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Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

Research News


Target protein identified for improving heart attack treatment (June 2, 2021)

Group photo of the Cheng lab teamA new study led by researchers at Washington State University has identified a protein that could be the key to improving treatment outcomes after a heart attack. The research suggests that protein kinase A (PKA) plays a role in heart muscle cell necrosis. Read more.


Cannabis research center established at Washington State University (June 2, 2021)

Marijuana plantsWashington State University’s early efforts on cannabis research have now grown into a full, multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scientists working on a diverse range of cannabis-related projects. Read more.


Women of color, rural women most impacted by missed breast cancer screening during pandemic (May 24, 2021)

Image of a mammogramNew research showed that the number of screening mammograms completed in a large group of women living in Washington State plummeted by nearly half and found the steepest drop-offs among women of color and those living in rural communities. Read more.


Study to look at health threat from heat, smoke, and power outages (May 18, 2021)

Image of wildfire smoke-filled skies above a townAssistant Professor Claire Richards of the WSU College of Nursing will study the public health threat posed by wildfire smoke, extreme heat, and power outages. Her study was one of nine funded under WSU’s New Faculty Seed Grant Competition. Read more.


Pulse oximeters more useful in COVID screening for older adults (May 3, 2021)

A senior man is shown with a pulse oximeter on his index finger.A new commentary by WSU College of Nursing Associate Professor Catherine Van Son and Clinical Assistant Professor Deborah Eti proposes that taking a temperature is a less useful indicator of COVID-19 infection in older adults. Read more.


Study looked at how nurses view touch as a form of care (April 26, 2021)

Nurse holding hand of pregnant patient in hospital bedNurses can transform touch into a useful therapeutic tool to improve patients’—and their own—wellbeing. That’s the topic of a recently published study, “’Permission to Touch’: Nurses’ Perspectives of Interpersonal Contact during Patient Care.” Read more.


Protein could improve rheumatoid arthritis treatment (March 29, 2021)

X-ray image of arthritic ankle with inflammation shown in redNew research led by scientists at Washington State University has found that a protein known as GBP5 appears to play a key role in suppressing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Read more.


Three Minute Thesis crowns 2021 winner (March 25, 2021)

Portrait photo of Grant ElyGrant Ely from the College of Nursing won WSU’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) which took place on March 24. Ely won with his presentation about a lack of adequate nursing care and the extensive research gap in how to supply more work-ready nurses. Read more.


Pandemic has increased pregnancy stress for U.S. women (March 17, 2021)

Photo of woman cradling pregnant bellyCOVID-19 has created new problems for pregnant women in the United States. One of their biggest concerns is their baby contracting the disease, according to a WSU study published recently in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. Read more.


Student, faculty research showcased at research symposium (March 17, 2021)

Image of coughead WSU logoStudent and faculty researchers from Washington State University, Eastern Washington University and the surrounding community will virtually present their work at WSU Health Sciences’ Inland Northwest Research Symposium on Thursday, April 1. Read more.


WSU College of Nursing continues to gain NIH research funding (March 10, 2021)

WSU cougar shield on the Nursing BuildingThe Washington State University College of Nursing is now among the top 20 nursing schools nationally for National Institutes of Health research funding, ranking 19th in the U.S. last year. Read more.


How summer on the lake may impact your liver (March 9, 2021)

Portrait image of John ClarkeMicrocystin-LR is the most common and potent toxin produced by freshwater blue-green algae. John Clarke has received NIH funding for his research into how exposure to microcystin may contribute to the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Read more.


Research offers insights on how night shift work increases cancer risk (March 8, 2021)

Open 24 hoursNew clues as to why night shift workers are at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer are presented in a new study conducted at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane and published online in the Journal of Pineal Research. Read more.


Incentives can reduce alcohol use among Native people (March 3, 2021)

Tokens used in prize drawings as part of the contingency management intervention. Some simply say 'good job' while others can be exchanged for prizes ranging in value from $1 up to $80.A low-cost, easy-to-administer intervention that uses small prizes and other incentives to reward alcohol abstinence can serve as an effective tool to reduce alcohol use among American Indian and Alaska Native communities, new research suggests. Read more.


Grant aims to improve nutrition in quinoa (March 2, 2021)

Quinoa grown in a WSU-owned fieldWashington State University received a grant allowing researchers to study the nutritional value of quinoa at every level, from the soil through nutrient benefits to people. The research team includes scientists from the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Read more.

John Roll named 2021 APA Fellow
(February 23, 2021)

Portrait photo of John Roll John Roll, PhD, professor and vice dean for research for the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, was named a 2021 American Psychological Association Division of Behavior Analysis Fellow. Read more.


