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Faculty Commons, Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017
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College News


World AIDS Day will be observed on Friday, Dec. 1. In this video, Dr. Ruth Buzi, associate professor and director of social services at the Baylor Teen Health Clinic, explains why HIV testing and education are so important.


Faculty Deadlines & Reminders:

  • The deadline for faculty self-assessments in the Faculty Performance Assessment and Development Planning process has been extended to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4.
  • Your flu shot documentation is due today, Nov. 30. Just fill out the online form, click "review/complete flu vaccine attestation form.” Check that the information is correct and hit “submit.” If Occupational Health gave you your shot, you can obtain your verification through MyOHP.
  • If you have been designated a Responsible Employee with reporting responsibilities under Title IX, the federal law that seeks to end sex-based discrimination in education, the deadline to take the online training course is today, Nov. 30.

NCI Smoking Cessation Grant: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only site in the state of Texas that will implement a $500,000 National Cancer Institute-funded tobacco cessation program for cancer patients. The goal is to help NCI-designated cancer centers build sustainable, evidence-based treatment programs to routinely address tobacco cessation with cancer patients. At the College, Dr. Richard De La Garza, professor of psychiatry research and member of the Cancer Center, and Dr. Maria Mejia de Grubb, assistant professor of family and community medicine research programs, will lead efforts, working closely with Dr. Aaron Thrift, assistant professor of medicine – gastroenterology in the DLDCCC.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Jonnae Atkinson, assistant professor of family and community medicine and a faculty senator, has been appointed medical director of the Physician Assistant program. She will support the program director in insuring that both didactic instruction and supervised clinical practice experiences meet current practice standards as they relate to the PA role in providing patient care.


imageDr. Aimee Gardner, assistant dean of evaluation and research, recently was named president of the Texas Association of Surgical Skills Laboratories, a state-wide organization that aims to enhance education using simulation-based training for surgical trainees and other learners by fostering collaboration and research. Dr. Gardner also was appointed associate editor of BMJ’s Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning journal.


imageDr. Philip J. Hastings, professor of molecular and human genetics and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been named a 2017 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is honored for pioneering contributions to the understanding of mutagenesis, DNA repair and genetics and for exceptional educational contributions.


imageSarah-Ann Keyes, assistant professor in the PA program, is among the first cohort of professionals to be board certified in lifestyle medicine. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine defines the specialty as “the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, alcohol moderation and tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse the lifestyle-related, chronic disease that's all too prevalent.”


imageDr. Jeffrey L. Noebels, professor and Cullen Trust for Health Care Endowed Chair in Neurogenetics and director of the Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory, has been named a 2017 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of neuroscience and translational genomic research, particularly in neurological excitability disorders such as epilepsy.


imageDr. Todd Rosengart, professor and DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery, was elected vice president of the Society of Surgical Chairs, an organ of the American College of Surgeons that promotes academic surgery and leadership. As secretary-treasurer of the SSC, he took a lead in defining the society’s mentorship agenda, including the development of a year-long program that matches junior chairs with established chairs.

imageDr. Connie Tran, associate professor of anesthesiology, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. She represents the interests of anesthesiology faculty on the Faculty Senate.

imageUrology faculty including Dr. Michael Coburn, professor and Russell and Mary Hugh Scott Chair in Urology, observed "Movember" by growing moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men's suicide.

College Events

Pop-Up Shop: Take care of your holiday shopping or stock up for the cooler weather ahead at the College merchandise sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Nov. 30, in the E-Hallway by the cafeteria at main Baylor. Can’t make it to the sale? Shop online.

Ask the Experts: The final BCM BeWell presentation before the deadline to qualify for the medical premium reduction is at noon today, Nov. 30, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Dr. Jeffrey Steinbauer, professor of family and community medicine, dietitian Roberta Anding and Meghan McKay, athletic trainer in the section of sports medicine, will lead a panel discussion to answer health and wellness questions. Sign in by 12:15 p.m. to earn 200 Vitality points.

Commencement: Allied Health Commencement will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Grand Hall at Lancaster Center, 71 Oakdale St. The graduating class includes 16 Doctor of Nursing Practice Program students, 20 Orthotics and Prosthetics Program students and 40 Physician Assistant Program students.

DocTalk: Dr. Carlos Galvani, chief of metabolic and bariatric surgery, discusses bariatric surgery and weight loss at noon Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. Earn 100 Vitality points by signing in by 12:15 p.m.

