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News for BCM Faculty, Oct. 29, 2020
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The 2020 Vote: National elections are set for Tuesday, Nov. 3. Early voting continues through Friday, 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.

Town Hall Today: Plan to attend the virtual faculty town hall at 5 p.m. today, Oct. 29. President Paul Klotman will provide a fiscal year-end review and the mission leaders will join him for a question and answer session with faculty members. Questions may be submitted in advance to president@bcm.edu. View the meeting  via Zoom, ID: 939 3297 1495, passcode: 168179.

  • 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 accrediting agencies.
  • For those who are unable to attend the virtual town hall, a videotape will be available online the week after the meeting.

Campus Update: The main Baylor College of Medicine campus is now open to faculty, staff, students and trainees with an authorized colored badge 24 hours a day. The Cullen and Garage 6 entrances will be locked at 9:50 p.m. on weekdays and 6:50 p.m. on weekends, but personnel and trainees will be permitted after-hours access by using the intercom at Cullen and then scanning their badge (if required) and completing COVID-19 screening.

BSLMC Ranking: Healthgrades has released its 2021 Specialty Excellence Awards, which recognize hospitals that rank in the top 10% of hospitals nationwide for at least one of 16 specialty areas evaluated by the consultancy firm. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center was ranked among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care and received Specialty Excellence Awards in Cardiac Surgery, Cranial Neurosurgery, Gastrointestinal Care, Joint Replacement and Pulmonary Care.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Eric Bershad, associate professor of neurology and the Center for Space Medicine, was awarded a grant from NASA's Human Research Program for his project "The long-term consequences of spaceflight on brain and eye health." The NASA program addresses the practical problems of spaceflight that affect astronaut health and performance and its research may aid the development of potential countermeasures.

Dr. Rui Chen, professor of molecular & human genetics, has been awarded a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Seed Network grant to support diversity in the Human Cell Atlas project. His work focuses on mapping the neural retina. To understand the genetic background of cell types in the visual system, Chen and a multi-institutional team will perform single-cell RNA-seq and ATAC-seq for retinae donated from female and Black male individuals.

Dr. Hashem El-Serag, professor and Margaret M. Alkek Distinguished Chair in Medicine, leads PLoS Biology/Mendeley’s global list of 217 Baylor faculty among the most cited authors in their disciplines. His citation indicators place him in the top-cited 2% of scientists in gastroenterology & hepatology for 2019 and over his career.

Susan Kirk, PA-C, assistant professor of hematology/oncology at Baylor and Texas Children's Cancer Center, is the 2020 recipient of the Carl E. Fasser Visionary Leadership Award. Named for the longtime director of the Physician Assistant Program, the award recognizes excellence by a physician assistant in education, research, clinical practice and service.

Dr. Aimee Langley, assistant professor of anesthesiology and health professions and a faculty senator, has been appointed associate director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program – Nurse Anesthesia, effective Jan. 1, 2020. She will join associate directors Dr. Megan Bullerwell and Dr. Rachel Davis and Dr. Jim Walker, director, in the leadership of the program.

image Innovation abounds at Baylor Medicine and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center! Virtual celebrations were held recently to recognize the 100th robotic heart surgery and the 100th scarless thyroid removal procedure by Dr. Kenneth Liao, professor of cardiothoracic surgery and Dr. Raymon Grogan, associate professor of surgery, respectively.

Dr. Dorina Papageorgiou, assistant professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, is the chief editor of Advanced Brain Neuroimaging Topics in Health and Disease – Methods and Applications, which has been downloaded more than 35,000 times in addition to its hardcopy sales.

College (Virtual) Events

Biochemistry Seminar: Dr. Wendy Gilbert, associate professor of molecular biophysics & biochemistry at Yale University, discusses “Revealing new functions for ancient RNA modifying enzymes in health and disease” at 4 p.m. today, Oct. 29, via Zoom, meeting ID: 945 991 1665 0117, passcode: 532604.

Cancer Grand Rounds: “Hereditary TTP: 1972 to 2000 and Beyond” is the topic of a talk by Dr. James George, professor of epidemiology & biostatistics and medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, via Zoom, meeting ID 387 923 767, passcode: 831342.

