WesternU President receives Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s Founders Award

Western University of Health Sciences Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, received the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s Founders Award for Exceptional Accomplishment.

The Founders Award honors an individual whose achievements and contributions enhance the health of communities. Paula Crone, DO, Vice President, Oregon Campus Operations and College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Interim Dean, accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Pumerantz.

The award was presented at the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s Founder’s Gala and Award Evening March 2, 2013 in Portland, Oregon. Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow.

From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

College of Podiatric Medicine Dean lauded for pioneering work in amputation prevention

Western University of Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine Founding Dean Lawrence B. Harkless, DPM, has been named the 2013 honoree for the Edward James Olmos Award for Advocacy in Amputation Prevention, presented by the DFCon Global Diabetic Foot Conference.

The award will be presented at the DFCon meeting March 21-23, 2013 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

Click here to read the full story.

From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

WesternU researchers identify new mechanisms in learning and memory

Western University of Health Sciences scientists published a study in The Journal of Neuroscience that adds new pieces to the puzzle of how we learn.

The paper is titled “Calpain-2-mediated PTEN Degradation Contributes to BDNF-induced Stimulation of Dendritic Protein Synthesis,” by Victor Briz, Yu-Tien Hsu, Yi Li, Erin Lee, Xiaoning Bi, and Michel Baudry. Click here to view the paper, which was published in the March 6, 2013 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.

The study builds on 30 years of work by Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences Dean Michel Baudry, PhD. The paper tests the hypothesis that calpain activity is required for BDNF-stimulated local protein synthesis, a key step in the molecular mechanism underlying learning and memory. Click here to read the full story.

From the College of Dental Medicine:

Interprofessional WesternU team to develop legislative issue briefs

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Dental Medicine and Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals are bringing together an interprofessional team to research and develop Legislative Issue Briefs designed to inform policy and legislation in support of improved oral and systemic health.

Colgate is providing $100,000 in funding to the College of Dental Medicine in a partnership that focuses on creating a reservoir of expertise by supporting the efforts of promising new faculty who have an interest in becoming a significant and long-term resource for Colgate in an academic area of mutual interest. Click here to read the full story.

Kudos on accomplishments

Dr. Jerry Minsky, College of Dental Medicine Assistant Professor, presented two topics at Contemporary Forums’ 2013 Dental Practice Update. The first was a presentation of Bioarchaeology, Using Isotope Analysis of Teeth in Forensic Identifications. The second was a review of dental identification teams’ efforts in the plane crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 and the World Trade Center. Contemporary Forums provides CE conferences for health care professionals.

Dr. Vicki Wedel of COMP/CDM was an invited speaker at the annual Redlands University 8th Grade Girls Math and Science Conference sponsored by the American Association of University Women. Her talk, “I See Dead People: What I Can Tell About the Dead from Their Bones and Teeth,” was part of an agenda to encourage more young women to pursue careers in science, technology and math. Among the comments Dr. Wedel received after her talk was that she was able to make a “dead” subject come alive.

From the College of Pharmacy:

Ray Symposium to address obesity

The nation’s worsening obesity epidemic will be the topic of Western University of Health Sciences’ annual Ray Symposium, to be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2013 in the Health Education Center, Lecture Hall 1, 701 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766.

Keynote speaker Dr. Patricia Crawford, RD, director of the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley, and a Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist, will present “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention.” Click here to read the full story.

Kudos on accomplishments

WesternU was very well represented at the recent American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting and Expo held at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 1-4, 2013.

Here are some of the faculty activities at APhA:

Dr. Eric Gupta served as a Delegate for California. He is advisor to APhA-ASP (Academy of Student Pharmacists) at WesternU, which won the Most Innovative Programming Award for 2011-2012.

Dr. Hyma Gogineni represented WesternU at the APhA Career Pathway training for faculty, and completed faculty training for the MTM program.

Dr. Karl Hess served as delegate for APhA-APPM, served as member of Policy Review Committee and attended Community Pharmacy Residency showcase to recruit for the program.

Dr. Janice Hoffman represented WesternU at the Pharmacy Leadership Society meeting at APhA.

Dr. Emmanuelle Schwartzman served as Chair of Credentials Committee of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society meeting at APhA.

