For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement
W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 704-6101
Touro University California to celebrate grand opening of multi-million dollar research facility and new student health clinic
University researchers committed to finding solutions for those with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular issues and more
(Vallejo, CA – January 14, 2016) - To address the institution's needs for expanded space and growing research studies, Touro University California will celebrate the grand opening of its Translational Research Clinic and Student Health Clinic, including counseling services, on Wednesday, January 20, with a press conference, ribbon cutting, and reception.
"Touro University California's new research and student health clinics are an important addition to the rich history of Mare Island. It demonstrates our commitment to innovation and builds on the more than 17 years we have been part of this community," Marilyn Hopkins, PhD, Provost and Chief Operating Officer of Touro University California, said. "This is more than just a building; it is a major accomplishment in Touro's history, and a realization of our values, based on research, passion and perseverance."
Once serving as a prosthetics fabrication facility for the U.S. Navy, the 6,200 square foot building dates back to 1945. This reincarnation continues the tradition of solution-oriented medical research with which the building was created, to help those in need. The buildings new design integrates a strong respect for the original building form, incorporating plentiful natural light, interior glass partitions, high ceilings throughout and skylights.
Touro will utilize the space to conduct research and clinical trials, teach and aide students in their education and ultimately find solutions for those with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular issues and much more. In addition to the research facilities the new space will be home to a newly equipped student health clinic and office space for the university's student services team.
"This is a remarkable day for Touro University California as we open another campus facility to benefit our students, faculty and the community," said Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost of Touro's Western Division. "Research is such an important part of Touro's mission and having this new facility will provide our students and faculty with enhanced opportunities to conduct research on topics of great importance to all of us in California while also enhancing the educational experience. This facility will also provide state-of-the-art health care for our students."
Research being conducted at this facility will have a profound effect on the general population on a whole. More than 1 in 3 Californians currently have diabetes, or pre-diabetes. Many do not even know that they have it. The findings of future research at the Touro Translational Clinic have the potential to impact vast sections of the local population.
Under the direction of Touro's Dr. Jay Shubrook, Diabetiologist, the university launches the building with a study focusing on how the state of hypo and hyperglycemia alter driving ability. In addition, the new facility will further elaborate and continue to pursue solutions to research by Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz, Director of the Translational Research Clinic, on childhood and adult obesity as it relates to diabetes.
"Having our researchers work closely in an interprofessional environment such as that at Touro University California allows us to maximize our resources and grow our external collaborations," Dr. Michael Clearfield, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, said. "By focusing our efforts on high public health impact areas such as diabetes and obesity we are able to span the full spectrum from the basic sciences, to translational research, to clinical trials and eventually to a public health perspective, all the while allowing the pertinent information gleaned to be simultaneously incorporated into the curriculum to keep our students current and at the state of the art. The resources offered through this new building reflect the core mission of our University by serving our students and society through innovative multidisciplinary approaches to education, research and community service."
In late 2015, Dr. Schwarz and investigators from Touro, in collaboration with researchers from UCSF, reported striking results from a study in which fructose was restricted in the diets of 43 children between the ages of 9 and 18 who were obese and had at least one other chronic metabolic disorder, such as hypertension, high triglyceride levels, or a marker of fatty liver. The children were given nine days of food, including all snacks and beverages that restricted sugar but substituted starch to maintain the same fat, protein, carbohydrate, and calorie levels as their previously reported home diets. Fasting blood levels, blood pressure, and glucose to tolerance were assessed before and after the nine days of fructose restriction. Results showed that reducing consumption of added sugar, even without reducing calories or losing weight, has the power to reverse a cluster of chronic metabolic diseases, including high cholesterol and blood pressure, in children, in as little as 10 days.
The ceremony will also dedicate a DEXA machine that was donated by Nevada-based Steinberg Diagnostics technology. DEXA technology will allow metabolic researchers to not only measure bone density but also conduct critically important body composition studies and access body fat in a non-invasive way.
The Student Health Center portion of the building will allow for improved health services to students, including counseling services. As Touro University California trains health professionals and educators, these services support student wellness and health balance needed to be successful in their rigorous academic programs. This building represents an increased focused on supporting the student learning environment and plays a key role in encouraging the life long process of integrating students' learning with their personal health habits and practices.
About the Touro College and University System:
Touro University California is a Jewish nonprofit, independent graduate institution of higher learning founded in 1997 on three Judaic values: social justice, the pursuit of knowledge and service to humanity. The university, home to 1,400 students, has professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, public health, nursing, and education. Faculty, staff and students have a powerful commitment to academic excellence, evidence-based professional practice, inter-professional collaboration, and active engagement with a global community. To learn more, visit www.tu.edu or call 707-638-5200.
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