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This Week@WesternU, April 4-8, 2016

by Rodney Tanaka

April 4, 2016

Read 6 mins

Latino Medical Student Association to hold national, regional conference at WesternU
The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) will hold its national and regional conferences at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California for the first time. WesternU’s LMSA chapter has ramped up its outreach activities and national leadership in recent years, culminating in this honor.

The 11th annual national and 32nd west regional LMSA conference will take place April 7-10, 2016 at WesternU, 309 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766. Click here to register for the conference. Click here to read the full story.


WesternU’s Austin Lecture to focus on adverse childhood experiences
The annual Robert L. Austin Endowed Lectureship in Pediatric Medicine, Pharmacology & Health Care Policy will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Lecture Hall I of Western University of Health Sciences’ Health Education Center, 701 E. Second Street, Pomona, California.

Keynote speaker Vincent J. Felitti, MD, UCSD Clinical Professor of Medicine and Co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experience Study, will present “Exploring the Lifelong Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences.” The lecture is open to the public and will also be streamed live to WesternU’s COMP-Northwest campus in Lebanon, Oregon.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to visit the Austin Lectureship website.


WesternU team seeks “magic molecule” to treat traumatic brain injuries, strokes
Following a series of outstanding discoveries, five Western University of Health Sciences faculty are developing a “magic molecule” with the potential to treat traumatic brain injury, stroke, glaucoma, and disorders associated with learning impairment.

Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences (GCBS) Dean Michel Baudry, PhD, is leading a team that includes College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) Professor Xiaoning Bi, PhD, MD, GCBS Assistant Professor Steve Standley, PhD, GCBS Research Assistant Professor Yubin Wang, PhD, and College of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Lyna Luo, PhD.

Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

COMP at the American Academy of Osteopathy 2016 Convocation
COMP Professor Michael Seffinger, DO, received the AAO AT Still Medallion of Honor at the AAO Convocation in Orlando, Florida March 16-20 for service to the profession.

Janice Blumer, DO, Vice Chair NMM/OMM COMP-Northwest campus, was conferred her FAAO medallion for her thesis on” Autonomic Nervous System Recovery using OMT.”

Fourth-year students Kraig Wasik and Carly Crider, COMP alumnus Tobin Rummel, DO ’10, and COMP-Northwest Associate Professor Sandra Sleszynski, DO, FAAO, received first place in the research poster competition for their abstract “Muscle Firing Patterns and Low Back Pain” during the AAO Convocation’s poster abstract session.

Fourth-year students Amelia Servin and Alyssa Horne and Drs. Sleszynski and Rummel received first place in the case study poster category for “ The Use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Pre- Surgical Management of Severe Strabismic Ambylopia: A Case Study.”


COMP and COMP-Northwest join in the White House commitment to address prescription opioid abuse for chronic pain
Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) — including its Oregon campus, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest — is one of more than 60 medical schools that will make pain relief a major part of their curriculum, the Obama Administration announced at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.

Click here to read the full story.


Kudos on accomplishments
Second-year COMP student Jacob Adashek published an article in BMJ, “Patients are also people.” Click here for more information.


From the College of Optometry:

Optometry Then and Now exhibit
The Pumerantz Library and the College of Optometry will hold a collaborative exhibit, “Optometry Then and Now,” from April 6 to June 30 in the library’s lobby. A grand opening reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 6. Click here to view a flier. Click here to register for the opening reception.


From the College of Pharmacy:

Ray Symposium
Register now for the 2016 Ray Symposium on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in the Health Education Center Lecture Hall I. The lecture will begin at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow at 5 p.m.

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

Click here for more information and to register.


From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

WesternU physiologist plays major role in artificially inseminating giant panda at Zoo Atlanta for the fifth time
Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor of Physiology David Kersey and the Animal Management and Veterinary Teams at Zoo Atlanta performed artificial insemination (AI) on Lun Lun, an 18-year-old female giant panda, on March 28, 2016. Since 2006, Dr. Kersey has been involved in five breeding events at Zoo Atlanta, in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Click here to read the full story.


