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Research News


McKeirnan honored for work, research in pharmacy practice (February 14, 2019)

Portrait image of Kimberly McKeirnanKimberly McKeirnan, a clinical assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is being honored by the American Pharmacists Association for her work and research in clinical pharmacy. Read more.

Report shows mortality, health disparities in Washington (January 29, 2019)

Image showing researcher Ofer Amram working on a laptop at a bench next to the Centennial Trail in Spokane, as pedestrians walk by.Researchers at Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine released a new report that shows eastern Washington counties suffer from higher mortality rates in nine out of 10 of the state’s leading causes of death than western Washington counties. Read more.

Meier receives $100K for fatty acid receptor research (January 18, 2019)

Portrait photo of Kathryn MeierThe American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics announced that Washington State University’s Kathryn Meier is its 2019 David Lehr Research Award recipient… A leader in research and academia, Meier has received international acclaim for her work on omega‑3 fatty acids. Read more.

WSU Spokane to establish Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience (January 15, 2019)

Computer rendering of the Sprague Avenue building in Spokane that will be home to the Gleason Institute in late 2019Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane will join nonprofit Team Gleason and community partners to target innovative care and cures for brain disease through the Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience. The Gleason Institute is expected to open in Spokane in the second half of 2019. Read more.


Making radiation therapy less toxic to the heart (December 20, 2018)

Portrait photo of Panshak DakupPanshak Dakup, a WSU Spokane graduate student, received a Pre‑doctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association. The two‑year fellowship comes with $53,688 to support his research, which he is conducting in the laboratory of Shobhan Gaddameedhi at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Read more.

WSU research center to help Native people fight alcohol abuse (December 6, 2018)

Portrait image of Dedra BuchwaldA new WSU‑led national research center is working toward identifying and promoting effective treatments to reduce alcohol abuse among Native people. The Native Center for Alcohol Research and Education (NCARE) combines faculty and resources at WSU, the University of Colorado Denver, and the University of Washington. Read more.

Rural youth with mild head injuries face higher costs, less care (December 3, 2018)

Portrait image of Janessa Graves in a classroomFamilies of rural children with mild head injuries pay more for medical care and get less of it, a WSU analysis has found. Janessa Graves, an assistant professor of nursing at WSU Spokane, analyzed data on more than 380,000 children with mild traumatic brain injuries, which usually involve concussions. Read more.

Study findings could help prevent heart disease in cancer survivors (November 7, 2018)

Zhaokang Cheng and postdoctoral research associate Peng Xia look at bacterial cultures in their Spokane laboratory.A new study by WSU researchers suggests that a protein called CDK2 plays a critical role in heart damage caused by doxorubicin, a commonly used chemotherapy drug. Using a rodent model, the researchers showed that doxorubicin increases CDK2 activity in cardiac muscle cells, resulting in cell death. Read more.

Building end-of-life care nursing skills (November 2, 2018)

Andra Davis accepts the Dorothy Otto Research Award at the National League for Nursing Education Summit. She is flanked by College of Nursing dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel and Dorthy Otto, associate professor emerita a the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas.As a young oncology nurse, Andra Davis treated patients who were approaching death. She and a research partner recently received a $25,000 grant from the National League for Nursing to measure nursing students’ understanding of palliative care. Read more.

How sleep works in the brain – WSU researchers discover clues (October 31, 2018)

Researchers Jason Gerstner and William Vanderheyden in their lab at the Spokane campusStar-shaped brain cells called astrocytes appear to play an essential role in sleep, a new study by scientists from the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center confirms. Their study shows that astrocytes communicate to neurons to regulate sleep time in fruit flies and suggests it may do the same in humans. Read more.

WSU to lead new center for Alzheimer’s research in Native people (October 25, 2018)

Portrait photo of Dedra Buchwald with diversity poster in backgroundWSU will lead the establishment of a center to advance research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in U.S. Native populations. The center will be a collaboration between WSU, the University of Colorado Denver and Stanford University, with additional expertise drawn from faculty at other institutions. Read more.

New nanoparticles wait to release drugs, target infection (September 12, 2018)

Researcher Zhenjia Wang talks to a graduate student in his labWSU researchers have found a new way to fight sepsis, a systemic inflammatory response that can cause organ failure. Scientists at WSU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences built a new nanoparticle and coated it with the molecules that blood vessels have been found to release in response to infections. Read more.

Italian nurse visits WSU to explore power of touch in healthcare (August 30, 2018)

Portrait image of visiting Italian nurse Enrico De LucaEnrico De Luca, a longtime critical care nurse, had spent more than a decade investigating the power of touch in health care. While working on his doctorate, he ran across a study led by WSU College of Nursing Assistant Professor Marian Wilson that looked at whether nurse-led massage can reduce compassion fatigue. Read more.

Spokane researchers develop potential drugs to help curb smoking (August 21, 2018)

Photo of woman smoking a cigarette against a black backgroundWashington State University researchers have created more than a dozen candidate drugs with the potential to curb smokers’ desire for nicotine by slowing how it is broken down in the body. The researchers hope the substances can help people reduce their consumption of tobacco, if not quit altogether. Read more.

Being overweight increases odds of chronic pain (July 23, 2018)

Photo of overweight man with back painOverweight adults are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, according to a recent WSU study. College of Nursing doctoral student Teresa Bigand used data from nine, large-scale health studies conducted in different countries to calculate the odds of chronic pain among adults with an overweight body mass index. Read more.

Researching the transition from opioid addiction to treatment (July 27, 2018)

Photo of researchers Michele Shaw, Marian Wilson and Mary Lee RobertsHow do people with chronic pain move from appropriate use of opioids to addiction? And what prompts them to seek addiction treatment? Three researchers at the Washington State University College of Nursing studied those transitions and are publishing their findings this month in the journal Nursing Research. Read more.

