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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 …

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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Meet a Scientist: Dr. Lucia Peixoto’s Work Narrows the Search for Autism Risk Factors

Lucia Peixoto in her lab on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus

Lucia Peixoto in her lab on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus

A landmark study by scientists at WSU and elsewhere has brought focus to the search for genetic links to autism spectrum disorder, which affects an estimated 2 million Americans. Published in the Jan. 16 issue of Science Signaling, the study identifies more than 2,000 areas of DNA that are active when mice learn a new task and are strongly associated with autism. Taking a closer look at one of those areas, the researchers found a genetic mutation that is associated with increased risk of developing autism.

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Medical school accreditation a great day in WSU’s history

WSU Medical School

WSU Medical School

Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Dean John Tomkowiak, center, celebrates with Sen. Michael Baumgartner (left) and Rep. Marcus Riccelli (right)

(This story appears in the latest edition of the WSU Spokane Magazine)

By Doug Nadvornick

In the short history of Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, there have been several momentous events.

The most important and the one that prompted high fives and whoops and hollers heard all the way across the state was the October 19 decision by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, or LCME – the allopathic medical school accrediting agency in the U.S. and Canada – to grant preliminary accreditation to the college so that it may accept medical students.

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A potpourri of WSU Spokane news and notes

WSU Spokane

WSU Spokane

The fall semester begins in 20 days here at WSU Spokane.

We felt it was a good time to review some recent news headlines concerning our campus, including a new clinic, recognition for our vice chancellor, a visit from the Air National Guard and more.

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Na-ha-shnee introduces Native American high school students to health sciences programs

WSU Spokane Na-ha-shnee

WSU Spokane Na-ha-shnee

“That was awesome. That was so much fun.”

Those words came from a high school student immediately after her group finished their session with Sim Man, the mannequin used by the College of Nursing in its simulation lab.

She is one of 20 Native American high school students on campus through June 30 for the 21st Annual Na-ha-shnee Health Sciences Institute.

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