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News for BCM Faculty, Oct. 22, 2020
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Tiny Victories: Baylor College of Medicine made a great showing in the 2020 Nikon Small World microscopic photography contest. Jason Kirk, technical director of the Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy Core, won seventh place for “microtubules inside a bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cell.” He and neuroscience graduate student Quynh Nguyen won ninth place for “connections between hippocampal neurons,” shown here. Kirk also garnered an image of distinction for “microtubules radiating from a tissue culture cell.” Dr. Melinda Engevik, instructor in pathology & immunology, won an image of distinction for “the villi of adult mouse jejunum projecting into the lumen of the intestine.”

Faculty Town Hall: President Paul Klotman hosts a virtual faculty town hall at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. He will provide a fiscal year-end review of the College and mission leaders will join him for a question and answer session with faculty members. Questions may be submitted in advance to president@bcm.edu.

  • Faculty approval of proposed changes in the faculty bylaws will be requested following the meeting. These revisions were identified during the review of bylaws in preparation for site visits by our accrediting agencies.
  • For those who are unable to attend the virtual town hall, a videotape will be available online the week after the meeting.

World Ranking:The College ranks 132nd in the world in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities. Among Baylor’s subject rankings in the top 20 are Molecular Biology & Genetics (13), Gastroenterology & Hepatology (18) and Cell Biology (20). U.S. News looked at indicators such as publications, total citations and global reputation in ranking the top 1,500 out of 12,746 universities worldwide.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Yohannes Ghebre, associate professor of radiation oncology, was awarded $352,000 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to understand the disease process and develop novel therapy for scleroderma, a rare autoimmune connective tissue disorder characterized by abnormal buildup of collagen.

image Baylor's Cardiovascular Research Institute has announced the recipients of its FY2021 Pilot Awards. Awardees each receive $15,000 to support their multi-PI collaborative study in the area of clinical, basic or translational cardiovascular research. Dr. Margaret Goodell, chair and professor of molecular & cellular biology, was funded for "DNMT3A in Heart Development and Clonal Hemopoiesis-mediated Atherosclerosis." A pilot grant went to Dr. Na Li, assistant professor of medicine – cardiovascular sciences, for "Mechanisms of Lamin A/C-mediated Cardiac Conduction Disorders." Dr. Barbara Trautner, professor of medicine – health services research and surgery, was funded for "Bacteriophage Therapy for Drive Line Infections of Ventricular Assist Devices."

Dr. Vivian Ho, professor of medicine – health services research, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine for research on how economic factors and government regulations interact to influence the cost and quality of health care. NAM’s citation of her accomplishments noted, “Her work has shaped policy on state Certificate of Need regulations, hospital antitrust and freestanding emergency departments.” Ho is also the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics and director of the Center for Health and Biosciences at Rice University.

image The TMC Library has selected Katie Prentice to succeed Debbie Sibley as executive director of the library. Currently the associate director of the Schusterman Library at the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa, Prentice previously held several positions at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, including head of education and information services. Sibley will retire at the end of the year after more than 40 years of service as a librarian.

imageDr. Nicole Schneider, assistant professor of pediatrics – psychology, and Dr. Mark Zobeck, instructor in pediatrics – hematology-oncology, have received 2020 Young Investigator Awards from the International Society of Paediatric Oncology. Schneider was recognized for her study, “Pediatric Oncology and Psychosocial Care in Low and Middle Income Settings.” She serves as co-chair of the SIOP Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries Psychosocial Task Force and is working with collaborators in El Salvador. Zobeck was recognized for his research on “Novel Risk Factors for Glucarparidise Use in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Hispanic Ethnicity, Age, and the ABCC4 Gene.”

College Events

Datathon: The Office of the President and the Faculty Senate present the final round of the Datathon at 2 p.m. today, Oct. 22, via Zoom. The event features 13 projects submitted by clinical and research faculty that use Baylor’s and Baylor St. Luke’s data to answer intelligent questions in healthcare.

