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WSU Health Sciences Spokane Extra

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 …

Competition breaks research down into bite-sized chunks

Science is usually a serious matter, but there were plenty of laughs last week at the fourth annual Science Bites event held at WSU Spokane. The science communications competition featured ten graduate and professional students from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, who rose to the challenge of providing a compelling description of their research in no more than three minutes.

Participants could use one static PowerPoint slide and were expected to use language that could be understood by non-specialists. Facing a panel of judges, they pulled out all the stops, using a variety of laugh-inducing metaphors and anecdotes in their quest for top honors.

Prizes—including $200 toward travel expenses to attend the Science Talk ’19 conference in Portland—went to the top three competitors, all of whom are PhD in pharmaceutical sciences candidates working in different research labs.

Group photo of the 2018 ScienceBites competitors and judges

Science Bites competitors and judges at the 2018 event. From left to right, in the back: Dyston Madsen, Panshak Dakup, Trevor Kirby, Philip Wibisono, Soumyadeep Sarkar, Siavosh Naji-Talakar, and Chancellor Daryll DeWald. Center: Shannon Kozlovich, Priyanka Bushana. Front: Xinyue Dong, Laken Kruger, Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, Shamema Nasrin, and Shirley Moore.

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Student finds pharmacy and loses shyness

Students on Campus Series: Thanh Thai

student entertainment board member thanh thai

Throughout most of her life until last year, Thanh Thai was a shy student who sat in the back of the classroom by herself. Something happened to her last year during her first year of pharmacy school on this campus, and now she is on the campus Student Entertainment Board and responsible for coordinating the stress-relieving activities for the student body during finals week.

Her story starts when she finished the fourth grade in her hometown in Vietnam and then her parents moved her and her younger brother to Mill Creek, Wash. Her father had his own business as a tailor in Vietnam but her parents wanted their children to have the career opportunities offered in the United States. When they relocated to America, no one in the family of four could speak English.
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Student moves from India for Ph.D. program in Spokane

Students on Campus Series: Tarana Arman
pharmaceutical sciences student Tarana Arman

It was 9:45 p.m. at Tarana Arman’s home in northern India and she was extremely nervous. She had been chasing entrance to a Ph.D. program at universities all over the world for a few months now, and this Skype interview with Washington State University was her first interview, and her first interview via Skype.

She was at home with her parents and siblings and seated at her laptop. Her younger brother placed a whiteboard just behind the laptop and had written these words on it: “You Can Do It!”

It was after 9 a.m. in Spokane where the three professors in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences had assembled to interview Arman. Their questions probed at how well she understood the research she had done. When it was over she didn’t think she had done very well and went to bed feeling unsettled.

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Iraqi health sciences students visit WSU Spokane

Iraqi students

Iraqi students

Learning how other cultures and countries educate their citizens is always enlightening.

Twenty-three health sciences students from Iraq got great insight into how WSU Health Sciences Spokane educates its students, and WSU staff and faculty learned how the Iraqi students are educated.

It was all part of a visit through WSU’s international programs and the World Learning Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program.

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Research: New study reveals how shift work disrupts metabolism

Study author Elena Skornyakov loads a blood sample into the cold centrifuge at the sleep laboratory at WSU Health Sciences Spokane

Working night shifts or other nonstandard work schedules increases your risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes and other metabolic disorders, which ultimately also raises your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Exactly why this happens has been unclear, but a new study conducted at Washington State University has brought scientists closer to finding the answer. » More …

WSU medical students’ first – and last – summer break is busy one

Three Medical Students

By Linda Weiford, WSU News

Nick Randall, Ashlyn Jimenez and Erik Stiles recently wrapped up their first year at WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. With the most academically rigorous year of a lifetime behind them, they’re starting the only real summer break they’ll get during medical school.

Even so, they won’t be turning off their brains, watching Netflix or vegging at the beach — nor will their 57 colleagues, all of whom make up the medical school’s inaugural class of students.

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