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This Week@WesternU, Jan. 25-29, 2016

by Rodney Tanaka

January 25, 2016

Read 5 mins

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

WesternU Pet Health Center grand opening set for Jan. 29
Western University of Health Sciences’ Pet Health Center will hold a grand opening from noon to 2:30 p.m. Friday, January 29, 2016.

The public is invited to join WesternU faculty, staff and students, city officials and community leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours and lunch reception in the Pet Health Center at 611 E. Second Street, Pomona, Calif. 91766. Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

College of Podiatric Medicine to hold inaugural Dean’s Lecture March 3, 2016
The College of Podiatric Medicine will hold its inaugural Dean Lawrence B. Harkless Distinguished Lecture at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 2016 at Western University of Health Sciences’ Health Education Center, Lecture Hall 1, 701. E. Second Street, Pomona, Calif. 91766.

Keynote speaker Julie A. Freischlag, MD, Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis, will present “Bloom Where You Are Planted.”

Click here to read the full story.


From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

COMP news
Dr. Cyrus Parsa would like you to join him in welcoming Dr. Chaya Prasad as a new addition to the Department of Pathology at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Prasad comes to us with more than 20 years of clinical practice experience in pathology, mostly at Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Northern California.

Congratulations to second-year COMP student Jacob Adashek who, along with his team of researchers from Johns Hopkins, had an abstract accepted for poster presentation at the first Johns Hopkins High Value Research Symposium on February 1, 2016. Their study is titled “One Minute Genetics: Wise Choices in High Value Care Based on the ACMG Recommendations in the Choosing Wisely Campaign.”

Congratulations to second-year COMP student Hannah Kang, whose abstract has been selected for a poster presentation at the Endocrine Society’s National Meeting in April 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. Hannah completed her research as part of WesternU’s Summer Student Fellowship Grant. Her study, conducted at the Patient Care Center, focused on assessing hypertension related medical knowledge. Her co-collaborators were associate professors Fanglong Dong, PhD (GCBS), and Airani Sathananthan, MD (COMP).

Stories and photos can be found at:

Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, Professor of Medical Innovation, Technology & Research and the Executive Director of the Medical Anatomy Center, had three research projects accepted for presentation at the annual Experimental Biology conference April 2-5, 2016. Dr. Benninger mentored Ian Blandford, biomedical engineering masters student, and COMP-Northwest students on projects that highlighted Google Glass and 7D interactive ultrasound teaching software. They integrated the novel Sonivate ultrasound finger probe and Fukuda-Denshi ultrasound systems with 7D software. Dr. Benninger has been helping develop ultrasound software to teach and maintain clinically useful skills for medical students the past two years and feels it will be a necessary adjunct in training and preparing our students for residency programs.

Fitness Friday fun
About 30 students, faculty and staff got their hearts pumping during a friendly athletic competition Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 as part of the launch of MEDWell at Western University of Health Sciences’ Pomona, California campus.

Two teams jumped rope, bounced tennis balls into a basket, did jumping jacks and push-ups, and executed other feats of teamwork and skill during the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific’s first MEDWell event, “Fitness Friday.”

Click here to read the full story. Click here to view photos on Facebook.


From the College of Optometry:

Keeping the dream alive
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry students invited the WesternU community to write their dreams on balloons, which were sent skyward (then pulled back down so they would not interfere with aircraft). Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow.


From the College of Dental Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
In December 2015, Assistant Professor Joel Laudenbach, DMD, was nominated to be an ADA Voting Panel Member for the “Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for the Prevention of Orthopaedic Implant Infection in Patients Undergoing Dental Procedures” project.  The American Dental Association and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have been working together on this two-phase project which brings together several experts focused on reducing over prescribed antibiotics by specifically defining vulnerable patient populations and situations where prophylactic antibiotics should be prescribed. The overall intention of this project is to reduce the patient population receiving antibiotics prior to dental care to comply with guidelines aimed at reducing antibiotic resistance. Collectively, Voting Panel Members will help address and independently rate the appropriateness of various treatments for multiple patient risk scenarios.


From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

Kudos on accomplishments
GCBS Professor Q. Quinn Li, PhD, gave an oral presentation at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference (international) in San Diego, Jan 9-13, 2016.  His presentation title was “Genome-Wide Landscape of Alternative Polyadenylation in Rice: Impact on Developmental Gene Expression Regulation and QTL.” The research is about a large-scale effort to tally and analyze the potential of gene expression regulation through the use of different poly(A) sites in the transcriptome. The latter also increases transcriptome complexity in eukaryotic organisms, including human.


From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
Congratulations to the following Pharmaceutical Sciences Department members, and their colleagues, on their most recent accomplishments:

Lyna (Yun) Luo PhD, MSPS Student Abdoul Alsamarah, CVM Faculty Jijun Hao PhD and their collaborator published the following: Luo Y, Alsamarah A, Zhang K, Hao, J. Development of new therapeutic agents for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. Current Molecular Medicine 16(1) doi: 10.2174/1566524016666151222142446 Link to Abstract

Jeffrey Wang, PhD, has been selected to be a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Current Protein & Peptide Science. As a board member, Dr. Wang will contribute, solicit reviews, guest edit thematic issues to the journal. He will also peer-review submitted articles to the journal in his area of expertise.

Peter Oelschlaeger, PhD, has been selected as the Associate Editor of Pathogens & Immunity, a new journal that will publish original research, reviews and commentaries that focus on pathogens, host defenses and other clinically relevant aspects of immunity.


From University Advancement:

Push the button
The WesternU home page features a “Make a Gift to the University” online giving button. This button was hit a total of 170 times in 2015, generating $75,094 in donations. In the two weeks that the university was closed for holiday break, Dec. 18-31, 18 individuals contributed $31,410 for their final donation of the year to WesternU. Alumni, faculty, staff and friends utilize this button to donate to the university in response to a variety of solicitations managed by the Office of Annual Giving. We encourage you to push the button as well.

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