March 2013 Edition

The Record

 Touro University California - The Record 

 In this issue…

In observance of Passover, the campus will be closed on Monday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 2, 2013.



Have a Happy Passover

Campus Updates 

Professional Activities

Upcoming Events

Faculty/Staff Feature

Meet Jean-Marc Schwarz

New Faces


Do you have campus updates, professional accomplishments or upcoming events you’d like to see featured?  If so, email with details.

  Campus Updates

Touro University California’s basketball team garnered the Championship and proudly brought home “The Hammer” on March 8, 2013, defeating Touro University Nevada 55-54! Congratulations to everyone on such an impressive, competitive game. We salute the 2013 TUC Raging Bulls Champions and Dancers for their incredible win!

Results from “The Waiting Room” benefit screening event on February 21, 2013 are in! We had 300 guests fill the Empress Theatre in Vallejo, 83 of who attended the $50 pre-screening reception. Thanks to the generosity of our faculty, staff, students, doctors, sponsors, and community members, the Student Run Free Clinic will receive just over $6,000 for supplies and/or operations.

Dr. Michael Harter announced on March 14, 2013 his retirement after years at Touro University.  Dr. Harter says that this “institution is in very good hands and in a very good place.  We have full accreditation in all of our academic programs as well as institutional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  TUC is also financially very solvent and continues to be a leader within the Touro College System.”  He will spend the next few months working with President Kadish to prepare for the transition to a new Senior Provost and CEO.

The 8th Annual Teen Life Conference was a success on campus, where hundreds of high school students filled the rooms at Lander Hall. Families and their teens were informed about health care issues, educational lectures, health screenings, informational booths, and physical activities. The event was run by Touro students and faculty from COM, COP, PA, GSOE and MPH. TLC was headed by students Brittany Le, Caitlin Harris, Elizabeth Vuong, Erin Hogue, Lois Hurr and Klari Olenski, with faculty advisors Dr. Yasmin Nibbe of COM and Dr. Jim Binkerd, Associate Dean for Student Services.

The Graduate School of Education officially announced its new single subject teaching credential in music.  The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has granted the GSOE the authority to offer a credential in teaching music. Touro University California is one of the few programs in the area to offer this credential.  Dr. Karen Yoder, program chair, is to be commended for her work on this initiative.

The Joint MSPAS/MPH Program hosted a free daylong training at the Napa Valley Marriott. More than 70 people were in attendance, including the current Class of 2015. The training was supported by a grant from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). The speakers included three clinicians from the VA system: Dr. Nicola Alenkin, Supervisory Social Worker/PACT Social Worker at the VA in Los Angeles; Shaili Jain, MD with the Behavioral Health Team at the VA in Palo Alto; and Dr. Elizabeth Manning (pictured), clinical psychologist in the Women’s Health Center at the VA in Palo Alto.

TUC has been selected as one of 10 Universities in the nation to be offered the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) grant. Funded by Intel, the grant will help to create online learning modules and digital learning tools to be used in the GSOE’s credential and Master’s programs. Dr. Pamela Redmond attracted Intel’s invitation to participate based on her cutting-edge work in educational technology and innovation.

Librarians Tamara Trujillo and Becky Miller will soon be switching offices. Tamara’s new office will be in the middle of the Library across from the Computer Lab.  Her new office will also house the Historical Collection and the University Archives. Becky’s new office will be immediately to the right as one enters the Library.  

Did you know that the film The Master, nominated for three 2013 Academy Awards (best actor-Joaquin Phoenix; best supporting actor-Philip Seymour Hoffman, and best supporting actress-Amy Adams), was filmed in part on the TUC campus and other locations on Mare Island?  If you missed seeing the film while it was playing in movie theaters, the Library now has a copy for check-out. 

