Franco speaks to:
The TRUTH behind creative writing in the Vancouver Sun.
Can we just get back to serving humanity?
I will not waiver!
December 17 2015
I want to take an opportunity to bring some perspective to the Vancouver Sun Article extending the claim that I call myself a doctor. First of all, I have never made claim to being a faculty member at UBC. NEVER! I have never claimed to be a full titled doctor, ever (yet). I have claimed to be executing research at the Brain Research Center/Center for Brain Health at the UBC Hospital. This is, in fact, where I am engaged in research as I work toward completing my doctorate degree. I have also recently begun to display the letters ‘PhDc’ having earned it.
After completing a BSc with a major in Human Nutrition from UBC nearly three decades ago, I became intensely involved in different capacities including research and development programs, in the nutraceutical industry. I have lectured around the world speaking to the work I have done as a nutraceutical researcher, an accomplished athlete, including a former Mr. IFBB North America. The long term of practical and scientific experience has resulted in accumulation of unique knowledge in a niche: the study of nutrition at a biochemical level; the key features of which were applied daily to support maximum recovery and performance. The result of years of intense work ethic and strategic training and nutritional planning yielded championship results over and over again. This wedding of first hand scientific and practical experience spawned a unique level of expertise in the field of sports nutrition.
My historical research evolved to include the study of inflammatory cascades and anti-inflammatory countermeasures in the context of aging, performance and disease. The companies I founded along the way (as early as 1992) were designed primarily to fund my research of interest where my desire to study natural medicines began a fulfilling journey. A latest stint of seminars (over the several years) on subclinical inflammation and the effects on aging, athletic performance and disease pathology made a big impact on my target audience but an even bigger impact on me. It pushed me to learn more; to study more; to research more in order to provide the best information I could deliver. These seminars were based on historical research and the layman books I wrote along the way. These and most other seminars were designed to serve as information about nutraceutical tools to health care professionals and laypeople. I eventually authored ‘Potential Within, A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment’, a 550 page book referenced by 600 studies to present my findings on subclinical inflammation and the implications on health, performance and morbidity; and how lifestyle and nutrition choices could be modulate this activity. I would typically tour to cities around the world delivering a seminar during the day to medical professionals and one in the evening to laypeople. Some direct marketing companies that I began to consult with did a great job of marketing these events so we garnered as many as 2000 at many events and even 3000 people at some in multiple North American and Asian cities.
The descriptor ‘prof’ began to take hold long before my affiliation with UBC as a post-grad student. At first it was used loosely to describe my role as educator and expert in the niche industry but it eventually began to stick and be used in marketing. This is the root of this ‘title’. It was planted as a loose descriptor a decade or more before I had any affiliation with a university. I have survived and thrived in business historically as a marketer of my persona as a brand; along with the products and books I created and researched. This activity felt natural as an extension of the persona I marketed starting back in 1992-1993 when I won the Mr. IFBB North American title after climbing the ladder (several first place wins in Canada) and concurrently launched a brand of novel sports nutrition products that were based on this research [Champion’s Choice Advanced Nutrition… by Mr. North America, F. Cavaleri BSc (Human Nutrition)]. This marketing of an educated young man who practices what he preaches helped me deliver my message: “We can have a significant degree of control over health, fitness and success; that is, if we choose to dig deep and grapple with challenges – both psychological and physical – that may dilute this control.”
This introduction to the natural health industry took place more than twenty-five years ago!! As I evolved my education and experience I continued to market evolved versions of my books, my message and the health products in the pet health field and natural therapeutics for human applications. Again, UBC wasn’t in the picture then. Since commencement of the post-graduate initiative in September of 2012 at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine I never once indicated I was a faculty member; nor have I ever claimed on any documentation or by word of mouth that I am a doctor. I have, however, regularly claimed to be working towards my doctorate degree and executing research at UBC’s Center for Brain Health to expand on my historical research into this medical model. I have recently begun to use the descriptor PhDc because I had completed the criteria of the doctoral program to qualify some time ago as a PhD candidate after commencing almost four years ago.
The criteria is as such:
I completed the full time Experimental Medicine course curriculum over 2.5 years with a 89+% average score (Minimum 80% needed to qualify for transfer to full PhD from MSc). In fact, I took extra courses beyond the required curriculum to gain a more expansive knowledge of the kinome (actually took 50% more credits than typically necessary).
I completed and passed the comprehensive examinations performed by the Faculty of Medicine Thesis Committee (said to have been performed at a ‘very high level’).
The Thesis research initiative over these years was shown to result in breaking new ground and contributing to new medical knowledge. These are three criteria REQUIRED to achieve PhD candidate status (PhDc). The last step to completion of the doctorate is the dissertation/defense. Once this is executed and a ‘Pass’ is approved, PhD status is complete and the ‘Dr’ title is allowable.
My own website (www.biologicnr.com) never produced the ‘Dr’ claim! However, creative writing makes it look like I generated the claim.
