Skip to Content Skip to Footer

This Week@WesternU, March 21-25, 2016

by Rodney Tanaka

March 21, 2016

Read 7 mins

Wilson to lead WesternU

The second president of Western University of Health Sciences in its nearly 39-year history is a doctor’s son who studied at Yale, Harvard and Cambridge, ran a hospital as well as a large academic medical center, and has taught hundreds of today’s physicians or other health professionals. But at heart, he is a small-town Iowa boy who grew up fascinated by, and caring for, his friends, neighbors, and all others who crossed his path.

Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, currently Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Florida Health Science Center-Jacksonville, has been appointed President of Western University of Health Sciences. He succeeds Philip Pumerantz, PhD, the University’s founding president, who retired in September 2015 after 38 years of service, and is now WesternU President Emeritus.

Click here to read the full story.


WesternU’s Austin Lecture to focus on adverse childhood experiences

The annual Robert L. Austin Endowed Lectureship in Pediatric Medicine, Pharmacology & Health Care Policy will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Lecture Hall I of Western University of Health Sciences’ Health Education Center, 701 E. Second Street, Pomona, California.

Keynote speaker Vincent J. Felitti, MD, UCSD Clinical Professor of Medicine and Co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experience Study, will present “Exploring the Lifelong Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences.” The lecture is open to the public and will also be streamed live to WesternU’s COMP-Northwest campus in Lebanon, Oregon.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to visit the Austin Lectureship website.


From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Match Day
Four years of hard work led to one envelope that contained their future.

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) celebrated Match Day on its Pomona, California and Lebanon, Oregon campuses March 18, 2016. Match Day is a national celebration where medical students find out the residency they will attend after graduation.

Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow. Click here to read more about COMP-Northwest’s Match Day celebration.


Kudos on accomplishments
COMP graduate Minh-Ha Tran, DO ’00, will speak on “Thrombotic Microangiopathies” at the first Hematology Symposium in Anaheim, organized by UC Irvine Health. Click here for more information.


From the Medical Anatomy Center (MAC):

Kudos on accomplishments
Brion Benninger, MD, Professor of Medical Innovation, Technology & Research and Clinical Anatomy, is joining the Ultrasound Without Borders Team. He is working with officials from Washington, D.C., the Pan American Health Organization, and ultrasound software and systems companies to donate ultrasound and iPad technology equipment, which will empower health care providers in underserved countries to improve mortality rates associated with childbirth and trauma. They will start this April and hope to begin involving WesternU students as early as July.

Dr. Benninger’s research work on the prostate has been selected as one of the finalists for outstanding international research award, which will be decided in June 2016.


From the College of Pharmacy:

College of Pharmacy professors receive NIH grant
Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy Research Assistant Professor Zubair Karim, PhD, and Associate Professor Fadi Khasawneh, PhD, BPharm, received a National Institutes of Health grant for $421,946 for their project, “Regulation of Platelet SNARE Machinery.” The funding is through NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, with Dr. Karim serving as the Principal Investigator and Dr. Khasawneh as the Co-Investigator. Click here to read the full story.


Kudos on accomplishments
The Western University of Health Sciences Rho Chi Gamma Sigma Chapter received two project proposal awards totaling $1,000 and two plaques at the 2015 Annual Rho Chi Meeting.

The project proposal award is given to chapters who have the winning proposal for a new or updated chapter project. The Gamma Sigma chapter received awards for their Residency Education Series, termed “Match Me,” and their Emergency Preparation Education Outreach. The Residency Education Series was designed to inform, prepare, and encourage students to apply for a residency through a four-part lecture series covering topics such as: what is residency/fellowship, how do you set yourself up as a student to be more competitive, how to navigate showcase and site visits, how to prepare for interviews, how to write a letter of intent, navigating phorcas and the matching process. The Emergency Preparation Education Outreach targeted health fairs and presented a poster board with four main topics consisting of what to do in case of: fire, earthquake, flood, and power outage.

These were accomplished under the leadership of faculty advisor Dr. Emmanuelle Schwartzman and the Rho Chi team presided by Shawn Healer, PharmD ’17.


From the College of Allied Health Professions:

Kudos on accomplishments
Department of Health Sciences Associate Professor David Sellen, PsyD, published a paper, “Personal Life Extension Desirability as it Relates to Religiosity and Specific Religious Beliefs,” in the Journal of Religion and Health. Click here for more information.


From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM Assistant Professor Gregory Brennan was selected by the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) to receive an Early Career Travel Grant to present his research at Immunology 2016, an annual international meeting slated for May 13-17 in Seattle, Washington.

