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Health Sciences

Summer 2005

This man might save your life–or teach your class

Clint Cole (’87 B.S. Comp. Sci., ’00 M.S. Elec. Engr.) vividly remembers the drama of trying to save lives as a paramedic in the 1980s.

He and his fellow paramedics typically responded to emergency calls by driving as fast as possible to their destination. If they arrived in fewer than seven minutes, they were doing well. Usually, though, they weren’t fast enough.

Only about 10 of the 250 people he tried to save survived.

But as one the developers of the world’s most popular portable defibrillator, Cole has since contributed to saving tens of thousands of lives.

More than six feet tall and a little … » More …

Fall 2007

Jim Torina: Playing well with others

Nothing short of the opportunity to make the world a better place while making a lot of money could have lured Jim Torina ’84 out of his retirement. He’d already made a fortune building high-end homes around the Puget Sound and was happily surfing in Mexico.

Torina wasn’t about to give up his hard-earned surfing for just any tantalizing deal.

But this was different.

First, here was this clear need: According to a report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people a year. The medical costs of treating drug-related injuries occurring at hospitals alone amount … » More …

Spring 2006

Eat more garlic

If there’s just one thing you plant in your garden, make it garlic.

For one thing, it’s extraordinarily easy to grow. Plant it around Columbus Day. Cover it with mulch. Or don’t. Water it now and then when it starts growing again in the spring. And that’s about it.

You can start eating it at any stage, though obviously you don’t want to eat it all up before it develops heads. Thus, you need to plant a lot. You can chop the young shoots and add to a stir-fry. Pull the developing young heads and slice, using it for a mild flavoring. In early summer, … » More …

Fall 2002

Spokane Health Sciences Building enhances research, medical partnerships

Linda Massey swings open the doors of large kitchen cabinets that store portions of the $10,000 worth of groceries needed over eight weeks for people in a kidney-stone- and low-salt-diet study. Nearby are industrial-sized freezers to keep perishables. The Washington State University Spokane professor of human nutrition is studying the role salt plays in the formation of calcium kidney stones under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Next door in another lab is a white contraption that might have come straight out of NASA, a six-foot long container with a window. Large enough to hold one person, the “Bod Pod” has instruments to … » More …

Fall 2002

Keeping our food safe

If you’re worried that our food supply might be the next target of international terrorists, you probably needn’t be, says Barbara Rasco, associate professor of food science and human nutrition. Rasco’s research centers on bioterrorism and the safety of our food and water supply.

“I don’t think the events of September 11 mean there’s any increased risk to our food supply,” she says. Domestic ecoterrorists and bioterrorists are more likely to target our food supply than are foreign entities, she says. “The risk from them hasn’t changed.”

A lawyer as well as a food scientist, Rasco has worked on the prevention of international terrorist incidents. … » More …

Summer 2002

Kleene keeps "influenza watch" at CDC

When Jennifer Kleene was awarded a national fellowship in the Emerging Infectious Disease program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last summer, it took a while for her to find out. She was in rural Armenia participating in a United Methodist relief effort that involved volunteer projects in sustainable agriculture.

Working at the CDC has been a lifelong goal for the 23-year-old Washington State University graduate. She completed a bachelor’s degree in microbiology in December 2000. Her father, Marvin Kleene, is associate professor of agricultural education at WSU.

“I was ecstatic,” she said of her acceptance at the CDC. She joined the Immunology … » More …

Summer 2002

An untamed mind

Two minutes into our interview in Thompson Hall, Katherine Grimes—“Katie,” on second reference—must leave. She can’t concentrate, because the murmurs of students passing outside the closed door are amplified to rock-concert cacophony in her ears.

Let’s try another location, I suggest. The Cooper Publications Building is quiet. But as we step through the door, Katie’s first words are, “What’s that smell?” I’ve long since relegated the ever-present odor of printing ink to the background. Katie doesn’t.

As I turn on the lights, Katie immediately closes the door to my office, her defense against more assaults on her senses. She sits in a chair, crosses her … » More …

Spring 2002

Treatments for congestive heart failure focus of study

For this alum, age is no obstacle

“I asked what would happen if I die before the research is over. They said, ‘We’ll try to find out where you are and sue you.’ ”—Dr. Gordon Maurice

With some amusement, Dr. Gordon L. Maurice (’40, Chem) describes the call he received last year from the Canadian National Heart Institute. Canadian health officials wanted him—at age 83—to be a primary investigator in a four-year international study on congestive heart failure treatments.

No matter that he retired from his cardiology practice 17 years ago and works in clinical research only three days a week. The Canadians knew Maurice … » More …