‘Dr’ did come and go in other arenas where I had little control. I have more recently in the last few years been engaged in a direct marketing/sales channel as an executive team member which has been a formidable experience. It allows for the opportunity to touch and motivate change in peoples’ lives directly and provide them with the tools and actionable information to make that change. However, this direct marketing channel can also flail out of control as excited distributors with good intentions produce their own landing and sales pages on the internet and the message can change down the pipeline in print. It makes for difficult control over what other organizations do and how they describe me while selling and reselling nutritional products, books and healthy lifestyle programs I have created for the company. In addition, closed circuit material can very easily make it out to the public and then it quickly becomes irretrievable public domain. I must highlight that most of these wonderful people have amazing intentions that are inspired by their own life-changing experience. My personal impetus is similarly seeded since motivated by a personal victory decades ago when I discovered a coping mechanism for a devastating disease through lifestyle change and the application of a specialized nutraceutical technology that I believe contributed largely to health support (more research is needed to confirm this claim). I was diagnosed in 1992 with ulcerative colitis.
In fact, ‘Severe Ulcerative Colitis. My undergrad years were a struggle because of this cyclical health interruption. Nevertheless, I studied and found coping strategies that allowed me to work harder and in a pointed way to my goals. The medical professionals treating me couldn’t believe how I limped through this obstacle to do what I did at the time. The research I am currently involved in is fueled by this will and determination; my need to demystify how this natural medicine might have supported me through these difficult times. This story is outlined in other accounts of mine. The research will evolve after my PhD work has been completed to further investigate this unique pharmacology.
I have requested when noticed, that mislabelled titles (Dr) used by these distributors associated with my name be removed but while scurrying to keep all balls in the air in my life – research, business, family and more – I failed to keep tabs on the many web sites owned and run by others. There are also occasional honest interpretation challenges in some instances and upon arriving in overseas countries for events the marketing material required immediate alteration. Since October 2015 I have been running down a termination agreement over a period of time to the end date (January 31 2016) with one of these product licensees and this too has had my hands off of their direct activities. By the time one factors in social media and other venues it’s impossible to police this. The landing pages and websites are many; in fact thousands. These owners are inspired to sell and empower people with life change based on their own experiences. Their words and their images are often not my words or my images.
Some misrepresentations get amended immediately when a request is made for change and some may have stuck in place. Many go unnoticed. I take responsibility for not being diligent enough to manage these rogue representations. I also have to take responsibility for executing videos from UBC campus that zealously describe my efforts and were intended to serve as information sources to help people understand the evolving work I was engaged in and what it means. Ultimately, these were also linked to networks. I am all about supporting people on their quest to improve quality life. This requires education; information and examples that serve as motivation.
I have many family members, friends and business associates who know me well and know for certain that I have never passed myself off as a doctor but have enthusiastically described my doctoral initiative. They will also tell you that I have demonstrated my pride in this University, the academic process and the medical professionals that are intensely dedicated to health care. They can also tell you of my life-long commitment to unraveling the mysteries of natural compounds and their role in health and disease. This recent academic commitment in my current stage of life to further my education in medicine and the pathology of disease is driven by a passion to bring naturally derived medicines into an allopathic model and validate those that offer mankind the potential to heal the body and neutralize disease in ways not understood before; while helping to weed out those that do not. Anyone who actually knows me well can attest to what I am saying.
My own website (www.biologicnr.com), Facebook page and Linkedin account have never described me as a doctor but have described me in one way or another as such: ‘In process working on completing my PhD at UBC Faculty of Medicine with current status as PhDc’. In fact, upon inspecting my website after a discussion with this Sun reporter I noticed it had been hacked. It was not taken down voluntarily. I asked the webmaster to look into it and he shut it down immediately after his findings. What this means in the context of these attacks, I am not certain. The reporter commented on it freezing while she was on the phone with me warning about content. After an hour of trying, I eventually was able to get on the site and realized that as many as 150 gibberish articles had been inserted on the website to crowd out the information. The webmaster shut it down and preserved the site. I called on police and they are waiting for a forensic report on the site. The evidence for all of these occurrences is archived and irrefutable.
The original version of this website was created and launched sometime between 1999 and 2000 – more than 15 years ago! As the years passed and milestones, events and other goals were achieved the copy on the site was amended. This site reflects 30 years experience in the nutraceutical industry where I specialized in business building, new channel development, therapeutic and sports nutrition/nutraceutical formulation research and development; standard operating procedure (SOP) development/optimization; regulatory affairs with Health Canada, FDA and for products entering as many as 30 other countries around the globe; and lecturing.
I built from conception and sold at maturity two natural/nutraceutical health businesses since a 1992 inception in the industry; and helped build corporate divisions for other corporations. Much time, many events and many changes to this website were applied and forgotten in the 30 years. Many articles were written; books written and published; and research executed. All this was successfully executed while a persistent penchant to self-improve and self-equip for scientific research was also applied; all was driven by my desire to learn more about a substance that I sincerely believed got me through life as I fought a relentless disease that was a persistent obstacle; a challenge under control today. My own research was financed and executed during a decade in this past by my own companies. This ‘Biologic’ website has always represented an information and biographical site that has not directly evolved in a timely fashion with these other activities. Due to time constraints this ‘Biologic’ website has been only sporadically managed and at places has become redundant and even outdated. This includes some descriptors that were acceptable in historical contexts but may not be a fit today while I am applied in different fields such as this current research initiative at UBC.
