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Faculty Commons, Dec. 7 - 13, 2017
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College News


Health Equity Scholars: The Center of Excellence (COE) in Health Equity, Training and Research announced its first class of COE scholars last week. As introduced by Dr. Toi Harris, associate provost and program director for the center, and Dr. Hamisu Salihu, the center's director, the junior faculty scholars were selected for their commitment to promoting social justice, health equities and leadership in addressing educational, societal and healthcare needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.

  • The 2017-2018 faculty scholars are: (back row, left to right) Dr. Joanna Fields-Gilmore, assistant professor of family and community medicine; Dr. Gustavo Rivero, assistant professor of medicine - hematology and oncology; Dr. Rojelio Mejia, assistant professor of pediatrics - tropical medicine; Dr. Kristin Jones, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Dr. Felicia Skelton, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation; (front row, left to right) Dr. Steven Starks, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Dr. Betty Rodriguez, assistant professor of pediatrics; Dr. Michelle Jones, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Dr. Elisha Peterson, assistant professor of anesthesiology; and (not pictured) Dr. Charlene Flash, assistant professor of medicine - infectious disease.
  • During the year-long program, faculty scholars will participate in career preparedness activities and health equity research and instruction, with the goals of submitting a peer reviewed publication as first author, preparing a R21/K01 grant application for potential submission, and presenting their research at a professional conference. Alumni of the program will continue to have access to resources offered by the center. The COE scholars also include undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and medical students and clinical fellows.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Matthew Ellis, director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, part of the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, is one of 27 breast oncologists across the country to be recognized by Forbes as an exemplary physician in the field of breast cancer oncology. Ellis, a McNair Scholar, is a leading expert in the advancement of proteogenomics and precision medicine.


imageDr. Jane Mahoney, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, led the team that gained Menninger Clinic its fourth Pathways to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. The clinic was the first free-standing psychiatric hospital to earn the designation. Read more in this month’s Menninger Update.


imageDr. Mary Majumder, associate professor in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. She represents the interests of the center’s faculty on the Faculty Senate.


imageDr. Leonid Metelitsa, professor of pediatrics - oncology and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Dr. Andras Heczey, assistant professor of pediatrics - hematology and oncology and DLDCCC member, have been awarded a $1.5 million grant from Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to conduct a phase 1, first-in-human clinical trial of a new form of immunotherapy to treat neuroblastoma using native and engineered properties of natural killer T-cells.


imageDr. John Oldham, professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Barbara and Corbin Robertson, Jr. Endowed Chair for Personality Disorders, was inducted as a fellow in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh at a ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland, earlier this fall. Each year, about 400 physicians from across the world are elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in recognition of their achievements.


imageDr. Trey Westbrook, Welch Chair, professor of molecular and human genetics and biochemistry and molecular biology and DLDCCC member, has been named the newest McNair Scholar at the College. The McNair Scholar program, supported by the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and managed by the McNair Medical Institute, will support his work focused on discovering the genes and mechanisms that drive breast cancer and developing the next generation of cancer treatments.


imageMedicine faculty and residents, with their children, volunteered at the Houston Food Bank Dec. 2, packaging meals for Houston families in need. The Internal Medicine Resident Wellness Committee organized the event to promote the well-being of trainees while also serving the community.


College Events

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. today, Dec. 7, in Blattner Conference Room, Wallace Tower at Texas Children's Hospital.

Getting Published: Dr. Nicole Neuman, a senior editor at Molecular Cell, discusses "Making Your Manuscript Competitive for a High-Impact Journal" in a Career Development Center-sponsored presentation at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 11, in N315, main Baylor. Topics include crafting an abstract that will hook your audience, making your manuscript digestible to a broad readership, identifying and framing the scientific story and responding to reviewer's criticisms.

New Faculty Orientation: All Baylor faculty members are invited to attend the annual New Faculty Orientation at 3 p.m. Jan. 17 in Kleberg Auditorium, followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. in Alkek Lobby, main Baylor. Attendees will learn about resources for faculty, guidelines for academic promotion and strategies from senior faculty members about navigating an academic career. RSVP to Deborah Fernandez in the Office of Faculty Development, (713) 798-7285.

