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News for BCM Faculty, Nov. 7, 2019
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From the Labs: The Images of the Month show proliferative mouse cardiac fibroblasts seven days after myocardial infarction. Control hearts are on the left and hearts genetically modified to lack Hippo pathway kinases Lats1/2 are on the right. Confocal microscopy images courtesy of Dr. Yang Xiao, postdoctoral associate in the lab of Dr. James Martin, and the journal Genes & Development.

Academic Council:

  • Provost Alicia Monroe introduced the Well-Being Index, a self-assessment tool to gauge professional burnout and offer wellness resources, at the Nov. 4 meeting. The simple survey, available as a phone app, rolled out to residents and residency program directors in October in response to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education identifying trainee well-being as a priority. Clinical and basic science faculty will have the opportunity to sign up for the tool in December.
  • Medical School Dean Jennifer Christner presented the results of the annual Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire and the biannual mistreatment report. Department-specific data will be circulated to chairs and educational leaders. She also described faculty- and student-led self-study workgroups that are part of preparations for the next Liaison Committee on Medical Education site visit.
  • Dr. Cheryl Walker, director of the Center for Precision Environmental Health, and Dr. Matthew Ellis, director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, announced the creation of the Faculty External Recognition Committee, which they are co-chairing. The committee is charged with promoting and providing support for the recognition of faculty achievements through national and international awards. Its first step is to compile an awards database as a foundation for building a portfolio of nominations and developing an infrastructure that will assist faculty in advancing professionally.
  • Senate Chair Laila Woc-Colburn reported that the Faculty Senate is co-sponsoring a College-wide event with the Office of the President next week. “Precisely Speaking: Spotlight on Science,” highlights the Precision Medicine and Population Health pilot projects with posters, presentations and a reception starting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Lounge. The Senate also will assist with the faculty launch of the Well-Being Index.

Microbiome News: OraSure Technologies, Inc., a leader in point-of-care diagnostic tests and devices for specimen collection and stabilization, announced Nov. 6 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the outstanding equity of Diversigen, a Baylor College of Medicine portfolio company founded in 2013 by Dr. Joseph Petrosino, professor and chair of molecular virology & microbiology and director of the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research. Diversigen provides pharmaceutical and biotech companies with science-driven, customized solutions for metagenomics sequencing, bioinformatics and statistical analysis for the study of the microbiome. Read more about the purchase online.

Faculty Kudos

Dr. Zaina Al-Mohtaseb, associate professor of ophthalmology, recently received the Rising Star Award in Ophthalmology from Ophthalmic World Leaders – Advancing Diversity in Leadership. She is the associate residency program director for cornea, cataract and refractive surgery.

Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean, was honored by Medical Bridges Inc. at the organization's annual fund-raising dinner, held Oct. 30 at Hotel ZaZa. He was recognized for Baylor's commitment to global health; watch this video to see Baylor's global outreach in action. Medical Bridges provides medical equipment and supplies to underserved communities and resource-poor settings.

Dr. Lee Lu, associate professor of medicine, is this week’s highlighted senator. Read about her professional interests and her work representing Ben Taub Hospital on the Faculty Senate on the faculty intranet portal.

Dr. Joel Neilson, associate professor of molecular physiology & biophysics, has received a grant the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation for his project, "In vivo disruption of a novel translation pre-initiation complex as a putative therapeutic vulnerability for breast cancer differentiation therapy." The foundation awarded a total of $1.4 million in grants for groundbreaking research.

Dr. Dorina Papageorgiou, assistant professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, has been invited to present her abstract, “Synchronous Inter-Hemispheric Temporal Dynamics in Neurofeedback-Enhanced Attention and Somatosensory Networks Induced by Individualized Real-time fMRI Neurofeedback to Cranial Nerve IX and XII Projections,” at the International Real-time Functional Imaging 2019 conference in Maastricht - Aachen, the Netherlands, in December.

Dr. Rodney Samaco, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, has received support from the Loulou Foundation for the CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder research he leads at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute. The new research collaboration will provide a pipeline of animal models and behavioral assay platforms to rapidly evaluate new small molecule and genetic methods to reverse the disorder’s neurodevelopmental delay and intractable epilepsy.

College Events

The TMC Orchestra presents a free concert featuring Peter Boyer’s “Ellis Island: The Dream of America,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The Texas Medical Center Orchestra, one of a very few orchestras with its origin in the health professions, has twice won the American Prize for best community orchestra. Ticket information is available online.

Precision Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Matthew Ellis, McNair Scholar, director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and associate director of Precision Medicine at Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses “Precision Oncology for Breast Cancer” at noon Monday, Nov. 11, in Cooley Auditorium, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. The event is eligible for CME credit.

