Baylor College of Medicine names new endowed chairs

The Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees recently appointed eight faculty members to endowed chairs – Dr. Xiang Zhang, Dr. E. Ramsay Camp, Dr. Hemant K. Roy, Dr. Dean Edwards, Dr. Sharon Plon, Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, Dr. Kim-Lan Czelusta and Dr. Sameer Sheth.

Dr. Xiang “Shawn” Zhang, professor in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and McNair Scholar, was appointed to the Butler Chair. He is a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate director of basic science at the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center. His research program focuses on breast cancer metastasis and tumor immunology. He also is the recipient of several prestigious awards for cancer research, including the Department of Defense Era of Hope Award in 2015, the Sue Eccles Young Investigator Award from the Metastasis Research Society in 2018 and Stand Up To Cancer’s Laura Ziskin Prize in Translational Research in 2020.

Dr. E. Ramsay Camp, professor and chief of surgical oncology in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, was appointed to the Olga Keith Wiess Chair in Surgery. He also serves as the chair of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer program for the Duncan Cancer Center. Camp’s clinical practice and expertise focuses on treating patients with complex gastrointestinal tumors, including pancreatic and gastric malignancies as well as sarcoma and melanoma. He has an active externally funded research laboratory currently supported by a Veterans Affairs Merit Award to study mechanisms of chemotherapy and radiation resistance in pancreatic and colorectal cancer.

Dr. Hemant K. Roy, senior faculty in medicine in the section of gastroenterology and hepatology and vice chair for Harris Health System and Ben Taub Hospital in the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine, was appointed to the Herman Brown Endowed Chair in Medicine. Roy is a translational researcher focused on developing biomarkers for cancer risk identification with an excellent track record of National Institutes of Health funding and publication. He came to Baylor from Boston University where he served as section chief of gastroenterology for eight years.

Dr. Dean Edwards, professor of molecular and cellular biology and pathology and immunology, was appointed to a Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Professorship. He also is associate director of research infrastructure at the Duncan Cancer Center and executive director of Advanced Technology Cores at Baylor. The Edwards laboratory has been funded by the NIH and other major granting agencies to study the biology and molecular mechanism of action of steroid hormone receptors (SHR) with focus on their role in reproduction and hormone-dependent breast cancer. More recently, his work has expanded into proteomic technologies and their application in providing insights into cancer biology.

Dr. Sharon Plon, professor of pediatrics – hematology and oncology and molecular and human genetics, was appointed to a Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Professorship. She also is co-leader of the pediatrics cancer program at the Duncan Cancer Center and director of the Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. Her research is focused on improving understanding of genetic susceptibility to pediatric cancer. Plon is director of the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor and serves on the NIH Human Genome Advisory Council.

Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, director of the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities and associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement at the Duncan Cancer Center, was appointed to a Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Professorship. Jibaja-Weiss has directed the OOHD since it was established in 2007 to ensure that diverse and medically underserved populations in the Houston area benefit from innovative outreach, education, screening and primary prevention strategies. In 2010, under her leadership, the OOHD established the Community Network for Cancer Prevention, a collaborative of several academic, clinical and community-based institutions to reduce the burden of cancer, particularly among racial/ethnic minorities and medically underserved.

Dr. Kim-Lan Czelusta, associate professor and vice chair for education in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was appointed to the Brown Foundation Chair in Psychiatric Education in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Czelusta is a Vietnamese refugee who grew up in Houston. She completed her medical education and psychiatry residency training at Baylor. Her first faculty role as associate residency director upon residency graduation in 2003 initiated a dream career trajectory that combined her interests in education, outpatient clinical work and administration. Her interests include psychodynamic psychotherapy and professionalism.

Dr. Sameer Sheth, associate professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Neurosurgery and McNair Scholar, was appointed to the Cullen Foundation Endowed Chair. Sheth graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in physics and astronomy, received his M.D. and Ph.D. from UCLA, and then completed his neurosurgical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He specializes in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery, including the treatment of patients with movement disorders, epilepsy and psychiatric disorders. Sheth runs the Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab at Baylor, which seeks to better understand brain function and develop new therapies for challenging neuropsychiatric conditions.

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