E-mail not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Faculty Commons Banner

News for BCM Faculty, Sept. 20, 2018
Please submit items for Faculty Commons to Erin Blair.

Archive / Faculty Affairs / Today at BCM / Employee Discounts

All Faculty

College News


SMART Start: This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Summer Medical and Research Training (SMART) program, which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in biomedical research projects, seminars, GRE prep workshops and career development activities on campus. Read about the program’s history and future in BCM Family. Pictured are the 2018 SMART students with Dr. Laurie Connor, the program’s director.


Academic Council: At the Sept. 17 meeting, Chief Operating Officer Joe Doty announced that premiums will not increase for health benefits in 2019. New benefits for the coming year include virtual office visits for non-emergency conditions like flu, colds and rashes, a college preparation program and two wellness/weight loss apps. Another benefit is the opportunity for spouses/partners on BCM plans to earn BeWell points toward a discount on their premium. The open enrollment period is Oct. 8 – 22.

  • Provost Alicia Monroe reminded chairs and center directors that faculty evaluation forms are available this week for faculty members to begin their self-assessments. The forms will be forwarded to evaluators for review and discussion on Oct. 18, with Dec. 14 as the deadline to complete the Faculty Performance Assessment and Development Planning process.
  • Medical School Dean Jennifer Christner provided an overview of the new MS-1 class, which includes 98 women and 88 men; 83 percent of students are from Texas. The class has an average 3.9 GPA and 518 MCAT.
  • Dr. David Berger, COO of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, reported on recruitment activities and plans for moving hospital services to the McNair Campus in 2019.
  • Dr. Ken Mattox, chief of staff and surgeon-in-chief at Ben Taub Hospital, gave an update on patient care and education activities at Ben Taub.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Richard Finnell, professor in the Center for Precision Environmental Health, is featured in the "Meet Your Senator" article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents the Center’s faculty on the Senate.


imageDr. Juan Marini, associate professor of pediatrics, is the corresponding author of “Prematurity reduces citrulline-arginine-nitric oxide production and precedes the onset of necrotizing enterocolitis in piglets,” chosen by the American Physiological Society for inclusion in APSselect, which showcases some of the best recently published articles in physiological research.


imageDr. Bijan Najafi, professor of surgery and director of the Interdisciplinary Consortium of Advanced Motion Performance, has received a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to design a smart-home environment powered by a wearable device and connected smart tags that would help monitor day-to-day tasks of a dementia patient.


imageDr. Binoy Shivanna, assistant professor of pediatrics, received an RO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health for his project on the roles of the hormone adrenomedullin and its signaling receptors in experimental models of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension. The goal of his work is to translate bench research to clinical trials for the prevention and or treatment of BPD in premature infants.


imageDr. Cheryl Walker director of the Center for Precision Environmental Health, will receive the Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research from the Endocrine Society in recognition of her contributions to the field, including her research on understanding how environmental exposures, especially to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, increase risk for certain cancers. She will receive the award at ENDO 2019, the Society's 101st annual meeting in New Orleans.


imageDr. Thomas Wheeler, chair of pathology & immunology, is profiled in the “Growing Up Baylor” feature on the Momentum blog. After completing medical school and a residency at the College, he joined the faculty in 1991. He holds the The W. L. Moody, Jr. Chair in Pathology.


College Events

Flu shots are being offered by the Occupational Health Program across the Baylor campus this month. More dates and locations will be added; please check the OHP calendar for updates. You also may get your flu shot from your physician’s office or at a pharmacy or walk-in clinic. Wherever you get vaccinated, but sure to complete the online verification to show you complied with Baylor’s policy requiring flu vaccination for all employees and trainees.