Goldenseal use may compromise diabetics’ glucose control (February 8, 2021)

Photo of goldenseal leaf and rootDiabetic patients taking the natural product goldenseal while taking the prescription drug metformin may be unwittingly sabotaging their efforts to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. This concern arose from a recently published study. Read more.


Nursing professor takes smoking research, prevention to Uzbekistan (February 5, 2021)

Photo of used cigaretteKawkab Shishani spent five months at the Tashkent Medical Academy in Uzbekistan teaching graduate courses, educating healthcare professionals on evidence-based practice, and training physicians on how to counsel patients to stop using tobacco. Read more.


Students value team approach to learning about opioids (February 2, 2021)

Image shows students from the colleges of medicine, nursing and pharmacy, plus students from Eastern Washington University, taking part in training on how to treat patients who use opioids in January and February 2019.Teaching future nurses, doctors, pharmacists, social workers and addiction studies specialists together about opioid use for pain could result in better teamwork for healthcare professionals and potentially better care for patients. Read more.


WSU researchers receive the 2021 Commercialization Gap Fund (January 29, 2021)

Image of the WSU coughead logo (placeholder)The Office of Commercialization has awarded 10 WSU researchers—including Bhagwat Prasad from the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences—with Commercialization Gap Funding to support research projects with high market potential. Read more.


Top WSU Research Stories 2020 (January 28, 2021)

Woman runningWSU communicators produced more than 100 research-related press releases in 2020. Health-related stories, in particular, did well, including one about whether exercise helped people deal with pandemic fears and others based on Spokane research. Read more.


WSU project targets COVID‑19 in high‑risk communities (January 27, 2021)

Photo of Marshallese Pacific Islanders in the United StatesWSU’s Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health is leading an NIH-funded project to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among Marshallese Pacific Islanders living in the U.S., a high-risk group that suffers from health disparities. Read more.


Medicine-carriers made from human cells can cure lung infections (December 3, 2020)
WSU Health Sciences launches Spinout Space in Spokane (sp³nw) (December 3, 2020)
WSU joins national biopharmaceuticals manufacturing institute (November 24, 2020)
Three WSU professors honored as 2020 Highly Cited Researchers (November 20, 2020)
Healthcare providers should ask patients about cannabis use (November 5, 2020)
Nelson evaluating COVID vaccines for impact on Native Americans (October 30, 2020)
Rural areas have fewer mental health services for young people (October 29, 2020)
WSU COVID-19 research tackles the present and future pandemic (October 27, 2020)
Increasing sleep time after trauma could ease ill effects (October 22, 2020)
COVID-19 research highlighted during town hall (October 21, 2020)
WSU awarded NIH grant to study natural product-drug interactions (October 21, 2020)
Alcohol use changed right after COVID‑19 lockdown (October 13, 2020)
Project aims to increase COVID‑19 testing for Native populations (October 12, 2020)
New Faculty Spotlight: Kait Hirchak (October 1, 2020)
Star-shaped brain cells may hold the key to why, how we sleep (September 24, 2020)
COVID-stress may be hard to beat even with exercise (September 7, 2020)
Poison centers report increase in calls about anti-anxiety drug (September 4, 2020)
Study to use app to help people with asthma during wildfire season (August 12, 2020)
WSU scientists develop COVID-19 tracking tool for rural areas (July 29, 2020)
WSU faculty elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences (July 15, 2020)
Research funding on the rise at the WSU College of Nursing (July 9, 2020)
Cloth mask tested by WSU nursing faculty could offer more protection (July 6, 2020)
Nursing student lands prestigious Foley Institute fellowship (June 30, 2020)
Centenarian study suggests living environment may be key to longevity (June 17, 2020)
Marijuana use can worsen mental health for people with chronic pain (June 16, 2020)
New collaborative to study impact of COVID-19 on moms, babies (June 3, 2020)
WSU student’s research leads to training for oncology nurses (May 21, 2020)
Making platelet transfusions safer (May 20, 2020)
Managing diabetes during the COVID‑19 pandemic (May 13, 2020)
New WSU-PNNL partnership to advance gut microbiome science (April 23, 2020)
Palmer, Roll to lead academic and research response to COVID-19 (April 22, 2020)
Association for faculty women honors outstanding graduate students (April 21, 2020)
Research finds critical protein in cancer treatment-related heart damage (April 9, 2020)
Study shows rising age of first drug use in teens, young adults (March 2, 2020)
Access to primary care doctors is linked to mortality rates (February 5, 2020)
Study paints picture of marijuana use in pregnant women (February 4, 2020)
College-funded grants ‘seed’ big-picture, interdisciplinary research (February 4, 2020)
Hospital websites lack usability for non-English speakers (February 3, 2020)
Premature mortality linked to race, socioeconomic deprivation (January 22, 2020)
Biological clock may be key to reducing heart damage from radiation (January 13, 2020)
Researchers study community-based care for Thai cancer patients (January 2, 2020)