Precisely Speaking: The President’s Office and the Faculty Senate sponsor “Precisely Speaking: Spotlight on Science,” a College-wide event featuring posters, presentations and a reception with winners of the Precision Medicine & Population Health RFAs, a strategic plan initiative, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Lounge. All are welcome!

Off Script: “Dealing with Conflict” is the theme of this storytelling event hosted by the Narrative Medicine Program at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at UTHealth McGovern Medical School, Room 2.135. Participants include Dr. Fabrizia Faustinella, associate professor of family & community medicine, Dr. Katherine Smith, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Heena Ahmed, resident in radiology.

Compassion Series: Dr. Kenneth Sapire, an anesthesiologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses “Finding the Meaning in Medicine: Developing Compassion from Within,” at noon Friday, Nov. 15, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

Faculty Resources

Robertson Award: Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education. The criteria and review process recently have been updated to select and reward the most outstanding educators at Baylor as they educate the next generation for medical research, education and care. Please see the website for full details and submit your nominations by Dec. 13.

Quality & Safety: Applications close Sunday, Nov. 10, for the Institute for Continuing Professional Development in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety's Leading Healthcare Improvement Advanced Training Course, starting Jan. 28. This course is designed for healthcare providers with an intermediate to advanced knowledge of the concepts of quality improvement and patient safety who have or will have responsibilities for leading improvement initiatives. There is no charge to attend the CME-eligible course, but space is limited. Learn more and apply online.

Financial Wellness Week is Nov. 11-14. Learn more about Baylor's new financial counseling benefit through Ayco, the Emeriti Retiree Health Plan and the new addition of a 403(b) Roth contribution option. You can earn 50 BCM BeWell Vitality points for each workshop you attend, up to a maximum of 100 points. See the schedule of workshops.

Flu Shots: Saturday, Nov. 30, is the deadline to attest that you have gotten your flu vaccination. The Occupational Health Program offers flu shots from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in Room 1869, O’Quinn Medical Tower; check the OHP calendar for additional places and times: please check the OHP calendar for updates.

Apple Products: All Apple desktops and notebooks recently purchased by Baylor will be enrolled in the College's new Jamf technology toolset. This initiative of the Offices of Information Technology, Supply Chain Management and Compliance and Audit Services grants users access to a library of BCM-provided Mac apps and also provides enhanced security and compliance for enrolled Macs. Enrollment of existing Baylor-owned Mac devices will be part of a later project. Read more about Jamf enrollment.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Events

Clinical News

Branding: The Faculty Group Practice phased transition to Baylor Medicine is under way now through FY20 and beyond. New signage already has been installed in the Family Medicine River Oaks clinic and in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center outpatient clinics. Baylor's marketing team is working with service lines to conduct an audit of signage, printed materials, apparel and more that will require the new Baylor Medicine logo. Read more about this process.

Evenings with Genetics: Dr. Robin Goin-Kochel, associate professor of pediatrics – psychology, Dr. Chaya Murali, clinical postdoctoral research fellow in molecular & human genetics, and a guest parent discuss autism spectrum disorders and genetic testing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Children’s Museum of Houston. The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Regenerative Medicine: The Gulf Coast Consortia Regenerative Medicine Symposium 2019 features Dr. Hans Keirstead of AIVITA, Dr. Cindy Farach-Carson, UTHealth, Dr. Frank McKeon, University of Houston, Dr. Tejashri Purohit-Sheth, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Robert Krencik, Houston Methodist, Dr. Emerson Perin, Texas Heart Institute, Dr. Ying Liu, UTHealth, and Dr. Mary Estes, professor of molecular virology & microbiology, presenting their research from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Bioscience Research Collaborative. Online registration is open.

Experimental Therapeutics: Dr. Jeanine Van Nostrand, Damon Runyon Research Fellow at the Salk Institute, speaks on “Decoding the AMPK-Dependent Regulation of mTOR Signaling” in a special seminar hosted by the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Center for Metabolism & Experimental Therapeutics, at noon Monday, Nov. 11, in Room M112, main Baylor.

Research Resources

Data Clinic: Get help with your problematic computational issues at a free clinic hosted by the Computational and Integrative Biomedical Research Center with advice from experts in statistics, image processing, sequence analysis, parallel computing and other big data fields, 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Room N302, main Baylor.

The Advanced Technology Cores host a monthly seminar series providing in-depth information on emerging technologies and their capabilities and research applications. Dr. Michael Scheurer, director of the Population Sciences Biorepository Core, discusses “Bio-Specimen Science and Banking for Population and Transnational Studies” at noon Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Room N315, main Baylor.

Hematology/Oncology: The second annual Hematology/Oncology Research Summit is 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Room 201A, main Baylor. It is designed to introduce Baylor trainees to research opportunities in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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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