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News for BCM Faculty, Aug. 27, 2020
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COVID-19 Volunteers: Baylor College of Medicine is enrolling volunteers in a variety of clinical trials related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Moderna trial at the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit is pictured here. You or your patients may be able to help solve some of the mysteries of this disease.

  • Volunteers are needed to test the efficacy of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine at preventing COVID-19. For more information on the phase 3 trial or to sign up, call (713) 798-4912 or email CoVID-vax@bcm.edu.
  • If you are a healthcare worker who treats COVID-19 patients, you may be interested in a trial of the efficacy of the BCG vaccine, originally developed for tuberculosis, against the coronavirus. Volunteer by emailing Dr. Andrew DiNardo or Sharon Harrison.
  • Cancer patients at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Ben Taub Hospital are being recruited for a National Cancer Institute study of COVID’s effects on disease progress, treatments and outcomes. To volunteer, contact Dr. Claire Hoppenot.
  • See a list of opportunities to participate in the latest coronavirus research.

Coronavirus Update: Baylor's infectious diseases team continues to compile weekly newsletters of the latest published and pre-print research on COVID-19 from around the world. Each newsletter also includes the latest statistics on local and statewide cases.

Faculty Kudos

image Baylor College of Medicine has been awarded more than $21.8 million in grants by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The funds include two grants as part of the Collaborative Action Program to Reduce Liver Cancer Mortality in Texas. Dr. Fasiha Kanwal, professor of medicine and section chief of gastroenterology, received $2.4 million for a project to reduce disparities in the risk of hepatocellular cancer. Dr. Aaron Thrift, assistant professor of medicine in gastroenterology, received $2.4 million to study genetic epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the Hispanic population. In addition, Dr. Bingning Dong, assistant professor of molecular & cellular biology, received $250,000 in a High Impact High Risk Award for “Targeting Fatty Acid Synthesis in NAFLD-Related HCC.”

CPRIT also awarded Dr. Rui Chen, professor of molecular & human genetics, nearly $4 million for the Comprehensive Cancer Epigenomics Core Facility, and Dr. Luis Rustveld, assistant professor of family & community medicine, $1.9 million for “Expanding Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Education Through Community-Based Outreach and Information Technology.” Dr. Premal Lulla, assistant professor of medicine – hematology & oncology at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, received $1.5 million in a CPRIT Early Career Clinical Investigator Award; Dr. Tsz-Kwong Man, associate professor of pediatrics – hematology & oncology, received $1.2 million for “Targeting the CXCL10-CXCR3 Axis in Metastatic Osteosarcoma;” and the College received $8 million for recruitment of first-time tenure-track faculty members.

Dr. Teresa Davis, professor of pediatrics – nutrition, received two awards from the American Society for Animal Science. The Fellow Award recognizes distinguished service to animal science and the livestock industry over a long period of time. The Morrison Award recognizes outstanding recent research that has been of direct importance in livestock production. Davis is editor in chief of The Journal of Nutrition.

Dr. Peter Kazembe, clinical associate professor of pediatrics, will be honored posthumously with the American Academy of Pediatrics Hillman-Olness Award for lifetime service and lasting contributions to global child health at the AAP National Conference in October. The executive director of the BCM Children’s Foundation Malawi, he headed the first stand-alone pediatric HIV clinic in that country as part of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Yasmeen Quadri, associate professor of family & community medicine, had her case study on Harris Health System’s COVID-19 telehealth program for the homeless published in "Building the Plane While Flying It: Case Studies on COVID-19, Telehealth, and Health Care for the Homeless Centers" by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

College (Virtual) Events

Compassionate Conversation: The “Bystander Interventions” discussion with Dr. Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali set for this evening, Aug. 27, has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. If you signed up, your registration is confirmed for the new date. Otherwise, register online by Tuesday, Sept. 8, to attend.

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.

Education Series: The International Association of Medical Science Educators airs its fall 2020 webcast audio seminar, “Medical School Admissions in the Time of COVID-19,” 11 a.m. to noon beginning Thursday, Sept. 3. Contact the Office of Faculty Development to participate.

Cancer Grand Rounds: Dr. Jonathan Chism, assistant professor of history and fellow of the Center for Critical Race Studies at the University of Houston – Downtown, presents “Houston, We [Still] Have a Problem: Reflections on Racism in Post-Civil Rights America” at the Section of Hematology & Medical Oncology Grand Rounds, 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, via Zoom, passcode: 831342.

Faculty Resources

Beaudet Mentoring Award: The Department of Molecular & Human Genetics is accepting nominations for the Arthur L. Beaudet, M.D. Award for Outstanding Mentorship, endowed by Dr. Huda Zoghbi. All Baylor faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary mentorship, as reflected by the success of trainees, are eligible. Mentorship includes advice, feedback and guidance on research activities and/or patient care, coaching on work-life balance, fostering independence, providing professional opportunities, and assisting in the development of speaking, writing, and teaching skills. Contact Laura Rosales for submission details. The nomination letter, up to five letters of support and a CV are due by Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Breast Cancer Event: This year's Susan G. Komen Houston Race for the Cure, Oct. 3, is going virtual. Join the BCM team by next Friday, Aug. 28, for a free T-shirt. Learn more about the event that supports breast cancer research and patient care.

Alzheimer's Event: The Walk to End Alzheimer's is going virtual too. Everyone will be walking at the same time and connected in an innovative interactive environment on Nov. 14. The BCM team is waiting for you.

LCME Update: The School of Medicine's August LCME Newsletter features recent subcommittee work and an overview of Element 4.3—Faculty Appointment Policies, and Element 4.5—Faculty Professional Development. Read the August newsletter.

CVRI Update: The Summer 2020 Cardiovascular Research Institute newsletter is available. The issue includes updates on CVRI research, information on the fall seminar series by Zoom and other virtual events, a recap of recent publications and more. Read it online.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Maksim Mamonkin, assistant professor of pathology & immunology in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, and graduate student Feiyan Mo are fighting cancer with rejection-resistant, “off-the-shelf” therapeutic T cells in this week’s post. Mo is the recipient of a highly competitive National Cancer Institute Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award, providing funding for the remainder of her graduate and postdoctoral studies in cancer research.

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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