Lessons from the heart

During her second year of school, College of Veterinary Medicine student Kelley Black fostered a kitten named Tin Man who needed a new heart. His heart murmur was so loud you could hear it without a stethoscope.

“We were trying to have him gain weight so he could be big enough for a surgical intervention, but he couldn’t get above 2.8 kilograms,” Black said. “It was all his giant heart could handle. He went into congestive heart failure, and in a matter of weeks his quality of life was almost nonexistent. Tin went from being a normal, playful kitten to one barely wanting to move. Euthanasia was the only fair thing we could do for him.”

CVM Associate Professor Pedro Diniz, DVM, PhD, developed a Problem Based Learning case in collaboration with Black based on Tin Man. Further study of the kitten’s heart showed a hole between two chambers, valve issues, and an aorta routed the wrong way. Diniz decided to go into greater detail and utilize cutting-edge technologies to bring Tin Man’s case to life.

Click here to read more about Tin Man and the PBL case he inspired. And check campus magazine racks later this week for the latest edition of WesternU View. The magazine features Tin Man and other collaborations between WesternU faculty and WesternU’s 3D Educational Technologies department that utilize 3D printing, scanning and modeling and interactive experiences to enhance student learning.


WesternU, Sight Savers America provide brighter future to four local students with visual impairments

Western University of Health Sciences and Sight Savers America provided four local students with Freedom Scientific Onyx HD Electronic Video Magnifiers (EVMs) to help them complete schoolwork and perform everyday tasks.

Sight Savers America Case Specialist Veronica Tafoya showed Pomona resident Candy Gonzalez, 14, how to use her new EVM to read a book. Candy also pointed the camera across the room to read a small sign posted on a door. They then zoomed in on the back of a penny to see the Lincoln Memorial in great detail.

Candy, who is legally blind, is reading To Kill a Mockingbird as a Village Academy High School freshman. She is thankful for receiving this donated EVM.

“I appreciate it because it will help me a lot,” she said.

Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow.


SHPEP at WesternU

Western University of Health Sciences is proud to be selected as a participating Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) institution for the third straight year for summer 2019 and is excited to have a photo gracing the poster and brochure featuring College of Optometry Associate Professor Tiffenie Harris, OD, FAAO, working with last year’s SHPEP scholars. 

The promotional material was recently released to encourage the submission of applications of first- and second-year college students nationwide who are from financially disadvantaged families and groups underrepresented in medicine to enter health professions.

Click here to read more on Facebook.



From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

WesternU partners with Kaiser Permanente Hippocrates Circle to inspire middle school students to become doctors
Hippocrates Circle students from Serrano Middle School in Highland, California visited Western University of Health Sciences Dec. 5, 2018 to learn about osteopathic medicine and receive encouragement and inspiration to achieve a higher education in medicine.

Kaiser Permanente’s Hippocrates Circle program of San Bernardino County encourages students from underrepresented communities and diverse backgrounds to pursue their goal of becoming a physician.

Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow.


Kudos on accomplishments
COMP Chair and Assistant Professor for the Department of Social Medicine and Healthcare Leadership Gail Singer-Chang, PsyD, MA, MS, PPS, was interviewed on “Emotional Intelligence in Physician Training” for Rowan Radio/RowanRadio.com 89.7 WGLD-FM for the show “Your Health Matters.” Click here to listen to the show: https://soundcloud.com/rowan-radio-89-7-wgls-fm/112918-emotional-intelligence?in=rowan-radio-89-7-wgls-fm/sets/your-health-matters


Volunteers with Type 2 Diabetes needed for WesternU study
COMP Professor Vishwanath Venketaraman, PhD, is the Principal Investigator for a study on glutathione (GSH) restoration effects of oral liposomal GSH (LRG) treatment in individuals with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) for a three-month period of time. Glutathione, a natural antioxidant has been shown to improve immune responses against known pathogens such as tuberculosis. Eligible study subjects are T2DM positive individuals between 21 to 65 years old with HbA1c levels between 7-10. Blood will be drawn three times (pre-screening, before, and after the study). Blood draws take about 10-15 minutes. Study supplements could possibly cause headaches, a minor level of digestive or intestinal discomfort, but we expect this to be of minimal or undetectable discomfort. There might be a mild pricking pain associated with the blood draw (50 ml).

Volunteers will receive $100 cash for their complete participation in the study. This compensation will be paid in four installments of $25.

Click here for complete information.

For more information, contact Dr. Venketaraman at 909-706-3736 or vvenketaraman@westernu.edu.



From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM Associate Professor Curtis Eng is co-author on a recently-approved publication in PLOS ONE concerning one of his favorite topics, California condors. This project was the culmination of years of effort by a grad student, Zeka Glucs: Zeka E. Glucs, Donald R. Smith, Christopher W. Tubbs, Jennie Jones Scherbinski, Alacia Welch, Joseph Burnett, Michael Clark, Curtis Eng, Myra E. Finkelstein, “Glucocorticoid measurement in plasma, urates, and feathers from California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) in response to a human-induced stressor”. Published October 23, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205565.



From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Quang Le has been chosen as recipient of the prestigious Research Award in Value Assessment from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation (PhRMA). This award provides $100,000 for one year for his research titled “New Approach in Value Assessment of Health Interventions Using Doubly-Randomized Preference Trial (DRPT) Design.”

