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WSU Research

Building knowledge for a healthier world

WSU Research

Washington State University researchers untangle complex problems to enrich quality of life for us all. Their work safeguards the health of humans and animals. It helps ensure the security and abundance of our food supply. It cultivates sustainable sources of energy to power future generations. Discoveries and innovations of this Tier 1 research institution fuel prosperity across the Pacific Northwest.

  • Dillman with his book ‘Internet, Phone, Mail and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method’ Asked and answered: 50 years of survey innovation

    When you open the envelope for your 2020 Decennial Census next year, you will be directed to an online questionnaire inspired by Regents Professor Don Dillman. His extensive research and experimentation with visual design and social exchange theory have led to better user experience, increased response rates and higher quality data from surveys sent out by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Science Foundation, Gallup, Nielson, and many more organizations and governments worldwide.

    September 16 marks the golden anniversary of Dillman’s dual appointment as a sociology and rural sociology faculty member at Washington State University. Today, he is an internationally renowned survey methodologist known … » More …

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  • Drywall Waste Blocks Researchers Solve Construction Waste Problem with Help of Amazon Catalyst Grant

    Construction waste is a growing problem in the United States. Waste consists of unwanted materials left over during new construction or renovations from both residential and commercial buildings. The waste consists of materials such as bricks, concrete, wood, asphalt shingles, and gypsum drywall. Some construction waste can be recycled and reused, but much of it ends up in landfills. This is especially true for drywall waste, which makes up nearly 10 percent of unrecycled construction waste.

    In an effort to solve this problem, two Washington State University faculty members began developing masonry blocks using leftover drywall waste. The blocks are made from a high percentage … » More …

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  • A group photo of Traditional costumed Chinelos dancers Who goes there?

    Secret weapons come in surprising shapes and sizes. For the National Park Service, it’s Washington State University’s Public Opinion Laboratory where, by simply asking questions, the agency wins battles over landfills, pipelines, diversity issues, and more.

    Guided by director Lena Le, the laboratory employs more than 100 survey takers who make up the heart of the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC). By phone, mail, and internet, the workers patiently collect data that adds up to very big impacts for a range of universities, businesses, and government agencies, including the National Park Service (NPS). Over the years, they’ve demonstrated that a well-designed survey can … » More …

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  • A closeup of Dr. Dedra Buchwald The uncompromising pursuit of healthier people and communities

    Addressing health disparities and preventing disease

    American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities experience elevated rates of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. These communities are historically underserved when it comes to health care. Little research has been conducted to better understand and address their health care needs.

    Dr. Dedra Buchwald of the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus hopes to equip these communities with powerful tools to improve blood pressure control, and ultimately cardiovascular disease and stroke. With a $10 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Dr. Buchwald will work with a Southwest tribe, an Alaska Native health … » More …

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  • Young lady being treated in hospital bed Stopping the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

    Advancing the health of communities worldwide

    For decades, doctors have trusted antibiotic medicines to fight Infectious bacteria, saving lives and restoring health. Lately, though, the drugs often fail. To blame are newly emerging antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Drug-resistant bacterial infections cause nearly 23,000 deaths annually in the United States. Globally the annual death toll could be as high as 700,000.

    WSU is part of global effort

    Stopping antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires a global effort. Washington State University is helping to lead the charge.

    In the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, where experts study the emergence and spread of disease, researchers are examining the role … » More …

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  • A closeup of Kimberly Christen Promoting an informed and equitable society

    Preserving indigenous traditions in digital form

    A complete picture of U.S. history requires the information held in tribal archives, libraries, and museums (TALMs). While many major libraries and museums now digitize their collections for access and use, many TALMs lack the resources to do so. In addition, traditional content management systems are organized under Western standards, not allowing for local narrations and other cultural practices and protocols important to archiving Native heritage.

    Digitally preserving and sharing stories, artifacts, and images from diverse cultures is important in a technologically advancing world. WSU researcher Kim Christen is ensuring that digital history includes Native American voices stored and … » More …

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  • A closeup of Kelvin Lynn Harnessing technology to improve quality of life

    New promise for solar energy

    A breakthrough by WSU researcher Kelvin Lynn could help solar energy compete with fossil fuels for generating electricity.

    Commercial success of solar technology has been constrained by the cells’ performance and cost. Key to addressing both concerns are the materials from which solar cells are made.

    Seeking an alternative to silicon

    Silicon solar cells represent 90 percent of the solar cell market. Because silicon is a costly material to use in manufacturing, it keeps the price of solar cells high. A low-cost alternative is cadmium telluride (CdTe), which outperforms silicon in real-world conditions, such as low light and hot, humid … » More …

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Research news

KXLY-TVDecember 12, 2019If you lose a night of sleep, you could be twice as impaired, WSU study suggests

Researchers say lack of sleep slows down reaction time, and a study at WSU shows how impaired an insomniac could be if they didn’t get sleep at all.

LeaflyDecember 5, 2019New study finds cannabis effective for treating migraines

A study published last month in the Journal of Pain found a statistically significant reduction in migraine and headache symptoms and recurrences among patients who used cannabis for treatment.

The Seattle TimesDecember 4, 2019Can you tell which face is real? UW and WSU plan to fight digital ‘deepfakes’

The Center for an Informed Public (CIP) has been seeded with $5 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, part of a $50 million round of grants awarded this year to 11 U.S. universities and research institutions to study how technology is transforming democracy.

Hawaii Tribune HeraldDecember 3, 2019Let’s talk food: The Cosmic Crisp apple

Breeding of the Cosmic Crisp apple began in 1997 at the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, Washington, with Bruce Barriit in charge of the project.

U.S. News and World ReportDecember 3, 2019Marijuana could offer relief from migraine pain

The findings follow an analysis of data collected by a Canadian phone app that gathered feedback offered by 1,300 headache sufferers and nearly 700 migraine sufferers who used marijuana to treat their head pain.

KREM 2 NewsDecember 3, 2019WSU researchers find way to use grape skins as road deicer

WSU Associate Professor Xianming Shi and his team found that the skins melt ice quicker than other deicers. The skins are also better for roads and water sources.

Business InsiderDecember 2, 2019The Cosmic Crisp apple is poised to take over grocery store shelves: It last for up to a year but costs double other brands

The Cosmic Crisp is poised to take over the global apple economy, with Washington growers betting $40 million on the breed, and a $10 million marketing campaign.

Pacific Northwest InlanderDecember 2, 2019Honey for your honey: WSU’s honey crop is now for sale, just in time for the holidays

Extensive research is underway at Washington State University to unravel why bees are struggling worldwide and to help prop up existing bee populations.

Office of Research Annual Report

2017 (pdf)

2016 (pdf)

2015 (pdf)

2014 (pdf)

2013 (pdf)

Partnerships, commercialization,
and financial support

Partners in discovery

Collaboration accelerates and strengthens the discovery of WSU scholars. Partners in industry, government, and academia help WSU faculty address a set of Grand Challenges—priorities that focus on urgent problems of the state, nation, and world.

Bringing innovations to the marketplace

WSU researchers’ technological innovations drive economic expansion for the state of Washington and the nation. Find out how WSU partners with private industry to move from invention to commercialization.

Your gift touches lives worldwide

WSU’s growing research agenda is fueled by the generous sponsorship of government, industry, organizations, friends, and alumni. Their financial support also makes possible unparalleled learning experiences in the lab and the field for WSU students. Please join us in shaping the future. Make a gift to support life-changing research at WSU.


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