The individual who sent notice to the Sun reporter originally claiming ‘I was not a PhD student at UBC’ provided incorrect information. He is a former UBC lecturer and is no longer with UBC for reasons that are suspicious. Nevertheless, his actions have an underlying motive; his strategy to use the reporter was pointed. He inspired an investigation by the one-sided reporter who has attacked the university in the past and prompted unnecessary stories. However, I take responsibility for my contributions to this problem by failing to manage the message in the field that unfortunately can also be beyond my reach. A concern such as the one this complainant had could have also been dealt with internally instead of creating frenzy. However, all is not what it seems.
The complainant is the CSO of a nutraceutical-oriented company (not disclosed in the one-sided article) in the same or similar marketplace as my own. His attack was promoted after a public company announced completion of a contract with me and my company to execute research in a field he is openly interested in. Two weeks after the public announcement his counter campaign supported by the reporter was executed. I will also say at this time that I hope this company, whose CSO notified the SUN succeeds in generating novel findings and advancement in natural medicinal technologies. The more of us there are on this mission the better it can serve us all in the health care industry where the goal should be common for all of those involved and not combative. However, his intentions are not accurately or at all presented in this skewed story; and the reporter fell right into his plan.
I am sincerely very sad and disappointed that such a motivational and inspirational time and effort in my life, one of the most gratifying most colourful academic experiences, has been tainted by incomplete stories that have been crafted to intentionally form a grey cloud. More care should have been taken by me to harness the message in the field. I am grateful to have been able to contribute to an advancement in knowledge not before known (but still requiring peer review) about the underlying mechanism by which an effective nutraceutical compound might support health and wellness. This compound is currently used with unreliable results in industry and non-industrial health care but this novel information, I am cautiously confident, will provide a key to standardizing some important features of its pharmacology. This may lead to a better understanding of why, how or even if at all, it has served me during the tiring battle against an inflammatory disorder. This disease trampled my penchant to strive in my young adult years before I was able to harness my health. My personal mission is to do what I can with the personal, academic and professional experiences I have acquired to continue to plow through the research and red tape to help others circumvent the pain, suffering and life derailment that these diseases afflict with. (I must note for reasons of conflict of interest disclosure that the research I speak of is, in fact, funded by organizations I am related to.). This story telling will have created a small diversion of my focus but I will stay on track with my obligation to deliver my experience.
The experience of this journey has been validating and inspiring. The bump in the road that these stories create cannot and will not derail my conviction to serve humanity in the field of medicine and nutraceutical health care. I will continue to work as relentlessly as I have to contribute as much as I can to help people in need of life quality improvement; to provide research-supported hope; to contribute knowledge to disease pathology(s); and validate new actionable tools and instructions that serve those in need of lifestyle- and life-change. The therapeutic model created for future applications through my work is a promising discovery (currently not peer-reviewed) that may serve us in one form or another in the years to come. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spearhead this advancement and look forward to the next steps and the next projects I have in the queue. The medical professionals I have had the honour to work closely with and be guided by in the experimental medicine program are true superstars. They devote so much of their being, their life, and their time to advancing medical science; to improve human health; and generate empowered doctors that serve mankind. It is unfathomably hard to really grasp how committed they are unless you have had the privilege and honour to experience this formidable force from the inside. It is truly inspiring and I am blessed.
I am especially blessed by an amazing family that absorbs this strain with me and has had to take this attack on the chin with a painful grin. When the smoke clears, however, I hope this painful experience will have served a purpose and we can get back to serving humanity and not ourselves. I sincerely believe we each have a personal responsibility to hone and improve our deep-seated Universal contribution to humanity. We all have a unique gift to offer mankind. I sincerely believe my findings and my persistence to make them come to life represent a big part of my necessary contribution to humanity. Each of us will directly deliver such offerings in our lifetime or indirectly through the people we teach, touch or give life to and nurture; or the people we support on their own mission. Unfortunately as you and I advance to fulfill our personal Universal obligation to humanity we will encounter those who try to form barriers instead of support programs; and often to compensate for their own insufficiency.
Some of us are ‘DOers’ and we will be scrutinized for doing things that change the norm; that are outside the ‘box’. Those who cannot DO will stand on the sidelines and criticize those who DO. Those who never make mistakes; who never cross a line are often the same ones who do not DO; and they are the same ones that need to attack and denigrate in order to feel somewhat better about their insufficiency or lack of accomplishment. Our Universal responsibility includes overcoming these challenges to persist with this Universal obligation expected of us; your unique contribution to mankind.
I will forge forward as I have done in the past and I will not waiver! It’s just who and how I am. I believe I have a message; a formidable tool; a mission that must be told and must be shared.