April 2014 Edition

April 2014 - The Record

 Touro University California - The Record 

 In this issue…

This is an exciting time to be at Touro University California as we embrace new programs, opportunities and projects that will make our campus flourish. We continue to reach into various communities and with the assistance of Shelley Berkley, our new Senior Provost and CEO of Touro’s Western Division, we are fostering conversations that will take Touro to the next level. 

From the “Big Game” earlier this month to our new Nursing program to the Graduate School of Education Celebration, many wonderful and exciting things are happening at TUC and we invite you to be a part of it all! 


Campus Updates 

Professional Activities

Upcoming Events

Faculty/Staff Feature

Meet Alejandro Gugliucci

New Faces

Tech Tips

Assessment and Accreditation

Institutional Advancement

Have You Heard

TUC in the News


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

  Campus Updates

Mark your calendars and get ready for a full-packed event on April 30th, when Interprofessional Education and Research Day take over our campus! Read more details below. 

2014 Big Game

TUC and Touro University Nevada (TUN) played a nail-biting, edge of your seat game on April 3rd during its annual “Big Game” between both universities. This year, the game was held at TUC and provided a live feed for all our campuses to view. Although TUN took home “The Hammer,” both teams had a mutual camaraderie and enjoyed a wonderful “after party” event together. Our dance team provided an amazing and cultural performance, as well as the flash mob (which included Dr. Hopkins, faculty and staff)! Go Bulls! Check out pictures of the event.

Drew Walther TUC would like to welcome its new counselor, Dr. Drew Walther, a native of Williamsburg, VA who earned a PhD in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a research focus on underserved populations in counseling. He’s excited to address student functioning and mental health on campus!  Drew Walther grew up in Williamsburg, VA and attended the University of Maryland, College Park as an undergraduate.  He completed a MA in Counseling and a PhD in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara with a research focus on underserved populations in counseling.  With clinical and administrative experience, he joined the staff at Stanford University for his predoctoral internship prior to starting as a staff psychologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.   Before joining the TUCA staff as Director of Counseling, Dr. Walther worked as the National Chapter Director at a DC-based nonprofit focused on college student mental health outreach and advocacy.

Touro College & University System is pleased to announce the first awards under the new Seed Funding Grant Program! Congratulations to our very own Dr. Alison McCormick, who together with Chandra Shekhar Bakshi from New York Medical College, was selected for funding at the level of $100,000 through a selective peer review process. Additionally, Dr. Miriam Gochin of TUC COM, in collaboration with Dr. Joseph M. Wu of NY Medical College, was selected for funding at the level of $50,000.

The Department of Research and the Office of Sponsored Programs have moved their office to Lander Hall Room 232 (A-D). Room 236 has also been developed as a secured research storage space. The goal was to unclutter Lander Hall 103-B so that it becomes a safer, more compliant environment with more usable knee-hole and bench space.  Room 238 has been developed for housing the poster printer (one administrative assistant or coordinator per college has or will be trained by Ms. Davis who will oversee the printer use.) The room has a combination lock for added security. One to two freezers and general lab supplies will be purchased and will also be located in Room 238.

purim2014Fun times on campus with our very own Rabbi Elchonon! On March 17th, Rabbi Elchonon celebrated Purim inside the Lander Hall Gym as he played the saxophone with the “Ferris Wheels” band. All campus members were invited to attend this celebration – a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire – and were treated to free Hamentashen and pastries.

Students, faculty and staff hosted another wonderful event in March with its Teen Life Conference held on the TUC campus.  This outreach event, led by Dr. Yasmin Nibbe, MD, provides an array of teenagers from surrounding high schools a smorgasbord of opportunities to learn more about health, good lifestyles, and information on pursing a medical career. Read more.

There’s a new spotlight in the Library and it’s highlighting resources from our own professors! Dr. Philip Malouf, who serves on the Library Committee, came up with the idea of creating a video spotlight highlighting various resources deemed fit by our faculty. Check out the first spotlight - Click here. 

