Western University of Health Sciences held its annual Research Day 2009 on Nov. 12, 2009, featuring guest speakers, poster presentations by faculty and students, and lab tours.

The goal of Research Day is to increase awareness of the growing research presence at WesternU in all colleges and to network existing research principal investigators and lab members to stimulate collaborative efforts in research and grant writing opportunities, said Steven Henriksen, PhD, Vice President for Research and Biotechnology and Dean of the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences (GCBS).

“This is an efficient way to get an overview of biomedical research at WesternU and to allow scientists to speak in public and present poster presentations to a diverse audience,” he said.

The poster presentations and speakers represented a variety of disciplines on campus. Among the guests were WesternU Board of Trustees members Linda Crans and David Sadava, PhD. Three prospective students for the GCBS also attended. Research Day was an outstanding event, Sadava said.

“”Both Linda Crans and I remarked on the high quality and amazing diversity of the research presented, both orally and on posters,”” he said. “”It was also great to see some of the graduate students who will begin in January.””

WesternU students are also gaining valuable experience in research. Stephen Hallas, DO ’11, a Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Pre Doctoral Teaching Fellow, co-authored a poster with College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) Associate Professor Michael Seffinger, DO, Chair of the NMM/OMM Department, and Eric Hurwitz, DC, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii.

“This has been a good experience,” Hallas said. “I learned how to design and conduct a clinical research study.”

He presented his findings at the American Osteopathic Association convention in New Orleans on Nov. 1.

Bradley Henson, DDS, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Dental Medicine and COMP, presented his work on “Salivary exon-specific markers improve discriminatory power for oral cancer detection.”

Henson, who has worked at WesternU for about a year, said he was approached by his new colleagues on his first day here, asking if he wanted to collaborate. During the interview process, Henriksen talked to him about WesternU’s strategic plan for research, and CDM Dean James Koelbl said he wanted research to be an integral part of the new college, Henson said.

“I wanted to be a part of it,” he said.

Click here to view the complete list of speakers.

Click here to view the complete list of poster presentations.

Clockwise from left: Eric Hargis, DO ’13, listens to College of Podiatric Medicine and COMP Assistant Professor Mathew Wedel, PhD, talk about his poster during Western University of Health Sciences Research Day 2009.

Steven Henriksen, PhD, Vice President of Research and Biotechnology gives a tour of the lab.

College of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Arezoo Campbell, PhD, finishes her speech alongside Dr. Henriksen.

College of Dental Medicine and COMP Assistant Professor Bradley Henson, PhD, DDS, speaks about salivary exon-specific markers.