This award is focused on solutions to address challenges in assessing the value of medicines and healthcare services to improve patient outcomes and reduce inefficiency.​

Dr. Cynthia Jackevicius represented WesternU extremely well as the clinical and scientific expert at several national and international organizational meetings.

At the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in November 2018 she participated in the Editorial Board Meeting as an Associate Editor for Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. She gave two invited presentations: “What to do When Guidelines Seem to Ignore Costs” and “Impact of Out of Pocket Costs and Prior Authorization on Adoption.” She had a poster presentation and was senior author of a VA residency project/AE rotation project. Han J, Nguyen Q, Chung F, Mody FV, Lie J, Jackevicius CA. “Evaluating patients with heart failure to determine eligibility for sacubitril/valsartan.”

At the 26th Annual Congress of the Order of Pharmacists of Lebanon in Beirut, Lebanon in November 2018, Dr. Jackevicius gave the keynote presentation “Barriers to Medication Adherence in the Patient with Heart Disease.” The American College of Clinical Pharmacy held an ACCP International Symposium in conjunction with the Annual Congress. Dr. Jackevicius presented the following lectures: “​​Clinical Guidelines: Updates in Hypertension, Dyslipidemia, and Heart Failure,” “Antithrombotic Agents: Clinical Evidence and Agent Selection,” Acute Coronary Syndrome: Optimal Pharmacotherapy Strategies,” and “Measuring Outcomes Associated with Pharmacist Services.”

At the 33rd Pharmacy Invitational Conference on Antithrombotic Therapy (PICAT) in Anaheim, California in December 2018, Dr. Jackevicius served as member of the Organizing Committee and gave an invited presentation, “Direct Oral Anticoagulant Non-Adherence in Atrial Fibrillation.”

Dr. Sheryl Chow recently attended the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago, Ill. and represented WesternU well by serving and participating in multiple capacities. She served as Chair of the Pharmacology Committee on the AHA Clinical Cardiology Council Leadership Meeting. She served as a judge for the AHA competition focused on innovative team-based health care approaches to managing heart failure. She developed and moderated the session, “Fact or Fiction: Clinical Controversies in Heart Failure,” which drew an audience in excess of 350 attendees.

Congratulations to the following Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty, postdoctoral fellows and MSPS alumnus and students and their collaborators on their most recent accomplishments:

Sunil Prabhu, PhD, was appointed as a grant reviewer for NIH/NCI Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) PHS 2019-1 Review Panel Topic # 386, “Novel Approaches for Local Delivery of Chemopreventive Agents”. The goal of this solicitation is to advance the development and/or application of local delivery devices or formulations for cancer chemoprevention.

Sunil Prabhu, PhD, along with his lab members/collaborators COP faculty Jeffrey Wang PhD, CVM faculty Wael Khamas PhD, Arvind Thakkar PhD, Preshita Desai PhD, MSPS alumna Sushma Chenreddy, Jalpa Modi PharmD ’17, Astrid Thio, PharmD ’18, on their most recent publications:

Thakkar A, Desai P, Chenreddy S, Modi J, Thio A, Khamas W, Ann D, Wang J, Prabhu S. Novel nano-drug combination therapeutic regimen demonstrates significant efficacy in the transgenic mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. American journal of cancer research. 2018;8(10):2005-19. PubMed PMID: 30416852. Link to Abstract and Article

Desai P, Ann D, Wang J, Prabhu S. Pancreatic Cancer: Recent Advances in Nanoformulation-Based Therapies2019;36(1):59-91. doi: 10.1615/CritRevTherDrugCarrierSyst.2018025459. (Attached)

Lyna Luo, PhD, along with COP faculty Ying Huang PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow Wesley Botello-Smith PhD, MSPS alumna Payal Chatterjee, MSPS student Han Zhang and PharmD student Paul Chang published:

Valdez Capuccino JM, Chatterjee P, García IE, Botello-Smith WM, Zhang H, Harris AL, Luo Y, Contreras JE. The connexin26 human mutation N14K disrupts cytosolic intersubunit interactions and promotes channel opening. The Journal of General Physiology. 2018:jgp.201812219. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201812219. Link to Abstract

Abrams CK, Peinado A, Mahmoud R, Bocarsly M, Zhang H, Chang P, Botello-Smith WM, Freidin MM, Luo Y. Alterations at Arg76 of human connexin 46, a residue associated with cataract formation, cause loss of gap junction formation but preserve hemichannel function. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. 2018;315(5):C623-C35. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00157.2018 Link to Abstract

Chatterjee P, Yadav M, Chauhan N, Huang Y, Luo Y. Cancer Cell Metabolism Featuring Nrf2. Current Drug Discovery Technologies. 2018;15:1-9. doi: 10.2174/1570163815666180911092443. (Link to Abstract)



From University Advancement:

Student Study Days
The Annual Fund and Alumni Relations held its sixth annual Student Study Days event on Tuesday, December 11. Free snacks were provided to more than 150 happy and appreciative students to help them stay energized during their preparations for final exams. Free granola bars, fresh-popped popcorn, chips, fruit, hot chocolate, water and coffee were handed out.