New study reveals how shift work disrupts metabolism (July 9, 2018)

Study author Elena Skornyakov loads a blood sample into the cold centrifuge at the sleep lab on the WSU Spokane campus.Working night shifts or other nonstandard work schedules increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders, which ultimately also raises your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. Why this happens has been unclear, but a new study conducted at WSU has brought scientists closer to the answer. Read more.

Chronic pain remains the same after stopping opioid treatment (June 29, 2018)

Photo of white pills against a black backgroundStopping long-term opioid treatment does not make chronic, non-cancer-related pain worse and, in some cases, makes it better, Washington State University researchers have found. The research marks a crucial first step towards understanding how ending long-term opioid therapy affects patients with chronic pain. Read more.

Declining number of rural pharmacies ‘a worrisome trend’ (May 25, 2018)

Image of drug store sign Pharmacies clearly are important to health care in rural communities. Yet nearly 500 rural communities in Washington lost their only retail pharmacy between 2003 and 2013. Janessa Graves, an assistant professor at the College of Nursing, is studying the issue. Read more.

Sleep study targets brain processes causing poor decision-making (May 17, 2018)

Research assistants Samantha Riedy, Regan Permito and Beth Lewis review a cognitive performance test while preparing for a sleep deprivation study at WSU Spokane.Sleep deprivation can take a heavy toll on our ability to make sound decisions. With support from a $2.8 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense, a team of researchers from WSU’s Sleep and Performance Research Center will embark on a new, three-year study to find out how exactly this works inside the brain. Read more.

Study focuses on impacts of 12-hour shifts on nurses (May 1, 2018)

Lois James in the College of Nursing's Clinical Performance & Simulation LabA researcher at the WSU College of Nursing will lead a $1 million, federally-funded study on nurses’ work shifts that could influence policy nationally. Lois James and a team from the College of Nursing, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center plan to pursue three lines of inquiry. Read more.

Nurses are essential, yet they struggle within the health care system (April 26, 2018)

Portrait image of Tullamora DiedeNurses are the largest segment of the health-care workforce, and nursing is the most-trusted profession in America, according to annual polls. Yet studies have found that nurses feel disrespected and powerless in their profession, and nearly a third leave their job within the first year. Read more.

WSU researchers focusing on range of cannabis health issues (April 19, 2018)

Photo of medical marijuanaWSU researchers are studying a variety of potential cannabis-related health impacts, including its effects on pregnant women, young people, and those with chronic pain. They are also looking at public and professional attitudes to the drug, its intersection with tobacco, and the science of how it stimulates users’ appetites. Read more.

WSU study to test sleep technology in chronic insomnia (January 23, 2018)

Portrait image of researcher Devon GrantAbout a quarter of U.S. adults suffer from insomnia, which significantly impacts their quality of life. A new, three-year project led by scientists in Washington State University’s Sleep and Performance Research Center may soon bring relief to those who toss and turn. Read more.

Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors (January 16, 2018)

Image showing Lucia Peixoto and Taylor Wintler in the labScientists have long tried to pin down the causes of autism spectrum disorder. Now, a breakthrough study by researchers at Washington State University and elsewhere has brought focus to the search for epigenetic mechanisms related to autism. Read more.


Researchers see gene influencing performance of sleep-deprived people (12/20/2017)
Adults with disabilities benefitting from Affordable Care Act (12/14/2017)
WSU College of Medicine lands $10 million in new research grants (12/13/2017)
Marijuana may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment (11/30/2017)
Cleveland police to test of anti-bias training simulator developed at WSU (10/3/2017)
Reducing opioid use via online pain management focus of $2.5M study (9/7/2017)
$1.77M NIH grant funds WSU professors’ smart-home technology (8/28/2017)
WSU researchers deliver first ‘nanotherapeutics’ to tumor (5/15/2017)
Predicting hospitalization for mental illness could aid early intervention (4/24/2017)
WSU helps launch first U.S. pharmacy technician immunization program (4/20/2017)
‘Sleep gene’ offers clues about why we need our zzzs (4/5/2017)
Poverty a frequent barrier to achieving health goals, research found (3/24/2017)
Washington a model for suicide prevention training (3/23/2017)
WSU course prepares students for personalized medicine (3/16/2017)
Mechanism triggers spread of prostate cancer to bones (3/13/2017)
Head blows in contact sports not child’s play (3/2/2017)
Rewards treat alcohol abuse in those with mental illness (2/6/2017)


New study to investigating role of sleep in chronic pain (12/05/2016)
New police training draws from science of deadly force (11/30/2016)
Safer gene therapy delivery reduces cancer risk (11/7/2016)
$3.7M grant to study cognitive health among elderly American Indians (9/19/2016)
$10 million grant to study chronic disease in native populations (8/26/2016)
Prescriptions more affordable with Obamacare, Medicare D (8/23/2016)
$1.7M WSU study to counteract poor decision-making due to sleep loss (7/19/2016)
Coffee vs. energy drinks: No difference in caffeine absorption (7/6/2016)
Statin drugs reduce infection risk in stroke patients (6/16/2016)
Nasal spray may ease Parkinson’s, other disease symptoms (6/16/2016)
Benefits to timing chemotherapy to body’s ‘awake’ time (6/6/2016)
New mental health tool expedites evaluation (4/27/2016)
Prescription assistance tied to fewer emergency room visits for some (4/4/2016)
WSU searches for brain drugs to fight ALS, Alzheimer’s, more (3/16/2016)
Compound in green tea found to block rheumatoid arthritis (2/16/2016)

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