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Research News



Rayce Rudeen Foundation funds opioid-related projects at WSU (September 20, 2019)

Portrait photo of Marian WilsonA Spokane-area foundation is funding two projects led by Assistant Professor of Nursing Marian Wilson. One will give low-income patients access to non-opioid pain management tools. Another will test whether smart-home monitoring can help people with opioid use disorder. Read more.

Brain injury expert returns to WSU (September 13, 2019)

Portrait image of Darrell JacksonDarrell Jackson first started stroke research when he was an assistant professor at the WSU College of Pharmacy, from 1996-1999. Following this interest, Jackson went to Atlanta,  where there is a high incidence of stroke death in minority communities. Read more.

Researchers studying Alzheimer’s and dementia in Native people (September 11, 2019)

A Native elder talks to a Native woman at a clinicTo ensure Alzheimer’s and related dementias research, including assessment of risk and protective factors, is representative of the national Native population, a group of WSU Health Sciences researchers is set to further examine these areas. Read more.

World experts on shift work meet for WSU-organized conference (September 9, 2019)

City scene at night with bright lights and red taillightsMany 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. Read more

WSU to examine health benefits of outdoor preschools (September 3, 2019)

Tiny Trees executive director Kellie Morrill and a handful of students wait to throw leaf confetti in the air as part of their Summer Solstice CelebrationOutdoor preschools could very well hold the key to combating childhood obesity. It’s why one WSU Health Sciences researcher is partnering with Tiny Trees Preschool to study the impact of an outdoor preschool model on children’s health outcomes. Read more.

Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience featured at symposium (August 30, 2019)

Marcos Frank applauds the three inaugural fellows, including Jason Gerstner who is shown to his left.The Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience and its innovative vision for the care and cure of brain (neurodegenerative) disease was on full display at last week’s Biomedical Sciences Symposium. Read more.

New WSU technology to improve delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs (August 8, 2019)

Pharmaceutal scientist Zhenjia Wang is shown in his lab on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus.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. Read more.

WSU Health Sciences appoints vice chancellor for research (August 8, 2019)

Portrait photo of new vice chancellor for research Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, Ph.D.Washington State University Health Sciences announced today it has named Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, Ph.D., as its vice chancellor for Research. She brings more than 10 years of research experience to the position. Read more.

Targeting health sciences’ potential for technology transfer (July 26, 2019)

Photo of the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campusSince April, an associate from the WSU Office of Commercialization in Pullman has held regular office hours in Spokane to help scientists move their innovations to market. Read more.

Patients face challenges getting information on medical marijuana (July 24, 2019)

Medical marijuana is poured out of a container onto a prescription padTens of thousands of Washington residents legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes, often guided by consultants who are certified through a 20-hour class and whose knowledge sometimes doesn’t align with state law or research evidence. Read more.

Progress being made for Steve Gleason Institute for Neurosciences (July 17, 2019)

Computer rendering of the Sprague Avenue building in Spokane that will be home to the Gleason Institute in late 2019With the appointment of key personnel, Washington State University (WSU) Health Sciences and Team Gleason signaled additional progress this week toward opening the Steve Gleason Institute for Neurosciences in Spokane’s University District. Read more.

Eight WSU faculty elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences (July 17, 2019)

Portrait image of Celestina Barbosa-LeikerEight faculty from WSU—including Celestina Barbosa-Leiker from the College of Nursing—have been elected to membership in the Washington State Academy of Sciences, an organization that advances science in the state and informs public policy. Read more.

Many opioid users believe cannabis also helps control pain (July 1, 2019)

Adults who use opioids for chronic pain often use marijuana too, believing it helps them sleep better or provides more pain control, according to a study recently published in Nursing Outlook. Read more.

WSU to partner with Puyallup Tribe on medicinal cannabis research (May 14, 2019)

Photo of medical marijuanaWashington State University researchers and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians will evaluate whether medicinal cannabis reduces opioid use and pain and improves the physical and mental health of clients at the Tribe’s Qwibil Natural Healing and Research Center. Read more.