White Coats: The School of Medicine hosts a virtual White Coat Ceremony for first year medical students and their teachers and family at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, via YouTube.

Cancer Seminar: Dr. Sheena Bhalla of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai speaks on “Tackling KRAS-mutant Lung Cancer and Exploring Disparities in Cancer Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic” at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5., via Zoom, meeting ID: 387 923 767, passcode: 831342.

Faculty Opportunities

Ben Taub Positions: Baylor is recruiting for two leadership positions at Ben Taub Hospital: Chief of Staff/Chief Medical Officer and Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. Interested candidates may submit a letter of interest for the specified position, a C.V. and a letter of support from their Chair or Section Chief to the President's Office by Friday, Oct. 30. A search committee consisting of Baylor executive leaders and chairs will review the applications.

Nominations Open: Make your voice heard on an institutional committee. Nominations are open for new members on the Environmental Safety Committee, Institutional Policy Committee and Research Conflict of Interest Committee through Thursday, Nov. 12. This is an opportunity for you to gain collaboration skills and log service hours for your performance review and C.V. while participating in the civic life of the College. See Faculty Opportunities for committee information and the nomination form.

Faculty Appointments: The Department of Education, Innovation and Technology is pleased to invite applications for inaugural faculty appointments in the department. Faculty members with strong educational expertise may apply for co-primary, secondary or transfer of appointment to the Department of EIT. Staff members of the education mission or other areas with appropriate terminal degrees may apply for faculty status. More information is available online. The first phase application deadline is Nov. 23.

V Scholar: A second 2020 V Scholar grant opportunity is available specifically for cancer researchers from the Black community. The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center may submit one nominee for the award, which supports early tenure-track faculty with a grant of $200,000, paid over two years. To nominate an eligible researcher, use the letter of intent submission form on the DLDCCC website. The deadline is Friday, Nov. 6. Contact the DLDCCCgrants@bcm.edu for more information.

Faculty Resources

How are you doing? The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful in many ways and affects everyone differently. The Baylor Coping Card shows you five easy ways to check in and take a moment for yourself. Looking for more individualized feedback on your stress level? Use the code on the card to start your Well-Being Index, an online self-assessment that provides resources to support your good health.

Library Hours: The TMC Library is expanding its hours and days of building operations. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays starting Monday, Nov. 2, and reopen on weekends starting Saturday, Nov. 7. Weekend hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 8 p.m. Sundays. Hours may be adjusted as needed for finals.

LCME Update: The School of Medicine's October LCME newsletter features recent subcommittee work and an overview of Element 8.4—Evaluation of Educational Program Outcomes and Element 8.5—Medical Student Feedback.

Charity Runs: Take a virtual run or walk for your favorite health-related nonprofit:

Bariatric Surgery: Baylor employees and spouses who have been employed for 90 consecutive days are eligible for bariatric surgery starting Jan. 1, 2021. You no longer will be required to vest 24 months of service before getting insurance approval. See the website or call 713-789-6673 for more information.

Heart Study: Children and teenagers with a diagnosis of combined dyslipidemia of obesity are needed to participate in the Pediatric Heart Network DO IT! Trial at Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital. The research study will find out if a drug used to lower blood cholesterol levels, called pitavastatin, can improve artery health in children and teens who are overweight with abnormal levels of blood lipids. The study lasts two years and involves seven visits to TCH that may include physical exams, blood draws and urine samples and vascular measures by ultrasound. For more information or to enroll, contact Sandra Pena at 832-826-2806 or David Garuba at 832-826-5622.

Asthma Study: Children between 24 to 47 months of age are needed to participate in the PARK Clinical Research Study: Preventing Asthma in High-Risk Kids at Baylor and TCH. Participants must have had two to four wheezing episodes in the past 12 months and have a parent or sibling with asthma or allergies. The study includes allergy testing; breathing tests; urine, stool, nasal and house dust sample collection; compensation; study supplies and medication; and asthma education. For more information or to enroll, call 832-824-1324 or learn more online.

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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