Presidential Inauguration and Convocation

For only the second time in its 40-year history, Western University of Health Sciences will inaugurate a new president.

Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, will be inaugurated as WesternU President at 1 p.m. Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Fairplex in Pomona. The Presidential Inauguration and University Convocation Ceremony will also formally open WesternU’s academic year. White coat ceremonies and an invitation-only Inauguration Reception and Formal Dinner will follow. Click here for more information.

Saturday’s full schedule will cap a week of special events. WesternU will hold a faculty and staff reception, a students’ breakfast with the President, and the President’s Symposium, “Science, Health and Humanism.” Click here to read the full story.

Click here to read about Convocation and white coat ceremonies in Pomona.


WesternU President’s Symposium features renowned clinical psychologist and author Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison

Three renowned authors and academic leaders headline the President’s Symposium, part of Western University of Health Sciences’ multi-day celebration of the inauguration of WesternU President Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD.

The symposium, “Health, Science & Humanism,” will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, August 11, 2017 in WesternU Health Education Center Lecture Hall I, 701 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766. Click here for more information about WesternU’s Presidential Inauguration events.

Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, is a leading expert on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness. She is the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center. She is also Honorary Professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She is co-author of the standard medical text on manic-depressive illness, Manic Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, which was chosen as the most outstanding book in biomedical sciences by the American Association of Publishers.
Roy Wilson, MD, became the 12th president of Wayne State University on August 1, 2013. Prior to joining Wayne State, Dr. Wilson served as deputy director for strategic scientific planning and program coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health. Dan Siegel, MD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and is the founding co-director of the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at UCLA.

Click here to read the full story.



Students begin medical school in Lebanon

The seventh class of osteopathic medical students at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest began their journey into health care Friday, Aug. 4, receiving their white coats at the University’s Convocation and White Coat Ceremony.

The Oregon campus welcomed 108 students in the Class of 2021. The class is composed of 50 women and 58 men with an average age of 28. Nine students hold master’s degrees, and most have bachelor’s degrees in science-related fields.

Six students come from cities with fewer than 2,500 residents, and another 12 come from cities with less than 10,000 people. Conversely, 16 students are from cities with more than a million inhabitants.

Click here to read the full story.



STRS Symposium

The 10th Annual Student Technology and Research Symposium (STRS) was held July 27, 2017 at WesternU. STRS is hosted by Vice President for Research & Biotechnology Steven J. Henriksen, PhD. The symposium marks the conclusion of the 2017 Summer Grant Fellowships.

There were 32 student presentations at STRS 2017. Presenters were selected from 56 Summer Grant recipients and were chosen from applications submitted in the spring. The students worked with a faculty adviser during the summer to investigate a problem. Their work is then presented at STRS or at an off-site conference of their choice.

A summary program of student reports was issued to students and advisers, featuring students’ preliminary work.

Click here to view a list of students, their projects and their advisers.

Click here to view a small photo gallery.



10th annual Faculty & Staff Luncheon and Silent Auction

The 10th annual Faculty & Staff Luncheon and Silent Auction raised $6,100 for Western University of Health Sciences’ University Scholarship Fund. WesternU’s University Advancement presented “Tropical Paradise” event July 28, 2017 with activities that included a cupcake contest, tropical obstacle course, silent auction, and $5 teriyaki burger lunches.

Click here to view a gallery on Facebook. 



WesternU SHEP graduation ceremony

Western University of Health Sciences’ Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) held its graduation ceremony Saturday, August 5, 2017. This ceremony celebrated the culmination of a six-week program where WesternU hosted and taught 80 undergraduate and underrepresented students who are interested in medicine and dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, nursing, physician assistant and other health professions.

College of Dental Medicine Dean Steven Friedrichsen, DDS, was the keynote speaker. Associate Vice Provost for Academic Development Elizabeth Rega, PhD, and Dr. Friedrichsen recognized students with a diploma.

Students were awarded sweaters for being tops in their discipline. They were also recognized for having top test scores, most improved and for participation.

Mari Frias created some fun awards too: Most helpful, most keys lost, most photogenic, most inseparable, lawbreakers, and for rotation leaders. WesternU faculty and staff also were recognized for teaching, mentoring, inspiring and for being “unsung heroes.”

Click here to view photo gallery on Facebook.



From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
Assistant Professor Benjamin J. Malcolm and Dr. Kimberly Tallian (2017) recently published a review article titled “Essential oil of lavender in anxiety disorders: Ready for prime time?” Mental Health Clinician: July 2017, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 147-155.