Want to see what’s going on locally in the news? No problem. In addition to the daily issues of the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times, the Library has now started a subscription to the Vallejo Times Herald! Published Tuesday – Friday, the paper will be located on the coffee table outside the computer room.

On March 5th, over 450 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students descended upon the state Capitol in Sacramento to lobby for legislation affecting the practice of pharmacy.  Touro students accounted for over 40% of this massive body, and several students took the initiative to personally advocate for their profession directly with legislators and their staff.  The event, California Pharmacists Legislative Day, was sponsored jointly by the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP).

The day began with a briefing session across the street from the Capitol at the Sheraton Grand Hotel (a favorite hangout of former governor Schwarzenegger).  After brief introductions, California Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Virginia Herold addressed the group about the current regulatory environment and progress on developing regulations to implement SB 493 which passed in 2013 expanding the scope of practice for all pharmacists in the state, allowing all pharmacists to write prescriptions for contraceptives, smoking cessation aids, travel medications for international travel, to order tests to monitor the safety and effectiveness of drug therapy, and to administer all immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  This segue lead to a talk by Dr. Ryan Gates from the Kern County Medical Center and Dr. Sarah McBane from the CPhA Board of Trustees on the progress of SB 493 implementation, and the need for pharmacists to play an expanded role in primary care due to the lack to primary care providers statewide.  Lastly, Vallejo's own ASM Susan Bonilla from the Assembly Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee gave the lunchtime keynote address on the importance of the role of pharmacists in the community, and her own legislation targeting improvement of medication adherence (AB 2418). 

After lunch, the entire group proceeded across the street to the Capitol for a photo on the west steps, then to their legislative appointments to advocate for SB 1039 (Hernandez) to improve the efficient use of Health Facility Pharmacy Personnel and AB 1535 (Bloom) to allow pharmacists to furnish an antidote to opioid overdose. 

The day was capped off with a reception in the lobby of the Sheraton Grand Hotel to provide an opportunity to share the experiences of grassroots advocacy.  Read the March 6 CSHP Newsletter for photos and more information.

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  Upcoming Events

April 30: Join the campus-wide Interprofessional Education Day from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Lander Hall auditorium. Special guest speaker will be Nathan Wolfe, also known as the Indiana Jones of virus hunting and one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”  Refreshments will be served. 

Research Day 2013April 30: TUC invites you to the 13th Annual Research Day! The event begins with lunch from 12:30-1 p.m. in Lander Hall, Lecture Hall A, followed by Keynote Speaker Ira Schwartz, Ph.D., professor and Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology. Oral presentations will be given between 2-3 p.m., followed by the Poster Session and Reception from 3-6 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Read more

May 1: The Physician Assistant program is hosting a special graduation of the Class of 2014 with a Fiesta Luncheon! Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. at Farragut Inn Ballroom. For more information, contact Jennifer Tam

May 1: The professional pharmacy clubs and Student Government Association welcome all to their first “Legislative Dinner” from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Farragut Inn. Join the group as they present information on pending healthcare legislation that would advance the profession of pharmacy. All colleges are encouraged to attend as part of Interprofessional Education. The evening will include guest speakers and legislative representatives. 

EmployeeEventMay 16: Employee Appreciation Day is back with a Mad Hatter Luncheon! Get ready to wear your favorite hat and sample delicious snacks and tea for this Mad Hatter Tea Party! There will be games, prizes, riddles, giggles, curiosities galore and more! Enter the most creative hat contest! Follow the white rabbit to the Grove – the party goes from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

May 19: GSOE will celebrate its 10th Anniversary and End of Year Celebration beginning at 6 p.m. in the Lander Hall auditorium. Reception to immediately follow. Join GSOE as they celebrate their history and honor graduates, credential completers, and alumni. Family, friends and community members are welcome. RSVP to gsoe@tu.edu

May 22: The Master of Public Health program is celebrating a graduation luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. at Farragut Inn Ballroom. For more information, contact Brigida Perez.

