From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

WesternU team advances understanding of mechanisms of learning and neural degeneration

Two new publications by a team from Western University of Health Sciences shed further light on the mechanisms of learning and memory, and neuronal degeneration.

The first paper, “A molecular brake controls the magnitude of long-term potentiation,” by Yubin Wang, Guoqi Zhu, Victor Briz, Yu-Tien Hsu, Xiaoning Bi and Michel Baudry, was published Jan. 7, 2014 in Nature Communications. This paper shows the existence of a molecular brake that limits the amount of information that can be stored in one episode of learning. Click here to find the article at Nature Communications:

The second paper, “Distinct Roles for mu -Calpain and m-Calpain in Synaptic NMDAR-Mediated Neuroprotection and Extrasynaptic NMDAR-Mediated Neurodegeneration,” by Yubin Wang, Victor Briz, Athar Chishti, Xiaoning Bi and Michel Baudry, published in The Journal of Neuroscience as a feature article, looks at the roles of the same two calpain isoforms, (mu- and m-) in the consequences of prolonged activation of NMDA receptors, which are glutamate receptors that are critical for learning. Click here to view the article.

WesternU Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences Dean Michel Baudry, PhD, has investigated the mechanisms of learning and memory for 30 years, and this study builds upon the basic principles that he and others have developed in that time. Click here to read the full story.

From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments

College of Pharmacy faculty highlights from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Meeting, held Dec. 8-12 in Orlando, Fla.:

Dr. Patrick Chan: Ng J, Jeng A, Chan PG. Evaluation of carbapenem empiric therapy in the era of increased antibiotic resistance. (Poster presentation)

Lo A, Zhu Z, Richman M, Joo J, Chan PG. Evaluation of time to first dose intravenous antibiotic administration in hospitalized patients. (Poster presentation)

Dr. Mark Nguyen: Castor Phan, PharmD; Mark Nguyen, PharmD, BCPS; Amy Kum, PharmD, BCPS, Cathy Hirokawa, PharmD; Sophie Sokolow. Therapeutic and pathological risk factors associated with serve hypoglycemia in a community hospital. (Poster). Dr. Phan is current PGY1 Resident with Dr. Nguyen.

Dr. Olivia Phung: Lee NC, Hirpara H, Yin RV, Lee A, Lee S, Llanos S, Phung OJ. Increased risk for atypical fractures associated with bisphosphonate use. Nancy Lee, Hemant Hirpara, and Adrian Lee are P4 students who contributed to this project during their elective research rotation with Dr. Phung.

Hirpara H, Lee NC, Yin RV, Phung OJ. Momordica charantia (Bitter melon) does not show any significant effect on type 2 diabetic patients. Dr. Raynold Yin is the ambulatory care outcomes fellow training with Dr. Phung.

Dr. Doreen Pon: Joon Hwang, Rachel Chung, Jennifer Ito and Daisy Park. “Sunscreen Use among High School Teens.” The poster was presented on behalf of the WesternU student chapter of CSHP/ASHP and the faculty adviser for the project was Dr. Doreen Pon.

Drs. Cynthia Jackevicius and James Scott oversaw the Residency showcase and interviewed potential candidates.

From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Oregon Medical Board visit

Representatives from the leadership team of the Oregon Medical Board (OMB) toured COMP-Northwest in December. This was the board’s first official visit since COMP-Northwest opened its doors. After the tour, Kathleen Haley, JD, OMB executive director, and Joseph Thaler, MD, OMB medical director, praised the school for the innovative curriculum and “up-to-date methods of medical instruction.”

Kudos on accomplishments

COMP-Northwest Anatomy Professor Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, and his collaborators recently published the following articles:

Shoja, M.M., Oyesiku, N.M., Griessenauer, C.J., Radcliff, V., Loukas, M., Chern, J.J., Benninger, B., Rozzelle, C.J., Shokouhi, G. and Shane Tubbs, R. (2014), Anastomoses between lower cranial and upper cervical nerves. Clin. Anat., 27: 118–130. doi: 10.1002/ca.22340

Tubbs, R. S., Benninger, B., Loukas, M. and Cohen-Gadol, A. A. (2014), Cranial roots of the accessory nerve exist in the majority of adult humans. Clin. Anat., 27: 102–107. doi: 10.1002/ca.22125

From the College of Optometry:

Kudos on accomplishments

Associate Professor Maryke N. Neiberg, OD, FAAO, contributed to the book “Visual Diagnosis and Care of the Patient with Special Needs,” which won a British Medical Association award in the Health and Social Care section. The book’s authors are Marc B. Taub, Mary Bartuccio and Dominick M. Maino. Dr. Neiberg and Scott B. Steinman, OD, PhD, co-authored chapter 23, which focuses on special assessment procedures.

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Giant Panda Zoo Awards

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 is the last day to vote for Dr. David Kersey and his colleague in the Giant Panda Zoo Awards 2013. Kersey, a College of Veterinary Medicine assistant professor of physiology who played a major role in the giant panda birth at Zoo Atlanta in July 2013, and his colleague Dr. Cooper Aitken-Palmer, chief veterinarian at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, were nominated for award No. 6, “Panda Personality of 2013 ‘The Human.’”

Other nominations related to Kersey’s story: Lun Lun at Zoo Atlanta is nominated for award No. 5, “Panda Personality of 2013: ‘The Bear.’” And Lun Lun giving birth to the United States’ first surviving panda twins is nominated for award No. 10, “Panda Moment of the Year.”

From the College of Graduate Nursing:


The College of Graduate Nursing is featured in the Winter 2013 edition of InterAction, the official publication of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing. CGN student Stephanie Cornet is featured on page 17 and WesternU’s AAMN chapter’s creative fundraising and research are featured on page 19. Click here to view the newsletter.

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