Faculty Opportunities

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 Friday, Dec. 15. Learn more online.

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 Friday, Dec. 15. For more information, please see the Faculty Opportunities webpage.

SMART Mentor: Each summer, the College provides undergraduate research training for 70-90 students from around the country. Dates for the nine-week program are May 29 to July 27, 2018. If you are interested in becoming a “SMART mentor” this summer, please complete the mentor commitment form by Feb. 1. If you have questions about mentoring a SMART student, please contact Dr. Laurie Connor.

Faculty Resources

Educator Workshop Series: Space is still available in “Team-Based Learning: A Facilitated, Interactive and Collaborative Approach.” The two-part workshop is set for 1 – 5 p.m. Jan. 17 and Jan. 31 in M423, main Baylor. Contact the Office of Faculty Development to register.

Spending Accounts: If you have funds remaining in your 2017 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, you have until Dec. 31, 2017, to incur eligible expenses. Any unused balance will be forfeited (Internal Revenue Service "use it or lose it" rule). To request an FSA reimbursement, complete and submit an FSA claim form to UnitedHealthcare by March 31, 2018. Contact ask-insurance@bcm.edu for more information.

Monitor Announcements: Does the elevator arrive before you finish reading the monitor at main Baylor? Now there's an easier way to keep up with the College. In the Announcements box on the intranet homepage, click "Main Baylor Communication Monitors" to see the information 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 Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center 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 the College. Register online.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminars

TCH Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Charles D. Fraser, professor of surgery and pediatrics, surgeon-in-chief, chief of congenital heart surgery and co-director of the Texas Children’s Heart Center, speaks on “Evolution of Surgery for Transposition of the Great Arteries” at 7 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in TCH Auditorium Level B, Abercrombie. Call-in number: (832) 826-2900, conference ID: 325894.

Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. J. David Richardson, professor and vice chair of surgery at University of Louisville School of Medicine, speaks on “Evolution of Trauma Surgery into a Specialty: Have We Gotten It Right?” at the inaugural Kenneth L. Mattox, M.D. Lecture, 7 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, in N315, main Baylor.

INSTINCT Think Tank: "Next-Generation Trauma Care" is the theme of the Think Tank session at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, in 187A (Jaworski Classroom), main Baylor. Discussion will include new ideas, concepts and plausible design approaches to automated vascular access, automated needle thoracotomy, closed loop resuscitation, closed-loop Functional Hemodynamic Monitoring-driven resuscitation to infuse blood, fluids and vasoactive drugs, and other critical care patient management interventions. Register online.

Clinical Resources

Call Service: The College has a new vendor, Ambs, for afterhours call service. Ambs will be taking over various clinical accounts in a phased approach over the next two to three months. If you have any questions regarding this process please contact project manager Christopher Murphy at 713-798-3609. Management of calls coming into the College on (713) 798-4951, BCM’s outgoing caller ID, were transitioned to the new answering service Dec. 4.

Physician Sunshine Act: Dec. 31, 2017, is the final day to dispute 2016 industry payments made to physicians reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Open Payments Database. This database applies to physicians only. You may view the payments reported under your name online. Detailed instructions on how to dispute a payment can be found on the BCM intranet.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Research Seminars

Advanced Technology Cores Seminar: The director of the Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy Core, Dr. Mary Dickinson, professor and Kyle and Josephine Morrow Endowed Chair in molecular physiology and biophysics and associate dean of research, presents "From Micro to Macro: Advances in 3-D Imaging Technology" at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, in N315, main Baylor. For more information about any of the core labs visit the ATC website.

Cardiovascular Research Institute: "Drugging transcription in cardiovascular disease" is the topic of a talk by Dr. Saptarsi M. Haldar, associate professor of medicine, cardiovascular division, at the University of California, San Francisco. The event begins at noon Tuesday, Dec. 12, in N315, main Baylor. Lunch is provided.

Research Resources

From the Labs: See how estrogen regulates gene expression in a video developed by Dr. Bert O'Malley, professor and Thomas C. Thompson Chair in Cell Biology, and his lab. 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 December.

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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