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Gulf Coast Consortia Update - April 22

Apr 22, 2020, 19:13 PM by Melodi Moore


Postponed and Cancelled Events

As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving public health emergency related to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the consequential travel and meeting restrictions of our member institutions, we have set some new meeting dates and may continue to postpone or cancel some of our planned events. Please note the current changes below, and stay tuned for more information.


The NIH-funded, multi-institutional National Library of Medicine (NLM) Training Program in Biomedical Informatics and Data Science (T15LM007093, Program Director Dr. Lydia Kavraki, Rice University) has awarded fellowship renewals to PhD student Jonas Actor (Rice University, mentors Beatrice Rivière, Rice, and David Fuentes, MD Anderson) and postdoctoral fellow Leila Saadatifard (UH, mentors Badri Roysam, UH, and Pramod Dash, UTHealth). The Program has awarded new fellowships to PhD student Sarah Hall-Swan (Rice, mentors Lydia Kavraki, Rice, and Greg Lizee, MD Anderson), PhD student Astrid Manuel(UTHealth, mentors Zhongming Zhao and Assaf Gottlieb, both UTHealth), and postdoctoral fellow Angela Medvedeva (UTHealth, mentors Nitin Tandon, UTHealth, and Xaq Pitkow, Baylor College of Medicine).

2020 John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program

This year’s RFA has been released and you should have received a limited call email from your institution for invitations for pre-proposal submission.  Note that pre-proposals are due to your institutions by March 31, 2020 April 30, 2020.  For more information on the entire process, please see the Research Funding Opportunities page.

Shared Cores Update

The GCC Shared Equipment and Resource Committee is meeting regularly to keep everyone updated on the latest developments.  For the most part, all shared cores are closed except for essential and Covid-19 research (on a case by case basis).  However, all are beginning discussions on phased re-openings.  It has been noted by the committee, that it is anticipated that there may be a higher than usual volume of users needing core resources once they are operational.  As such, users may expect delays in being able to get back into the cores.  Potential users are strongly encouraged to contact core leaders and get into the queue asap.  Information on Shared Cores and contacts can be found on the GCC Shared Core Website.

Call for Covid-19 Immunology Project Presentations

First we would like to congratulate our newly approved GCC Immunology Cluster (note that the website is under development, but the hyperlink will let you know who represents your institution on the Executive Steering Committee).  In light of the current climate, we are planning an inaugural virtual event to showcase Covid-19 immunology projects across the Houston/Galveston area.  We invite all to participate (more info soon), but in the meantime, we have set up a Google Form to try to capture ongoing Covid-19 immunology projects and select projects to invite for short talks.  If you are working on a Covid-19 immunology project, please take a moment to fill out the short Google Form (linked here).  The deadline for this is this Friday, April 24, as we will try to quickly turn this around into a Zoom mini-symposium networking event.  We anticipate that this will be of interest to the larger community, and most importantly a great way to facilitate new collaborations in this space.


Keck Seminar, April 24, Final Seminar of the Spring Semester.
Lance Black, TMCx., will present  The Ampersand (&): Bridging the Communities of Research & Development through Innovation. 4-5pm CST, Friday, April 24. To watch the livestream seminar, go to Zoom link. Click “Join a Meeting”. Enter the meeting ID 481 691 1620. Meeting Password is now required to join, use “GCC”, all caps. IMPORTANT – Mute your microphone. There will be Q&A session at the end, and you can submit any questions using the ‘Chat’ featureKeck Seminar Schedule.                          

CANCELLED: Rigor and Reproducibility Workshop, April 30 

CANCELLED:  25th Annual Sealy Structural Biology Symposium, UTMB, Saturday, May 2

Junior Faculty Network “This is how I Extended My Virtual Network Using Slack, May 4

Sponsored by the GCC Junior Faculty Network, this installment of the “This is how I” series will cover “Slack,” a popular, free way to combine chat, file sharing and group discussions, and preserve that shared knowledge over time.  As Slack scales across small and large teams, this seminar will cover two examples including using Slack Lab Group Teams, and larger teams like “New PI Slack,” a national group of only Assistant Professors that provides a massive (and confidential) support advice network for items such as grants, mentorship, work-life balance, lab management, and career building.  The event will take place at 11 am via Zoom, and link and password will be sent to registrants prior to the event. Register here.     

Rigor and Reproducibility in Imaging Workshop, July 22

We invite you to join us for the newest in our Rigor and Reproducibility series.  This interactive workshop will take place in the Bioscience Research Collaborative from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm and will focus on 1) common and systematic errors in imaging, 2) image processing – do’s and don’ts, 3) variation across scanners and standardizing Q&A, 4) common causes of imaging artifacts, and 5) appropriate controls.  Additionally, attendees will participate in interactive discussions on challenges and pitfalls to avoid in experimental design and data analysis for imaging studies. Be sure and save the date and stay tuned for more info.

Rescheduled: Next Generation Pain Therapeutics from Basic Science to the Clinic, NEW DATE September 16-18

We invite you to join us for the 10th Anniversary Conference of our Translational Pain Research Consortium. Registration will be limited to 375.  For a list of confirmed speakers, please see the conference website.

Rescheduled:  1st Annual GCC Single Cell Omics Symposium, NEW DATE September 30

Confirmed speaker: Orit Rosenblatt, Broad Institute; Lukas Simon; UTHealth; Koichi Takahashi, MDA; Nick Navin, MDA; Navin Varadarajan, UH; Courtney Hodges, BCM; and Ruli Gao, Houston Methodist.  Symposium website and Registration

Save the date: 2nd Annual ADME: Lead Characterization and Optimization Conference, October 6

Save the date: 30th Annual Keck Research Conference, The Keck Center, a Science Odyssey, 2020 and Beyond, October 29 & 30

Save the date: 2nd Annual Translational Imaging Conference: AI and Machine Learning in Imaging, November 10

Rescheduled: 3rd Annual GCC Mental Health Research Conference, New Date December 2

This exciting event will highlight advances in Mental Health Research in the region and across the nation.  Confirmed keynote, Joshua Gordon, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will discuss priorities and funding opportunities. Additional confirmed speakers: Gabrielle Rudenko, UTMB; Sameer Sheth, BCM; Jacob Robinson, Rice; Agenor Limon, UTMB; Therese Kosten, UH; Consuelo Walss-Bass, UTHealth; Francesco Versace, MDA; Fernanda Laezza, UTMB; Wayne Goodman, BCM; Shelly Buffington, UTMB; Gabriel Fries, UTHealth, John Allen, UTMB; Kimberly Tolias, BCM; Samina Salim, UH; Yong Xu, BCM; and Douglas Engelke, UTHealth. Conference website  Registration.

Save the date: 2nd Annual Cellular and Molecular Biophysics Conference: December 9-10

Rescheduled: 2nd Annual Innovative Drug Discovery and Development Conference, New Date May 10-11, 2021

Please save the date for this exciting conference and stay tuned for speaker updates. Confirmed speakers include Harvey Lodish, MIT; Imran Alibhai, CEO Tvardi Therapeutics;  Armen Shanafelt, Lilly Ventures;  Mike Davies, MDA; Alexandra Walsh, TAMU; James Inglese, NIH/NCATS; Larry Sklar, UNM; Anne Carpenter, Broad Institute; Jason Bock, MDA; John Joslin, Genomics Institute of Novartis, and Katy Rezvani, MDA.  Stay tuned for updates. Conference website Registration.