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WSU Health Sciences Spokane Extra

World experts on shift work meet for WSU-organized conference

Busy city night scene with well-lit skyscrapers, car lights, and constructionMany of the world’s leading experts on shift work are converging on the Inland Northwest this week to present and discuss issues related to night shifts and non-standard working hours. Organized by the Washington State University Sleep and Performance Research Center on behalf of the Working Time Society, the 24th International Symposium on Shiftwork and Working Time—Shiftwork2019—will bring together scientists and practitioners focused on improving the health and safety of shift workers. » More …

Celestina Barbosa-Leiker honored with YWCA Women of Achievement award

Celestina Barbosa-Leiker

Celestina Barbosa-LeikerCelestina Barbosa-Leiker, WSU Health Sciences’ vice chancellor for research, is one of 10 winners of the 2019 YWCA Women of Achievement award. Barbosa-Leiker is WSU Health Sciences’ third YWCA Women of Achievement award winner in the last four years, joining Lois James in 2018 and Robbie Paul in 2016. Patricia Butterfield, Ruth Bindler, Thelma Cleveland, Margaret Bruya, Jan Holloway and Barbara Richardson are additional WSU Health Sciences representatives who have also been honored.

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New WSU technology to improve delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs

Portrait image of Zhenjia Wang, associate professor in the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pharmaceutical scientist Zhenjia Wang was awarded a $1.3M NIH grant to advance his research

A researcher at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane has developed a new technology that harnesses the immune system to deliver drugs directly to infection sites within the body.

“Most diseases develop in local tissues within the body,” said Zhenjia Wang, an associate professor in the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “That makes drug delivery challenging, because many drugs don’t have targeting properties—they simply go wherever they go. By delivering drugs to the disease site specifically, we can improve treatment while dramatically decreasing side effects.”

Wang’s technology uses neutrophils—a type of white blood cells that play a key role in the body’s natural immune response—to deliver drugs directly to diseased tissue. Neutrophils make up as much as 70 percent of the white blood cells that travel through the bloodstream to help fight off bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that invade the body and cause inflammation in affected tissue. » More …

Opportunity to participate in customized medicine research at WSU Health Sciences Spokane

WSU Health Sciences Spokane

Help identify which medical approaches most effective for specific people based on genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors

Washington State University (WSU) Health Sciences Spokane will host National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) All of Us Journey, a traveling, hands-on exhibit that aims to gather genetic, biological, environmental, health and lifestyle data from 1 million or more volunteer participants living in the United States. Through NIH partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the program’s ultimate goal is to accelerate research and improve health.

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Dare to Dream Academy brings migrant students to WSU Health Sciences Spokane

Dare to Dream Students

Dare to Dream Students
When one thinks about “summer camp,” they might think of children heading to the woods, sleeping in cabins and paddling in a canoe. At WSU Health Sciences Spokane, summer camps take on a different meaning—one where high school students of different backgrounds are given the opportunity to explore careers in the health sciences.

One of those opportunities was the Dare to Dream Health Sciences Academy.

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Native American, Alaska Native high school students explore careers in health sciences

Na-ha-shnee student

Na-ha-shnee student

Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute at WSU Health Sciences Spokane, June 16-28

Seventeen Native American and Alaska Native high school students from multiple states will attend the 24th annual Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute at WSU Health Sciences Spokane, June 16 – 28. Attendees are heading into their sophomore, junior or senior years of high school and plan to pursue careers in the health sciences.

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WSU scientist studies link between poor sleep and PTSD

Willie Vanderheyden uses fluorescent microscopy to identify sleep promoting cells in the dorsal part of a rat brain.
Neuroscientist Willie Vanderheyden uses fluorescent microscopy to identify sleep promoting cells in the dorsal part of a rat brain.

 
At any given time, an estimated 7.7 million American adults suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric condition that occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Though PTSD can affect anyone who lives through trauma, it is especially common among military veterans returning from combat zones.

The effects of PTSD can be debilitating. It’s one reason why neuroscientist Willie Vanderheyden—an assistant research professor in the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine—has set out to better understand the condition and its ties to one of his other research interests: sleep.

“Up to 90 percent of people who have experienced trauma suffer from some type of sleep disturbance, whether it’s fragmented sleep, difficulty falling or staying asleep, or nightmares,” Vanderheyden said.

These sleep disturbances may be the result of PTSD, but Vanderheyden says it’s also possible that they are part of what is causing PTSD. » More …