Biochemisty Seminar: Dr. Guangwei Du, associate professor of integrative biology & pharmacology, UT Health Science Center at Houston, speaks on “Phosphatidic acid as a lipid signaling molecule” at 4 p.m. today, Oct. 22, via Zoom, passcode 666118.

Cancer Grand Rounds: “Breast Cancer Treatment in African American Women, Differences or Disparities” is the topic of a presentation by Dr. Shahnjayla Connors, assistant professor of health & behavioral science at University of Houston – Downtown, at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, via Zoom, passcode: 831342.

Blood Drive: Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center takes blood donations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the BCM Gym on the 8th floor of Garage 6. Appointments are required and can be made online.

Faculty Resources

Cures Act Update: A change in federal law under the Cures Act involving transparency and access for patients and their healthcare providers to electronic health information will go into effect Nov. 1. The ruling addresses information blocking, which is defined as a practice that is likely to interfere with, prevent or materially discourage access, exchange or use of electronic health information. The regulation applies to all healthcare providers, health information exchanges and networks and health information technology developers of certified health information technology. An overview of the change is online.

Voter's Guide: Friday, Oct. 23, is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the Nov. 3 elections. Early voting continues through Oct. 30 in a number of locations, including McGovern Commons at the Texas Medical Center. Find a convenient place to cast your ballot with the Voter’s Guide.

Calling All Artists: The Charity Art Show is accepting art submissions for its virtual show Nov. 16-20. The show benefits Texas Children’s Hospital Arts in Medicine Program with 40% of proceeds from the online auction. Remaining profits go to the artist and unsold art is returned. Friday, Oct. 30 is the deadline to submit artwork.

Quality & Safety: Baylor's Institute for Continuing Professional Development in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (I-QIPS) is now accepting applications for its spring 2021 course "Leading Healthcare Improvement – Advanced-Level QI Leadership Training Course." Apply by Nov. 1.

Faculty Opportunities

CAMRI Director: The Advanced Technology Cores are soliciting applications internally from faculty who are qualified and interested in the position of Academic Director of the Core for Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CAMRI). CAMRI primarily supports human neuroimaging studies using Siemens 3 Tesla MRI scanners. The main responsibilities of the academic director are to provide overall scientific direction and oversight, oversee budgets, personnel and space, present reports to the College and serve as PI on grant applications for shared instruments and direct support of core operations. See the full job description. Applications are due to Dr. Dean P. Edwards by Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Women in Leadership: The Provost’s office is accepting nominations for the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program. Women faculty members who are interested in professional development and have held the rank of associate professor for at least two years are encouraged to talk with their chair or center director. The nomination deadline for internal review by the Baylor ELAM Selection Committee is Nov. 6. For more information, please see Faculty Opportunities. A virtual open house for prospective fellows is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26.

Alumni Awards: It’s time to send your nominations for the annual Baylor College of Medicine Alumni Awards. These awards recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to the field of medicine, such as seminal scientific discoveries, distinguished academic accomplishments and exceptional patient care, including work with the underserved. Alumni awards are a great way to celebrate your peers and to remain connected with the Baylor community. Please visit the website to learn more and to submit your nominations. Nomination deadline is Nov. 13. The Alumni Awards virtual ceremony is set for April 14, 2021.

NASA Scientist: The Translational Research Institute for Space Health has an exciting opportunity for a visiting scientist to lead a medical database project with NASA’s Human Research Program. The selected individual will work remotely with NASA’s Exploration Medical Capability Element. Applications are due Nov. 16. Learn more and apply online.

Grand Challenges: The National Cancer Institute and Cancer Research UK announce the Cancer Grand Challenges program, which seeks novel ideas that offer the potential to advance bold cancer research and improve outcomes for people affected by cancer. Read about the nine challenges and the funding process. Expressions of interest are being accepted through April 22, 2021. Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center members Dr. Trey Westbrook, professor of biochemistry, and Dr. Alastair Thompson, professor of surgery, are funded on this mechanism and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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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