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Faculty Commons, Sept. 21 - 27, 2017
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From the Labs Image of the Month: Bright red dots indicate nuclear foci showing CUG repeat RNA in myotonic dystrophy, type 1 cells. This image is courtesy of Dr. Thomas Cooper, professor of pathology and immunology, molecular and cellular biology, and molecular physiology and biophysics, and Dr. Kassie Manning, a former graduate student in his lab. 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.


Hurricane Harvey by the Numbers: The latest estimate is that between 8 and 10 percent of the Baylor community experienced damage to a home or car. The count is 742 faculty and staff and 162 students affected, with assessment pending from a few hundred others.

  • More than 180 students from all schools and 276 faculty, staff, and trainees volunteered to help 45 Baylor families with clean-up.
  • The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund has received more than $650,000 in donations from more than 575 individuals, as well as some gifts from groups, companies and foundations. All of the funds raised will go to Harvey survivors.
  • More than 460 faculty and staff have donated vacation days to the Emergency Vacation Bank to help those who have exhausted their vacation and personal leave due to storm damage. At this time, there is not a need for additional vacation day donations.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Kevin Erickson, assistant professor of medicine in the section of nephrology, was awarded the 2017 Southeast Texas Young Investigator Research Grant by the National Kidney Foundation. It will support a study on whether receiving regular kidney specialist care prior to developing end-stage renal disease helps patients remain employed after their kidneys fail. The Young Investigator Research Grant Program strives to improve the quality of life for those with kidney disease by funding promising young scientists.


imageDr. Thomas R. Hunt, III, professor and Wilhelmina Arnold Barnhart Endowed Chair in Orthopedic Surgery, was named a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award winner by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He graduated from the UAB School of Health Professions Executive Doctor of Science Degree in Administration - Health Science in 2014.


imageDr. Yi Li, professor in the Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center, molecular and cellular biology, molecular virology and microbiology and the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. He represents the interests of the Breast Center faculty on the Senate.


imageDr. Ourania Preventza, associate professor of surgery and a faculty senator, will be the keynote speaker at the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery's 70th annual scientific meeting in Saporo, Japan, this month. She will discuss “Treatment Strategies for Thoracic Aneurysms in Elderly Patients.” Dr. Preventza also will speak on the status of women in cardiac surgery in the U.S. at the Women’s Association for Thoracic Surgery in Japan.


College Events

imageHarvey Recovery T-Shirt Sale: The Harvey Relief Fund Fund is raising money exclusively for the benefit of our students, trainees, faculty and staff who have suffered loss due to Hurricane Harvey. Your $25 T-shirt purchase will help Baylor community members in their time of need. Buy your shirt from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Sept. 21, at the Recovery Effort table in front of Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. Or order online at BCMprint.org.

Cybersecurity: The Information Technology office has prepared step-by-step instructions and videos to assist you in installing the MDM and MFA apps by Oct. 23 to protect Baylor data. The last of a series of information sessions is at 1:30 p.m. today, Sept. 21, in Room 11D A&B, Baylor Clinic. Or view it via Zoom videoconference.

Environmental Survey: Participate in a Baylor-led study to assess Harvey-related environmental exposures to chemicals, mold and bacteria in our community. For more information or to take the eligibility survey, please go online. Or talk with a recruiter from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, in Alkek Lobby, main Baylor.

Diabetes Information Session: Learn more about an innovative program using healthy eating and lifestyle changes to better manage or prevent diabetes at noon Monday, Sept. 25, in Room M112, main Baylor.

Doc Talk: "Atrial Fibrillation: The Most Common Arrhythmias" with Dr. Alireza Nazeri, assistant professor of medicine - cardiology, is scheduled for noon Thursday, Sept. 28, in Conference Room B, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center McNair Campus.

Academy Showcase: The annual Academy of Distinguished Educators Showcase of faculty scholarship, featuring 47 abstracts, takes place from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, in Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor.

