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News for BCM Faculty, Oct. 17, 2019
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Visiting Hours: Welsh Minister for Education Kristy Williams visited the campus last month as part of an ongoing collaboration between Baylor College of Medicine and Swansea University in Wales. Her visit included a tour of the Simulation Lab, pictured here. Read more about this international collaboration and all the latest College news in this month’s issue of BCM Family.

Faculty Senate: Dean Jennifer Christner discussed the College’s preparations for the next Liaison Committee on Medical Education site visit and asked senators to participate in self-study workgroups on topics including curriculum, resources, learning environment and faculty at the Oct. 10 meeting.

  • Terry Krailo, assistant vice president for marketing, introduced the rebranding of the Faculty Group Practice as “Baylor Medicine” and detailed the timeline for its rollout to service lines. A multimedia advertising campaign will support the brand.
  • Barbara Naples, executive director of human resources, provided an overview of existing faculty benefits and new benefit offerings for 2020. She reminded senators that open enrollment ends Monday, Oct. 21.
  • The Administrative Operations Committee of the Senate is developing a resolution in support of additional resources for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
  • The Strategic Planning Committee is promoting “Precisely Speaking: Spotlight on Science,” an event featuring research presentations by winners of the first round of Precision Medicine & Population Health RFAs, 3:30-7 p.m. Nov. 13 in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Hall.

Academic Council: Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, vice president for academic integration and senior associate dean for academic affairs, introduced the Joint Academic and Research Committee to facilitate educational and research functions at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center at the Oct. 14 meeting. The executive committee is co-chaired by Dr. Brad Lembcke, chief medical officer of CHI Texas Division, and Dr. Jim McDeavitt, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs. It oversees the Joint Academic Steering Committee, responsible for accreditation and institutional issues, and the Joint Research Steering Committee, tasked with service line research and informatics. Balasubramanyam co-chairs both steering committees with, respectively, Provost Alicia Monroe and Research Dean Mary Dickinson.

  • Chief Information Officer Lee Leiber gave an update on Baylor’s data warehouse, which now includes data from Baylor St. Luke’s and Greater Houston HealthConnect. Researchers may contact Vamshi Punugoti, executive director of IT research and data, to learn more about accessing the “data web.”
  • Doug Miller, executive director of IT security, governance, risk & compliance, reported that a standardized procurement process for Apple iMacs and MacBooks will go into effect in November. Users will order new Apple devices through IT, which will configure them with encrypted hard drives, antivirus protection and college asset management.
  • Dr. Roger Zoorob, chair of family & community medicine, shared his department’s faculty development initiative to improve the pace of professional advancement and clarify the path to promotion. Dr. Jason Selemi leads the effort.
  • The Academic Council voted to approve non-substantive changes to the Faculty Bylaws.

Faculty Evaluations: The deadline for faculty members to complete the self-evaluation part of the Faculty Performance Assessment and Development Planning process has been extended to Nov. 5. Meetings with evaluators must be completed by Dec. 31.

Faculty Kudos

The Carl E. Fasser Visionary Leadership Award, named for the longtime director of the Baylor Physician Assistant Program in the School of Health Professions, recognized Peggy Walsh, PA-C., during National PA Week. It is awarded annually to an exceptional Baylor PA or program alumnus who exemplifies Fasser’s commitment to the profession. Walsh is a 2010 Baylor graduate who now practices at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Dr. J. Kalavar, associate professor of medicine and chief of staff of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, accepted the national Physician Assistant Education Association Partnership Award in recognition of the MEDVAMC’s decades of support for Baylor's PA program, its students and faculty.

Dr. Sheldon Kaplan, professor of pediatrics, received the Distinguished Physician Award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society during the 2019 IDWeek in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. He was recognized for his extensive and distinguished career marked by significant accomplishments and contributions in infectious diseases and the care of children.

Dr. Anthony Maresso, associate professor of molecular virology & microbiology and a faculty senator, recently published “Bacterial Virulence: A Conceptual Primer.” He wrote the fully illustrated textbook after noting limited text options for college- and graduate-level students that focus on concepts in this field in an integrated, seamless way.

Dr. Erin Peckham-Gregory, instructor in pediatrics, was awarded a grant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for her research, “Inherited and somatic risk predictors of Langerhans cell histiocytosis and MAPK-activated tumors.” The grant is part of the LLS Children’s Initiative to identify more effective and precise treatment for children with blood cancer.

image image Dr. Eric Storch, professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Drs. Gabriel Lazaro-Munoz and Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby, faculty in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, are co-principal investigators of a $1.73 million National Institutes of Health BRAIN initiative grant to study the risks and benefits of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of pediatric nervous system and neuropsychiatric disorders. Storch and Lazaro-Munoz also have received a grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute for a study to identify child and adolescent psychiatrists' perceived benefits and risks about the use of psychiatric polygenic risk scores, a research tool that may be developed for the clinic.

Dr. Roger Zoorob, chair of family & community medicine, has been elected president of the Board of Directors of the Annals of Family Medicine, the most prestigious research journal for the specialty, at its recent meeting at the American Academy of Family Physicians headquarters in Kansas City. Zoorob will serve a two-year term.

