WesternU’s Austin Lecture focuses on link between childhood trauma and adult health problems
Western University of Health Sciences’ fifth annual Robert L. Austin Endowed Lectureship in Pediatric Medicine, Pharmacology & Health Care Policy, held April 13, 2016 in Pomona, California, featured keynote speaker Vincent J. Felitti, MD, UC San Diego Clinical Professor of Medicine and Co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experience Study.

A renowned physician and researcher, Felitti is one of the world’s foremost experts on childhood trauma. Leading the charge in research into how adverse childhood experiences affect adults, he is co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, a long-term, in-depth analysis of more than 17,000 adults.

“We found that adverse childhood experiences are very common and quite disturbing, and hence mostly unrecognized,” Felitti said. “They are powerful predictors of later adult social malfunction, health risks, biomedical disease and premature death. Integrating these findings into primary care practice has produced significant reductions in medical care costs, but it has been surprisingly resisted.”

Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Pharmacy:

WesternU’s Ray Symposium features expert on research ethics
Western University of Health Sciences’ Ray Symposium will feature a leading voice in conducting responsible and ethical research.

The 10th Annual Ray Symposium will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in WesternU’s Health Education Center, Lecture Hall I, 701 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766. The lecture will begin at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow at 5 p.m.

Michael W. Kalichman, PhD, Professor and Founding Director of the UCSD Research Ethics Program, will present “Science, Truth and the Public Trust.”

Click here to read the full story. Click here to visit the Ray Symposium website.


Kudos on accomplishments
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Peter Oelschlaeger, PhD, and his colleagues published the following: Zhai L, Zhang Y-L, Kang JS, Oelschlaeger P, Xiao L, Nie S-S, Yang K-W. Triazolylthioacetamide: A Valid Scaffold for the Development of New Delhi Metallo-β-Lactmase-1 (NDM-1) Inhibitors. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2016;7(4):413-7. doi: 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.5b00495. Link to Abstract


Click here to read the latest edition of RxBound, the College of Pharmacy’s magazine: http://www.westernu.edu/pharmacy/pharmacy-outreach-events/pharmacy-newsletter/. This is the first of two issues celebrating the College of Pharmacy’s 20th anniversary.


From the College of Dental Medicine:

The Diagnosis Journey of a Pemphigoid Patient
Are you clinically aware of diseases such as Pemphigus and/or Pemphigoid? Are these diseases on your clinical radar screen (differential diagnosis)? You are invited to hear the patient perspective regarding the challenges involved in the diagnosis of these diseases. The International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation supports increasing awareness of these diseases and wants to shorten the time to diagnosis for all patients

Noon to 1 p.m. Friday, April 22 in HEC Lecture Hall I. Supported by the International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation (www.pemphigus.org). The Advanced Oral Diagnosis Workgroup (AODW) in the College of Dental Medicine seeks to enhance the oral diagnostic education of student dentists and other health-care professionals throughout the spectrum of their professional careers.

Click here to view a flier.


From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Childhood Obesity Summit
Two COMP-Northwest Lifestyle Medicine Longitudinal Track students will be presenting at the Childhood Obesity Summit Wednesday, April 20 at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. First-year students Patrick Conway and Morgan Ricci have been teaching cooking classes at the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam and will report on their experience, the impact of their cooking classes and findings. The focus of the Boys & Girls Club cooking classes were to impact knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of fourth-graders regarding food choices. At the end of their six cooking classes, Morgan and Patrick will hold a focus group to document changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Click here to view a flier.


Kudos on accomplishments
COMP Professor Michael Seffinger, DO, FAAFP, received the highest honor that the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) awards, the Andrew Taylor Still Medallion of Honor. The award is given to AAO members who have exhibited an exceptional understanding and application of osteopathic principles and concepts. The award is named after Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, the founder of osteopathic medicine. Click here to read more on AAO’s website.


Family Trivia Night
The Department of Internal Medicine held its first Family Trivia Night fundraising event on Saturday, April 16. The event was created to fund Internal Medicine student research. Department Chair Mike Katsaros, DO, hosted the event that was attended by COMP students, faculty and alumni representing the classes of 1983, 1986, 1993 and 2002. The evening proved to be a wonderful success as more than $3,000 was raised to benefit student research projects.


From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM Associate Professor Ohad Levi’s article, “Comparison between Training Models to Teach Veterinary Medical Students Basic Laparoscopic Surgery Skills,” has been published in the current Journal of Veterinary Medical Education Volume 43(1):80-7, Issue 1, spring 2016. The co-authors of the article are Kurt Michelotti, DVM ’15, CVM faculty members Drs. Peggy Schmidt, Maria Fahie, Dominique Griffon and research assistant Minette Lagman.

CVM Associate Professor Brian Oakley was recently invited to attend a workshop at the USDA National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. The purpose of the workshop was to identify strategic research initiatives for agricultural animals, plants, and food safety that will enable the development of alternatives to antibiotics that could reduce the use of medically important antibiotics. About 100 attendees from government, academia, industry, and regulatory and funding agencies gathered for the three-day meeting to identify current knowledge gaps and target future research priorities.


From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Fanglong Dong, an associate professor in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences and a biostatistician, recently had a paper accepted for publication. This study was a randomized controlled clinical trial exploring the usefulness of gene expression classifier in helping physicians determining whether patients should receive thyroid surgery among those with Indeterminate Cytology. The findings demonstrated that Gene Expression Classifier reduced the rate of patients receiving surgery, thus leading to a reduced medical cost and post-operative complications. Abeykoon JP, Muelle L , Dong F, Chintakuntlawar AV, Paludo J, Mortada R. The Effect of Implementing Gene Expression Classifier On Outcomes of Thyroid Nodules with Indeterminate Cytology. Hormones and Cancer (in press).

Dr. Dong also had an oral presentation accepted for a study exploring the role of the WIC breastfeeding peer counselor in boosting breastfeeding prevalence in rural areas in the state of Kansas. He was the biostatistician on this project, providing data analysis. Jacobson, L. T., Higinio, M., Dong, F., Ablah, E., Meek, K.  Role of the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in Kansas. Oral presentation at the 73rd Annual Kansas Public Health Association Conference, Wichita, Kansas; Sept. 20-21, 2016.


From University Advancement:

Alumni news
On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 13, the Alumni Office hosted another of their Sudden Snack events on the Esplanade near Ethan Allen Park, distributing nearly 600 Twix Ice Cream Bars to current students in just 20 minutes. Sudden Snack has been held a few times each year for the past four years and is designed to increase awareness of the Alumni Association among current students, as well as to acknowledge the students’ hard work. The events are typically timed to coincide with the end of the first-year students’ IPE small group meetings… one of the few times that such a large group of students seem to all be on the same schedule. On-campus students received an email from the Alumni Office just about an hour before the event begins (hence the event’s name), inviting them to come out to enjoy a little treat. Click here to view a slideshow.

Congratulations to Marvin Ortiz, PharmD ’18, and Diana Liao, MSMS ’14, DMD ’18, who are the recipients of the 2016 WesternU Alumni Association Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually to two humanistic, caring, and dependable Western University of Health Sciences students who both excel academically and exemplify the qualities of an engaged alumnus or alumna through their extracurricular involvement. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a degree or certificate program at WesternU, be in good academic and professional standing with their program, and have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Both students this year distinguished themselves from an exceptional pool of applicants for both their academic and extracurricular achievements, and each received $1,000 and a plaque which was presented to them at their respective Honors Day ceremonies earlier this month.