Commencement 2013May 23: TUC’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony: Held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel Ballroom, 55 Fourth Street in San Francisco, beginning at 10 a.m. All three of our colleges will present their students for graduation. Hotel rooms at discounted rates are still available. For more information, click here.




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  Professional Activities


Justin HeardDr. Jim O’Connor is pleased to announce that effective immediately, Dr. Justin Heard will serve as Assistant Dean of the CEHS. Justin has been at TUC for six years and will continue as Director of the Graduate School of Education. Congratulations Justin!!! 

Congratulations to GSOE, who received news that NapaLearns agreed to provide an additional $80,000 in direct grants to Napa County teachers who become students in TUC’s Master’s programs beginning this year. This brings their total donation to $170,000! 


After months of negotiations, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) have approved an agreement resulting in a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME). The Allopathic and Osteopathic medical communities have committed to work together to prepare future generations of physicians with the highest quality GME, ultimately helping to ensure the quality and safety of healthcare delivery. Read more

Congratulations to Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci, who was appointed by Dr. Alan Kadish, President and CEO, to the Biomedical and Health Sciences Research Council of the Touro College and University System! His appointment will run through June 30, 2015.  Read More.

Congratulations to new Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OPSC) Vice President Dr. Abraham Pera, DO and new OPSC board member Dr. Patricia Rehfield, DO! Additionally, congrats to Dr. Alesia Wagner, DO, who completed a great year as OPSC president! She will remain on the Board of Directors of OPSC as immediate past president. 

Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci has been selected by the National Institution of Health to be in a distinguished panel to review a major 15-year Program Project on cardiovascular disease, oxidative stress and paraoxonase protein. The project is carried out by the Cleveland Clinic. Well done! Read more

Alesia WagnerCheers to Dr. Alesia Wagner, DO, who represented the Osteopathic profession and Touro COM as a speaker at the California Association of Physician’s Assistants (CAPA) mid-year conference in Napa in February as a speaker. 

The Office of Sponsored Programs is proud to report that six federal grant submissions have already been processed in 2014! TUC COM has had a good presence in the seed grants program and news from those awards should become available soon. 

Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz presented his research at the 3rd Latin America Congress on Controversies to Consensus in Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension – “A Method to Purify APOB100 Particles from APOB48 Particles in Triglyceride-Rich Lipoproteins (TRL),”  by Dr. Jean-Marc Schwarz, Grace Marie Jones, Clive Pullinger, Russell Caccavello, Teresa Khofri, Michael Wen, Kathleen Mulligan, Ewan Sinclair, and Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci. 

Accolades go to Dr. Richard Reimer, DO, neurologist and Adjunct Clinical Faculty member for being selected as the OPSC Physician of the Year! 

The most updated biochemistry textbook is out, featuring two chapters from our very own Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci and his team! They have had the honor of being part of this this book since its first edition and have included cutting-edge research by our own clinicians. “Fourth Edition Medical Biochemistry,” John W. Baynes; Marek H. Dominiczak. To read the copy, contact Dr. Gugliucci

During OPSC’s 2014 Annual Convention, winners of OPSC’s Student Video Contest were announced.  Zubin Sedghi, OMS II from TUC COM received first place for a video he produced to educate the public about osteopathic medicine.  See the Touro Winning video here.  

Congratulations to Dr. Gregg Lund, DO, who published an article in the March JAOA issue: “Preliminary Findings on the Use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment: Outcomes During the Formation of the Practice-Based Research Network,” DO-Touch.NET, Brian F. Degenhardt, DO; Jane C. Johnson, MA; Shanin R. Gross, DO; Celia Hagan, BSN; Gregg Lund, DO; William J. Curry, MD, MS. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2014 114:154-170; doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.033.


