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News for BCM Faculty, Dec. 19, 2019
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From the Labs: Selections from the Images of the Month that brighten this newsletter are now on display in the Cullen Building “A” hallway, pictured here. These insights into the world of biomedical research conducted at the College will be updated periodically.

Faculty Senate: The Senate’s annual “bring a friend” meeting Dec. 12 followed a self-improvement theme with special presentations on academic promotion, burnout and healthy living:

  • Dr. Nancy Moreno, associate provost of Faculty Development and Institutional Research, gave an overview of the faculty appointment and promotion guidelines and asked senators to help educate colleagues about career advancement, including the new patient care single mission pathway to promotion. The Office of Faculty Development offers workshops and one-on-one coaching on all aspects of the promotion process.
  • Provost Alicia Monroe introduced the Well-Being Index, a self-assessment tool to gauge professional burnout and offer wellness resources. The anonymous 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 the new year.
  • Jesse Gavin, senior Wellness manager, provided an update on the BCM BeWell program, which motivates College employees to meet their health goals through peer-to-peer interaction and incentives. This year the program won the C. Everett Koop National Health Award.
  • In committee activity, the Administrative Operations Committee proposed a resolution for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee to establish improved guidance and clarified review processes for animal research. After a discussion period, the full senate will vote on the resolution in January.
  • The committee also plans to hold a special session in January to discuss issues with the implementation of the Human Resources-led Defining Pathways and Possibilities staff career planning project.
  • The Faculty Affairs and Benefits Committee discussed constituent concerns about contract negotiations between UnitedHealthcare and Houston Methodist Hospital with representatives from HR-Benefits. The College is monitoring the situation and is prepared to re-open Open Enrollment and help employees find other options if an agreement is not reached.

Faculty Kudos

Baylor College of Medicine faculty members have had a tremendous year of accomplishments, gaining recognition both locally and nationally for their pursuit of excellence in every mission area. Today, Faculty Commons looks back at some highlights of 2019:

Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, was selected by the National Academy of Medicine as one of 10 Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Scholars. The scholars collaborate with the Academy and its members across generations and fields of expertise to advance science, combat persistent challenges in health and spark transformative change.

Dr. Peggy Goodell, chair of molecular & cellular biology, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. The 14th NAM member on the Baylor faculty, she is known for discovering a novel method to isolate adult stem cells. Goodell is the director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center and holds the Vivian L. Smith Chair in Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Olivier Lichtarge, Cullen Foundation Endowed Professor of molecular & human genetics, biochemistry & molecular biology and pharmacology, was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science section of biological sciences for distinguished contributions to field of computational biology through an evolutionary trace approach to protein engineering and genomic medicine.

Dr. David Moore, professor of molecular & cellular biology, medicine and molecular & human genetics, was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on nuclear hormone receptors that regulate metabolism and cancer. Dr. Moore, who holds the R.P. Doherty, Jr. Welch Chair in Science and is a faculty senator, is the ninth current faculty member at the College to be named to the NAS.

Dr. Mehdi Razavi, associate professor of medicine – cardiology, was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He conducts clinical trials assessing the efficacy of cutting-edge technology in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. Razavi has founded multiple medical device start-ups for the treatment of arrhythmia and other cardiovascular conditions and has 18 patents to his name.

Dr. Meng Wang, Robert C. Fyfe Endowed Chair on Aging and professor of molecular & human genetics at the Huffington Center on Aging, was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science section of biological sciences for pioneering contributions to the field of molecular genetics, particularly mechanisms underlying diseases of aging in the C. elegans model system relevant to human health.

Dr. Qizhi Cathy Yao, professor of surgery, molecular virology & microbiology and pathology & immunology, was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Her research focuses on virus-like particle-based vaccine development, molecular mechanisms and combinational therapies for pancreatic cancer. She holds 16 U.S. patents and three pending foreign patents that have been licensed to four companies.

College Events

Food Drive: The Postdoc Association is hosting a food drive through Monday, Dec. 23, for donations to the Houston Food Bank. Please contribute non-perishable canned food to the cardboard boxes in Rayzor Lounge "E" hallway between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Email Dr. Mansi Karkhanis if you have questions.

Holiday Schedule: Baylor College of Medicine will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 25, and Wednesday, Jan. 1, in observation of Christmas and New Year’s Day. Some services will follow holiday schedules:

  • The BCM Shuttle will operate on an abbreviated schedule Dec. 23-27 and Dec. 31.
  • Morrison Cafe and the Coffee Corner at main Baylor will close at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, and reopen Thursday, Jan. 2.
  • Mary O's Cafe at McNair Campus will close at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, and reopen Thursday, Jan. 2.
  • Faculty Commons will publish next on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.

Faculty Resources

Holiday Self Help: Dr. Peggy Yang, assistant professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences and director of the Office of Institutional Well-Being, serves as a guide for employees battling workplace burnout in this North Pole support group video.

Faculty Reviews: Tuesday, Dec. 31, is the deadline for evaluators to submit signed faculty reviews. The Performance Assessment Form is available in Success Factors. Those accessing it through non-BCM networks will need to use multi-factor authentication; instructions are available on the IT Service Now portal. For additional help, please contact the Performance Management team.

Flexible Spending Deadline: If you have funds remaining in your 2019 healthcare or dependent care flexible spending account (FSA), you have until Tuesday, Dec. 31, to incur eligible expenses. Any unused FSA balance will be forfeited. Email ask-insurance@bcm.edu if you have questions.

TAMEST Conference: Register now for the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas 2020 Annual Conference: Innovating Texas, Jan. 7-9 at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel. The TAMEST conference will explore how basic research leads to new technologies, products and companies and showcase avenues to commercialization for researchers across an array of disciplines. Dr. Huda Zoghbi, professor of molecular & human genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, will moderate a panel discussion with Texas Nobel Laureates Dr. Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein, both of UT Southwestern Medical Center. Open to all in the research community; register online.

Faculty Opportunities

Women of Excellence: Nominations are being accepted for the Women of Excellence Awards, which will be presented during Women’s History Month in March. Nominees can be women and men, faculty, staff and trainees, who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication to issues that affect women at the College or in the larger community while also exemplifying Baylor values. Learn more and nominate online by Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Volunteer Judges: Judges are needed for middle school science fairs on Jan. 11 at Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan and Jan. 17 at Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy at Rusk. Volunteer judges should have first-hand experience in developing and conducting scientific or engineering research. Please commit to a minimum of one hour or judging about six projects. Sign up and view judging dates and times. For questions, email Beatriz Perez-Sweeney at Ryan or Katherine Harris at Rusk.

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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