From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

Inaugural CPM Dean’s Lecture will encourage ‘blooming’
The College of Podiatric Medicine (CPM) has named UC Davis’ Julie A. Freischlag, MD, as keynote speaker for its inaugural Dean Lawrence B. Harkless Distinguished Lecture, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 2016.

Freischlag, Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, will present “Bloom Where You Are Planted.” Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Graduate Nursing:

Kudos on accomplishments
Professor Quannetta T. Edwards, PhD, FNPc, WHNPc, Advanced Genetics Nurse-Board Certified, FAANP, is one of four editors and authors of a newly published textbook titled Genomic Essentials for Graduate Level Nurses. This 445-page textbook is a comprehensive book focusing on improving genomic competency of nurses prepared at the graduate level. The textbook is currently available as an ebook with scheduled hard copy availability due in March. The book was also supported by a chapter in pharmacogenomics prepared by College of Pharmacy Associate Professor Ying Huang, PhD, and COP Assistant Professor Bradley T. Andresen, PhD, FAHA.


From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM Professor Tracey McNamara was profiled recently in Veterinary Heritage – Bulletin of the American Veterinary Medical History Society, Vol. 38, Number 2, November 2015, in “West Nile Virus – A Virus Conquers the New World,” by Jennifer Yu. Dr. McNamara was instrumental in discovering the West Nile Virus while head pathologist at the Bronx Zoo when she started wondering about the onslaught of sick neurological crows. After many attempts to get someone at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to look at this problem, she was successful only when she finally contacted the US Army Medical Research Institute in Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Maryland, and within two days was collaborating with them, had a diagnosis.

CVM Associate Professor Brian Oakley was the senior author of an original research article published in the Veterinary Infectious Diseases section of the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science. The article, titled “Spatial and temporal changes in the broiler chicken cecal and fecal microbiomes and correlations of bacterial taxa with cytokine gene expression,” resulted from a collaboration with Dr. Mike Kogut, an avian immunologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in College Station Texas. Dr. Oakley was also invited to the University of Arkansas recently to give a seminar titled “Managing the microbiomes of food animals for production and food safety” at the Departments of Food Science and Poultry Science.

CVM’s Food and Fiber Club sponsored/organized/ran the Hobby Farm Symposium recently. CVM Assistant Professor Spring Halland said that the event was “awesome” and wanted to commend the student workers for their time and dedication.

DVM 2018 student Ty Marshall-Blanche contributed an article for the current Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association issue on Diversity Issues in Veterinary Medicine – A Student Perspective. Click here to read the article.


From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

Kudos on accomplishments
GCBS Dean Michel Baudry, PhD, and COMP Professor Xiaoning Bi, PhD, MD, published an article, “Calpain-1 and Calpain-2: The Yin and Yang of Synaptic Plasticity and Neurodegeneration,” in the journal Trends in Neurosciences. The paper summarizes 35 years of Dr. Baudry’s research and his 20 years of collaboration with Dr. Bi on the roles of Calpain-1 and Calpain-2 in learning and memory and neurodegeneration. Click here to read the article.​

Associate Professor Fanglong Dong, in collaboration with Dr. Darren Farley (PI, MD, maternal fatal specialist) and residents from OB/Gyn, recently had two poster presentations accepted for the upcoming 2016 American Congress of Obstetrician Gynecologists. The study explored the risk factors for miscarriage and stillbirth at two Midwestern Obstetrical clinics. The results can be generalized to Western U Community and women in the Inland Empire.

Mancillas A, Dong F, Robbins A, Duong J, Garcia S, Farley D. Stillbirth: A Retrospective Case Review Evaluating Risk Factors and Antepartum Care at Two Midwestern Obstetrical Clinics. Poster presentation at the 2016 American Congress of Obstetrician Gynecologists Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting; May 14-18, 2016; Washington, D.C.

Lueking A, Kubendran S, Dong F, Duong J, Garcia S, Farley D. Protocol for Optimizing Detection of Chromosome Abnormalities in Miscarriage and Stillbirth. Poster presentation at the 2016 American Congress of Obstetrician Gynecologists Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting; May 14-18, 2016; Washington, D.C.