College Events

Compassion Series: Dr. Fabrizia Faustinella, associate professor of family & community medicine, speaks on “Care of the Homeless” at noon Friday, Oct. 18, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Her work is focused on healthcare disparities, patient advocacy and medical narrative.

Autism Walk: The Houston Autism Speaks Walk starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Lynn Eusan Park at the University of Houston. Support autism research, resources and services by joining or donating to the Texas Children's and Baylor team.

Open Enrollment: Monday, Oct. 21, is the final day to select 2020 health benefits. Human Resources hosts a benefits meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in Room 1869, O’Quinn Medical Tower, and one-on-one personal sessions 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday and Monday in Room 018D, main Baylor.

Early Voting: Monday, Oct. 21, is the first day of early voting for the Nov. 5 general and special elections. The Fiesta Mart at 8130 Kirby Dr. is the closest location to the Texas Medical Center. All early voting locations are open 7 a.m. -7 p.m. Oct. 21 to Nov. 1, except Sunday, Oct. 27, open 1-7 p.m. A full list of voting centers and early voting locations can be found online for Harris, Brazoria and Fort Bend counties.

Flu Shots: The Occupational Health Program offers the flu vaccine in two locations on Tuesday, Oct. 22; check the OHP calendar for additional places and times:

  • Ben Taub Hospital: 10-11:30 a.m. in the 4th floor conference room (4SP 20002)
  • Texas Children’s Hospital: 1:30-4:30 p.m. in Abercrombie Auditorium

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Events

Clinical Seminars

Lung Injury: Baylor’s Avoiding Lung Injury Conference is a one-day CME-eligible symposium on strategies for minimizing lung injury and improving respiratory outcomes in the neonatal intensive care unit. A panel of local speakers will address a variety of topics spanning care from the delivery room to the NICU on Friday, Oct. 18, at Texas Children’s Hospital. For conference information and registration, please see the website.

Transition Medicine: The 20th Annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference, "Transition from Pediatric to Adult-Based Care," for healthcare providers, patients and patient families is Thursday and Friday, Oct. 24-25, in the Texas Medical Center. The conference is sponsored by Baylor and Texas Children’s; learn more and register online.

Immunotherapy: The Cancer Research Institute hosts the Immunotherapy Patient Summit featuring patient and expert speakers including Dr. Andrew Sikora, associate professor of otolaryngology, and Dr. Valentina Hoyos Velez, assistant professor in the Center for Gene Therapy, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Dan L Duncan Cancer Prevention Building, 1155 Pressler St. Online registration is open.

Blood Cancers: Baylor St. Luke’s and the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center sponsor the Acute Hematologic Malignancies Symposium on Nov. 2. Dr. Gustavo Rivero, assistant professor of medicine – hematology & oncology. Dr. Martha Mims, Dan L Duncan Professor of Medicine, and Dr. C. Kent Osborne, professor and director of the DLDCCC, head the symposium committee with topics including clonal hematopoiesis, myelodysplasia and acute AML pathogenesis and therapy. Register online to attend.

Clinical Event

Co-Cathedral Service: Physicians, healthcare professionals and trainees are welcome at a special service for the health professions at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy. Sponsored by Baylor St. Luke’s, Catholic Healthcare Professionals of Houston and San Jose Clinic, the service includes reflections on “Catholic Witness to Truth and Love in Medicine” and is followed by a reception.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Welch Conference: The Welch Foundation hosts “The Chemistry of Genome Editing and Imaging” on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 21-22, at the Hilton Houston North Hotel. The two-day conference, chaired by Dr Jennifer Doudna, chair in biomedical and health sciences and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Berkley, includes both fundamental and applied research and applications. Online registration is open for this free event.

Imaging: The inaugural Gulf Coast Consortium Translational Imaging Symposium is Tuesday, Oct. 22., at the BioScience Research Consortium. Confirmed speakers include: Dr. Alan Koretsky, NINDS; Dr. Janet Eary, NCI Cancer Imaging Program; Dr. Angelique Louie, UC Davis; and Dr. John Gore, Vanderbilt University; as well as Dr. Mostafa Waleed Gaber, associate professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Robia Pautler, associate professor of molecular physiology & biophysics. Register online to attend.

Research Resources

Mentor Training: Faculty research mentors are invited to participate in a workshop to build skills in mentoring competencies based on the training curriculum of the NIH’s National Research Mentoring Network, tailored for Baylor mentors. Two workshop dates are offered in November. To attend, choose your preferred date by Monday, Oct. 21. For more information, contact Dr. Sandra Haudek, director of peer coaching in the Office of Faculty Development.

Michelson Prizes: The Human Vaccines Project and the Michelson Medical Research Foundation are accepting applications for the 2020 Michelson Prizes. The $150,000 prizes are awarded to investigators under age 35 and in a variety of disciplines who are applying innovative research processes to advance the development of vaccines and immunotherapies for major global diseases. Learn more online. The deadline for submission is Thursday, Oct. 31.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Yong Xu, associate professor of pediatrics and molecular & cellular biology, is exploring the stress-mood-appetite connection in this week’s post. Receive From the Labs via email by entering your email address in the box at the end of any article and clicking the "subscribe" button.

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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