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Gulf Coast Consortia Update - December 1, 2021

Dec 1, 2021, 17:45 PM by Melodi Moore

Congratulations to our Trainees!

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 predoctoral fellowship renewals to: Ivan Coronado, UTHealth, mentors Luca Giancardo and Sunil Sheth, both UTHealth; and Yongyi Zhao, Rice University, mentors Ashok Veeraraghavan and Ashutosh Sabharwal, both Rice. Five new predoctoral fellowships have been awarded to: Alex “Cito” Balsells, Rice, mentors Beatrice Rivière, Rice, and David Fuentes, MDA; Venkata Jonnakuti, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), mentors Zhandong Liu and Miriana Maletic-Savatic, both BCM; Tasneem Kaochar, UTH, mentors Kirk Roberts, UTHealth, and Anita Sabichi, BCM; Bryce Kille, Rice, mentors Todd Treangen, Rice, and Fritz Sedlazek, BCM; and Edward Nguyen, Rice, mentors Cesar Uribe, Rice, and Sebastian Acosta, BCM.

Highlighted Shared Core of the Month

The Laboratory Animal Genetic Services (LAGS) core will be relocated in Houston to work side by side with the Genetically Engineered Mouse Facility (GEMF). Both services are supported by the institutional Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA16672). LAGS provides investigators with cost-effective, customized genetic analysis for research laboratory animal studies. Polymorphic genetic markers, microsatellites, and SNPs, are used to support speed congenic development, background strain characterization, and genetic quality control for mice and rats (including cell lines). New developments coming soon are: (i) the customized analysis of 10K SNPs from the MiniMUGA microchip for mice and (ii) allele-specific PCR amplification (endpoint fluorescence KASPar technology) for quick genotyping for mutations or gene variants in any laboratory animal species. Director, GEMF: Jan Parker-Thornburg. Co-Director, LAGS: Fernando Benavides.

Upcoming Events

Keck Seminar, Friday, Dec. 3, 4:00

Julian Hurdle, Associate Professor, Center for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases at Institute of Bioscience and Technology, Texas A&M University, presents “Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance in C. difficile Drives New Drug Discovery.” Seminars are held Fridays, 4-5 pm CST. To receive the Keck Seminar weekly reminders and Zoom login information, please contact or join our Keck Seminar listserv. Keck Seminar Schedule

Register Now: Research Mentor Training Workshop for Postdocs and PhD Research Staff, Dec. 8

This in-person 6-hour workshop covers topics including maintaining effective communication, aligning expectations, promoting self-efficacy, addressing equity and inclusion, promoting professional development  and fostering independence.  It is ideal for postdocs and PhD researchers who mentor younger students in the lab or who are beginning to transition to their own labs. Registration

Waitlist only: AI Coding Fundamentals for Drug Discovery Workshop and Coding Challenge, December 9, 

Sponsored by the GCC Innovative Drug Discovery and Development Consortium, this IDDD Roundtable workshop will take place in person from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm on December 9th at the Bioscience Research Collaborative at Rice University. The goal of this workshop is to teach participants how to develop and write productive AI code to solve research questions. This skill will serve as a foundation for developing sophisticated AI expertise that can be used in a number of fields. In addition to exploration of AI applications for drug discovery and clinical research, participants will learn Python fundamentals and foundations for AI, Jupyter notebooks and portal access at TACC (Texas Advanced Computing Center), and AI program structures; dissecting and running tutorial codes. Workshop participation will be limited to 30 who will each be randomly assigned a “cleaned” dataset within one of five project areas (categories). Challenge competition: Immediately following the workshop, participants will use assigned datasets to complete an AI coding project with a 1 page write up and single slide summarizing the project due by 8 am December 15th. “Coding Consultants will be available during that time to assist participants who will present a 2 minute summary via Zoom on December 17. $500 prizes will be awarded to the “best” in each category with an additional $500 prize awarded to the “Best Overall.” Note that in order to participate, one must agree to review ~6 hours of preparatory videos (TACC and Coursera). The cost per person is $25 which will cover continental breakfast and lunch.  Full participation will be required. For more information, contact Suzanne Tomlinson at Registration is full. You can be added to the waitlist HERE.

GCC Translational Pain Research: Online: #Pain2021 Workshop, Biological Evolution of Nociceptors, their Subtypes, and Plasticity, Dec, 17

This workshop will be a Panel Discussion focused on Biological Evolution of Nociceptors, their Subtypes, and Plasticity. It will take place virtually December 17, 1:00-2:00pm CST. Panelists include: Robyn Crook, San Francisco State Univ.; Greg Neely, Univ. of Sydney; Ewan St. John Smith, Univ. of Cambridge; and Edgar T. Walters, Univ. of Texas Health Science Center Houston Attendees will have the opportunity to post questions directed to panelists in the Q&A. Registration

Save the Date: 5th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference, Jan. 19-21, 2022

Confirmed speakers include: Cesar Arias, Houston Methodist; Dierdre Axell-House, Baylor College of Medicine; Nick Beyda, Univ. of Houston; Roby Bhattacharyya, Harvard Univ.; Karen Bush, Univ. of Indiana; Ashok Chopra, Univ. of Texas Medical Branch; Hana El Sahy, Baylor College of Medicine; Taryn Eubank, Houston Methodist; Anthony Flores, Univ. of Texas Health Science Center Houston; Vance Fowler, Duke Univ.; Kevin Garey, Univ. of Houston; Shruti Gohill, Univ. of California Irvine; Shantanu Guha, Univ. of Texas Health Science Center Houston; Dimitrios Kontoyiannis, MD Anderson Cancer Center; Mihalis Lionakis, NIAID; Wesley Long, Houston Methodist; Alexander Mankin, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago; Monica Mahoney, Harvard Univ.; William Miller, Univ. of Texas Health Science Center Houston; Bruce Mueller, Univ. of Michigan Ann Arbor; Jim Musser, Houston Methodist; Priya Nori, Montefiore Medical Center; Suhyeorn Jane Park, Baylor College of Medicine; Katherine Perez, Houston Methodist; Mariana Gomes de Pinho, Univ. of Lisbon; Eva Preisner, Baylor College of Medicine; George Sakoulas, Univ. of California San Diego; Yousif Shamoo, Rice Univ.; Samuel Shelburne, MD Anderson Cancer Center; Jim Spencer, Univ. of Bristol; Pooja Srinivas, Emory Univ.; Paul Turner, Yale Univ.; David van Duin, Univ. of North Carolina; Audrey Wanger, Univ. of Texas Health Science Center Houston; and Lynn Zechiedrich, Baylor College of Medicine. Conference Website  Registration

Save the Date: Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience Conference, Feb. 2, 2022 

Confirmed speakers include: Chengcheng Huang, Univ. of Houston; Alfonso Renart, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme; Joseph Francis, Univ. of Houston; Kanaka Rajan, Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Valentin Dragoi, UT Health; Cengiz Pehlevan, Harvard Univ. Conference Website

Save the Date: 2nd Annual Future of Immunology Symposium, March 8-9, 2022 

Confirmed speakers: Annelise Barron, Stanford Univ. Julian Naglik, King’s College London and Marco Colonna, Washington Univ. More information coming soon.

Data Science Consulting Clinic, Every Monday and Wednesday

This clinic is free and open to the GCC community. Rice D2K Lab faculty and students provide advice and assistance with any data science challenges you might have. Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00-5:00 pm; Online via Zoom (Link); for more information: