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Health Sciences

Summer 2017

On the surface…

Cancer, that malignant force that maims and kills as it rampages through bodies and lives, may have met its match in the person of James Wells ’79 PhD. Wells speaks quietly but with urgency. You have to lean in to not miss anything.

Wells is explaining that cancer’s derangement of our lives actually begins at the surface of individual cells. The complex chemical ecology of the cell membrane surface deserves its own term of art, so Wells dubs it the “surfaceome.” “The cell membrane is the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth of a cell,” he says.

Cancer cells, in order to avoid detection by the … » More …

Midwives tend to a newborn baby while the exhausted mother rests in bed, circa 1450. Another child lies in a cradle beside her, being rocked by a servant. Original Artwork: A miniature engraving from 'Histoire de la Belle Helaire' on a 15th Century manuscript from the Imperial Library, Paris. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Spring 2017

Call the midwife

ViviAnne Fischer practices midwifery in her clinic near Pullman, where you can see her connection to the long and complicated history surrounding the practice.

In a green-colored house along a dirt road, at the top of a set of stairs, a large, nondescript black suitcase stands before a crammed bookshelf, her “library” for families. Inside the suitcase is a mix of new, modern medical equipment beside bottles of herbal extracts.

On the other side of the room is an odd-shaped stool at the foot of a bed. The bed is almost cot-like but the wooden frame poking out from beneath the quilt is carved. The … » More …

Winter 2016

Knowing what to ask

Researchers believe greater interaction between doctors and patients can help improve the quality of care. But studies conducted at WSU Spokane showed that too often patients don’t know what questions they should be asking during medical exams and follow up visits.

To help, an interdisciplinary WSU health care team that included patients as well as medical professionals developed the following list of questions you should consider asking, particularly when being prescribed a new medication.

Why am I taking this medication and what will it do for me?
When and how should I take this medication? With or without food?
What are the … » More …

Fatigue at Sea: A Circumnavigator’s Story
Fall 2013

Fatigue at Sea: A Circumnavigator’s Story

Were there a Hall of Fame of Sleep Deprivation, a special place would be reserved for single-handed sailors who routinely rise from their bunks to check their rigs and scan the horizon for oncoming vessels. It’s a reasonable safety precaution. It also invites its own measure of risk by compromising reaction times, hand-eye coordination, and general judgment, the kind of things scientists study at WSU Spokane’s Sleep and Performance Research Center.

 

As it happens, Lois James MA ’09, PhD ’11, a research assistant professor in the center, is the daughter of Naomi James, the first woman to sail single-handed around the world via … » More …

Booze Sex Reality Check video
Fall 2013

Video: Booze, Sex, and Reality Checks program

Students at Washington State University are given the opportunity to explore what they expect and want from a university social experience, including alcohol use and sexual decision making, through the University’s “Booze, Sex and Reality Checks” outreach.

WSU counseling psychology doctoral student Adisa Anderson from Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Assessment, & Prevention Services (ADCAPS) explains the program, and how the harm reduction approach can effectively reduce risk and help students be safer and smarter in their social lives.

 

 

Read more about ADCAPS, the Booze, Sex and Reality Checks program, and … » More …

Hands clasped
Fall 2016

Kristi Molnar-Nelson takes back her life

Veteran Kristi Molnar-Nelson invited us to a counseling session with her psychiatrist Matt Layton, a Washington State University clinical associate professor, at a Spokane methadone clinic where she’s being treated for opioid addiction.

Video by Rajah Bose

Read more about treatment for opioid and heroin addiction in “The Epidemic.”

Read about WSU’s research into understanding the prevention and treatment of addiction, and studies into the neuroscience of addiction.

Fall 2016

The Epidemic

“This program saved my life,” he says as he enters the room. Kris, 37, is in the Spokane Regional Health District methadone clinic where he has come for treatment of heroin addiction since 2008. The intense, dark-haired man speaks openly, earnestly, as if he has nothing left to lose.

Kris says his journey into addiction began, “Quite simply, by a doctor.” Struggling with pain from a minor car accident in 1999, he was prescribed increasingly stronger doses of hydrocodone and OxyContin over a nine-year period. The FBI eventually raided the unethical physician and closed his practice, leaving patients like Kris stranded and facing withdrawal when … » More …

Fall 2016

The long view

“I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of … the history of the world of the past.” —Theodore Roosevelt, 1911

A hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt’s vision of conservation came to fruition with the establishment of the National Park Service. Although President Woodrow Wilson established the NPS, Roosevelt had doubled the number of national parks and passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 when he was in the Oval Office. Roosevelt believed that we must have a deeper and longer-term view of our country’s natural and historical heritage.

In the spirit of Roosevelt’s aims, … » More …

Fall 2016

Victoria Tung ’96

Some traveled for three days through the humid air of Vietnam to get to the clinic offered by Victoria Tung ’96 and her colleagues.

“We were in one of the poorest regions of Vietnam,” Tung says. Over the course of a week, the all-volunteer Venture to Heal team offered two clinics, treating nearly 1,300 people. “We had a 67-year-old man who had never before seen a health care provider.”

“I have always been interested in global health issues and in serving people in underprivileged areas,” Tung says. That passion led her to her first jobs after graduating from WSU with a nutrition degree, working as … » More …

PEAR graphic
Fall 2016

Opiates, gender, and alternative pain relief

The WSU Spokane Program of Excellence in Addictions Research (PEAR) is a wide-ranging effort aimed at improving the understanding, treatment, and prevention of addictions.

Founded in 2006 by John Roll, senior vice chancellor at WSU Health Sciences, PEAR is today one of the primary addictions science programs at WSU, says director and assistant professor in the College of Nursing Celestina Barbosa-Leiker.

PEAR is currently in collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District methadone clinic, led by medical director Matt Layton.

Barbosa-Leiker is working with Layton to identify individuals for a state-wide study comparing gender differences in opioid use and the ways … » More …