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Faculty Commons, Dec. 21 - Jan. 3, 2018
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College News


Happy Holidays to You: Pictured is Medical School Dean Jennifer Christner with Santa at the Department of Radiology party. You can see more Baylor community holiday photos on Facebook.

Faculty Senate: President Paul Klotman announced at the Dec. 14 meeting that the College will be initiating a strategic planning process that will involve the senate's Strategic Planning Committee and people throughout the institution. Data analytics and informatics will be a major focus, building on BCM's historic strength in research and new growth in the clinical mission. A comprehensive fundraising campaign will align with the strategic plan.

  • Interim Graduate School Dean Adam Kuspa provided an overview of the plan to transform the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, which envisions interdepartmental "home area" programs instead of training programs based in departments. Members of the Curriculum and Education Mission Committee have participated in the planning subcommittees and will continue to have input on the plan's implementation and curriculum development. The first graduate students will enroll in the new GSBS programs in fall 2019.
  • The Administrative Operations Committee reviewed the history of the Faculty Senate’s involvement in the seed funding matter and presented a proposed resolution: "The Faculty Senate recommends that a written institutional practice be developed regarding the allocation of seed funding in the interest of establishing greater transparency for the faculty. We request that this include a mechanism for faculty adversely affected to seek redress." The full Senate voted to approve the resolution.
  • Senate Chair Oluyinka Olutoye detailed highlights of the senate's year:
    • Reviewed current faculty leave benefits.
    • Reviewed BCM leave policy post Hurricane Harvey.
    • Reviewed and endorsed Mobile Device Security Policy.
    • Fully endorsed establishment of M.S. in Genetic Counseling program.
    • Fully endorsed Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Appointments & Promotions Guidelines.
    • Sent 15 senators to the first Faculty Senate Leadership Training Class.

Holiday Schedule: In observance of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, the College will be closed on Monday, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1, 2018. Faculty Commons next will publish on Thursday, Jan. 4.

  • Due to expected low ridership on Friday, Dec. 22, the BCM Shuttle Service will operate on an abbreviated schedule. Only the Red Shuttle Route will be in operation, from 6:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the following route: Main Baylor – Baylor Clinic – Jamail Specialty Care Center – BCM Medical Center – VA Hospital – McGovern Campus. Questions? Call Jemi Purcell at (713) 798-5747.
  • Mary O's Café on the McNair Campus, will be closed on Friday. Dec. 22, and Monday, Dec. 25. For Dec. 26 – 29, Mary O's will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., closing half an hour earlier than usual.

  • Morrison Café at main Baylor will be closed on Dec. 25 and open only 7 - 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. - noon on Dec. 26, returning to a normal schedule for the rest of the week.
  • The Starbucks Coffee Corner at main Baylor will be closed on Dec. 25 and open only 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 26, resuming regular hours thereafter.

Faculty Kudos

imageDr. Jason Ahuero, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and faculty senator, and Baylor Sports Medicine physicians will be the official medical providers for Houston's first professional rugby team, the SaberCats. They will handle all aspects of the Major League Rugby team's medical care, including on-site injury evaluation and assessment, treatment and follow-up clinic visits.


imageimageimageAt its December meeting, the Faculty Senate welcomed Dr. Honey Herce, assistant professor of ophthalmology, Dr. Ruth Ann Luna, assistant professor of pathology and immunology, and Dr. Feng Yang, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology, to complete the terms of at-large senators who have retired or resigned. They will represent the interests of faculty members across the College on the senate. Read more about Dr. Herce on the faculty intranet portal page.


imageDr. Deborah Hsu associate professor of pediatric emergency medicine, has been named section head and chief of the pediatric emergency medicine service at Texas Children’s Hospital. A member of the Executive Committee for the Section of Emergency Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics, she succeeds Dr. Paul Sirbaugh, associate professor, who has become chief medical officer for Texas Children’s Hospital – The Woodlands.


imageThe Center for Space Medicine, directed by Dr. Jeffrey Sutton, professor and Friedkin Chair for Research in Sensory System Integration and Space Medicine, recently was designated an FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. The center is partnering with Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space travel company, to provide medical services to ensure health and safety for the passengers and pilots on board Virgin Galactic suborbital flights.


College Events

The Aesthetics Studio, located on the first floor of the Jamail Specialty Care Center, is having an appreciation event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Dec. 21, When you purchase any two products from Neocutis, you receive a free hydrating serum ($70 value). Light refreshments will be served.

Health Policy: The TMC Health Policy Institute presents "True or False: A Discussion Challenging Everything You Think You Know About Healthcare," at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9, on the sixth floor of the John P. McGovern Commons, 6550 Bertner. The panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Tim Garson, the institute’s director, includes Baylor's Dr. Jean Raphael, associate professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Michael Speer, professor of pediatrics. Free registration is open online.

