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News for BCM Faculty, Nov. 15, 2018
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Ask Me About My Research: Talking about the great work going on at Baylor not only informs the public but also might inspire the next generation of scientists. In this video, Dr. Christine Beeton, associate professor of molecular physiology & biophysics, and her friend Sami Amir-Parviz show just how easy it is to start a conversation about your research. You can pick up an “Ask Me About My Research” button in the Office of Communications and Community Outreach, Room 176B, main Baylor.

Academic Council:

  • Faculty Senate Chair Oluyinka Olutoye presented senate-approved resolutions on communications, process changes and compensation matters for the consideration of executive leadership. Read the complete resolutions online.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe announced that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) site visit at Ben Taub Hospital is set for Nov. 27 – 29. She asked the clinical chairs to ensure that (1) all physicians and residents have CLER placards on their identification badges; (2) program directors and faculty sign up for CLER physician group interviews; (3) housestaff participate in group interviews and as tour guides for the CLER visit; and (4) housestaff involvement in hospital-based quality and safety projects and committees is documented by the affiliate and the College. Please contact Dr. Nana Coleman with any questions.
  • Dr. Monroe also reminded chairs and center directors that Title IX training concludes Nov. 30 and faculty evaluations must be completed by Dec. 14.
  • Jim Digan, senior vice president for institutional advancement, introduced Kevin Carraccio, vice president for philanthropy, and presented a plan for the restructured department that will lead a capital campaign in support of the College’s strategic plan and facility masterplan.
  • Chief Business Officer Kim David and General Counsel Bob Corrigan provided an update on the TMC3 Campus. The College anticipates using its space there for education and research facilities, making them adjacent to the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus.

Take the Faculty Survey: Your opinions - expressed on the AAMC StandPoint Faculty Engagement Survey - will help to shape initiatives throughout the College for years to come. Since the first faculty survey in 2012, the data have been used to inform decisions to launch or enhance initiatives that impact nearly every aspect of the workplace for faculty at Baylor (see outcomes of previous surveys). If you have not yet taken the survey, please search your email (including junk folders) for the link to it in messages from StandPointSurveys@aamc.org.

A for Patient Safety: Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center earned an A from the Leapfrog Group on its fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade list. The Leapfrog Group assigns A through F letter grades to over 2,600 acute care hospitals for patient safety performance. Leapfrog releases the safety grades every fall and spring based on more than two dozen quality measures, including nurse communication, hand hygiene adherence and surgical site infection rates. Baylor St. Luke's also received an A in the spring.

Faculty Kudos

The Hamill Foundation and the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering at Rice University recently awarded Hamill Innovation Awards for novel collaborative research in the Texas Medical Center. Honorees include:

Dr. Charles Lin, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, and Dr. Caleb Bashor, assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice, who are working to build synthetic versions of insulated neighborhoods – chromatin structural domains that are central to genome organization – to gain a better understanding of their structure and transcriptional function.

Dr. Ankit Patel, assistant professor of neuroscience, and Dr. Matthew Bennett, associate professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice, who are using high-resolution imaging and machine learning to understand the complex interactions between single-cell organisms, like bacteria in the gut microbiome, and their hosts.

Dr. Alex Sweeney, assistant professor of otolaryngology - head & neck surgery, and Rice researchers Dr. Robert Raphael, associate professor of bioengineering, and Dr. Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering, materials science, nanoengineering and chemistry, who are developing a carbon nanotube fiber cochlear implant to help those who are hard of hearing or deaf.

Dr. Vivien Sheehan, assistant professor of pediatrics – hematology/oncology, assisted in the design of the American Society of Hematology Sickle Cell Disease Clinical Trial Network, which is focused on advancing development of more effective therapeutics for individuals with sickle cell disease. She recently was invited to be one of four members of the network’s oversight committee that will identify, recruit and evaluate sites and interface with industry and federal agencies.

Nurse Practitioner Nicole Triggs, instructor of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, recently received the first-ever Leadership and Service Award from the Houston Area Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. The award recognizes her extraordinary contributions to pediatric nurse practitioner education and service to the community.

Dr. Tao Wu, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, has joined the College with a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to continue his research into the fundamental mechanisms underlying therapeutic resistance to cancer from the epigenetics angle. The $2 million recruitment grant will fund projects that examine how a novel DNA methylation and its regulators control the development of treatment resistance in cancer stem cells.

College Events

Get Your Rear in Gear: The 5K run and walk start at 7 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center on the McNair Campus. Support the Colon Cancer Coalition by joining the Baylor Booty Shakers.

Thanksgiving: In observation of the holiday, the College will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22, and resume operations on Friday, Nov. 23. Faculty Commons will be feasting with friends and next publish on Nov. 29.

Psychiatry Wellness Grand Rounds: Holocaust survivors Dr. Bernard Schanzer and Henry Schanzer speak on “Resilience, Courage and Humanity in Unspeakable Times” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, in room M112, main Baylor. The brothers are the father and uncle of Dr. Bella Schanzer, professor and vice chair for clinical affairs in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. They will share their experience in Nazi-occupied France, where they survived the war in hiding through the help of others who put their own lives at risk.

