COMP-Northwest welcomes Class of 2019
Western University of Health Sciences’ newest class of Northwest osteopathic medical students are in “a trending profession” that comprises a growing percentage of U.S. physicians, and reflects the diversity of the communities where primary care is needed the most. That was one part of the message delivered by John W. Becher, DO, president of the American Osteopathic Association, who was keynote speaker at the fifth Convocation and White Coat ceremony for WesternU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest (COMP-Northwest) Saturday, August 1, 2015. The ceremony was held at Lebanon’s First Assembly of God Church. Click here to read the full story.

WesternU team makes big impact at Special Olympics
Western University of Health Sciences faculty, students and alumni were a critical part of the success of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The World Games, held July 25 through August 2, 2015, benefited from the participation of WesternU’s colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMP), graduate nursing (CGN), pharmacy (COP), allied health professions (CAHP), dentistry (CDM), podiatric medicine (CPM) and optometry (CO). Students, faculty and alumni from the colleges played key roles in organizing volunteer efforts and ensuring the health and well-being of athletes before and during the Games. Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow.

From the College of Dental Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Clara Kim, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Keith Boyer, Assistant Professor, were both selected to serve on the Integrated National Board of Dental Exam Test Construction Committee for the 2016 year.

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM Professors Wael Khamas and Josep Rutllant, along with CVM student Hannah Zillmer, DVM ’18, attended the AAVA meeting recently at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, Wash. While at the meeting, they presented three oral presentations: Dr. Rutllant presented “Study of the functional anatomy of the California sea lion uterine cervix with special reference to mucus secretion and its potential role in sperm transport.” Collaborators in this study were WKhamas, HSmodlaka, H Zillmer and LPalmer (San Pedro Marine Mammals Center). Hannah Zillmer presented “Functional histology of the ovarian and uterine tube blood vessels of the California sea lions (Zalophus californicus).” Hannah’s supervisors on this project were WKhamas, JRutllant, HSmodlaka and LPalmer. The last presentation, “Preliminary report of the male genital system of the red kangaroo thermoregulatory mechanism,” was given by Dr. Khamas with collaborators JRutllant, and BAhrens (Laboratory Animal Resident & PhD Candidate at City of Hope and the University of Southern California).

From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
Congratulations to the following Pharmaceutical Sciences Department members, and their colleagues, on their most recent accomplishments: Yun (Lyna) Luo, PhD, along with the interprofessional team of scientists at WesternU (Jiandong Sun, Guoqi Zhu, Yan Liu, Steve Standley, Angela Ji, Rashmi Tunuguntla, Yubin Wang, Chad Claus, Michel Baudry, and Xiaoning Bi) on their most recent publication: Sun J, Zhu G, Liu Y, Standley S, Ji A, Tunuguntla R, Wang Y, Claus C, Luo Y, Baudry M, Bi X. UBE3A Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning and Memory by Controlling SK2 Channel Endocytosis. Cell Reports.12(3):449-61. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.06.023. Link to Article

Lyna Luo, PhD (PI), together with Michel Baudry, PhD (GCBS) (PI) received funding on their multi-PI NIH/NINDS R21 grant titled “Development of a selective calpain-2 inhibitor for the treatment of Angelman Syndrome.” The goals of this project are to identify a potential novel therapeutic treatment targeting neurodegeneration and cognitive disorders associated with Angelman syndrome. Forty-six percent of this two-year $397,360 (total cost) grant will be used for computer-aided drug design conducted in Dr. Luo’s lab and the rest will be used for chemical synthesis and experimental tests.

Fadi Khasawneh, PhD, was invited to serve as Co-Chair of the American Heart Association’s Thrombosis Basic 1 Peer Review Committee effective July 22. As Co-Chair, he will assist the committee chair in guiding and directing the Peer Review Committee in the review of affiliate career development and project support applications, as follows: recruitment/selection of peer review committee members, making application assignments, presiding at Peer Review Committee meetings with chair, etc.

From the College of Allied Health Professions:

Department of Physician Assistant Education News
At the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, about five PA alumni provided first aid along with about 18 PA students (first and second-year) and four faculty. College of Allied Health Professions Dean Stephanie Bowlin, EdD, PA, also volunteered at a first aid station. Other faculty who participated included Lesa Maugh, PA-C, Cathy Chang, PA-C, and Roy Guizado, PA-C. Lesa Maugh was the organizer for the PA Department and she spent many days and hours this week working first aid and the medical services tent. The PA students had fun talking with the Special Olympic athletes and coaches. Everyone was impressed with the dedication and determination that all the athletes demonstrated. The Special Olympics World Games was a very moving event that all will remember for a long time.