Symposium to Focus on Health and Wellness

Topics for Jan. 17 event at UC Riverside include educating future physicians, translating research discovery into treatment, and engaging community partners

A Jan. 17 symposium at UC Riverside will focus on health and wellness.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The University of California, Riverside will host a symposium on Tuesday, Jan. 17, to explore ways of improving health in communities around the world, and to discuss how the university is advancing the study of human health, reducing healthcare disparities, and promoting prevention and wellness.

The event, “Living the Promise Symposium: Health & Wellness,” is free and open to the public. The symposium begins at 6 p.m. in Room 302, Highlander Union Building. Parking in Lot 1 is free for the event. Reservations are requested and may be made here.

“Living the Promise Symposium: Health & Wellness” is the third in a series of symposia that reflect key themes of the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign announced in October 2016. The $300 million campaign will conclude in 2020 and seeks funding for student support, faculty research, and infrastructure. Campaign themes align with goals outlined in UCR 2020, the university’s strategic plan, and include human health and well-being.

The two-hour symposium will address how UC Riverside is educating future physicians for the evolving healthcare landscape; translating research discovery into treatment; and engaging community partners in lasting health improvement. It will conclude with an interactive reception, featuring demonstrations, student research presentations, and video vignettes.

The symposium panelists and participants are:

Paul D'AnieriPaul D’Anieri, UCR provost and executive vice chancellor. D’Anieri joined UCR on July 1, 2014 after six years as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida. During his tenure at UCR, he hired permanent deans in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences; and the School of Medicine. Since his arrival in 2014, UCR has added 180 new faculty positions. He also oversaw a redesign of UCR’s budget process and migration to a new student information system. D’Anieri created a new office of International Affairs and led official UCR delegations to China and Taiwan.

Deborah Deas, the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean, UCR School of Medicine and CEO of Clinical Affairs, UCR Health. Deas earned her B.S. in biology from the College of Charleston, and followed that up by getting her M.P.H. from the University of South Carolina. She obtained her M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina where she completed both her residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Last year, she was appointed to the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state’s stem cell agency. Her research has primarily focused on the impact of substance abuse on youth and adolescents.

Mary Figueroa, UCR alumna and co-chair of the Latino Health Riverside Project steering committee. A community activist, Figueroa was raised by a single mom in Riverside’s Eastside and was one of the first in her neighborhood to attend a four-year university. She worked 21 years as a counselor for the California Department of Corrections. She also served on the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees since 1995, and on the boards of many other community organizations. She has earned multiple awards and accolades for her service.

Byron Ford, professor of biomedical sciences, UCR School of Medicine. Ford received his Ph.D. in physiology/neuroscience at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn. He studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of stroke and acute brain injuries. His lab investigates the neuroprotective roles of neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) and other compounds in stroke and other acute neuroinflammatory disorders. The lab is specifically interested in the role of NRG-1 in regulating the immune response and the activity of glial cells following brain injury. Ford’s work has yielded nine full U.S. patents, two Canadian patents and one each from China and Australia. His research has therapeutic implications for other acute neuroinflammatory disorders include traumatic brain injury, nerve agent toxicity, cerebral malaria and sepsis.

Xiaoping Hu, chair and professor of bioengineering, UCR Bourns College of Engineering. Before joining UCR, Hu was a professor of biomedical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in biomedical imaging. With a Ph.D. in medical physics from the University of Chicago, he has spent more than three decades working on the development and biomedical applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy, particularly in the study of brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed journal articles and his work has been cited more than 16,000 times.

Paul Lyons, senior associate dean of education, UCR School of Medicine. Lyons earned a B.A. in philosophy from Oberlin College and received his M.D. from Ohio State University. He joined UCR in 2011 from Temple University School of Medicine, where he served as associate chair for clinical education and faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Today he is the chair of the UCR Department of Family Medicine. His areas of interest include curriculum planning, faculty development and evaluation, faculty recruitment and appointment, and student progress and promotion.

Juliet McMullin, associate director for community engagement, UCR Center for Healthy Communities. McMullin is a cultural and medical anthropologist and an associate professor of clinical sciences. She received her Ph.D. from UC Irvine. She joined the Center for Healthy Communities in 2014. Her research interests include the political economy of health and the role of narrative in medical encounters. She has focused specifically on topics related to medical knowledge and inequalities in cancer, cultural meanings of health, and pediatric injury. McMullin has worked extensively with underserved populations, including Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and native Hawaiians living in Hawaii and California.

Future Living the Promise symposia themes and dates are: Emerging Technologies, Feb. 16, 2017; From Genomics to Harvest, March 17, 2017; Renewable Nature, April 19, 2017; and New Voices and Visions, May 4, 2017.

More information about the comprehensive fundraising campaign is available at or (951) 827-3144.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6050
Twitter: UCR_Sciencenews

Additional Contacts

Nicole Weaver-Goller, exec. dir. of development, School of Medicine
Tel: (951) 827-4588

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