From the College of Dental Medicine:

6th Annual Community Based Dental Education (CBDE) Development Day
WesternU CDM Adjunct Faculty and Dental Staff from across California met on Wednesday, Feb. 24, on the campus of WesternU for the 6th Annual CBDE Development Day. This event is offered every year for faculty and staff from organizations affiliated with WesternU, within the CBDE Network. DMD students in their second, third, and fourth year rotate at these sites, and the CBDE Development Day is designed to offer the current dental concepts as Continuing Education and calibrate faculty across a wide geographic area. Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments
Second-year COMP student Cedric Bailey won first place for his poster presentation, “Growth Hormone is Involved in Human Colon Tumor Growth,” at the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OPSC) conference in San Diego. His research project was conducted at Cedars Sinai’s Department of Medicine and was sponsored by the NIH’s nationally renowned NIDDK Medical Student Research Program. His project focused on evaluating both the presence of local growth hormone in human colon tumors as well as identifying which cells in the tumor microenvironment produce local growth hormone. His published abstract can be found in the February 2016 issue of the BMJ’s Journal of Investigative Medicine.

First-year COMP student Eftikhar Akam won second place for her poster presentation, “Functional conservation of HIV proteins that play a role in altering the innate immune response,” at the OPSC conference.

She studied a specific protein expressed by HIV (called “Nef”) and determined that the role it plays in downregulating the innate immune response is conserved across various subtypes of the virus. Therefore, although HIV mutates rapidly, it will conservatively express Nef. This targets Nef for pharmaceutical intervention.

COMP alumnus George Wang, DO ’05, returned to campus Feb. 25 for the launch of the COMP Alumni Round Table (ART) Series. Dr. Wang shared his experiences before, during and after COMP with a studio audience as well as via live stream.

While attending the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Las Vegas, Dr. Vicki Wedel of COMP/CDM was invited to join the Million Women Mentors organization (  Million Women Mentors encourage young women to earn college educations and pursue STEM careers.


From the Medical Anatomy Center:

Kudos on accomplishments
Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, Professor of Medical Innovation, Technology & Research and Clinical Anatomy, Executive Director of the Medical Anatomy Center, is applying disruptive innovation designing and developing an arthroscope for small joints with improved resolution. He began experimenting with the technology this month. He is also conducting research with novel hand held x-ray technology. It’s exciting collaborating with technology companies to develop and/or conduct research leading to disruptive innovation.


From University Advancement:

Kudos on accomplishments
The 2015 edition of Humanism in the Health Sciences, an annual student- and staff-written publication of the WesternU Public Affairs Department/Graphics & Branding, has received a CASE District VII Bronze Award. Humanism earned a Bronze Award in the category of Annual Magazines. Content for the magazine is budgeted and written by students and faculty advisers, and edited and designed by University Public Affairs and its Graphics and Branding unit. The 2015 editors are: Brandon Samson, PharmD ‘16, Editor-in- Chief, Elaine Yu, DO ’18, Michael Zhang, DO ’18, Debra Peterson, DMD ’16, Mike Read, DPM ’18, Freesia Parekh, DO’16, Christina Vo, DO ’16, Caitlin Martin, DO ’18, Lisa Scott, DO ’18, Kathleen Gozum, PharmD ’15, and Chad Easthouse, DVM ’17. The faculty adviser is College of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Experiential and Professional Affairs James Scott, PharmD, Med, FCCP, FASHP, FCSHP. Debra Nelson of Graphics and Branding was the designer. The theme was “Cultivating Identity.”

The next edition of Humanism will be available in May 2016. Click here to read past issues of Humanism and other WesternU publications:

Alumni news
More than 50 alumni, students, faculty and friends attended a College of Podiatric Medicine alumni gathering during the 2016 American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) Scientific Conference in Austin, Texas. Click here to view a photo gallery.

Several WesternU colleges attended an alumni networking mixer at ProAbition Lounge in Riverside Feb. 24, 2016. Our energetic alumni enjoyed great food and drinks as they rekindled their relationships while others met new friends from across colleges representing classes from 1997 through 2015. The next alumni networking event will be Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

The Vagina Monologues
The students of WesternU provided a superb performance of the Vagina Monologues to a packed house on Thursday, February 25, 2016.  Moreover, it was an interprofessional effort with a cast consisting of female students from the colleges of dental medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, optometry, pharmacy, and the medical science and physical therapy programs.  In addition, the performance was supported by various student clubs and organizations, including the American Association of Women Dentists, Physical Therapy Advocacy Club and the American Medical Women’s Association.  Funds raised from the performance went to the House of Ruth, which assists families victimized by domestic violence. Special thanks to the students who organized the performance and everyone who provided support.