Do you need assistance with Informational Technology? It is most effective if you contact the Service Desk where a variety of people can provide assistance and there will be a history of your service call.  Here are three ways to contact the Service Desk: 1. Go to Login using your network username/password and enter your Service Request directly, 2. Email your request to, and 3. Call extension 85424 and, if you get voice mail, leave a message describing your request or question.

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  Upcoming Events


April 3, 2013: As a continuation to the well-attended August IPE event, a faculty-focused Interprofessional Education Symposium will be held from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Farragut Inn Ballroom. Dr. Pamela Redmond will present the first of a series of talks on utilizing online technologies to support Interprofessional Learning.Attendees are asked to complete the Pre-Workshop Survey to RSVP.

April 4, 2013: TUC’s Public Health Program is hosting its annual “Public Health Hero Awards” from noon to 2 p.m. in the Farragut Ballroom. Awards are given to individuals for distinguished activities which support the Public Health Program mission of promoting the health and well-being of local and global underserved communities through education, service, and research.  Read more.

April 7, 2013: TUC will present the screening of the award-winning film, “Escape Fire” at Lander Hall A from 3-6 p.m. The film follows dramatic human stories and leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government and the US military. This free event will also feature a panel discussion. For information contact Dr. Patricia Rehfield.

April 15, 2013: All TUC MPH students and alumni have been invited to attend the 2013 MPH Career Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Farragut Inn.  The Keynote speaker (9-11 a.m.) will be Dr. Debra Behrens, PhD Career Counselor, University of California Berkeley. Alumni guest luncheon speakers will be Joy Dugan, PA, MPH, Class of 2012; Domenica Giovannini, MPHClass of 2012; and Maryna Pecherska, MPH, Class of 2010. Read more.

April 24, 2013: The College of Osteopathic Medicine Research Department and Office of Sponsored Programs are pleased to host the “12th Annual Research Day.”  Keynote speaker for the event will be Gary Taubes, award-winning science and health journalist, contributing correspondent to the journal Science, and co-founder of the non-profit “Nutrition Science Initiative.” Read more.

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  Professional Activities

Ruby Warnock and Keely Molina, TUC research assistants to Assistant Professor Carinne Brody, were guests on “Africa Views,” a radio program hosted by Padmini Murthy of New York Medical Center.

Congratulations to COP students Kevin Carrasco, Steve Kim and Ben Malcolm for winning the 2013 CPhA Quiz bowl over seven California pharmacy schools! Although they were outnumbered with only three students compared to five from other schools, they demonstrated their determination, dedication and effort to take first place.

Former student from GSOE, Kim Floyd, received the Dennis Richmond community Impact Award, which is given to an individual who is inspiring and has shown exemplary work at a public school. Nominated by Barb Nemko, Ms. Floyd was recognized for her work connected to the “iPad Project,” “ iPad workshop,” and  “iPad Coaching.”

TUC’s Joint Program has much to celebrate! The Class of 2012 is the sixth consecutive TUC Joint Program class to have a first-time pass rate of 97%. They beat the national average for first-time Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination pass rates, which was 93% in 2012. This rate reflects the scores of 39 of the 40 graduates from 2012.

TUC’s Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) chapter, Gamma Omicron, received national recognition and was awarded chapter of the year. The award was presented during the American Pharmacists Association Annual meeting March 1-4, 2013, in Los Angeles. Special thanks and recognition goes to the 2011-2012 PLS Executive Cabinet (Kevin Carrasco, Keri Hurley, Raymond Chow, and Kristin Wong), PLS Faculty Advisors (Dr. Terrill Tang and Dr. Linda Banares), 2012-2013 Executive Cabinet (David Lash, Sukhpal Cheema, Trinh Nguyen, and Ben Malcolm), all chapter members, and to Dean Katherine Knapp. 

Dr. Teresita Menini, along with Hisato Ikeda, Satoshi Kimura, and Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci, recently published “Circulating Soluble RAGE Increase After a Cerebrovascular Event,” in the Clin Chem Lab Med 2013, DOI 10.1515/CClm-2012-0813.

Dr. Linda Haymes of GSOE was invited to present to the Autism Awareness Association at UC Davis on February 26, 2013. She addressed career opportunities in autism and applied behavior analysis.

Congratulations to Krisma DesPortes, P2, PharmD/MPH Candidate, who received the prestigious Navy Grad School Scholarship!  She is the first student from Touro University California’s CEHS Public Health Program and College of Pharmacy to do so.  Her scholarship will provide up to $134,600, including monthly salary and housing allowance for two years.

TUC Alum Gerard A. Baltazar, DO, together with Michael P. Betler, DO; Krishna Akella, BA; Rishi Khatri, MS IV; Regina Asaro, DO; and Akella Chendrasekhar, MD, published an article entitled, “ Effect of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Incidence of Postoperative Ileus and Hospital Length of Stay in General Surgical Patients,”  which came out in the March 2013 issue of Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Patricia Rehfield, C. Kopes-Kerr, and Michael Clearfield authored “The Evolution or Revolution of Statin Therapy in Primary Prevention: Where Do We Go From Here?”  It was published in the Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 2013 Feb;15(2):298. 

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  New Faces

  • Kimberly Pepper, Custodian, Facilities Management

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  Meet Jean-Marc Schwarz

Jean-Marc Schwarz

At any given time of the day, Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz, professor and researcher in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, can be found passionately discussing the topic of fructose. 

It’s a topic this affable man discovered while working on his Doctorate in Metabolism/Physiology at Lausanne University in Switzerland, and a topic that generated a plethora of published work. 

“I started to work on sugar and I’ve never gotten bored with it,” Dr. Schwarz admitted when asked about his fascination on the subject. “But now I’m very interested in sugar and fat metabolism.” 

And without skipping a beat, he begins to unravel his most favorite and most talked about topic. 

“Sugar has always been in our diet. However, with the advance of the food industry and the food and beverage industry, the way we ingest sugar is very different today than the way we used to take it in the past,” he said. “Not only has sugar consumption increased in past centuries but also the type of sugar, its absorption and the delivery to the liver has changed. This may lead to major health issues,such as lipid profile associated with higher risk for cardiovascular disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”

Dr. Schwarz, whose hobbies include diving, skiing, and singing in classical choruses, recently returned from Arizona State University where he was part of a debate regarding the metabolic effects of sugar and sweet beverages. 

It’s no surprise, however, that he’s become an expert in the arena of sugar and today’s obesity epidemic. He has more than 50 publications on the topic of carbohydrate and fat metabolism, including a study that was just submitted for review (“Effect of Short Term Feeding with High Versus Low Fructose Diets on Liver Metabolism and Liver Fat”), and has appeared in an array of interviews with such media outlets as 60 Minutes and BBC. And, he adds nonchalantly, a possible Canadian television network interview is on the horizon. 

Yet when asked in jest about his celebrity status, Dr. Schwarz becomes uncomfortable and quickly illustrates his humble side by changing the subject, followed by a shy smile. 

The quick-witted professor’s family origin is in the German part of Switzerland, but he grew up in the French part, specifically Leysin, a small ski station in the Alps. He attended Lausanne University in Switzerland, where he received his Bachelors of Science in Physiology/Biochemistry as well as his Doctorate in Metabolism/Physiology. From there, he went to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to do a Post Doctorate fellowship in Tracer Methods. 

Adding to his education, he attended University of California, Berkeley for another Post Doc, where he landed a faculty position in 1994. While still at Cal Berkeley, Dr. Schwarz took an adjunct research position at the University of California, San Francisco and in 2004, he joined Touro University California. 

He speaks three-and-a-quarter languages, he says jokingly (French, English, Spanish, and some German), used to fly planes when his private pilot’s license was current, and has five children ranging in ages from 11 to 34 years old. Still, his passion remains at Touro University California. 

“I love a lot of things, but I dream to see more research on this campus,” he said.

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