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News for BCM Faculty, Dec. 31, 2020
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Keeping Spirits Bright: The offices of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Student & Trainee Services were among many groups at Baylor College of Medicine to create new holiday celebrations this year. With a COVID-19 vaccine rolling out and renewed hope for 2021, take a look back at some ‘Pandemic Positives’ across the College. Happy Holidays from our bubble to yours!

Vaccine Update: Baylor received its first 3,000 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Dec. 28 and began vaccinating Phase 1A employees the following day. Phase 1B employees, students and Baylor Medicine patients – those with chronic health conditions or ages 65+ – are next. Appointments are scheduled and tracked through EPIC’s MyChart portal. Complete the vaccination survey to find out your place in line.

Faculty Kudos

Baylor College of Medicine faculty members have had a tremendous year of accomplishments, gaining recognition for being trusted voices in the community during the pandemic and for pursuing excellence in every mission area. Today, Faculty Commons recalls some highlights of 2020.

Dr. Ananth Annapragada, professor of radiology and obstetrics & gynecology, was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. The innovative technologies he and his team develop include imaging for various cancers and Alzheimer’s disease, 3D Bioprinting and computational biology such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing. He holds 15 U.S. patents and close to 100 worldwide in next generation imaging technologies.

Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor, March of Dimes Chair in Developmental Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. In addition, he was one of 276 artists, scholars, scientists and leaders in the public, non-profit and private sectors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Vivian Ho, professor of medicine – health services research, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine for research on how economic factors and government regulations interact to influence the cost and quality of health care. NAM’s citation of her accomplishments noted, “Her work has shaped policy on state Certificate of Need regulations, hospital antitrust and freestanding emergency departments.” Ho is also the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics and director of the Center for Health and Biosciences at Rice University.

Dr. Shailaja Mani, associate professor of molecular & cellular biology, was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Section on Agriculture, Food and Renewable Resources. She was one of 489 new members recognized for their contributions to science and technology during the AAAS Annual Meeting.

image The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas named five Baylor faculty members to its list of TAMEST 2020 Protégés. The protégé program gives TAMEST members an opportunity to invite an early career researcher to accompany them to the annual conference and engage with highly accomplished members. Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, professor and associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, was invited by Dr. Peter J. Hotez; Dr. Lindsay Burrage, assistant professor of molecular & human genetics, was invited by Dr. Brendan Lee; and Dr. Sean Hartig, assistant professor of medicine and molecular & cellular biology, was invited by Dr. David Moore.

image TAMEST Protégés also included Dr. Mirjana Maletic-Savatic, associate professor of pediatrics and neuroscience, invited by Dr. Huda Zoghbi, and Dr. Maksim Mamonkin, assistant professor in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, invited by Dr. Malcolm Brenner.

College Events

Holiday Schedule: The College will be closed Friday, Jan. 1, in observance of New Year’s Day.

  • Morrison Café, main Baylor campus, and Mary O’s Café, McNair Campus, are closed today and Friday, Dec. 31-Jan. 1.
  • The TMC shuttle is off service Friday, Jan. 1. Remote parkers should make alternate plans. The Baylor shuttle is on its holiday schedule.
  • The TMC Library is closed through Sunday, Jan. 3.

Hematology Conference: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center presents the Hematology High Risk Conference, featuring Dr. Joseph Mikhael of City of Hope Cancer Center on “Refractory Myeloma” at noon Tuesday, Jan. 5, via Zoom, meeting ID: 387 923 767, passcode: 831342.

DocTalk: “Bariatric Surgery” is the topic of the first DocTalk of 2021 with Weight Loss and Metabolic Center faculty Drs. Samer Gamil Marrar, Juliet Holder-Haynes and Julie-Ann Lloyd participating at noon Thursday, Jan. 7, via Zoom.

Faculty Opportunities

MLK Day Essays: The student blog Progress Notes has launched an essay contest, co-sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Submissions are open to all Baylor students, trainees, faculty and staff and should be in the form of narrative reflection, discussing topics related to diversity, inclusion and equity and their importance in medicine, science and our society. See essay guidelines and submit online by Jan. 2. Submissions will be published on Progress Notes.

Award Deadline Extended: The deadline for nominations for the 2021 Clark Faculty Service Award has been extended to Thursday, Jan. 7. This prestigious, College-wide award recognizes Baylor faculty members whose exemplary service contributions have not been recognized previously through an institutional award from Baylor. Recipients represent their professions and the College’s mission, vision and values at the highest level. Visit the Clark Faculty Service Award website for full details and nominate a colleague today.

SMART Mentors: Are you interested in mentoring an undergraduate student in your research lab this summer? The SMART program provides frontier-level summer research experiences for undergraduates from around the nation in a supportive and rigorous environment with supplemental educational activities. To participate, please complete a SMART Mentor Commitment Form by Monday, Jan. 11.

Faculty Resources

Education Grand Rounds: Dr. Anita Vyas, senior instructional designer, presents “Keeping Students Engaged in the Time of Zoom Fatigue: Instructional Trends, Tips and Takeaways” at noon Thursday, Jan. 14, via Zoom, passcode: 493879.

Writing Workshops: Inprint offers two online eight-week writing workshops using poetry, flash fiction and micro memoir centered around issues of race and identity to encourage discovery and spark creative writing. Learn more and register today; classes are offered at 6:30 p.m. Mondays Jan. 25-March 15 or Tuesdays Jan. 19-March 9. The Narrative Medicine program is a sponsor of the workshops.

Welch Grants: The Welch Foundation is accepting proposals to support research in chemistry. Grants provide a minimum of $80,000 per year in funding for fellowships, equipment, services and travel. More information is available online. Proposals are due Jan. 29.

RADIANT Study: Patients with atypical forms of diabetes can join the new Rare and Atypical Diabetes Network, RADIANT, to help shape the future of diabetes care. Participants will complete questionnaires and undergo genetic testing, blood draws and other procedures to learn more about their own disease and to help physicians and researchers better understand all types of diabetes. Baylor is one of the lead study centers for RADIANT.

From the Labs: Read how Dr. Cheryl Walker, professor and director of the Center for Precision Environmental Health, discovered that the protein SETD2 not only remodels chromosomes in the nucleus, but also microtubules of the cytoskeleton outside the nucleus in this week’s post. Receive From the Labs via email by entering your email address in the box at the end of any article and clicking the "subscribe" button.

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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