CVM Associate Professor Linda Kidd presented the lectures “Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia in dogs: Causes and consequences of self-attack,” “Clinical reasoning for infectious disease,” Diagnostic tests for vector-borne disease: Which test and when?” “Zoonotic Rickettsia of fleas and ticks: What every veterinarian should know,” and “Vector-borne disease case challenges” at the 88th Annual Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas on March 5.​ The Western Veterinary Conference is one of the largest continuing education conferences for veterinarians in the United States.

Dr. Kidd has been informed that an abstract titled “Post-Chemotherapy Perforation in Cats with a Diagnosis of Intermediate or High Grade Gastrointestinal Lymphoma” by Zachary Crouse, DVM ’13, has been accepted for presentation at the 2016 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine’s Forum in Denver, Colorado in June. This study is a collaboration between WesternU CVM, Veterinary Specialty Hospital San Diego and San Marcos, and MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston where Dr. Crouse is currently completing an internal medicine residency. The study began as student summer research project for Dr. Crouse when he was a veterinary student at WesternU and was supported by the CVM Associate Dean of Research.

CVM Professor of Veterinary Anesthesia and Pain Management Lyon Lee received a $336,000 grant funded for two years as principal investigator from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). The KIST has recently been ranked the world’s sixth most innovative research institution by Reuters (, and has been carrying out numerous international collaborative research projects. Dr. Lee and his collaborators, including Drs. John Tyler, Maisie Dawes, Janet Han and Jungho Ko from WesternU, will carry out a research project titled, “Clinical investigation of hypertensive and hypotensive cardiovasoactives in animal models utilizing a novel fiber optic biosensor incorporating measurement of oxygen, hydrogen, glucose, lactate, temperature, and microcirculation.” The research group has also recently received a grant from Woojung Biosciences, South Korea, in the amount of $140,000 for a research project on Lab Animal Analgesia, bringing the total of grant money received to $476,000. This has enabled the team, with the support of the Office of Research Affairs, to establish infrastructure for in vivo studies at the Applied Physiology and Comparative Pharmacology Laboratory.​


From the College of Dental Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
On March 7, Dr. Marisa Watanabe and Luahna Ellner, RDHAP, presented “Fluoride Varnish: Knowledge, Clinical Application, and Follow-up Recommendations” at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) Regional Public Health Nurses (PHNs) Meeting. The workshop consisted of discussion on common myths of fluoride, asking medical and dental history, followed by how to conduct an oral screening prior to application of fluoride varnish. The PHNs performed peer-to-peer oral screening followed by the application of fluoride varnish. The goal was to provide awareness of fluoride application by a primary provider to a child when the first teeth erupt, the child has not yet seen a dentist, or the child does not have a comprehensive dental home. WesternU CDM continues to strive to work collaboratively with other healthcare providers to create a healthier community.


From University Advancement:

We Care Dental Center expansion
A $450,000 pledge from Josephine Yeong and Kon L. Leung, DDS, will support expansion of the College of Dental Medicine We Care Dental Center in Rancho Mirage, California. The generous gift will be used to purchase equipment for the expanded clinic serving the developmentally disabled and others in the Coachella Valley.


Alumni news
On Friday, March 18, the Alumni Office sponsored the Match Day Breakfast in HEC for the DO Class of 2016. On the previous afternoon, Alumni Office staff spoke to the class about how they can and why they should stay involved with and support the University after they graduate.

On Saturday, March 19, the Alumni Office hosted an event for more than 50 College of Graduate Nursing alumni, students, faculty, and guests at the Newport Beach Marriott during the California Association for Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference. Attendees enjoyed a reception-style dinner, with hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and a hosted bar. Pictures from the event can be found at


From the Pumerantz Library:

National Library Week
April 11-15 is National Library Week. To celebrate, the library is sponsoring the following programs for students:

Coloring contest – Monday through Wednesday, April 11-13, Library first floor: color in the library and post your work to our board for judging. The winner will receive a gift card.

Guest speaker at noon Wednesday, April 13 in HEC, Classroom E. Join us for a lecture on black women artists healing through art by Valorie Thomas, PhD, of Pomona College. Her talk is titled “Afrofuturists Looking to Heal.” Bring your lunch. Light refreshments will be served.

Team Games Night and DIY Dessert Bar – 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 in the librarys’ fourth floor conference room. Bring friends and play some games while you decorate and eat cupcakes. Registration recommended, walk-ins welcome.

Fine free Friday – Friday, April 15, all day: Return an overdue book and pay no fines. Old fines and fees cannot be waived.

For more details read the library’s News and Events blog or contact Rudy Barreras ( or ext. 5476) about general events.


Monday Mail
Click here to read Monday Mail, which lists the latest WesternU student-led activities and fundraisers. The webpage will refresh tonight with the latest information.

Recommended Stories