COMP-Northwest introduces new president, 108 new students to Lebanon
The Pacific Northwest campus of Western University of Health Sciences welcomed its newest class of osteopathic medical students Friday, July 29, 2016, including one new “matriculant” who presided over the ceremony, declared the academic year open, and otherwise continued to mark his first official event as president of WesternU.

Daniel Wilson, MD, PhD, welcomed all 108 members of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest’s Class of 2020 to the 2016 Convocation and white coat ceremony. He described how happy he was to be in Lebanon, and noted that “as it happens, Sandy (his wife) and I are also new ‘matriculants’ at WesternU, and share in the delights of joining the university family.” Sandy Wilson then welcomed the students and their families in brief remarks from the Convocation podium.

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From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
Associate Professor Pedro Diniz is the recipient of an AKC Canine Health Foundation grant for studying “Broad-Range Detection of Canine Tick-Borne Diseases and Improved Diagnostics Using Next-Generation Sequencing.” Currently available tests for vector-borne diseases in dogs rely on previously known DNA sequences of each pathogen, with little room for detecting new or emerging organisms. This results in false negatives for tick-borne diseases, leaving veterinarians and dog owners frustrated by a lack of definitive diagnosis. Using an innovative approach, Dr. Diniz and his team will employ next-generation sequencing (NGS) to overcome the limitations of current diagnostic technology. Testing samples from dogs naturally exposed to tick-borne diseases, NGS will detect not only new organisms but also characterize genetic differences among known organisms. The resulting dataset of a large number of DNA sequences of known tick-borne organisms and previously undetected organisms in naturally-infected dogs will support the development of diagnostic tools to simultaneously advance canine and human health.


From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

AOA House of Delegates
COMP and CAHP alumna Alexandra Myers, DO ’10, MSHS ’10, also a former OMM Fellow, is featured in the AOA House of Delegates policy roundup in The DO. Click here to read the story.


From the Medical Anatomy Center:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Brion Benninger is collaborating with Dr. Apurba Mukherjee from Hollywood, California, who previously worked at Harvard and UC Berkeley. Dr. Benninger has been developing scopes and applying their uses in anatomy labs with students and residents the past 20 years. He is now experimenting at COMP-Northwest an arthroscope to view the anatomy of small joints of the human body and a scope that can be used to train medical students and prehospital care givers how to more accurately intubate patients prior to arrival to emergency rooms. Dr. Benninger was the first person to successfully use a ductascope to reveal the breast ducts of a donor cadaver with a scope invented by Dr. Mukherjee.

Several WesternU students presented at the recent American Association of Clinical Anatomists conference in California. David Wang, OMS I, presented research that combined Sectra 3D visualization table of head & neck imaging for oral implant surgery. Gabriel Hocum, OMS I, presented research on ultrasound of the upper limb with clinical application. Robert Mouselli, OMS I, presented ultrasound research of the radial artery in different wrist positions for coronary arteriograms. Jenny Tran, OMS I, presented research on the application of using ultrasound to identify the median nerve for acute and chronic carpal tunnel syndrome. Taylor Delamarter, OMS IV, conducted research on the newly recognized ligament of the knee. Cody Laverdiere, OMS I, presented research of ligaments from the great toe using variable ultrasound probes. Nick Daskalakis, OMS III, and Helen Liu, OMS III, presented research using technology from PercuVision to train healthcare students how to conduct urinary catheterization. In addition, Ian Blandford (master’s student from Johns Hopkins), presented research applying the 7D ultrasound software program. Taylor Pasvantis (Cal State Monterey Bay) presented research on venipuncture using novel Sonivate finger probe and phantom limbs.

The students were all mentored by Dr. Benninger.

Dr. Benninger chaired an invited symposium on the educational and innovative radiology mediums, created and/or delivered by the Sectra 3D Visualization table, which can be integrated within a basic and clinical science curriculum. People from around the world gathered to discuss educational, clinical and research capabilities of the 3D rendering technology.


From the College of Graduate Nursing:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Rod Hicks published the following: Hicks, R.W., & Roberts, M.E. (2016). Curriculum vitae: An important tool for the nurse practitioner. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 28(7), 347-352. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12374.


From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
MSPS Student Jaaziel Castro received the University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Cornelius Hopper Diversity Award Supplement. The award amount is $15,000. The purpose of this award is to support training of promising individuals from underrepresented communities and/or who wish to pursue careers in tobacco-related research focused on underserved communities.

Arvind Thakkar, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, MSPS Alumna Sushma Chenreddy, Student Pharmacists Astrid Thio, Faculty Members Jeffrey Wang PhD and Sunil Prabhu, PhD, CVM Faculty Wael Khamas PhD published the following: Thakkar A, Chenreddy S, Thio A, Khamas W, Wang J, Prabhu S. Preclinical systemic toxicity evaluation of chitosan-solid–lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated aspirin and curcumin in combination with free sulforaphane in BALB/c mice. International Journal of Nanomedicine. 2016;11:3265-3275. doi:

Arezoo Campbell, PhD, and her collaborators published the following: Heusinkveld HJ, Wahle T, Campbell A, Westerink RHS, Tran L, Johnston H, Stone V, Cassee FR, Schins RPF. Neurodegenerative and neurological disorders by small inhaled particles. NeuroToxicology. 2016;56:94-106. doi:

Ying Huang, PhD, Research Assistant Professor Zhijun Wang, PhD, MSPS Almunas Ranadheer Ravula and Mandy Liu, Research Assistant Steven Yeung, COP, PPAD Faculty Moses Chow, PharmD, CVM Faculty Jijun Hao, PhD, and their collaborators published the following: Wang Z, Ravula R, Shi L, Song Y, Yeung S, Liu M, Lau B, Hao J, Wang J, Lam CWK, Chow MSS, Huang Y. Overcoming chemoresistance in prostate cancer with Chinese medicine Tripterygium wilfordii via multiple mechanisms. Oncotarget. 2016. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.10868 (Link provided)


From University Advancement:

Alumni news
On Wednesday, July 27, the Alumni Office hosted a lunch for the nearly 50 members of the graduating PT class during their last week as students on campus. The lunch gave the class some quality social time together, as well as a little information about what they can expect as alumni of WesternU, before they head out into the real world as physical therapists.