Research Synergy Social: Do you have a precision medicine idea? Hear from experienced investigators and connect with colleagues at the Research Synergy Social, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, in Cullen Auditorium and Rayzor Lounge, main Baylor. The event includes an overview of Baylor's Precision Medicine Strategic Plan by Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, senior associate dean for academic affairs, an investigator panel led by Dr. Mary Dickinson, associate dean of research, table topics, refreshments and a meet and greet session. RSVP to attend.

DocTalk: Dr. Lauren Blieden, assistant professor of ophthalmology, discusses “What is Glaucoma?” at noon Wednesday, Nov. 28, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Bring your lunch, join the conversation and earn BeWell points.

Learning Health System Series: Dr. Chris Callahan, professor of medicine and founding director of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and director of the Healthy Aging Brain Clinic at Eskenazi Health, speaks on “Population Health: The Space between Inertia and Audacity” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor.

Faculty Opportunities

Women in Leadership: The deadline for chairs and center directors to submit nominations for the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program at Drexel University is Monday, Nov. 19. Women faculty members who are interested in professional development and have held the rank of associate professor for at least two years should discuss the opportunity with their supervisors. For more information, please see the website.

QI Coaches: The Institute for Continuing Professional Development in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety seeks qualified faculty members to coach and mentor faculty and trainees involved in quality improvement (QI) education, innovation or research activities at BCM-affiliated institutions. Please see the website for eligibility requirements. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26. In addition to the ongoing need for QI coaches, there is an immediate need for coaches to serve as workshop faculty for the QI Jumpstart Intermediate Training Course, which begins Dec. 6.

Faculty Resources

The Office of Faculty Development offers the following workshops for teachers this semester; to attend, RSVP to Faculty Development at (713) 798-7285.

  • Introduction to Active Learning provides strategies for large- and small-group teaching, 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, in Room N311, main Baylor.
  • Team-Based Learning introduces an evidence-based, collaborative approach to teaching and learning from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, in Room N311.
  • Understanding by Design: Creating Learner-Centered Instruction is a two-part series that introduces key elements of the widely used Understanding by Design curriculum development framework. Enrollment is limited to 30 participants (plan to attend both sessions) Participants will receive a copy of the book. Session 1 is 3-5 p.m. Dec. 14 in Room N311, Session 2 is 3-5 p.m. Jan. 11 in Room N317, main Baylor.

Team Discovery: Dr. Ellen Friedman, director of the Center for Professionalism, speaks on “Nourishing Your Team with the Gift of Feedback,” from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 in rooms M321 and 323, main Baylor. Team Discovery is part of Team Launch, a College-wide initiative focused on providing opportunities for everyone at BCM to learn and apply team skills.

For a Good Cause

Volunteer Time Off: Did you know that Baylor employees are eligible to use one regularly scheduled workday per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) for participating in community service activities? Find out more about volunteer opportunities online.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Events

Clinical Programs

The Partnership: “Solutions for Global Health Challenges,” is the topic of The Partnership for BCM’s lunchtime lecture. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, speaks at the event, which begins at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4, at the Briar Club, 2603 Timmons Lane. Online registration is open.

Medical Ethics & Health Policy: Dr. Andrew Childress, assistant professor in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, presents “The Creature Speaks: What Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Can Tell Us About Humanism in Medicine” as part of the Center’s Conversation Series. The luncheon begins at noon Dec. 13 at Third Coast, 6550 Bertner Ave. Register online to attend.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Bioelectronics: Dr. Wayne Goodman, professor and D. C. and Irene Ellwood Chair in Psychiatry, and Dr. Daniel Yoshor, professor and Marc J. Shapiro Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery, are among the featured speakers at De Lange Conference 11, "Our Bioelectronic Future: Smaller, Smarter, Connected," Dec. 4-5 at Rice University’s BioScience Research Collective. The conference anticipates the interface of natural and synthetic cellular systems (and molecules) with nanoscale electronics to create hybrid cells/materials that communicate electronically. Register online.

Research Resources

Precision Medicine RFA: The College is accepting applications for a second round of grants for precision medicine and population health proposals from multi-disciplinary teams. Projects must leverage large data sets that are currently available at BCM or an affiliated hospital or health network and must be relevant to population-based clinical care (such as diagnosis, risk prediction, treatment, prevention and healthcare delivery). Guidelines are available online. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Dec. 14. Read about the first round of grant-winning proposals in Faculty Commons.

Genomic & RNA Profiling Core: The lab has added the cutting-edge Illumina NovaSeq 6000 to its repertoire of sequencers. The NovaSeq provides the highest level of throughput of up to 10 billion reads per flow cell providing greater depth of coverage more economically and faster than before. The NovaSeq is particularly well suited for a broad range of applications that require deep coverage such as whole genome/whole exome sequencing, single cell studies and bisulfite sequencing. For more information on our sequencing platforms, services and pricing, please visit the website.

From the Labs: Read how Ninad Oak, graduate student in molecular & human genetics in Dr. Sharon Plon’s lab, is tracking down microRNA candidates that can contribute to disease in this blog post. You can receive twice-weekly articles on Baylor's research and innovation highlights as they are posted by going to From the Labs and entering your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the right. Or get a digest at the end of the month with links to the articles posted that month by emailing science writer Ana Rodríguez with "Subscribe me to From the Labs" in the subject line.

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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