Dr. Stephanie Liang (Community Pharmacy Practice Resident precepted by Dr. Hess) presented a poster, “Preparedness of Student Pharmacists in Providing Travel Health Services at an Independent Community Pharmacy.” With Karl Hess, Brian Garner and Anandi Law. Dr. Garner is a volunteer faculty and a long standing preceptor.

Dr. Liang also moderated a session “Pharmacists Helping Patients Manage Pain,” which was recorded for later CE use.

Dr. Bik-Wai Bilvick Tai (Outcomes Research Fellow precepted by Dr. Law) presented a poster, “Examining Effectiveness of Educational Interventions to Improve Prescription Label Comprehension and its Correlation with STOFHLA: A Pilot Study” with previous Fellow Dr. Prashant Sakharkar, PharmD 2013 candidate Drupad Parikh and Anandi V. Law.

He also presented a podium presentation on “ Type and Extent of Unused Medications: A Survey at Community Pharmacy Drugs Take Back Events” co-authored with Drs. Prashant Sakharkar, Micah Hata, Karl Hess, Rudolf Mireles, Carolyn Ha and Anandi V. Law.

Dr. Anandi V. Law was Chair of a Health Policy Forum which she convened and moderated on “Dialogue and Debate on the Many Facets of Medication Safety.” Speakers were Dr. Matthew Grissinger from ISMP (Institute for Safe Medication Practices) and Dr. Carolyn Ha from NCPA (National Community Pharmacists Association).

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments

Veterinary Assistant Professor and physiologist Dr. David Kersey was awarded a $5,000 grant from Zoo Atlanta to further his studies of giant panda thyroid hormones by investigating thyroid activity in the male panda.

This project will be done in collaboration with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and will involve Student Doctor Ainjil Bills (DVM2015), throughout the course of the study.

Veterinary Assistant Professors Dr. Yvonne Drechsler (virologist) and Dr. Pedro Diniz (small animal infectious disease investigator) have been informed of new funding for their proposed study titled, “Host immune response of feline kidney cells to pathogenic and non-pathogenic feline coronavirus strains: Developing biomarkers for FIP.” The study has been competitively evaluated and funded by the Winn Feline Foundation in the amount of $25,000.

Veterinary Professor and avian virologist Dr. Ellen Collisson has published the work conducted in her laboratory that concluded the work of her post-doctoral fellow Dr. Ghida Banat now residing in Beirut, Lebanon. The article, “Association of the chicken MHC B haplotypes with resistance to avian coronavirus,” was a collaboration with Dr. Tkalcic and Dr. Saggese on our CVM faculty and scientists from several other scientific institutions. The study examined poultry resistance to respiratory disease and found evidence of genetic factors that confer improved resistance. The manuscript mentions related studies at Western University of Health Sciences currently being conducted by Dr. Dawes and Dr. Drechsler. Click here to view the article.

The complete citation is: Association of the chicken MHC B haplotypes with resistance to avian coronavirus. GR Banat et al. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 39 (2013) 430–437

Veterinary Student Doctor Natalie Punt (DVM 2015) was awarded for summer 2013 a funded research internship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/).

She has participated in research in the genomics lab of Dr. Kristopher Irizarry, Associate Professor, funded by the Merial Veterinary Scholar’s research award last summer. She received a recognition award for her WesternU Student Technology and Research Symposium presentation for her work elucidating the comparative genomics mechanisms underlying cancer resistance in the naked mole rat. Natalie has expressed an interest in pursuing research as part of her career and receiving this extremely competitive summer research internship at the NIH will undoubtedly launch her research aspirations that were nurtured at Western University of Health Sciences. This is an excellent example of the quality and potential of our veterinary students.

From the College of Allied Health Professions:

Department of Physical Therapy Education News

The DPT program recently hosted a meeting of the San Gabriel Valley District of the California Physical Therapy Association with about 40 physical therapists and students in attendance. After a short business meeting, there was a continuing education presentation on “Concussion Assessment & Management for the Physical Therapist” given by Dr. Aimee Miltenberger Diaz, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, Director of the Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program and Instructor of Clinical Physical Therapy at the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy.

From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments

Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, had his research, “Are distal femoral traction pins intra-articular? A cadaveric study,” accepted in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. Dr. Benninger is the Professor/Vice Chair, Medical Anatomical Sciences, on the Lebanon campus.

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