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Faculty Commons, Dec. 14 - 20, 2017
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From the Labs: This artist’s representation of the network of blood vessels illuminated by fluorescent quantum dots (green) in a tumor exposed to radio frequency was one of the blog’s most viewed images of 2017. Dr. Steven Curley, professor, Olga Keith Wiess Chair of Surgery and Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center member, and his lab are using RF technology as a tool against cancer. Illustration courtesy of Scott Holmes in the Surgical Research Core. You can receive weekly articles on research at Baylor as they are posted 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.


Academic Council: President Paul Klotman provided a progress update on the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center at the Dec. 11 meeting. The majority of Department of Medicine clinics will move to the eighth floor of the McNair Campus building in January. Dr. Klotman also commented on the recent Catholic Health Initiatives – Dignity Health merger, which he called a positive development that creates the nation’s second largest not-for-profit hospital system, behind Kaiser Permanente. Read the Houston Chronicle article here.

  • Medical School Dean Jennifer Christner reminded chairs to coordinate education activities with their vice chair for education, who has oversight of program, course and fellowship directors in the department. She also reported that the College’s malpractice insurance has been revised to cover non-credit clinical shadowing and medical research observation by Baylor students, provided the student and faculty member complete the NICER paperwork administered by Student Affairs.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe gave an update on the Faculty Performance Assessment and Development Planning Process. Self-evaluation forms are now with evaluators.
  • Associate Provost Bill Thomson reviewed faculty data including gender, ethnicity and rank analyses requested by the Faculty Affairs Committee of the Board. Academic Council asked for additional information on tenure-track promotions and resignations.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Vivian Ho, professor of medicine – health services research, was named the 2017 Community Honoree at the HOPE Clinic for being a community champion through her nationally known research and work in health economics addressing healthcare cost issues and access barriers that many individuals and families face today.


imageDr. Jordan Orange, professor of pediatrics – rheumatology, is the recipient of the 2018 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas for his work to define a new class of diseases, natural killer cell deficiencies.


imageDr. Jeffrey Rosen, Charles C. Bell Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, was awarded the American Association for Cancer Research Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium last week. The award recognizes Rosen's leadership in breast cancer research and celebrates his seminal contributions to the understanding of normal mammary gland biology and alterations that occur in breast cancer.


imageDr. Ergun Sahin, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics, is featured in this week’s Meet Your Senator article on the faculty intranet portal. Sahin, who also has an appointment in the Huffington Center on Aging, recently was elected by his department's faculty members to represent them in the Faculty Senate.


imageDr. Susan Samson, associate professor of medicine – endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, recently spoke at the New York Academy of Medicine as part of Diabetes Care Across America: A Series of Transcultural Summits. The program was organized by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Her topic was "Toward a Transcultural Program to Optimize Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Care in Native Americans." Samson also participates in a second summit at the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education.


imageDr. Lynn Zechiedrich, professor and Kyle and Josephine Morrow Chair in Molecular Virology and Microbiology, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Fellows are nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

College Events

Ugly Sweaters Welcome: We want to see how the College is getting into the holiday spirit! Snap a photo of your office, lab or clinic decorated for Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa and email it to pa-webteam@bcm.edu by Wednesday, Dec. 20. Don't forget to include names and departments. Photos will be shared on Baylor's social media on Dec. 21. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Health Equity Grand Rounds: Dr. David Acosta, chief diversity officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, will present the inaugural Health Equity Grand Rounds of Baylor's Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity at 8 a.m. Jan. 17 in Cullen Auditorium, main Baylor. His talk is titled, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Crossing the Cultural Divide to Talk About Race and Racism in Academic Medicine and Scientific Institutions." A family medicine physician, Acosta served in diversity leadership roles at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the University of Washington School of Medicine before joining the AAMC. The event is open to all Baylor faculty, staff, students and trainees.

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

Presidential Teaching Award: Tomorrow, Dec. 15, is the deadline for nominations for The Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. Presidential Award for Excellence in Education, Baylor's most prestigious faculty award for teaching. 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

Baylor Gifts: Head to the BCM online shop for gift ideas, plus get a 20 percent discount and free shipping on orders made by Friday, Dec. 15; minimum purchase $50. Enter 20+FREESHIP at checkout.

IRS Form W-4: You must file an amended IRS Form W-4 if your tax filing status, number of exemption allowances or exempt status has changed since the last filing of your W-4. Also, if you claimed exempt for 2017, you must file a new W-4 for 2018 if you wish to continue to claim the exempt status. Changes can be made to the W-4 directly online using Employee Self Service or can be made prior to Jan. 1, 2018, by filling out the IRS Form W-4 and emailing it to the Payroll Office.

Team-Based Learning: 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.

Team Launch provides innovative, interdisciplinary, team-based learning to prepare you for success across the broad spectrum of career paths in healthcare and science. Find out about opportunities for faculty to hone teamwork skills through Team Discovery – the first to be held Jan. 25 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and thereafter on the fourth Thursday of every month through June. Encourage students to apply to Launch Pad to prepare for their future. Learn more about Team Launch online.

For a Good Cause

imageAlzheimer's Walk: Congratulations to the Baylor Memory Walkers for their success at the Houston Walk to End Alzheimer's. The team, led by Dr. Mark Kunik, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has raised more than $20,000 for research and services to improve the lives of those with dementia and their caregivers. Help the team reach its fundraising goal of $25,000 by donating online.

Toy Drive: The College is collecting new, unwrapped toys to spread the holiday cheer to children in need. The toy drive will run through Friday, Dec. 15. If you have any questions, feel free to contact community outreach coordinator Katie Holtman. You can drop off your donations at the following BCM locations:

  • Main Baylor: Office of Communications, Suite 176B
  • Baylor Clinic: Guest Services Desk, First Floor
  • McNair Campus: Jamail Specialty Care Center, Suite E5179D, or contact Kelvin Willis
  • O'Quinn Medical Towers: Suite 1847, or contact Helen Dailey
  • McGovern Campus: NABS-OW203, or contact Patricia Guajardo
  • Greenway Plaza: Suite 800.05, or contact Michele Washington
  • Kirby Drive: Suite 600, or contact Hilary Walker

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Events

INSTINCT Think Tank: “Next-Generation Trauma Care” is the theme of the Think Tank session at 3 p.m. today, 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

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 Resources

The Advanced Technology Cores expand the research capabilities of all researchers and create unlimited research opportunities at the College. Each of the cores is staffed by a faculty-level academic director, core directors and dedicated research technicians with highly specialized expertise in the technologies provided. A range of research support services is available, such as access to shared instrumentation, analysis of research samples provided by investigators and experiments with core personnel performing specialized portions of the project. In addition to technical procedures, cores provide consultation on experimental design, data analysis and training. For more information about any of the cores, visit the ATC lab listing.

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.

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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