Fabrizia Faustinella, M.D., Ph.D., FACP
Fabrizia Faustinella, M.D., Ph.D., FACP
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX US
Professional StatementDr. Faustinella is Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.
Over the past several years, Dr. Faustinella has worked in the Texas Medical Center as a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center, now John P. McGovern Medical School, in Houston, TX. In both institutions, her career goal has been improving the health of our patient population through service, education, research, and scholarship.
Dr. Faustinella's Baylor career started in Dr. Lawrence Chan's lab, in the Department of Cell Biology, where her research was critical to the elucidation of the structural and functional role of the catalytic triad of the Human Lipoprotein Lipase (hLPL), an essential enzyme in lipoprotein metabolism. She also studied patients affected by familial LPL deficiency (Type I Hyperlipoproteinemia.) Her investigation led to the identification of several nonsense and missense mutations in the DNA sequence, resulting in a nonfunctional LPL and the clinical manifestation of the disease.
Later, her interest in the molecular basis of genetic diseases and in gene therapy brought her to Dr. Tom Caskey's lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, where she contributed to the isolation of a Miller-Dicker lissencephaly gene and developed a new family of retroviral vectors with multiple cloning sites for gene insertion and transfer.
After completing a residency program in internal medicine at Baylor, where she received The Henry D. McIntosh Award for Highest Degree of Academic Excellence and Service, Dr. Faustinella readdressed her career choices to reflect her commitment to patient care and education.
As a member of the Curriculum Committee, while at UT, Dr. Faustinella has worked extensively on curriculum development focusing on the integration of basic and clinical sciences, courses and clerkships organization, and the teaching of clinical skills. Her didactic and administrative responsibilities have been extensive as director of the Physical Diagnosis Course, co-director of the IV year Required Internal Medicine Clerkship, and associate director of Fundamentals of Clinical Medicine at UT-Houston. Dr. Faustinella’s work and contributions to medical education have been recognized by multiple Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards and several educational awards.
While working in the Texas Medical Center, Dr. Faustinella has made an effort to seek, develop and foster inter-institutional collaborations in education and research between our two major institutions, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas. Examples are the work done as Chair of the Comprehensive Clinical Competency Exam committee, which allowed both schools to gather data on students' clinical skills and implement curricular and training changes to address students' needs; the participation in the combined BCM/UT Master Teacher Fellowship Program, and a collaborative study on liposome-mediated gene transfer of nerve growth factors in primary septo-hippocampal cell cultures, a research project on neural injuries.
A constant element of Dr. Faustinella’s work and career has been and continues to be extensive and direct patient care. She has received the Best Doctors in America Award several times and has been recognized in the Houston Best Doctors List. Dr. Faustinella’s interests include obstacles to health care access for racial and ethnic minorities, health care disparities, patient advocacy, and medical humanities. She has been inspired to write about her personal and professional experiences in a number of patient-centered essays which have been published in academic and literary journals.
Dr. Faustinella is also a film writer, producer and director with an interest in social problems. She has received national and international recognition for her movie productions, including a Gold Remi Award in the Social Economic Issues Category for the film-documentary "The Dark Side of the Moon." The documentary explores the root causes of homelessness and the challenges of street life, as long as societal biases and prejudices towards homeless people, while discussing possible solutions to this widespread and devastating problem. The documentary also discusses how a difficult upbringing, amidst abuse and neglect, can have a devastating impact on the cognitive and physical development of a child.
Dr. Faustinella is currently working on a new project which focuses on the inherent value of human life as a key element to fight bias and prejudice.
Dr. Faustinella is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, a Laureate of the American College of Physicians, a recipient of the Fulbright Faculty Excellence Award and Women of Excellence Award, and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Educators both at UT and Baylor College of Medicine.
- Faustinella F. "A Day at the Walk-in Clinic." The Pharos. 2018 August ; : 46-50.
- Faustinella F. "A Very Persistent Cold." Annals of Internal Medicine. 2020 January ; 172(2) : 155-156.
- Faustinella F., Frigini A.L. "Abdominal Pain in the Younger Adult: Let’s Not Forget Acute Diverticulitis." J Urgent Care Medicine. 2019 July ; :
- Faustinella F. "An Uncommon Clinical Presentation of Ovarian Torsion." J Urgent Care Medicine. 2018 12(8) : 33-35.
- Faustinella F. "Forgotten." Hawaii Pacific Review. 2021 February ; :
- Faustinella F., Jacobs R. "The Decline of Clinical Shills: A Challenge for Medical Schools." IJME. 2018 July ; 9 : 195-197.
- Faustinella F. "The Life of Others." Penumbra Literary and Art Journal. 2020 May ; : 108-111.
- Faustinella F. "The Power of Observation in Clinical Medicine." IJME. 2020 November ; 11 : 250-251.
- Faustinella F. "The Ranting of Mr. Schafer: Finding Meaning in Life." Acad Psychiatry. 2018 March ; 42 : 726–728.
- Faustinella F. "Where Are You From?." Voices de La Luna. 2021 February ; : 30-32.
- Faustinella F. "Starfish." COG Literary Journal. 2020 April ; (17):
- Faustinella F. "Flotsam." Biostories Literary Journal. 2020 April ; :
- Faustinella F. "Homelessness in Western Society: The Dark Side of the Moon." Research Outreach. 2019 May ; 107 : 114-117.
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