StudentsFacultyAlumni

Jonathan Alvarez, B.A.

Class of 2013

Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it.

What is great about the MSBS program is the interaction we as students are able to have. Our small classes allow us to become fully engaged in a topic or chapter that we are focusing on.

Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable.

While working in my first lab rotation under Dr. Doug Ethell I was able to have one of those “EUREKA!” moments. I didn’t make some ground breaking discovery that was going to cure AIDS, but I did discover something within myself. It was one of those make-or-break moments. I wasn’t sure if this program was a right fit for me being that I had minimum research experience. But in this lab I really, for the first time, experienced the feeling of getting positive results after a lab experiment that was going towards legitimate research and it was AWESOME!

Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how?

Dr. Manal Swairjo has been an excellent support for me. She has an open-door policy that give me the time to sit with her and discuss lecture, or even personal, issues.

Manal Swairjo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Why did you choose to work at WesternU? WesternU is growing fast. It offered me a unique opportunity to participate in building a new program in a new college, while contributing to the learning and research training of young scientists. This I find most rewarding.

What aspect of the curriculum do you feel will most benefit graduates and why? The MSBS curriculum is designed to involve students in lab work starting from the first few weeks of the program. Exams are created to be learning opportunities in themselves.

What would you tell a prospective student who’s considering becoming a student at WesternU? You will receive a lot of faculty attention due to small class size and will be part of the GCBS team.

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Vishwanath Venketaraman, PhD

Assistant Professor

Tell us about an experience where you observed a student or fellow faculty member exemplify the humanistic philosophy of our University. Students and faculty members at large are very caring and supportive and are always willing to assist each other.

Have you taken advantage of the research opportunities offered at WesternU? Please describe your research and it’s importance. My laboratory does active research on tuberculosis and HIV. I give opportunities to the students enrolled in the MSBS, MSMS, DO and DMD programs to participate in the ongoing and new research projects in my laboratory. Please see the link below for my research publications: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=venketaraman

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Pen-Jen Lin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

How do you think the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum will enhance student’s professional lives? Well chosen cases and team members and efforts from faculty members allow students to gain in-depth knowledge.

Have you taken advantage of the research opportunities offered at WesternU? Please describe your research and it’s importance. In our group, students and the principle investigator are studying how mistakes occur during the synthesis of insulin can lead to diabetes. We hope to develop new approach to prevent diabetes, based on our findings.

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Dulce Lopez, MSMS Class of 2015

Why did you choose WesternU? I chose WesternU because it was the only school on the west coast that offered a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences. The MSBS program’s major philosophy was to provide students with a strong research focus and training that enabled graduates to enter a career in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, or public/private research institutions. I was looking to acquire some research experience and problem solving skills and WesternU was the best fit. WesternU was a good choice because I feel that it prepared me well to enter the research industry. The skill set and problem-solving skills I’ve acquired are valuable and I’m sure I will use them in my future career.



Anna-Marie Kelemen, MSMS Class of 2015

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career? Because of the great research opportunity I received with my PI, I was able to present my research as a speaker at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology national conference, which was a great opportunity for a Masters student as I was the only student presenting in my section.

How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?Perhaps the best example of this was seen in my PI for my lab who treated me as an equal even though I was an entry MSBS student.



Jonathan Lee

Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how? All of the faculty and staff members in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences made me feel welcomed and supported. They are willing to help students out with any problems ranging from school work to financial aid. Furthermore, the faculty and staff in the Biomedical Sciences program are extremely friendly and are checking in with the students when they can.

How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? The willingness to care and help one another out at WesternU is ingrained within the faculty, staff, and students. It is absolutely amazing to know that you can depend on nearly everyone at WesternU to help you succeed and become proficient in your profession.