Doctoral grad finds group medical visits useful in treating chronic pain (May 13, 2019)

DNP graduate Jaclyn Thatcher, right, talks about her project on group medical visits for patients with chronic pain at the Inland Northwest Research Symposium in late April. Jaclyn Thatcher designed a final project for her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at the WSU College of Nursing that could have useful application in a rural setting. Her project tested group medical visits for patients with chronic pain. Read more.

WSU scientist studies link between poor sleep and PTSD (May 10, 2019)

Neuroscientist Willie Vanderheyden uses fluorescent microscopy to identify sleep promoting cells in the dorsal part of a rat brain.The effects of PTSD can be debilitating. It’s one reason why neuroscientist Willie Vanderheyden has set out to better understand the condition and its ties to one of his other research interests: sleep. Read more.

Opioid use disorder affects women differently than men (April 30, 2019)

Celestina Barbosa-Leiker speaks at the Inland Northwest Research SymposiumWe’re accustomed to hearing about America’s opioid epidemic as if it’s monolithic, but there are striking differences in how opioid use disorder affects men and women. Women are more likely to use prescription opioids than men, for example. Read more.

WSU study links gene to sleep problems in autism (April 29, 2019)

Members of the research team that conducted the study inside the Peixoto lab at WSU Health Sciences Spokane. From left to right: Ashley Ingiosi, Elizabeth Medina, Kristan Singletary, Lucia Peixoto, Taylor Wintler, and Hannah Schoch.A new study led by a team of neuroscientists at WSU has brought scientists closer to identifying the causes of disturbed sleep in autism, which could open the door to future treatment that would bring relief to children with autism and their caregivers. Read more.

WSU discovery could aid battle of debilitative and deadly inflammation (April 3, 2019)

Senthil Natesan, an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is an author on a new paper that features a discovery that could help battle debilitative and deadly inflammationScientists in WSU’s Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals Sciences (CPPS) have discovered an important step in the progression of the body’s inflammatory response that may soon lead to effective management and treatments. Read more.

Special journal issue highlights shift work science, solutions (April 1, 2019)

Neon sign that says "Open 24 hours"Experts have published a special issue of the international scientific journal Industrial Health focused on shift work and working time arrangements, providing information and practical guidance on key topics. Read more.

WSU students’ device to diagnose autism wins awards (March 28, 2019)

Researcher Georgina Lynch sits behind a screen that shows pupil dilation data and images.A device developed by two WSU students to help doctors diagnose autism in young children was honored at a health innovations competition. The device is based on research by assistant professor Georgina Lynch of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Read more.

Milk or no milk? Study fills knowledge gap on genetic disorder (March 19, 2019)

Shallow-focus photo of newborn with feet in focusA new study co-authored by a WSU researcher found that children with Duarte galactosemia are at no greater risk of long-term developmental abnormalities than their unaffected siblings, regardless of their exposure to milk as infants. Read more.

Most teens report using marijuana less often after legalization (March 15, 2019)

Young woman smoking marijuanaOnly one group of teenagers used marijuana more often after retail sales were legalized in Washington than they did before – high school seniors who work 11 or more hours per week, according to new research led by a WSU College of Nursing professor. Read more.

Worldwide rare disease study led by WSU researchers (February 26, 2019)

Researchers Mike Gibson and Jean-Baptiste Roullet in their lab with their research teamScientists at Washington State University are leading a new study that will take them one step closer to making treatment options available to patients with a rare inherited disease known as succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADHD). Read more.

Predictive modeling could help fight neighborhood crime (February 22, 2019)

Burglar wearing a ski mask works to force open a basement windowSolmaz Amiri, a postdoctoral researcher at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, created a 3D model of one of Spokane’s highest crime neighborhoods. The new technology could help police officers predict where burglaries are likely to occur Read more.

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 the WSU 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 WSU’s Kathryn Meier is its 2019 David Lehr Research Award recipient… 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. Read more.


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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