COP Poster Day 2014COP faculty members are still talking about this year’s Poster Day, featuring “wonderful posters and presentations.” Dr. Kathy Knapp is proud of the research and organization that went into the projects and thanks Dr. Heimer, Dr. Madden, and Dr. Mookerjee for their coaching approach, which made this year’s Poster Day exceed last years. Special thanks to Alisa Danyeur who spent countless hours printing the posters. Visit LH160 and 170 to see the posters and visit facebook to see photos from the event.

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  New Faces

  • Kayla Bernardy, Events, Food Services
  • Diane Darrow, Adjunct Faculty, Graduate School of Education, CEHS
  • Alice Deguia, Adjunct Faculty, Graduate School of Education, CEHS
  • Lorissa Feliciano, Administrative Assistant, Graduate School of Education, CEHS
  • Akos Gerencser, Instructor, COP
  • Denene Lofland, Associate Professor, COM
  • Marianne Lyon, Adjunct Faculty, Graduate School of Education, CEHS
  • Ariana Nemati, Lab Manager & Research, COM
  • Irina Perevoshchikova, Post Doc Fellow, COP
  • Margaret Rothman, Adjunct Faculty, Primary Care, COM
  • William Walther, Director of Counseling, Student Services

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  Meet Alejandro Gugliucci

Alejandro GugliucciThe face should be synonymous with research on campus. Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci, affectionately known to many as Dr. G, has his fingers in every research paper, study, and medical edition one can imagine. His work encompasses robust studies from diabetes to HDL and he continues to travel around the globe presenting his findings. 

Here’s a snippet into the life of Dr. G: 

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, a small country at latitude 35 degrees South that used to be called the Switzerland of America for its advanced social laws and culture. I come from a Neapolitan family, whose grandparents emigrated in the early 19th century. I was the first one in the family to get a college degree and a university degree. 

I studied Medicine in the State University, Universidad de la Republica, essentially for free. After, I went into Endocrinology and Clinical Pathology residencies and am board certified in the latter. I decided to become an academician early in my career; I gave my first lecture in 1978 and entered the Biochemistry department. For the past 36 years, I have embarked an academic career around the world, including Japan, France, Brazil and Israel. I also studied for five years in France for a PhD in Biochemistry at the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg (the same city the role of pancreas on diabetes was discovered). 

You’ve played the guitar on campus – what can you tell us about this?

I am a self-taught guitar player. My father, who played Tango, taught me a few chords. At 16, we had a band and played music from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I also play some mandolin (Neapolitan) and ukulele. As needed I add bass and keyboards to my songs. 

If you could play one song on American Idol, what would it be?

“Imagine” by John Lennon would be the best. However, culturally, I should play and sing a Tango and a Neapolitan canzonnetta. 

When did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

At 14, when we studied the human anatomy and physiology at high school. I wanted to know how our organism worked and it’s since been my passion. Eventually, this led me to academics. A good professor cannot teach, we can show students how to think problems and guide them. They learn by themselves if one provides the context. 

Do you have children?

I have two beautiful daughters. 

What makes Dr. G tick?

The companionship with my wife. Also, science and discovery is one great drive. More than one colleague and staff have seen me jumping or doing a dance when my results turn good. Facilitating the learning of medical students is another one. I have done this in three different languages  (I calculate I have interacted with 6,000 students so far) and on a wide range of subjects: biochemistry, pathophysiology, cell biology, clinical pathology and even anatomy with dissection and all. I created a student-centered Problem-Based Learning course at Touro that I directed for eight years; a unique Laboratory Diagnosis course that I’ve run for the same period, and a Clinical Biochemistry elective. The best, latest biochemistry textbook (2014) has two chapters by me. 

What are two things people don’t know about you?

1. I went for a post doc to Montreal, Canada, where I studied Cell Biology and Electron Microscopy. I then became a Professor with my own grants and laboratories and worked there for five years.

2. I am fluent in Spanish, French, English and Italian and can follow conversations in Portuguese. 

What is your greatest achievement?

