WesternU researchers identify new mechanisms in learning and memory
Western University of Health Sciences scientists published a study in The Journal of Neuroscience that adds new pieces to the puzzle of how we learn. The paper is titled "Calpain-2-mediated PTEN Degradation Contributes to BDNF-induced Stimulation of Dendritic Protein Synthesis," by Victor Briz, Yu-Tien Hsu, Yi Li, Erin Lee, Xiaoning Bi, and Michel Baudry. The study builds on 30 years of work by Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences Dean Michel Baudry, PhD. The paper tests the hypothesis that calpain activity is required for BDNF-stimulated local protein synthesis, a key step in the molecular mechanism underlying learning and memory. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its signaling pathway play an important role in the cellular mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission, a molecular mechanism of certain forms of long-term memory formation. Calpain is a calcium-dependent protease that normally is not activated in a cell until there is an influx of calcium. Proteases are enzymes that degrade other proteins. The protease calpain is unique in that when it cleaves its targets, it produces a long-lasting modification of their functions. In previous published research, Baudry and his colleagues established that BDNF can stimulate calpain. BDNF has also been shown to stimulate local protein synthesis. The new publication determines that the mechanism by which BDNF can stimulate local protein synthesis is through BDNF-mediated stimulation of calpain. The paper also determines that the critical target of calpain to mediate this effect is PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten), a known tumor suppressor protein.
Dean Selected to be Part of Gubernatorial Trade Mission to China
Dean Michel Baudry, PhD, was one of approximately 75 people throughout California selected to participate as a delegate in a trade and investment mission to China with Governor Jerry Brown and senior members of his administration April 10 - 16, 2013. The mission helped increase direct investment in California, build sales by California businesses, and strengthen ties between the world's second- and ninth-largest economies, according to the Office of the Governor. Baudry said he will promote WesternU and that he's interested in offering WesternU programs to foreign students, and in particular to Chinese students, because they are especially important to his future PhD program on Translational Health Sciences and the future expansion of the master's programs in biomedical sciences and informatics medicine. He will also push for enhanced collaboration between California and China to support research on the effects of urban nanoparticles on health.
Khomthorn Cunvong, MSMS '12, DO '16, Joshua Cameron, Assistant Professor in the College of Optometry, Daniel Huffmire, MSMS '12, DMD '16, and Douglas Ethell, Associate Professor in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences recently published Amyloid-β Increases Capillary Bed Density in the Adult Zebrafish Retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Feb 27;54(2):1516-21. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10821.
Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences Dean Michel Baudry, PhD, is one of approximately 75 people throughout California selected to participate as a delegate in a trade and investment mission to China with Governor Jerry Brown and senior members of his administration April 10 - 16, 2013. http://bit.ly/ZCvIiL
Read the latest updates from the students themselves in the latest Student Government Association Newsletter.
April 18: WesternU's College of Pharmacy presents the Ray Symposium on campus. Dr. Patricia Crawford, RD, director of the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley, and a Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist, will present "Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention," at 5:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall 1 of the Health Education Center on WesternU's Pomona campus.
May 15: WesternU Alumni Networking Mixer, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at McCormick & Schmick's in Pasadena (111 N Los Robles). Meet up with other WesternU alumni and join us for an evening of complimentary appetizers, drinks and lively conversation. RSVP by May 10 to Austin Braunwalder.
May 15-17: WesternU's 32nd Commencement at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium
June 10: WesternU's 2013 Towne & Gown Golf Tournament, benefiting student scholarships, will be held Monday, June 10, 2013, at the Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga.
July 13: Save the date to join your fellow alumni for complimentary drinks and snacks at WesternU's "Day at the Beach" in Malibu on Saturday, July 13, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
See a full list of upcoming events on the Online Alumni Events page.
For more information or to RSVP for these events, please contact the Alumni Office at (909) 469-ALUM or firstname.lastname@example.org.