Ben Taub Hospital, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. She is a senator at-large representing the interests of the general faculty.

imageDr. Stacey Rose, assistant professor of medicine, was named a BCM RIITE Role Model for Innovation for redesigning the internal medicine residency evaluation system to follow milestone-based principles. In nominating her, Dr. Chirayu Shah, associate professor of medicine, also recognized Dr. Rose for championing wellness initiatives for the residency program.

imageDr. Lara Shekerdemian, professor of pediatrics – critical care, was named a BCM RIITE Role Model for Leadership for being an inspirational physician leader in the expansion of the new Critical Care Tower at Texas Children’s Hospital. “She never stops empowering her team to do great things,” said business manager Alex Ledesma, who nominated her.

imageDr. Rajkumar Venkatramani, assistant professor of pediatrics – oncology at Baylor and Texas Children’s Cancer Center and director of the Rare Tumors Program, was appointed to the editorial board of Pediatric Blood and Cancer, the premier publication focused on laboratory and clinical investigations of hematology and oncology in children and adolescents.

College Events

Compassion and the Art of Medicine: Dr. Claire Bocchini, assistant professor of pediatrics – infectious disease and a founding member and current co-president of Houston-based health equity group Doctors for Change, delivers the Matthew Carter Memorial Lecture at noon, Friday, Aug. 25, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

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

Wellness Week: The BCM BeWell team and the Office of Student Services are sponsoring wellness events to kick off the school year:

  • The Health and Wellness Fair, featuring vendors, organizations and prizes, is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor.
  • Baylor Field Day showcases Camp Gladiator, yoga with the Institute for Spirituality and Health and the Baylor Tae Kwon Do Club from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 6, in the Baylor Courtyard, main Baylor.
  • Softball players have until 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, to sign up for the co-ed softball tournament for Baylor employees and students on Oct. 21 at the Houston Sportsplex. BCM BeWell Vitality points will be awarded to participating players.

Physician Wellness: Dr. Tait Shanafelt, a renowned authority on physician burnout, will share his thoughts on physician well-being and its impact on patient care during two events sponsored by the Center for Professionalism and the Department of Medicine. Currently the director of the Mayo Clinic Program on Physician Well-Being, Shanafelt becomes the chief wellness officer at Stanford on Sept. 1. He speaks on “Finding Meaning, Balance and Personal Satisfaction in the Practice of Medicine” at 12:15 and 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, in M112, main Baylor. RSVP to ProfessionalismMatters@bcm.edu for the 4 p.m. session.

Faculty Resources

Teaching Portfolio Workshop: The Office of Faculty Development offers a Norton Rose Fulbright Portfolio Preparation Workshop in the categories of Teaching and Evaluation and Educational Leadership from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, in N311, main Baylor. For more information, please contact Maria Lopez.

Free Photo Sessions: Have your portrait taken for your bcm.edu website bio when the Office of Communications hosts free sessions in various campus locations after Labor Day:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 5, 9 - 10 a.m. and 2 - 3 p.m., DeBakey Library and Museum, main Baylor
  • Thursday, Sept. 7, 9 - 10 a.m. and 2 - 3 p.m., First Floor Lobby, Children's Nutrition Research Center
  • Friday, Sept. 8, 9 - 10 a.m. and 2 - 3 p.m., First Floor Lobby, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center McNair Campus

TMC Library: The TMC Library building will close at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8. Power will be shut off starting at 7 p.m. The building will reopen at 6 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11.

LCME Survey: Have you completed your LCME Faculty Survey? It asks four quick questions to gauge your awareness of and satisfaction with the Faculty Senate and the Institutional Policy Committee. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education has requested a status report for the College’s accreditation documentation. This link takes you to the survey.

For a Good Cause

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 Sunday, Sept. 3, to benefit the Harris Health MLK Clinic. The group accepts new and gently used books for ages 6-18, with books for teens and pre-teens the greatest need. 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: Tonight's the night to network with your fellow Faculty Group Practice colleagues and meet the physicians that have recently joined. The Find a Physician Networking Happy Hour is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today, 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.

Surgical Collaboration Day: Dr. Joseph Lamelas, associate chief of cardiothoracic surgery, will deliver the keynote speech, “Innovation in Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery,” at the Department of Surgery Incubator event, which also includes quick-fire speakers, surgical speed dating and an exhibit space for new technologies from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at the TMC Innovation Institute. Register now.

Clinical Resources

Provider Billing: Unsure how to bill a preventive service the same day as a complaint visit? Have a surgical procedure that involves more than what is included in the surgical package? Billing Compliance can help with a free education session, “Fee-Affecting Modifiers: 25 and 59,” 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, in Conference Room A, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. To register, please email Barbara Didone.

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. Thursday, 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 to provide advice on the academic job search for students and postdocs from 5 to 7 p.m. Trainees may register online.

Research Resources

Discounted Software Licenses: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center purchases in bulk and offers substantially discounted licenses for research software including Qiagen Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, Thermo Fisher Oncomine RPE, SAS Institute SAS 9.4 and IBM SPSS Statistics 24. Licenses run annually, with starting dates in July (IPA), August (SPSS) and September (SAS). For more information, see the description and pricing list or contact licensing@breastcenter.tmc.edu.

Integrated Microscopy Core: This Advanced Technology Core Lab supports a broad range of microscopy research needs including brightfield, epifluorescence, deconvolution, confocal, high throughput, super-resolution (structured illumination - SIM), slide scanning, live imaging and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The lab also offers image analysis services, TEM sample prep and ultramicrotomy, and a plate reader for absorbance and luminescence. Instruments include GE Healthcare OMX Blaze (SIM), GE Healthcare DV Live (deconvolution), Nikon A1-Rs (confocal), BioTek Cytation 5 (plate reader + imager), Nikon Ci-L (brightfield), Hitachi H-7500 and JEOL1230 (TEM), Vala Sciences IC-200 and Leica UC-7 ultramicrotome. For more information about any of the cores visit the ATC website or download the catalog.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Megumi Mathison, associate professor of surgery, and Dr. Todd K. Rosengart, DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery and professor of surgery and molecular and cellular biology, are using transcription factor Gata4 to reduce post-heart attack fibrosis and improve cardiac function in a rat model. 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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