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. His talk is titled, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Crossing the Cultural Divide to Talk About Race & 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

Clark Service Award: The Office of Faculty Development is accepting nominations for the Clark Faculty Service Award through Jan. 12. Any Baylor faculty member may nominate a fellow faculty member whose exemplary service, with professionalism, has made significant and enduring contributions to the College but has not previously been recognized with an official BCM award. Criteria and nomination information are available online.

AAMC Award Nominations:The Association of American Medical Colleges sponsors national awards that recognize the talent and contributions of faculty members who advance innovation in medical education, cutting-edge patient care, groundbreaking research and outstanding community service. Awardees receive prizes and are honored at the AAMC’s annual meeting. The Office of Faculty Development is helping to coordinate nominations from the Baylor community. Please email Deborah Fernandez if you plan to nominate a colleague for one of the following awards:

  • Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education – this highest honor in academic medicine is presented to an individual for sustained contributions to American medical education. Nomination deadline is Jan. 26.
  • Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences – the award recognizes a faculty member for exceptional research discoveries. Nomination deadline is Jan. 26.
  • David E. Rogers Award – supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the award honors a medical school faculty member who has made major contributions to improving the health and healthcare of the American people. Nomination deadline is Jan. 26.
  • Herbert W. Nickens Award – the award is granted to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education and health equity in the United States. Nomination deadline is April 6.

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. 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.

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.

Take Care: The Title IX office has provided a list of holiday safety tips to keep the College community safe this season. Need help? Contact the Security Office at (713) 798-3000 or the Title IX coordinator Mikiba Morehead at (713) 798-8137.

Spending Accounts: If you have funds remaining in your 2017 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, you have until Sunday, Dec. 31, 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. Contact ask-insurance@bcm.edu for more information.

For a Good Cause

Vaccine Volunteers: Researchers at the Vaccine Research Center are looking for volunteers to participate in a study evaluating a chikungunya vaccine. Volunteers between the ages of 18 and 45 who are in good general health are needed for this study. Your time will be compensated for participating. For more information, please submit a volunteer interest form, call (713) 798-4912 or email Chikvstudy@bcm.edu

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 in downtown Houston. 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.

Spin for Gyn: Help raise funds for BCM Woman to Woman gynecologic cancer support program by cycling for a cure from 2 to 5 p.m. Jan. 27 at DEFINE body & mind, 2518 Bissonnet. Participants will enjoy a spin cycling class led by trainers, plus food, music and door prizes. Register or donate online.

Attention Clinicians: See Clinical Calendar

Clinical Seminars

Breast Cancer Update: Learn about the most significant advances in diagnosis and treatment presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium with Dr. Karla Sepulveda and Dr. Mothaffar Rimawi, associate professors in the Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center, part of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. CME credit is available for attending the seminar from 7 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Jan. 20 in Kleberg Auditorium, main Baylor. Register online.

Immunotherapy Summit: The Cancer Research Institute Immunotherapy Patient Summit is set for 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, main Baylor. The free, half-day event for patients, caregivers and advocates features DLDCCC members Dr. Carlos Ramos, associate professor in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, and Dr. Andrew Sikora, associate professor of otolaryngology – head & neck surgery, discussing clinical trials and the latest research. Register online.

Clinical Resources

Physician Sunshine Act: Sunday, Dec. 31, is the final day to dispute 2016 industry payments made to physicians reported to the Centers for Medicare & 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 intranet.

Attention Researchers: See Research Calendar

Call for Nominations

Moore Inventor Fellows: The College may submit two nominations to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's competition to identify outstanding early-stage inventors who harness science and technology solutions to enhance scientific research, strengthen environmental conservation or improve the experience and outcomes of patient care. Fellows receive $200,000 a year for three years. More information about the award is available online. To be considered, submit a letter of nomination (self nominations are not permitted), an NIH biosketch and a two-page summary of the proposed invention, including a description of the potential for impact in an area of interest to the foundation, via the limited submission awards portal by 5 p.m. Jan. 12.

The Collaborative Faculty Research Investment Program, jointly sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Health, Baylor University and the College, provides seed funding for inter-institutional and interdisciplinary research teams to position them to compete successfully for externally funded grants. Funds will be awarded primarily to test novel approaches to significant biomedical or healthcare issues, develop innovative therapeutic or diagnostic tools, and conduct exploratory work in its early stages where experimental data are not yet available. Teams must include faculty from at least two of the three sponsoring institutions and budgets are limited to $25,000 for each institution, to be expended in FY2019. Request an application from OARD@BSWHealth.org and copy awards@bcm.edu on your request. Applications are due to awards@bcm.edu by 5 p.m. Jan. 16.

Research Resources

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Tiemo Klisch, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics and a DLDCCC member, gained new insights into the development of Sonic Hedgehog medulloblastoma. 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 January.

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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