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This Week@WesternU, June 18-22, 2018

by Rodney Tanaka

June 18, 2018

Read 4 mins

Towne & Gown Golf Classic raises scholarship funds

The conclusion of Western University of Health Sciences’ eighth annual Towne & Gown Golf Classic increased the Classic’s endowment total for student scholarships to about $185,000.

The money raised will add additional scholarships to be awarded next year to deserving students. To date, 16 scholarships have been awarded since the inception of the endowment.

Tournament sponsor T.F. Chen, DDS, underwrote all green fees, carts, lunch and dinner for dozens of enthusiastic golfers who participated in the scramble-format tournament on June 11, 2018 at the Glendora Country Club.

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



From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine researchers receive USDA grant
Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor Yvonne Drechsler, PhD, has received a $1 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant to functionally annotate the chicken genome, which has wide-ranging implications for better understanding of genetic factors influencing growth, reproduction and disease resistance in production.

WesternU is one of three universities in the nation to receive USDA funding focusing on chicken, swine and cattle genomics within the FAANG (Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes) consortium. 

The project is titled, “Genome-Wide Annotation of Cis-Regulatory Elements in The Chicken Genome.” Dr. Drechsler is the project director and University of Washington Associate Professor R. David Hawkins, PhD, and WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor Suzana Tkalcic, DVM, PhD, are co-investigators. 

Click here to read the full story.


Laparoscopy course
Nine DVM 2018 students recently took the first small-animal laparoscopy course offered by CVM Professor Ohad Levi and various faculty and staff members. Faculty assistants were Drs. Lyon Lee, David Clark, Maria Fahie and Young Joo Kim and RVTs Leslie Tortez, Liz Villagran, Prisma Martinez, Brittany Bryan and Annette Robles, and the rest of the WesternU Pet Health Center staff also assisted as well as support staff Nicole Jimenez and Tonya Montgomery. The three-day course was intended for fourth-year veterinary medical students with minimal or no previous experience in the field. The course goal was to deliver basic theoretical knowledge about laparoscopy and provide practical experience in basic laparoscopic surgery using initial bench-top model training, progressing to laparoscopic ovariectomy on anesthetized live dogs. By the end of the course, participants were prepared for beginning and developing a safe laparoscopic practice and each student received a certificate of small animal laparoscopy course completion. The course is considered an independent study rotation and will be offered to the fourth-year students in each year.



From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

COMP-Northwest is featured as Goal 1- Healthy Families in the Samaritan Health Services 2018 Community Health Impact Report  
Medical students learning about lifestyle medicine at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest in Lebanon believe one thing to be true: the way we live our lives can have a big impact on our health. A grant from Samaritan Albany General Hospital helps fund the Lifestyle Medicine track for students at COMP-Northwest, who are often found out in the community sharing information about how nutrition, cooking and lifestyle choices can improve health.

“We teach our medical students at COMP-Northwest that community service is an important part of their education and that service should be incorporated into their practice of medicine,” said Assistant Dean for Medical Education Louise Muscato, PhD.


Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Vicki Wedel was appointed to the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). ​She will serve as National Faculty in the Foundational Biomedical Sciences – Division of Anatomy.


From GCBS and COMP:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Michel Baudry (Dean, GCBS, Principal Investigator) and his collaborator, Dr. Xiaoning Bi (Professor, COMP) have been awarded an R01 from the NINDS for their project titled “Roles of UBE3A-mediated p18 regulation in synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity.” The project is for five years and a combined budget of $1,542,190. They wish to thank their teams, especially Dr. Jiandong Sun and Dr. Yan Liu, for their excellent work, which was critical for the success of the application.



From Western Diabetes Institute:

Glycemic control
Western Diabetes Institute measures health outcomes as part of its mission to deliver value-based diabetes care. While there are multiple outcomes important to patients with diabetes, glycemic control (measured with hemoglobin A1c % [HbA1c]) is a valuable surrogate clinical gauge of the effectiveness of care. Optimal glycemic control reduces cardiometabolic risk and, for most patients, is defined as a HbA1c <7.0%, whereas poor control is defined as ≥9.0%.

Through its IRB-approved registry, WDI recently examined the sustained effects over 12 months of its integrated and cross-disciplinary, team-based care model on glycemic control in a sub-cohort of 246 patients. The baseline mean HbA1c of the group was 8.59% with 23% of the group <7.0% and 39% ≥9.0%. At 12 months, the mean HbA1c was 7.93% with 30% of the group <7.0% and 23% ≥9.0%. This 0.66% reduction in mean HbA1c is more than twice the 0.28% reduction that was shown in a recently published systematic review and meta-analysis of 181 randomized controlled trials involving 135,112 subjects who underwent multicomponent integrated care for at least 12 months (Diabetes Care 2018;41:1312-1320). Furthermore, there was a marked reduction in the percentage of WDI patients with poor glycemic control at 12 months, and an increase in the percentage with optimal control.

WDI’s latest results are consistent with those of a prior 24-month pilot study that involved a cohort of 48 patient-subscribers from managed Medi-Cal provider, IEHP (Inland Empire Health Plan). After two years of multicomponent integrated care at WDI, the IEHP cohort’s mean HbA1c was reduced by 1.2% from 8.9% to 7.7% while their corresponding total annual claims-incurred costs were reduced by 57% from $438,000 to $189,000.

These recent data suggest that integrated, personalized and team-based care particularly benefits those with suboptimal or poor glycemic control.



From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
Yun (Lyna) Luo, PhD, along with Wesley Botello-Smith, PhD, and Jerome Lecroix, PhD, published the following: Lacroix JJ, Botello-Smith WM, Luo Y. Probing the gating mechanism of the mechanosensitive channel Piezo1 with the small molecule Yoda1. Nature Communications. 2018;9(1):2029. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04405-3. Link to article


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