Assistant Professor Jaejin An is a co-investigator on a study, “The effects of visual impairment on balance and mobility,” that was awarded $5,000 of summer seed grant from Cal States and $5,000 from WesternU. This study is in collaboration with WesternU College of Optometry and Physical Therapy from the California State University, Northridge and LA.

Dr. Sheryl Chow has been appointed to serve as Chair of the American Heart Association (AHA) Clinical Pharmacology Committee over the next 2-4 years and a member of the AHA Leadership Council. This committee consists of pharmacists, physicians, and nurses and has a high influence over cardiovascular guidelines and scientific statements that are published through AHA as well as the content of the AHA Scientific Sessions.

Please join the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in congratulating the following Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty on their recent accomplishments at international conferences. Click here to view the accomplishments. 



From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
Please join CPM in congratulating Dr. Jonathan Labovitz who has been selected as the section editor for the Research section of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery.



From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
Associate Professors Kristopher Irizarry and Yvonne Drechsler were recently informed that their manuscript, “RNA Sequencing Demonstrates Large-Scale Temporal Dysregulation of Gene Expression in Stimulated Macrophages Derived from MHC-Defined Chicken Haplotypes” has been accepted for publication in PLOS ONE.

The manuscript is an equal effort between Drs. Irizarry and Drechsler. Dr. Ellen Collisson is also a co-author, as well as Lisa Griggs and other collaborators. The study was funded by a USDA grant (PI/Co-PIs Drs. Collisson, Drechsler, Irizarry et al.) This publication is a large-scale genomics study of more than 900 million sequencing reads of actively expressed genes derived from chicken macrophages at different time points. 

The work identified specific differences in the expression of genes between the strains that cause the immune cells to differentiate at different rates, and ultimately produce immune cells that respond to immune signals in very different ways. These findings have implications for food safety, by providing insight into the genetic basis underlying how macrophages can be affected by differences in animals’ genomes. Using certain genetic strains of chickens might reduce the need for antibiotics because the chickens are better able to mount a natural immune response against pathogens.

Associate Professor Babak Faramarzi was notified that his scientific abstract “Radiographic Analysis Of The Forefoot Of Foals During The First Year Of Life” by: B. Faramarzi, A. Salinger (4th year DVM student), Y. Nout-Lomas (faculty, Colorado State University, A. Kaneps (former UC Davis professor and surgeon), and F. Dong (GCBS biostatistician); has been reviewed and accepted by the scientific committee of the ACVR (American College of Veterinary Radiologists). It will be presented in October at the 2017 ACVR annual conference at Phoenix, Arizona.

The authors also submitted a scientific manuscript (Quantitative analysis and development of the front foot in Arabian foals) to the Veterinary and Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology (VCOT) journal and the authors were informed that the manuscript has been reviewed by experts and has been accepted for publication. This study, for the first time, showed different patterns of growth in digits and osseous structures of the foal’s foot. Such patterns are significant and should be considered by the clinicians and surgeons when treating limb deformities in those patients.



From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Lebanon Health Career Ladder
The Lebanon Health Career Ladder program was awarded a $3,333 grant from the Ford Family Foundation. The funding will help with curriculum supplies to increase enrollment numbers, and ensure the continuation of free lunches for program participants this academic year. The LHCL program is geared toward middle school students and involves six Saturday academies throughout the school year. Each academy focuses on science-based education to help foster interest in health care professions. More information on LHCL may be found here:


Medical Anatomy Center news
Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, Professor of Medical Innovation, Technology & Research and Clinical Anatomy, has been invited to speak at Monash University Medical School in Melbourne Australia. He will present on disruptive innovation, integrating medical technology imaging, medical simulation education and contemporary & outback wilderness ultrasound. He will also discuss how to adapt and create a millennial anatomy lab from traditional and/or recently built labs. Monash University is one of the esteemed medical education institutions in Australia and internationally while providing health care to an impressive number of people and communities in Australia. This follows his recent guest presentations at the world-renowned Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Peking University Medical School in Beijing, China.



From University Advancement:

Advancement News
On Wednesday, July 26, the Alumni Office hosted lunch for the more than 50 members of the graduating DPT class on campus. Prior to feasting on pizza, the class heard a few words from Alumni Director Russel Heskin, who briefly spoke about their benefits and role as alumni.