Kudos on accomplishments
The Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association is proud to announce that CVM Assistant Professor Suzie Kovacs has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural LGBT+ Awareness Award. The award goes to a student and faculty member who goes above and beyond to provide support and ensure inclusivity regardless of gender identity and expression. The announcement was made during the annual meeting at SAVMA symposium at Iowa State on March 17.

CVM Associate Professor Hrvoje Smodlaka received news that his abstract of a paper has been published online. It can be accessed at

Associate Professor Mohammad Mir was invited by the U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD) to serve as chair in a study section “FY17 Military Infectious Diseases Research Program.” The Military Infectious Diseases Research Program manages research for the USDOD on naturally occurring infectious diseases with a focus on protecting the military through development of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics and vector control.

Professor Jose M. Peralta was recently invited by Austral University in Valdivia, Chile, to be the keynote speaker at a two-day conference on bioethical concerns associated with the use of animals in research. The event gathered 200+ researchers, veterinarians and graduate students. In addition to the keynote presentation on ethical considerations that apply to research studies using animals, Dr. Peralta gave two other lectures, one on housing and environmental conditions in animal experimentation and another on welfare and biosecurity concerns when using agricultural species in research projects. Dr. Peralta stayed an additional two days at the university where he had an opportunity to participate in several meetings with university administrators, with members of the animal care and use committee and with researchers from the agricultural and veterinary colleges to discuss improvements to their animal care and use program. During his visit, Dr. Peralta was invited to serve as an advisor with the graduate research program of the university. He is currently working in the research committee of a PhD student who is looking at the effect that social interactions in cattle have on disease transmission.

WesternU and Dr. Brian Oakey are listed as co-inventors on four patent applications submitted by colleagues from the USDA Agricultural Research Service regarding the discovery of novel bacteriophage lytic enzymes as narrow-spectrum antimicrobials targeting the human and animal pathogen Clostridium perfringens. Dr. Oakley was in charge of genome sequencing efforts of 40 C. perfringens isolates. Genome data were mined to identify bacteriophage peptidoglycan hydrolase sequences that were cloned, expressed, and screened for optimal activity against C. perfringens.

Oren Ofer, DVM 2018, mentored by CVM Associate Professor Pedro Diniz, was awarded the Morris Animal Foundation Award for a summer research project titled, “Comparison between smartphone ECG and standard computer-based ECG in dogs.”


From University Advancement:

Endowed scholarship
The Asian American Optometric Society (AAOS) has pledged to endow a scholarship. AAOS President Jason Lam, OD, MBA, visited WesternU’s Pomona campus recently to sign the agreement.


Behind the Scenes at WesternU
The Patient Care Center hosted an intimate group of professionals from the Claremont Community Foundation on March 25, 2016. The event consisted of a reception and a tour of each center within the PCC. This event was hosted in effort to help expose the WesternU Patient Care Center as well as the university as a whole. Though many of the guests have lived in the area for more than 15 years, they admitted they had never been on WesternU’s campus before and were quite “thrilled” and “impressed” with our facilities.


Deans Reception
On the evening of March 7, the College of Veterinary Medicine hosted their annual Deans Reception in conjunction with the 2016 Western Veterinary Conference at the Flamingo house in Las Vegas, Nevada. A crowd of about 65 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and guests enjoyed a catered reception. Photos from the event can be found at


From the Pumerantz Library:

Click here to read the latest issue of Stacked!, the Pumerantz Library’s newsletter:

National Library Week
April 11-15 is National Library Week. To celebrate, the library is sponsoring the following programs for students:

Coloring contest – Monday through Wednesday, April 11-13, Library first floor: color in the library and post your work to our board for judging. The winner will receive a gift card.

Guest speaker at noon Wednesday, April 13 in HEC, Classroom E. Join us for a lecture on black women artists healing through art by Valorie Thomas, PhD, of Pomona College. Her talk is titled “Afrofuturists Looking to Heal.” Bring your lunch. Light refreshments will be served.

Team Games Night and DIY Dessert Bar – 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 in the librarys’ fourth floor conference room. Bring friends and play some games while you decorate and eat cupcakes. Registration recommended, walk-ins welcome.

Fine free Friday – Friday, April 15, all day: Return an overdue book and pay no fines. Old fines and fees cannot be waived.

For more details read the library’s News and Events blog or contact Rudy Barreras ( or ext. 5476) about general events.

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