  • Children’s Nutrition Research Center Lobby: 2 – 5 p.m. Monday, Sept 24
  • Ben Taub Hospital, fourth floor conference room: 9 a.m. – noon Tuesday, Sept. 25
  • Jamail Specialty Care Center McNair Campus, conference room E4-120: 2 – 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28

DocTalk: Dr. Mark Kunik, professor of psychiatry research, presents “Alzheimer’s: What you need to know,” at noon Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Bring your lunch, join the conversation and earn BeWell points.

Voter Registration: November midterm elections are quickly approaching. If you need to register or update your voter information, visit the voter registration booth from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept 27, at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus, Alford Hallway.

Science Friction: National Public Radio science journalist Richard Harris presents “Science Friction: What’s Slowing Progress in Biomedicine?” at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. The Department of Neuroscience, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Center for Professionalism are sponsoring the lecture.

Faculty Opportunities

Alumni Awards: Nominations are open for the College’s Alumni Awards 2019. To nominate faculty and alumni and view past awardees, please see the alumni website. The recognition ceremony and dinner are set for May 2 at the St. Regis Houston. Nominations are due Friday, Sept. 28.

Faculty Resources

Lessons for Leaders: Dr. David Persse, professor of emergency medicine and director of Houston Emergency Medical Services, shares insights on Hurricane Harvey’s emergency response, ongoing health issues and preparedness for the next crisis with Dr. Joshua Sharfstein of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute. RSVP online.

Compassionate Conversation: Join the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity for a “Compassionate Conversation on Poverty and Homelessness in the Greater Houston Area” at noon Thursday, Oct. 4, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Speakers include Dr. Ruth Buzi, associate professor with the Baylor Population Program, Dr. Naomi Lee McCants, Dr. Fareed Khan and Dr. Kenya Steele, faculty in family & community medicine, and medical student Harish Eswaran.

Master Coaching: Texas Children’s Hospital invites you to attend “Clinical Teachers as Coaches: A Symposium on How to Be a Master Coach,” a day-long session Friday, Oct. 12, at TCH Pavilion for Women Conference Center. RSVP to attend.

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

Diversity Service Project: Kick off Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Week by donating tuna fish (in pouches, not cans), small boxes of raisins, chewy granola bars, juice boxes and gallon-sized zippered bags to make snack packs for the homeless. Donations will be accepted Monday, Sept. 24, through Thursday, Oct. 4, at College locations and affiliate facilities. Drop by to help assemble the snack packs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor.

Wellness 5K: Rack up some mileage in this student-led race/walk set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct 13, in the Texas Medical Center. Child care, discounted parking and post-race activities will be available. Go online for more information and event registration.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Events

Faculty Senate Roadshow: Find out how the Senate is working for you when the Roadshow comes to Texas Children’s Hospital from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the TCH Pavilion for Women, fourth floor conference area.

Clinical Seminars

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.

Chronic Illness & Disability: This year's 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 event focuses on making a successful transition to adulthood and independence. Continuing education credit is available. More information and registration are online.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

CABA Bioforum: The Chinese-American Biomedical Association’s conference, “Disrupting the Status Quo,” includes sections on cancer virotherapy with Dr. Shaun X Zhang of the University of Houston, and innovative vaccines with Dr. Thomas Kosten, JH Waggoner Chair and professor of psychiatry, pharmacology, pathology & immunology and neuroscience, along with a panel discussion on resources for life science innovation and product development with Dr. Nancy T. Chang, CEO of Apex Enterprises, and other biotech leaders, on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Medical Center Hilton. More information and registration are available online.

CVRI Seminar: Dr. Thomas Cappola, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, speaks on "Genomics and treatment of heart failure" at noon Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Room 301A, main Baylor.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Read why Dr. Gretchen Diehl, assistant professor of molecular virology & microbiology, says team work and balance can keep a gut healthy in this blog post. You can receive weekly 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 September.

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.

Items for Faculty Commons: To submit items for this weekly email update for Baylor College of Medicine faculty, please contact us.

Connect With Baylor

facebook icon facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon linkedin icon google plus icon Instagram icon