WSU College of Medicine research sparks entrepreneurship (December 17, 2019)
Skipping a night of sleep may leave insomniacs twice as impaired (December 11, 2019)
‘Sleep gene’ research earns five-year grant from NIH (December 5, 2019)
Finding the right dosing for children (December 4, 2019)
Researchers focus on human reaction to high-stress jobs (November 21, 2019)
Discovery holds implications for better immunity, longer life (November 20, 2019)
Cannabis businesses more prevalent in low-socioeconomic areas (November 18, 2019)
Study shows fewer American Indians getting heart disease (November 7, 2019)
WSU cannabis research to partner with pharmaceutical firm (November 6, 2019)
New technology promises improved treatment of sepsis, stroke (November 6, 2019)
Study identifies a potential new target for treatment of gout (October 29, 2019)
Medicine, CAHNRS secure $1.1M grant to combat rural opioid abuse (October 23, 2019)
Julie Postma named associate dean of research (October 22, 2019)
Rayce Rudeen Foundation funds opioid-related projects at WSU (September 20, 2019)
Brain injury expert returns to WSU (September 13, 2019)
Researchers studying Alzheimer’s and dementia in Native people (September 11, 2019)
World experts on shift work meet for WSU-organized conference (September 9, 2019)
WSU to examine health benefits of outdoor preschools (September 3, 2019)
Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience featured at symposium (August 30, 2019)
New WSU technology to improve delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs (August 8, 2019)
WSU Health Sciences appoints vice chancellor for research (August 8, 2019)
Targeting health sciences’ potential for technology transfer (July 26, 2019)
Patients face challenges getting information on medical marijuana (July 24, 2019)
Progress being made for Steve Gleason Institute for Neurosciences (July 17, 2019)
Eight WSU faculty elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences (July 17, 2019)
Many opioid users believe cannabis also helps control pain (July 1, 2019)
WSU to partner with Puyallup Tribe on medicinal cannabis research (May 14, 2019)
Doctoral grad finds group medical visits useful in treating chronic pain (May 13, 2019)
WSU scientist studies link between poor sleep and PTSD (May 10, 2019)
Opioid use disorder affects women differently than men (April 30, 2019)
WSU study links gene to sleep problems in autism (April 29, 2019)
WSU discovery could aid battle of debilitative and deadly inflammation (April 3, 2019)
Special journal issue highlights shift work science, solutions (April 1, 2019)
WSU students’ device to diagnose autism wins awards (March 28, 2019)
Milk or no milk? Study fills knowledge gap on genetic disorder (March 19, 2019)
Most teens report using marijuana less often after legalization (March 15, 2019)
Worldwide rare disease study led by WSU researchers (February 26, 2019)
Predictive modeling could help fight neighborhood crime (February 22, 2019)
McKeirnan honored for work, research in pharmacy practice (February 14, 2019)
Report shows mortality, health disparities in Washington (January 29, 2019)
Meier receives $100K for fatty acid receptor research (January 18, 2019)
WSU Spokane to establish Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience (January 15, 2019)


Making radiation therapy less toxic to the heart (December 20, 2018)
WSU research center to help Native people fight alcohol abuse (December 6, 2018)
Rural youth with mild head injuries face higher costs, less care (December 3, 2018)
Study findings could help prevent heart disease in cancer survivors (November 7, 2018)
Building end-of-life care nursing skills (November 2, 2018)|
How sleep works in the brain – WSU researchers discover clues (October 31, 2018)
WSU to lead new center for Alzheimer’s research in Native people (October 25, 2018)
New nanoparticles wait to release drugs, target infection (September 12, 2018)
Italian nurse visits WSU to explore power of touch in healthcare (August 30, 2018)
Spokane researchers develop potential drugs to help curb smoking (August 21, 2018)
Being overweight increases odds of chronic pain (July 23, 2018)
Researching the transition from opioid addiction to treatment (July 27, 2018)
New study reveals how shift work disrupts metabolism (July 9, 2018)
Chronic pain remains the same after stopping opioid treatment (June 29, 2018)
Declining number of rural pharmacies ‘a worrisome trend’ (May 25, 2018)
Sleep study targets brain processes causing poor decision-making (May 17, 2018)
Study focuses on impacts of 12-hour shifts on nurses (May 1, 2018)
Nurses are essential, yet they struggle within the health care system (April 26, 2018)
WSU researchers focusing on range of cannabis health issues (April 19, 2018)
WSU study to test sleep technology in chronic insomnia (January 23, 2018)
Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors (January 16, 2018)


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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