One’s life is a balance of several aspects, there is no single one. Creating a family and traveling around the world with them and converting my daughters in polyglots with a world view is one. Maintaining my research productivity here with very little resources is another one. Getting our campus research infrastructure going to the point that we now have national and international recognition is not my merit alone, but the lion’s share I modestly say is mine. The recognition I get from my contributions to diabetes and HDL research is another one. My body of work counts 90 articles and I have been cited more than 1,000 times. 

Why do you use the “thumbs up” logo in your emails?

I had used funnier and more outrageous ones. I do it because I am playful and to make the person that gets my email smile. 

As one of the founding faculty members at TUC, how have things changed since you started?

I was hired May 1997. The COM was leasing classrooms of a Podiatry school and our offices were in a basement. The move to Mare Island was a great change and we thank Dr. Bernard Zeliger, our first Dean, for this move. 

Since then, this has been an exponential, exciting, upward adventure. We’ve had successful programs in COM leading to PA programs in 2004; the Nevada branch; and COP schools opening. Many faculty members were also given the opportunity to grow academically in scholarship or in administration. The consolidation of an upper administration in the past three years was a huge leap ahead and a great hope for the future. 

What do you hope to accomplish at TUC?

With the support of the administration, I want to increase laboratory space, triple extramural research funding, and broaden the scope of our research to consolidate two-three core projects of critical mass that will give us a name in the area and nationally. I want to integrate the effort with the other Touro campuses and NYMC. We are building a network with my counterparts at these other campuses that will sure give fruits.

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  Tech Tips

TUC Course Capture: The Touro University Information Technology Department is nearing the final implementation stage of MediaSite, the course capture system that we are implementing. The hardware and server preparation is complete and system administration training is scheduled for this month. To ensure that we are maximizing the benefits of the system, three members of the IT Department will be attending MediaSite's annual user conference this month as well. Our goals for this semester are to solidify our processes related to recording classes scheduled in Lander Hall 160, 170, 212 and Lecture Hall A and B, and to post as many class sessions as possible to Blackboard. This exciting project is a huge leap forward for our campus - stay tuned and look forward to Fall 2014 for full implementation.

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Assessment and Accreditation

WASC WorkshopThe Annual WASC Workshop took place from noon-4:00pm on April 3rd, 2014, the Big Game day, at Farragut Inn. Representatives from TUC and TUN attended the workshop. 

We were pleased to have a guest speaker, Dr. Richard Winn, Vice President from WASC to address the workshop. Dr. Winn addressed the changing role and expectations of the Department of Education and how it impacts regional accrediting bodies and higher education institutions.  He also spoke to changes in the 2013 WASC Handbook and what that means for our campus as we prepare for our next accreditation review. 

TUC academic programs and student services division are working hard on selecting appropriate measures to assess ISLOs 1 & 2.  Once the measures are selected, data will be collected and analyzed.

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program in the COM has submitted the Program Review self-study for committee review. The Masters of Public Health program in the CEHS will have the self-study and the external consultant report ready in April.  

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   Institutional Advancement 

If you want to make a difference in the life of a TUC student, you can make a tax deductible gift through the tu.edu website. Go to our home page and click on the gray bar that says “Make a Gift.” It will take you to a Commerce Manager page that accepts credit card payments. You can make a gift to a student scholarship in a particular college, the university Student Emergency Loan Fund or a general category called “Where the Need is Greatest.” Every dollar stays on our campus and helps our own students.

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  Have You Heard?

Touro University students turn grant into Vallejo Health Fair (Vallejo Times Herald) 

Teens learn tips for healthy lives (Vallejo Times Herald) 

Touro opening nursing school (Daily Republic – Fairfield) 

Touro plans nursing school (The Reporter – Vacaville) 

Touro plans Mare Island Nursing School (North Bay Business Journal) 

Touro University Announces New Nursing Program (City of Vallejo) 

Touro announces new nursing master’s degree program (Vallejo Times Herald) 

Richard Rico: A Doffing of Hats (Vacaville Reporter) 

Picks & pecks editorial: Matter of Degrees (Vacaville Reporter)

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