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De Lacalle joins OU-HCOM to expand dual-degree programs

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) has appointed Sonsoles de Lacalle, M.D., Ph.D., as its director of the newly created Office of Advanced Studies. Dr. De Lacalle will oversee the expansion of the college’s dual-degree programs and help facilitate collaboration between various Ohio University colleges and OU-HCOM in the degree offerings.

Funding for the new position comes in part from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation's historic April 2011 gift. The $105 million supports college initiatives that enrich primary care medical education, enhance research that addresses our most pervasive health issues, and improve community health. 

“Our country needs more highly educated and motivated physician-leaders to address challenges in a variety of settings, from developing public health policies and managing massive hospital networks, to addressing global health concerns and shaping academic medicine. Tomorrow's leaders are likely to need more than one advanced degree to make a major impact in such an environment,” Dr. de Lacalle said.

The new office was created to help medical students throughout their degree seeking years, and in the future she will offer assistance to students who want to design their own dual-degree programs. Pursuing specialized interest degrees during their medical school years can be advantageous, said Dr. de Lacalle. Students can save time and money compared to earning the same two degrees consecutively, and because they have set aside time for higher education already, the additional time is less disruptive to their lives.

“Dr. de Lacalle is a scientist who loves education and education training,” said Audrone Biknevicius, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy and chair of the department of biomedical sciences. “Her background of establishing education and mentorship programs sets her apart.”

Dr. de Lacalle earned her M.D./Ph.D at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and did her postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago. Most recently Dr. de Lacalle was an associate professor and founding chair of the department of biomedical sciences at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, Calif., where she was responsible for implementation of a new academic unit and three new programs of study.

As an associate professor of biomedical sciences, Dr. de Lacalle will also continue her neuroscience research, focusing on the field of aging and dementia and the effects of estrogen on brain cells. 

Students interested in the dual degree programs can contact Dr. de Lacalle at or (740) 593-2357.

  Office of Communication
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
210 Irvine Hall, Athens, Ohio 45701
Tel: 740-593-2346 FAX: 740-593-0343
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Last updated: 01/28/2016