Off Script: Texas Medical Center storytellers share their tales of “life after the flood” at "Off Script: Stories from the Heart of Medicine," sponsored by the Narrative Medicine Program and the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics. The performance is 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, in Blattner Conference Room, Wallace Tower at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Faculty Opportunities

Translational Research & Population Health: The Medical School seeks nominations for an associate course director for this new required course for first-year medical students starting in fall 2018. The course includes a simple project using BCM clinic data. Innovative assistant professors (or faculty of higher rank) with experience conducting patient-centered research and medical education are encouraged to apply for the 0.1 FTE supported position by Friday, Dec. 1. For more information, please see the Faculty Opportunities webpage.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving: The Medical School seeks nominations for an associate course director for this new required course (replacing the Integrated Problem Solving course) for first-year medical students starting in fall 2018. The course uses a variety of teaching methods to develop the medical student’s metacognition, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Innovative assistant professors (or faculty of higher rank) with experience conducting patient-centered research and medical education are encouraged to apply for the 0.1 FTE supported position by Dec. 15. For more information, please see Faculty Opportunities webpage.

Faculty Award for Teaching: Nominations are being accepted for The Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, Baylor's most prestigious faculty award for teaching. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 15. Learn more.

Faculty Resources

Code of Conduct: The College’s Code of Conduct was updated Sept. 7. It is the foundation that sets forth the expectations for ethical behavior, respectful work within teams and the day-to-day conduct of each person at the College. You are encouraged to review the Code of Conduct and reacquaint yourself with the ethical standards and expectations. If you have any questions, please contact Audit and Compliance Services at (713) 798-4389.

Back-Up Care: Whether you are experiencing a holiday glitch in your regular child care arrangements, looking for an after school sitter, have adult/elder care responsibilities or need someone to walk the dog, the Bright Horizons Care Advantage Program is ready to help. Learn more about this College benefit online.

For a Good Cause

Heart Walk: Join Baylor’s Ace of Hearts team for the 2017 American Heart Association Heart Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at 1522 William C. Harvin Blvd. The College currently has 31 grant awardees with a total investment of more than $5.5 million from the AHA through campaigns like the Heart Walk. Details about the 5K race, parking and other frequently asked questions can be found online.

Race for the Cure: Soccer star Carli Lloyd captains the College's team on Jan. 27 for Komen Race for the Cure. When you sign up, your dollars are used to support breast cancer education, research, advocacy and social support programs in the community and at Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Register here.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Events

WomenHeart Houston: Texas Heart Institute at CHI St. Luke’s Health - Baylor St. Luke’s serves as the host site for the Houston chapter of WomenHeart, a national support group for women cardiac patients. Meetings are set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and the second Wednesday of each month in the Maley Conference Room, 5th floor of the Cooley Building, accessible by the Green Elevators.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Nominations

Human Tumor Atlas Network: The BCM internal deadline for nominations associated with the Human Tumor Atlas (RFA-CA-17-034) and the Pre-Cancer Atlas Research Centers (RFA-CA-17-035) and the Data Coordinating Center (RFA-CA-17-036) is Monday, Dec. 4. Materials must be submitted via the online portal and include the following: (1) a letter of nomination (self-nominations not permitted), (2) each collaborator’s current NIH biosketch, and (3) a summary of the research project (4-page maximum). The overall goal of the HTAN is to create dynamic multidimensional maps of human tumor evolution to document the genetic lesions, molecular pathways and cellular interactions that guide tumor development from a pre-cancerous lesion to primary cancer, progression to metastasis, response to therapy and acquisition of resistance.

Research Resources

Patient-Derived Xenograph (PDX) and Advanced In Vivo Models Core is divided into two independent but closely interacting functional units, a PDX Development Unit using immunocompromised mice as the host species, and an Advanced In Vivo Models Unit using patient material grown on the chorioallantoic membrane of the chicken egg (CAM-PDX). The In Vivo Unit also provides services to establish 3-D tumors from existing cancer cell lines, and to create and optimize custom bioassays. For more information about any of the cores visit the ATC website.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Thomas Cooper, professor of pathology and immunology, molecular and cellular biology and molecular physiology and biophysics, found that alternate splicing transitions significantly affect muscle physiology. You can receive weekly articles on research at Baylor as they are posted in our newsletter by going to From the Labs and entering your email address in the 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.

Funding Opportunities: See the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity’s list of funding opportunities for research on healthcare disparities and social determinants of health. The Office of Research offers a list of privately funded awards currently accepting applications for October.

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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