Diversity & Inclusion Week will be celebrated Oct. 2 - 6, and trainees, students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the week’s events:

  • Diversity Map & Photo Gallery: Go online for more information about getting involved.
  • Gruber Genetics Prize & Lecture: Dr. Steve Elledge, a Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, will present “Microgenetics: What We Can Learn from Bits of Genes” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.
  • Compassionate Conversation: Dr. Janice Sabin, research associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, will lead discussions focused on Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. Get a free copy of the book if you are among the first 50 people to sign up for a session. Both sessions are set for Oct. 4 at main Baylor; the noon - 1:30 p.m. session is in M100 and the 5:15 - 6:45 p.m. session is in M321.
  • Diversity & Inclusion Lecture: Dr. Chester Brown, professor and St. Jude Chair of Excellence in Genetics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center will speak on “Leading to Promote Inclusion in a Diverse Work and Training Environment,” noon – 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

Faculty Resources

Teaching Portfolio Workshop: The Office of Faculty Development offers a Norton Rose Fulbright Portfolio Preparation Workshop on the Teaching and Evaluation and Educational Leadership categories from 2 to 4 p.m. today, Sept. 21, in N311, main Baylor.

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

  • Friday, Sept. 22: 9 - 10 a.m. and 2 - 3 p.m., First Floor Lobby, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, McNair Campus
  • Thursday, Sept. 28: 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m., First Floor Lobby, Children's Nutrition Research Center

Pathways to Promotion: Dr. Nancy Moreno, associate dean for faculty development, leads a session on preparing for academic promotion at noon Tuesday, Sept. 26, in N311, main Baylor. For more information or to RSVP, contact faced@bcm.edu.

Quality & Safety Course: The AAMC Certificate Program in Teaching Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QI/PS) will be offered as a two-day workshop at the College Nov. 9-10. This faculty development program is designed to train clinical faculty on how to teach QI/PS concepts effectively and build strategies and infrastructure for QI/PS projects in academic medical centers. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25. For more information or to apply please go online.

Early & Mid-Career Advancement: Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and the Office of Faculty Development, the Career Advancement Series offers professional development opportunities in three categories for assistant professors, associate professors and individuals seeking to participate in an assistant professor women’s faculty group. More information and application instructions are available on the Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity website. Deadline for applications is Oct. 15.

For a Good Cause

Diversity & Inclusion Donation Drive: Give infant items and school supplies (see list) to benefit Houston Diaper Bank, Casa De Esperanza and Baylor-affiliated elementary and middle schools through Oct. 6 at collection bins around campus:

  • Main Baylor: Office of Communications 176B, Alkek Lobby and E hallway in front of Rayzor Lounge
  • Baylor Clinic: Breakroom on 13th floor
  • Kirby Clinic: Breakroom on 6th floor
  • Jamail Specialty Care Center: Room E5.179D
  • Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center McNair Campus: Breakrooms on 9th and 10th floors
  • Children's Nutrition Research Center: First Floor Lobby
  • Greenway: 8th and 9th floors
  • McGovern: Room OW203, front of IT suite

BCM Wellness 5K: The sixth annual race/walk benefiting student wellness initiatives is Oct. 21 in the Texas Medical Center. Runners can join this timed event as individuals or teams. There are lots of fun race-day activities and child care. T-shirts are included with adult registration and the first 50 kids signed up for the 1K event get a free T-shirt. Register online. Participants also can join the BCM Wellness fundraising team by creating a Reason2Race donation page and sharing it with friends and family for their support.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Conferences

Transition Medicine: Registration is open for the 18th annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-based Care, set for Oct. 5 - 6, in Onstead Auditorium, 6767 Bertner Ave. The conference is open to healthcare providers and parents and caregivers; CME credits are available. Register online by Oct. 1.

Metastatic Breast Cancer: Dr. Charles Perou, the May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will give the keynote talk at this annual medical conference that provides an update on the basic science, clinical advances and survivorship issues that relate to metastatic breast cancer. The conference is sponsored by the College, Lester & Sue Breast Center and Theresa’s Research Foundation. Registration information is online.

