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News for BCM Faculty, Sept. 3, 2020
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From the Labs: September’s image is E. coli bacteria (pink) growing on human colonic organoids or “mini-guts” grown in a culture dish in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Maresso, associate professor of molecular virology & microbiology and a faculty senator.

Racial Justice & Public Health: Baylor College of Medicine has issued a position paper emphasizing its strengthened commitment to racial justice to improve public health. The paper includes five actions the College will take within the institution and more broadly in the communities it serves:

  • Improve policies of recruitment, retention and advancement of underrepresented groups
  • Broaden and accelerate efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for underrepresented minority and underrepresented in science and medicine students
  • Educate clinicians, researchers and communities to address structural racism and mitigate negative impacts on healthcare
  • Develop strategies to include more underrepresented minorities in clinical trials
  • Address inequitable health outcomes affecting underrepresented minorities

Health Equity RFA: The Office of the President seeks proposals from diverse multidisciplinary research teams on “Addressing Inequitable Health Outcomes Affecting Underrepresented Minorities.” Proposals should advance initiatives and projects to elucidate racial health disparities and social determinants of health and promote health equity through targeted investment of seed funds. See the RFA for more details. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18.

Beirut Response: The American University of Beirut thanked the Baylor community for its outpouring of support following the Aug 4 explosion that devastated the city. Led by President Paul Klotman and Drs. Huda and William Zoghbi, AUB trustees and alumni, the fundraising effort has been directed to patient care, medical supplies and repairs to the AUB Medical Center.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Biykem Bozkurt has been appointed to the role of associate provost of faculty affairs and senior associate dean of faculty development. She will provide oversight of the faculty life cycle, including appointments, promotion and tenure, faculty development and policies and governance.

Dr. Nana Coleman has been appointed as associate provost of academic affairs and health system science. She will have leadership and oversight of accreditation and compliance and health systems science to support the advancement of the College as a learning health system.

Dr. Toi Harris will take on an expanded role as associate provost of student and trainee services and institutional diversity, inclusion and equity. She and her team will offer additional support services to trainees as well as maintaining her oversight of student services, including registrar, financial aid, wellness, student and trainee counseling service, Title IX, disability services and career services. Harris continues her leadership of diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives.

Lily Shih has been appointed as associate provost of education mission planning and operations, allowing the Provost’s Office to consolidate the oversight of resource management with planning and evaluation.

Dr. Guang Lin, visiting assistant professor of molecular & human genetics in the lab of Dr. Hugo Bellen, is the inaugural recipient of the 2020 Shan and Lee-Jun Wong Endowed Fellowship in Genetics. He will receive a $30,000 fellowship in support of his research on Parkinson's disease.

image Dr. Williams Parsons, Dr. Robin Parihar and Dr. Kelsey Bertrand, faculty in pediatrics – hematology & oncology, received grants from the St. Baldrick's Foundation for their research to understand and fight childhood cancer. Baylor also received a consortium research grant as a member of the Consortium for Childhood Cancer Predisposition, a seven-institution group led by Emory University. Read more about the funded research online.

College (Virtual) Events

Autism Back to School: SPARK for Autism hosts a free webinar with Dr. Rachel Fein and Amy Barton offering tips for parents of children with ASD during COVID-19 at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. RSVP for the Zoom link.

College Holiday: Baylor will be closed on Monday, Sept 7, in observance of Labor Day. That includes the McNair drive-thru COVID-19 test collection site, Baylor Respiratory Virus Lab, and OHP Call Center. Orders entered after noon Friday, Sept. 4, will be scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8. Call Scheduling for more information, 713-798-2300, option 1.

Biochemistry Seminar: Dr Keir C. Neuman, senior investigator at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, speaks on “Homology sensing via non-linear amplification of sequence-dependent pausing by RecQ helicase” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, via Zoom, passcode: 806954.

Pediatrics Grand Rounds: Provost Alicia Monroe presents "A Creative Space for Harvesting Silver Linings” at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, via Zoom as part of the department’s annual educator orientation. This 10th annual grand rounds is in honor of Dr. Martin Lorin, professor of pediatrics.

Faculty Opportunities

Health Equity Scholars: The Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research is recruiting its 2020-2021 cohort of scholars. The program enhances the training of junior faculty members from populations underrepresented in medicine to increase the number of diverse and highly qualified medical professionals pursuing careers in academic medicine. For more information and the application form, visit the website. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Sept. 10.

Heart Research: The Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) offers pilot awards for cardiovascular research that will promote collaboration between investigators and that is likely to lead to externally funded grants in the foreseeable future. Proposals will be accepted through Monday, Sept. 14. Email CVRI@bcm.edu for more information and application guidelines.

Student Committees: The School of Medicine seeks faculty representatives to serve on two institutional committees, the Student Services Committee and the Student Appeals and Grievances Committee. Please see Faculty Opportunities for more information and apply by Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Faculty Resources

Elections Note: September is the final month to register to vote in the Nov. 3 elections. Verify your voter registration or complete a registration application and mail it to your county’s voter registrar before Oct. 5. For more information, see the Voter’s Guide.

Off Script: “Stories from the Heart of Medicine,” Baylor’s Narrative Medicine Program and the UT Health’s McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics storytelling event, is back with tales on the theme of Hope at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, via Zoom. Register to attend.

Cardiometabolic Conference: The inaugural Houston “Prevention Rules for Cardiometabolic Diseases” virtual course offered by the Department of Medicine starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Designed for primary care providers, cardiologists, allied health professionals and endocrinologists, the course offers 7 AMA PRA Category 1 credits and includes lunch. Register online.

HIPAA Course: Have you taken the compliance department’s HIPAA refresher course for faculty at Baylor Medicine and Children’s Hospital of San Antonio? It consists of a short video and quiz in SuccessFactors. Employees required to take the course were notified on Tuesday and will receive weekly reminders until the Oct. 2 deadline. Contact the IT Help Desk or 713-798-8737 if you have concerns about accessing the Baylor network or SuccessFactors.

Library Update: The TMC Library has added Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports - also known as "Journal Highly Cited Data" - to its collection. You can find links to both resources in the A to Z Databases list.

COVID Blog: The Resilience through COVID-19 series on the Momentum blog highlights Baylor clinicians, researchers, educators, essential workers and trainees who are on the frontlines responding to the coronavirus pandemic. In the latest post, Dr. Orlando Garner shares his family’s experience with COVID-19 and reflects on surviving the virus. Interested in sharing your story of resilience during COVID-19? Email Nicole Blanton.

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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