Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Health Sciences

bad opioids
Fall 2016

Targeting the brain’s “bad opioids”

The stark reality of drug abuse hit home for Brendan Walker when two college classmates overdosed on heroin and Xanax. Their unsettling deaths steered Walker toward a career in the neuroscience of psychology and addictions.

Today, the associate professor of psychology and member of the Neuroscience Program at WSU is a leader in the study of alcohol and opioid drug dependence. His research is advancing the development of new pharmacotherapy treatments for addiction.

“Alcohol and abused opioids have a lot of similarity,” says Walker. “They both manipulate very powerful primitive systems in the brain that are critical for our motivation.”

One of those systems … » More …

Fall 2016

Fat furnace

Body fat has gotten a bad rap in recent years. It’s understandable given that 70 percent of American adults are reportedly overweight or obese, costing $190 billion per year in related medical bills. But new research shows not all fat is created equal.

Washington State University professor of animal sciences Min Du says our bodies are equipped with both good and bad types of fat that naturally work together to balance weight and metabolism. The process—along with a little help from diet and exercise— involves an intricate interplay between white, beige, and brown fat—or adipose tissue.

“When most people think of body fat, they’re … » More …

Medical group team
Summer 2016

A team approach to health care

Matt Wild is battling ALS and knows what’s coming.

He has nothing but praise for the treatment professionals that the U.S. Veteran’s Administration and his personal physician have assembled for him. But it was an experience with health science students at WSU Spokane in February that left him feeling optimistic about the future of medical care.

“They brought together students from different aspects of the health sciences,” recalls Wild, who was diagnosed in early 2015 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative condition often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “Each team was able to look at my case with this cross-over of training and … » More …

Take a walk and call me in the morning - thumb
Summer 2016

Make your community walkable

Step It Up! is the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy’s campaign to promote walking and walkable communities. The following whiteboard animation video highlights that walking can be an easy form of physical activity that fosters social connections and shows how we can all get involved to make our communities more walkable.

The nonprofit Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, headquartered in Port Townsend, supports and teaches communities interested in walkability. They describe their vision “to create healthy, connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable streets, livable cities and better built environments.”

For example, they offer … » More …

Tangletown in Seattle
Summer 2016

It takes a (walkable) village

They call it Tangletown—a Seattle neighborhood where streets and trolley tracks intersect like wayward skeins of yarn. In the 1930s, local residents routinely chose the trolley for trips to work, the market, or hardware store. They did that several times a day and it involved a lot of walking, says Glen Duncan, professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and chair of nutrition and exercise physiology at WSU Spokane.

Duncan lived in Green Lake near Tangletown for a time, and says public transportation systems like trollies provided a level of physical activity that is all but lost in today’s society.

“We’re completely … » More …

The Pharmacist illustration
Summer 2016

The Pharmacist will see you now.

Shelves full of informational brochures, health aids, and other over-the-counter remedies. Pharmacists filling and checking prescriptions, tending to paperwork, and meeting with customers.

Tucked into a portion of a busy Fred Meyer retail store, it looks like a typical community pharmacy.

Except there’s a difference. A big one that could help transform how and where many routine health care services are delivered.

Located in the Vancouver suburb of Mill Plain, it’s among the first wave of enhanced pharmacies where customers not only can fill prescriptions but receive direct medical care for a range of common ailments that would otherwise require a trip to a doctor’s … » More …

WSU 125 display
Summer 2016

Celebrating 125 Years of Pharmacy

WSU 125 display

A life-size shadow box sculpture celebrates 125 years of pharmacy at WSU. It is located in the lobby of the Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Science Building on the Spokane campus.

Click on items in the photos below to learn more about the accomplishments, milestones, and contributions of Washington State University in the world of pharmacy.

1

2

5» More …

Spring 2014

A dose of reason

Pediatric specialists advocate for vaccines

AS THE CHIEF OF PEDIATRIC INFECTIOUS DISEASES at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital, Ken Alexander ’82 is no stranger to the measles, pertussis, or chicken pox.

He also works with children with HIV-related illness, pneumonia, and respiratory infections. He and his colleagues identify and treat infections caused by the typical viruses and bacteria as well as the little-known parasites and even fungi.

But when we sit down to visit near his offices on the north end of UC’s campus, Alexander wants to talk about something that isn’t a children’s disease at all.

He leans a little forward, … » More …

Take a walk and call me in the morning - thumb
Spring 2016

Take a walk…and call me in the morning

The U.S. Surgeon General wants YOU to get off the couch and start moving. In the new Step It Up! program, Dr. Vivek Murthy urges walking or wheelchair rolling for all Americans. He’s not alone—the Centers for Disease Control touts walking as the closest thing to a wonder drug without any side effects, says April Davis ’97, ’09, ’12 MS, clinical assistant professor in the WSU Spokane Program in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Like Panacea, the mythical Greek goddess of universal remedy, walking has something for everyone.

Since Kenneth Cooper first popularized aerobics in 1968, millions of Americans have taken up running, cycling, and … » More …