Suicide Prevention: Dr. John Oldham, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the Barbara and Corbin Robertson Jr. Endowed Chair for Personality Disorders, is the activity director for this Advances in Clinical Psychiatry 2017 CME activity scheduled for Oct. 20 in Conference Rooms A & B, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. Register online by Oct. 15.

Call for Applications

Health Equity: The Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research seeks clinical fellows and junior faculty from underrepresented minority backgrounds to receive didactic, experiential and research instruction, personalized mentoring and compensation as COE Scholars during this academic year. Applicants should demonstrate commitment to promoting social justice and health equities and leadership in addressing educational, societal and healthcare needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Additional information and the application requirements are on the center’s website. The deadline to apply is Oct. 15.

Clinical Notices

Flu Shots: Most of the Faculty Group Practice clinics will be offering flu shots to employees and physicians who work in the clinic at no cost. Please check with your manager to see if you can receive your shot when you are in clinic. In addition, any faculty or staff member can attend one of the free Occupational Health Program vaccination events. Don’t forget to complete the online form to verify you have gotten your shot.

HIPAA Monitoring of Epic: Compliance and Audit Services has implemented routine audits of BCM’s Epic system to identify and address situations where BCM employees are inappropriately accessing protected health information of a family member or individual living with the employee. In accordance with Federal and state privacy laws and BCM policies, BCM employees are only authorized to access a family member’s or friend’s information within Epic for treatment, payment and healthcare operations, including IRB approved research activities, or through the patient’s MyChart as a documented proxy. For more information, please see the online statement.

HCMS Survey: Harris County Medical Society is conducting an independent survey to measure physician satisfaction with area hospitals. Your confidential responses will be aggregated into summaries and used to develop healthcare policy for improving the quality of care at hospitals in the Greater Houston area.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Conferences

Ewing Sarcoma: The 2nd Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma International Conference is set for Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 27 - 28, at the BioScience Research Collaborative. Presented by Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, the conference will bring together leading investigators to foster meaningful research collaborations with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of patients affected by Ewing sarcoma. Registration is required but there is no fee for this event.

Data Analytics Workshop: Google Senior Fellow Jeff Dean will speak during the Technology Collaboration Center’s day of presentations on research data analysis, advanced analytics techniques and visualizations, machine and deep learning, generating hypotheses, tools for data-driven decision making, implementations, vendors and more, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Oct. 3 at the BioScience Research Collaborative. Register online to attend.

Call for Abstracts

Reproductive Health Research: The Center for Reproductive Medicine is hosting an abstract and poster competition during the 2017 Reproductive Health Research Day, Nov. 7. Submit your abstract by 5 p.m. Oct. 5 to Jyoti Patel. Prize winners will be selected and invited to give a 10-minute talk and five-minute Q&A during the meeting. For more information, view the abstract submission guidelines.

Research Resources

Official Harvey Status Letter: Research faculty report that funding agencies have been requesting an official status update on the impact that Hurricane Harvey had on research at the College. These questions are surfacing because the agencies recall the devastation to research from Tropical Storm Allison. To address this issue, Dr. Adam Kuspa, senior vice president and dean of research, and Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean, have prepared a letter that you can provide to any funding agency requesting this information. If you have any questions or need additional information for a particular agency, please contact Dr. Kuspa.

Small Animal MRI: This Advanced Technology Core lab provides training, instrumentation, technical expertise, and software for small animal MRI and image processing. The facility houses a state-of-the-art Bruker BioSpec® 9.4T horizontal bore MRI scanner that is equipped to perform a wide variety of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy studies on small animals (mice, rats, birds, etc.) for non-invasive, high resolution longitudinal imaging for translational research. Imaging capabilities also includes anatomical and functional “connectomics” through high resolution DTI and resting state fMRI for brain studies. For more information about any of the cores visit the ATC website.

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.

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