Welcome Week 2018

Western University of Health Sciences will hold Welcome Week activities for its Pomona, California campus Aug. 6-11. Welcome Week is set aside to help new students successfully navigate the campus and take advantage of available services.

Click here to view Welcome Week information for Pomona:



From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Eighth COMP-Northwest class begins its journey
The eighth class of osteopathic medical students at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest marked the start of their health care careers on Friday, receiving their white coats at the University’s Convocation and White Coat Ceremony.

‪The Oregon campus welcomed 107 students in the Class of 2022. The class is composed of 58 students from the Pacific-Northwest, with 38 of those calling Oregon home.

Click here to read the full story.


Kudos on accomplishments
A research team led by COMP Professor Xiaoning Bi recently published a paper titled “UBE3A-mediated p18/LAMTOR1 ubiquitination and degradation regulate mTORC1 activity and synaptic plasticity.” Co-authors included Drs. Jiandong Sun (COMP), Yan Liu (GCBS), and Michel Baudry (GCBS), Xiaoning Hao, Wei-Ju Lin, and Jennifer Tran (COMP), and their colleagues at UCI, Drs. Yousheng Jia and Gary Lynch. They have found that the Angelman syndrome protein UBE3A controls the levels of p18, a protein localized on the lysosome, a cellular digestion organelle, thereby regulating the activity of a master protein kinase, mTORC1, which controls protein synthesis and degradation. UBE3A down regulation in normal mice or its deficiency in a mouse model of Angelman syndrome results in increased p18 levels, overactivation of mTORC1, and learning impairment. Reducing p18 levels by virus-mediated genetic manipulations not only normalized mTORC1 activity but also rescued learning impairment in the mouse model of Angelman syndrome. The work is published in the online journal eLife (https://elifesciences.org/articles/37993). Since abnormal mTORC1 activation has been implicated in multiple diseases, including autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes, and cancers, these findings may also shed light on their mechanisms and help developing new therapeutic strategies for these diseases.

Dr. Nissar Darmani has been awarded a second year of an R01 grant with the project title, “Substance P tachykininergic NK1 receptor emetic signal transduction pathways.” Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute for Aug. 1, 2018 through July 31, 2019 in the amount of $306,675.


Medical Anatomy Center news
Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, Professor and Executive Director of the Medical Anatomy Center was the invited speaker and external examiner for the Royal College of Australasians approved Post Graduate Diploma Course in Surgical Anatomy. It is an intense six-month course with a total of four exams which include didactic, oral vivas and formal presentations. Candidates have completed a medical degree and are preparing for a career in a surgical subspecialty. Dr. Benninger introduced recent technologies in imaging and skills while teaching surgical anatomy, procedures and approaches with cadavers, ultrasound and endoscopic anatomy. Dr. Benninger was extremely honored and presented with an excellence in teaching certificate.


From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM faculty members Drs. Paul Gordon-Ross, Suzie Kovacs and Beth Boynton, former CVM faculty members Drs. Peggy Schmidt and Betsy Charles and CVM alumnus Kevin Ashbran, DVM ’07, presented on topics to help veterinarians teach and evaluate students, interns, residents, and staff in the clinic at the 2018 AVMA Convention held recently in Denver, Colorado.

Congratulations to Dr. Gregory Simonek, DVM ’15, who passed the Lab Animal Boards.

CVM Professor Teresa Y. Morishita attended the biennial meeting of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Poultry Improvement Plan in Franklin, Tennessee. Dr. Morishita serves as a member of the Technical Committee of the National Poultry Improvement Plan, a committee of 25 poultry health specialists in the U.S. invited to provide input and evaluation on current USDA regulations to keep poultry healthy.

Congratulations to Dustin Ong, DVM ’18, on receiving one of the new Merck AVMF scholarships, Veterinary Student Innovation Awards. Dr. Ong was recognized for creating standard operating procedures for officers of student clubs to assist them in the ability to lead their clubs and to fundraise. The new award is designed to recognize graduating seniors at each AVMA Council on Education-accredited veterinary college in the U.S. and Canada. Twenty-eight $500 awards were given out.



From the Harriet K. and Philip Pumerantz Library:

University Archives book sale
Starting August 6, 2018, the Pumerantz Library Special Collections will be holding a book sale of duplicate rare and older books. The collection is made up of the rare books that have been generously donated to the university. We have received extras and can help you get started on your own personal collection of antique medical books. The authors represent the best practitioners of their times. Some important authors represented are: Henry Gray, William Osler, and Russel L. Cecil. All campus disciplines are represented. Come check these books during the library’s regular operating hours. If you have any questions, please contact the Archives at uarchives@westernu.edu or 909-469-5323 and ask for Archives.