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This Week@WesternU, Sept. 25-29, 2017

by Rodney Tanaka

September 25, 2017

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Record $1.5 million NCI NIH grant awarded

Nissar A. Darmani, PhD, has been awarded a record WesternU research grant of more than $1.5 million to help cancer patients suffering from chemotherapy-evoked nausea and vomiting.  Dr. Darmani is Associate Dean of Basic Medical Sciences in the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP). 

The five-year grant is from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) arm of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is to investigate vomiting signals and crosstalk within brainstem and gut nerves as well as cells responsible for delayed-phase vomiting in the course of cancer chemotherapy with cis-platinum.

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Students invited to learn entrepreneurial skills at Pomona Innovation Weekend

Western University of Health Sciences is partnering with Cal Poly Pomona and the Pomona Chamber of Commerce on the second Pomona Innovation Weekend, an intense three-day workshop where students learn how to turn an idea into a business.

Pomona Innovation Weekend, previously called 3-Day Startup Pomona, will take place Oct. 20-22, 2017 in the Bronco Student Center at Cal Poly Pomona. The event is free and open to all graduate and undergraduate students. The application deadline is Monday, Oct. 9, 2017.

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Click here to view the Pomona Innovation Weekend website:

Click here to view a flier:



Hurricane Benefit Concert

Musicians in Medicine will hold a concert to raise money for hurricane relief from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 in front of the Health Education Center. Free food. Live music. T-shirts. Donations are encouraged and will go to the humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief through a GoFundMe account set up by the club. Email for more information. Click here to view a flier.

The concert will be streamed live on YouTube:



From the College of Graduate Nursing:

WesternU College of Graduate Nursing receives state funding to increase diversity, outreach to the underserved
Western University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Nursing has received $240,000 from the 2017-19 California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Program for Registered Nursing.

The primary purpose of the Song-Brown grant is to increase the number of nursing students receiving high-quality education and training in areas of unmet needs in California. Song-Brown awards funds to institutions with a demonstrated record of having graduates working in medically underserved areas, establishing community and clinical partnerships in underserved areas and increasing the diversity of the student body.

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From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

Kudos on accomplishments
The laboratory of GCBS Dean Michel Baudry, PhD, just published a paper in Scientific Reports, which identifies a new link between calpain-2 activation and tau hyperphosphorylation/aggregation, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which affects many athletes. This might open the way for new treatments for AD and CTE, a goal pursued by NeurAegis, the start-up company co-founded by several WesternU faculty members.

Wang, Y., Hall, R.A., Lee, M., Kamgar-parsi, A., Bi, X. and Baudry, M. The tyrosine phosphatase PTPN13/FAP-1 links calpain-2, TBI and tau phosphorylation. Scientific Reports | 7: 11771 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-12236-3.

Dr. Christina Goode, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in GCBS, gave the oral presentation, “A Mission-Driven Special Master’s Program Helps Increase Diversity in Professional Schools,” with collaborator Dr. Colleen Talbot, Professor of Physiology, COMP-Northwest, at the recent AMEE meeting (Association for Medical Education) in Helsinki. AMEE is a worldwide organization with members in 90 countries on five continents that promotes international excellence in education in the health care professions across the continuum of undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education.



From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

Stepping Forward
The Spring/Summer 2017 edition of Stepping Forward, the College of Podiatric Medicine’s magazine, is now available. Click here to read the magazine online and to see other CPM publications:



From University Advancement:

Alumni news
A WesternU reception was held during the recent Vision Expo West conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nearly 60 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and guests enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres at Firefly as they socialized and networked with one another.

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