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This Week@WesternU, Aug. 8-12, 2016

by Rodney Tanaka

August 8, 2016

Read 4 mins

New WesternU President welcomes his first class
In California and Oregon, new Western University of Health Sciences President Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, welcomed more than 1,100 new students eager to begin their careers as health professionals.

The 2016 Convocation and white coat ceremonies Aug. 6, 2016 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center in Pomona, California, which officially started WesternU’s academic year, also marked the formal beginning of Dr. Wilson’s tenure as the university’s second permanent president.

Wilson started work on July 1 as the permanent successor to Dr. Philip Pumerantz, who founded the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) in 1977, and retired in September 2015. COMP was reorganized into Western University of Health Sciences in 1996. Dr. Wilson also presided over the Convocation and white coat ceremony for COMP-Northwest in Lebanon, Oregon July 29, 2016.

Click here to read the full story and to view the slideshows.


Spotlight on student research at WesternU
For some students, summer research projects represent an important step toward their career goal of becoming researchers. For others, they provide valuable insight into their futures as practitioners of evidence-based medicine.

More than 30 students, representing nearly every college at Western University of Health Sciences, presented their projects at the ninth annual Student Technology and Research Symposium (STRS) on July 26, 2016. WesternU Vice President for Research and Biotechnology Steven Henriksen, PhD, said sponsoring students’ summer research projects and organizing STRS is one of his favorite jobs.

Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Pharmacy:

WesternU College of Pharmacy tops $2 million in research grant funding
Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Pharmacy (COP) is ranked fourth among private schools of pharmacy nationwide in total research grant funding, and topped $2 million for the first time.

COP reported more than $2 million in grants for the government’s fiscal calendar ending Sept. 30, 2015, ranking it fourth among private colleges of pharmacy in the U.S., behind the University of Southern California, Northeastern University and Duquesne University, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Click here to read the full story.


20th Anniversary video
Click here to view the College of Pharmacy’s 20th Anniversary video on the COP website or on YouTube.


Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Quang Le is senior author and mentored and collaborated with Dr. Anandi Law’s previous Outcomes Research Fellows, Drs. Yuna Bae-Shaaw and Bik Tai on: Tai BW, Bae Y, and Le QA. A Systematic Review of Health Economic Evaluation Studies Using the Patient’s Perspective. Value in Health (IP = 3.824), 2016 (published early online).

College of Pharmacy faculty, staff and students shined at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy meeting in Anaheim, California July 23-27. Click here to read a full report from Dean Robinson:


From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Robert N. Pechnick, Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, has received a three-year grant for $535,496 from the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program titled “Androgen Deprivation Therapy and Cognitive Impairment.” The goal of this project is to determine whether reduced hippocampal neurogenesis underlies the deficits in memory that occur in prostate cancer patients undergoing androgen deprivation therapy.


COMP implements innovative solution for medical student ultrasound training
Hundreds of students from Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) received SonoSim® ultrasound training probes and software during a distribution day at the University Bookstore.

Medical students will be able to convert their own laptops into full-scale ultrasound training simulators, paving the way for them to be more competitive in the residency market and patient care.

SonoSim distributed the ultrasound probes to first-year medical students Wednesday, August 3, 2016, during the University’s Welcome Week. Second- and third-year medical students and College of Podiatric Medicine students will also be incorporating them into their curriculum and will receive the ultrasound probes and training.

Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
Associate Professor Yiling Hong was keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of Asia Pharma 2016. Her presentation was titled “Rapid Generation of Neurons and Neural Networks from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Nanotoxicity Testing.” The conference was held in June in Malaysia.

College of Veterinary Medicine alumna Whitney Greene, DVM ’16, is featured in news coverage of 58-year-old elephant Ruth’s recovery from a life-threatening gastrointestinal blockage. Click here to read more:


From the Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy:

Proctors wanted
The Accommodations and Resource Center (AARC) is looking for proctors to administer student exams. Exams are administered weekly throughout the semester and the exam time varies between two to eight hours. If someone you know is interested in working as a proctor, please contact AARC Assistant Director Sandra Rainwater-Lawler at 909-469-5297 or


From University Advancement:

The Department of Annual Giving, University Student Affairs, and the Daumier hold a Movie Night in the Park
To welcome the incoming students to campus, the Department of Annual Giving, University Student Affairs and the Daumier held a movie night in the park. Around 100 students watched the movie “Patch Adams” under the stars while enjoying popcorn, cupcakes, chips, and granola bars in Ethan Allen Park on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. Click here to view a photo gallery.


Alumni news
The Alumni Office staffed an exhibit table on Aug. 4 and 5 at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians of California’s 40th Annual Scientific Medical Seminar at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. In addition to the more than 100 alumni in attendance, roughly half of the conference speakers were WesternU alumni: David Connett, DO ’84; Jeffrey Ries, DO ’84; Jon Marsh, DO ’87; Steven H. Barag, MSHPE ’87; Martin J. Porcelli, MSHPE ’87; David Redding, DO ’93, MSHPE ’96; Donna Alderman, DO ’95; Dennis Yoshii, DO ’95; Rick Hirsch, DO ’97, MSHPE ’03; Natalie Nevins, DO ’97, MSHPE ’97; Diem Pham, DO ’97; Bruce Koyle, DO ’98; Timothy Dauwalder, DO ’00; Minh Ha Tran, DO ’00; Mark Shiu, DO ’03; Moses Nasser, DO ’04; George Wang, DO ’05; Sandeep K. Thakkar, DO ’07; Sharon Wang, DO ’07, MSHS ’07; Hemesh Patel, DO ’08; and Courtney Martin, DO ’11.

Throughout the past week, Alumni Office staff welcomed new students into the WesternU family, promoted alumni networking opportunities available to them through WesternU Connect, and presented each of them with a white coat-themed cell phone wallet.

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