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News for BCM Faculty, Sept. 2, 2021
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College News


From the Labs: September's Image of the Month in From the Labs is from the Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy Core Lab. It shows endothelial cells of the bovine pulmonary artery. Microtubules are in white, actin in purple and DNA (nucleus) in green. The image, taken in 63x objective magnification, is courtesy of Jason Kirk. Learn more about this core lab.

Hurricane Ida Relief: Hurricane Ida has deeply affected our neighbors in Louisiana. There are a number of organizations around the Houston area that are collecting supplies and/or financial donations. Find ways you can help. You can also take advantage of Baylor's Volunteer Time Off program if eligible. Employees must request to use their Volunteer Time Off in Success Factors by submitting a New Absence.

COVID booster trial: Baylor's Vaccine Research Center is recruiting volunteers for an investigational trial to determine whether a COVID-19 booster vaccine can stimulate a longer-lasting immune response by targeting the COVID-19 spike protein plus other proteins. Participants must have completed their COVID-19 vaccination from Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson at least four months ago. The trial will last between 13-16 months and include both virtual check-ins and in-person visits at main Baylor. Volunteers will be compensated between $600-$825. To participate or ask questions, call 713-798-4912 or email COVID-VAX@bcm.edu during normal business hours.

Coffee Corner reopens: The Coffee Corner at main Baylor on the third floor of the Alkek Building has reopened, serving Starbucks coffee and light food items from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. Thanks to the team at Morrison Café for their service to employees and learners throughout the pandemic!

Paralympics win!: Be sure to congratulate Raymond Martin, first-year School of Health Professions student in the Physician Assistant Program at Baylor. He is bringing home two silver medals from the Tokyo Paralympics, one for the 1500m and the other for the 400m track race.

The "constitutional carry" law, which is subject to certain exceptions, allows Texans age 21 and over to carry handguns openly or concealed without obtaining a state-issued license and became effective Sept. 1, 2021. One exemption provides that private property owners may continue to prohibit individuals from bringing handguns onto their property. Baylor College of Medicine's current policy prohibits handguns on campus, and this new law does not change that prohibition. Anyone with questions is encouraged to reach out to the Office of General Counsel.

Faculty Kudos

image Dr. Timothy Stout and Dr. Rui Chen have been awarded a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Pediatric Networks for the Human Cell Atlas grant to create an atlas of genes and proteins of the human eye across pediatric development. The $2.5 million grant will support their work to understand the processes of eye development. Learn more.

The Association of American Medical Colleges has honored Dr. Peter Hotez, professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor, as the 2021 recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation David E. Rogers Award. This award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to public health and is named after David E. Rogers, M.D., who was influential in providing healthcare needs for the public.

Dr. Victor M. Rivera, distinguished emeritus professor of neurology and founding director of the Maxine Messinger MS Comprehensive Care Clinic, was appointed to a five-member international advisory board to assist the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court on planning for new initiatives to support people with MS in the United Arab Emirates. The prevalence of MS has increased substantially in the last few years in the Middle East.

Dr. Ellen Friedman, professor of otolaryngology and director of the Center for Professionalism, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 AMA Foundation Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism. Awarded by the American Medical Association Board of Trustees and the AMA Foundation, it honors an individual who is dedicated to the principles of medical ethics and highest standards of medical practice, and who has made an outstanding contribution to medical professionalism.

image Dr. Philip Lupo and Dr. Karen Rabin have been awarded an NIH P20 program project grant for $1.1 million to support their work titled "Improving outcome disparities for Latino children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia." The P20 program goal is to reduce outcome disparities among Latino children and adolescents by identifying host biological factors that result in increased toxicities, and to lay the groundwork for establishment of the first Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) devoted to pediatric leukemia.

College Events

Open Enrollment: The 2022 Open Enrollment period is Oct. 4 – 18, 2021, and will be virtual this year. You will soon receive a postcard with instructions on how to access the 2022 information online. You will be able to attend a virtual benefits meeting to review changes for 2022 and register to attend a virtual benefits fair to talk with vendors about the benefits available to you. Get more information. Please send any questions to ask-insurance@bcm.edu or call the Human Resources - Benefits team at 713-798-1500.

Walk to End Alzheimer's: Registration is now open to join the Baylor College of Medicine Walk to End Alzheimer's team the Baylor Memory Walkers. There are a number of other Baylor teams available to join. With all team members combined, last year Baylor was the largest team in Houston and one of the top fundraisers. The walk is Nov. 6 at the University of Houston, and there also is a virtual option. Register and learn more.

Faculty Opportunities

Clinical Ethics Fellowship Webinar: The Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy will host an informational webinar on Wed., Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. Faculty and current fellows will dive into goals of the fellowship, training specifics and answer questions about the program (which is accepting applications until Oct. 29). Register for the webinar.

TRISH is hiring: The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) within the Center for Space Medicine is hiring for the position of chief scientific strategist. This position will spearhead research initiatives and bring deliverables to NASA for use in future space missions. This role connects to stakeholders in academia, government, and industry for the benefit of TRISH and the space program. Learn more and apply.

Patient Care Award workshop: Register for a workshop to learn tips and strategies for preparing a clinical portfolio for the Patient Care awards. This workshop will go over how to document your clinical, QI and advocacy contributions as well as an overview of each clinical award and due dates. The event takes place Sept. 16, 2-4 p.m. Register by email at faced@bcm.edu. For questions contact Debbie Fernandez at 713-798-7285.

Funding: The Maternal and Infant Environmental Health Research Center (MIEHR) is launching a new initiative, "Addressing Maternal and Child Health Inequities: The Role of Racism, COVID-19 and Other Disasters," to support pilot projects that focus on the effects of structural racism, the environment, pathogens and disasters like flooding and fires on maternal and child health. Postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, assistant professors or NIH-designated early-stage investigators are invited to apply. Letter of Intents are encouraged, and due on Sept. 3. Full applications are due on Oct. 4. See details on the application process and submission.

HIV research opportunity: The Texas Developmental Center for AIDS Research is now accepting members. The mission of the TX D-CFAR is to facilitate and support research to end the HIV epidemic and improve health of people with HIV. Membership is free and open to researchers and anyone else interested in HIV research in Texas. Benefits and services available to members include research expertise and services, funding for pilot projects, grant opportunities, seminars and conferences and mentoring programs for early stage investigators. Join here.

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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