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News for BCM Faculty, Oct. 8, 2020
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Smart Pod: President Paul Klotman and Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, professor of medicine and director of Baylor Global Health, joined Commissioner Adrian Garcia for the Oct. 1 unveiling of Harris County Precinct 2’s Smart Health Care Pod in Aldine. Whether it’s used for women’s health, childhood immunizations or annual check-ups, the adaptable Smart Pod provides access to healthcare in the communities that need it. This is the first time the Smart Pod has been deployed in the United States.

Vote at TMC: Early voting starts Tuesday, Oct. 13, and runs through Oct. 30. Voters registered in Harris County may vote early or on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays) at John P. McGovern Commons on the Texas Medical Center campus. See the Voter’s Guide for more information on times and locations for all Houston-area counties.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Elumalai Appachi, professor of pediatrics, has been appointed the regional chair of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and will serve as vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics, representing the San Antonio faculty. Since his recruitment to the hospital, he has built an outstanding pediatric intensive care team.

Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, professor of medicine, vice president for academic integration and senior associate dean for academic affairs, is principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health-funded multicenter study to discover unusual forms of diabetes. The Rare and Atypical Diabetes Network will screen 1,500–2,000 people whose disease does not fit into traditional categories of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, such as very early onset diabetes, being an underweight adult with diabetes, being obese or having a family history of childhood or adolescent onset diabetes.

image Dr. Fabrizio Gabbiani, professor of neuroscience, and Dr. Herman Dierick, associate professor of molecular & human genetics, have received a $12.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study locusts. A cross-institutional, multidisciplinary team of researchers created the Behavioral Plasticity Research Institute to understand the mechanisms behind locust swarms and migration and to develop effective methods of limiting their destruction of crops and communities.

Dr. Bindi Naik-Mathuria, associate professor of surgery and trauma medical director at Texas Children’s Hospital, has received a two-year, $700,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the epidemiology of firearm injuries and deaths. Researchers will review three years of retrospective data on children and adults who were injured or killed by firearms in Harris County. These data will allow them to examine the scope of firearm violence and define risk factors to target future intervention efforts.

Dr. Susan Rosenberg, Ben F. Love Chair in Cancer Research, professor of molecular & human genetics, biochemistry & molecular biology and molecular virology & microbiology and a faculty senator, has been awarded the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for the second time. She will receive a $5.6 million grant to develop new research on using proteins to prevent and slow DNA damage, protecting against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and aging-related diseases. The prestigious award recognizes researchers who are groundbreakers in their fields.

Dr. Kirti Saxena, associate professor of psychiatry, has been promoted to chief of the Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital. Her work in anxiety and mood disorders and her leadership as interim chief since March have enabled the section to move forward during the pandemic.

image Dr. Teri Turner, professor of pediatrics and Martin I Lorin Endowed Chair of Medical Education, and Dr. Wesley Mayer, associate professor of urology, have been appointed as assistant deans of Graduate Medical Education. They join Dr. Mark Harbott, the senior associate dean and designated institutional official, to complete the GME leadership team.

College Events

Diversity Week: Celebrate National Diversity Week through Friday, Oct. 9. To showcase the diversity of the Baylor community, you are invited to mark your birthplace on a digital map – with results shared in future communications. See map instructions and other Diversity Week activities on the intranet.

Ph.D. Careers: The Center for Professionalism, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Career Development Center host Dr. Karen Kelsky, author of "The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. into a Job," in a session for faculty advisors at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, via Zoom, ID: 941 5541 2458, passcode: 044820.

COVID Seminar: Dr. Yi Shi, assistant professor of cell biology at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, presents “Versatile, multivalent nanobody cocktails efficiently neutralize SARS-CoV-2” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 via Zoom, passcode: 283668.

Evenings with Genetics: Tanya Eble, genetic counselor and assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, discusses connections between cancer and genetics with Judy Karonika of Judy’s Mission, an ovarian cancer awareness group, and patient advocate Nancy Khan at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, via Zoom. Register online or by calling 713-798-8407.

Matzuk Lecture: Dr. Amber Salzman, president and CEO of Ohana Biosciences, delivers the Alexander Matzuk Lecture in Drug Discovery on “Non Traditional Approaches to Therapy Development” at noon Wednesday, Oct. 14. RSVP to receive Zoom details.

Faculty Resources

Cancer Courses: The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center offer two cancer-related courses open to the Baylor community. Register for credit or audit online:

  • Translational Breast Cancer Research – providing a broad perspective of clinical concerns in breast cancer and familiarizing students with research areas of active development in the field, led by Dr. Suzanne Fuqua, 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 12.
  • Translational Cancer Biology – integrating basic and translational research with clinical applications through faculty lectures and student activities including attending tumor boards, led by Dr. Jason Yustein, 1 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Oct. 15.

Health Equity Grand Rounds: The Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research presents “Community Engaged Scholarship in Underserved Communities,” at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, featuring Dr. Norma Perez Raifaisen, associate professor of medicine, director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence and assistant dean of student affairs at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Register online to attend.

Primary Care Update: Dr. Ashwin Balagopal of Johns Hopkins University provides a COVID-19 update as guest speaker at the Department of Family & Community Medicine Primary Care Update starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. The non-commercial event offers evidence-based advice, interactive workshops and seven CME credits. Registration is open.

Forensic Training: The Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers hosts a virtual forensic evaluation training from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 24–25. Clinicians who attend the course will be eligible to volunteer at the Baylor Human Rights and Asylum Clinic, which offers free forensic medical evaluations for individuals seeking asylum in the United States. If you are interested in volunteering with the clinic, or have a more general interest in the legal, medical and psychological aspects of the asylum process, please register online.

Doximity Hospital Vote: Have you claimed your profile on Doximity, the professional networking site for physicians? Once you do, you’ll be eligible to vote in the U.S. News & World Report Hospital Rankings. Physician voting influences hospital reputation, one of the criteria used in the rankings. Register with Doximity by Oct. 31 to vote for Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in February 2021.

Socktober: Give the gift of new socks to the men, women and children at Star of Hope shelters. A collection bin is in Morrison’s Café, main Baylor, through Oct. 31, for your donated socks.

Alzheimer's Study: Volunteers between 60 and 79 years old who do not have a memory problem and do not regularly exercise are needed to take part in an Alzheimer’s Association study of lifestyle change to protect against the development of memory and thinking problems in older adults. Baylor, in partnership with Kelsey Research Foundation, is one of five sites for the study. To learn more, call (713) 798-5452.

Microbiome Study: Women between 18 and 49 years old who are not anemic or pregnant are invited to participate in a pilot study to evaluate changes to the intestinal microbiome and hemoglobin and iron blood levels in response to iron therapy. Volunteers will be compensated for their time and receive a description of their gut microbiome. Contact Dr. Sarah Detlefs to participate.

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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