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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.

  • SESRC celebrates 50 years of social science research

    The Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) is celebrating 50 years of conducting social science research for Washington State University and others in need of information on people’s opinions and behaviors.

    This 50th anniversary celebration comes during a year with a “perfect storm” of seemingly intractable problems: racial injustice, climate change, and a global pandemic with all of its effects on businesses and daily lives. It is fitting to note that the SESRC – originally named the Social Research Center – and its Public Opinion Laboratory were created during another turbulent year: 1970.

    Don Dillman, deputy director for research and development at the SESRC … » More …

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  • WSU researchers, students develop agriculture water monitoring website

    A growing number of fruit and vegetable growers in the Columbia Basin are working with researchers in WSU Extension to find an easier way to track and share data on water quality used for crop irrigation.

    “Measuring water quality is important, because it lets growers know the likelihood that the water they are using might be contaminated with a foodborne pathogen,” said Faith Critzer, associate professor and produce safety extension specialist at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington.

    “By monitoring water quality, we can make educated decisions about risks tied to that source,” Critzer said.

    Producers have historically tested their … » More …

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  • The WSU Vancouver Research Showcase must go on: Virtually

    Research Showcase is one of the largest events for graduate and undergraduate students on the Washington State University Vancouver campus to showcase their research. But when the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order threatened to cancel the annual event, Christine Portfors, vice chancellor for research and graduate education, and her assistant Holly Davis, knew that they had to find some other way to host Research Showcase. They immediately knew to ask Dene Grigar, professor and director of The Creative Media and Digital Culture Program, to find a solution that would allow them to host the showcase virtually.

    Since the early 1990s, Grigar has been working in … » 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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  • 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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Research news

American Nuclear Society NewsMarch 19, 2021WSU students deliver nuclear safeguards designs for the NNSA

In a program sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, teams of engineering students from Washington State University designed, built, and delivered prototype equipment to address challenges encountered by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory staff in research on nuclear safeguards.

ScienceDailyMarch 8, 2021Insights on how night shift work increases cancer risk

A recent study offers new clues as to why night shift workers are at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer compared to those who work regular daytime hours. Findings suggest that night shifts disrupt natural 24-hour rhythms in the activity of certain cancer-related genes, making night shift workers more vulnerable to DNA damage while also causing the body’s DNA repair mechanisms to be mistimed to deal with that damage.

Fruit Grower NewsMarch 8, 2021Northwest Farm Credit Services donates $2M to support WSU research, students

Students, bees, wine and multiple agricultural research and outreach programs will benefit from a recent $2 million donation by Northwest Farm Credit Services to Washington State University.

Spokesman-ReviewFebruary 28, 2021Rethinking ‘man’s best friend’: WSU research shows the importance of dogs in women’s lives

Anthropologists at Washington State University analyzed 8,000 descriptions of dogs interacting with humans in 144 societies of all sorts – from the Toraja in Indonesia to the Tiwi in Australia to the Northwest Coast people. They examined writings mostly from the late 1800s and early 1900s, although one reached back to Imperial Rome in 79 CE.

Yahoo!NewsFebruary 25, 2021Want to be heard? Speak with confidence, WSU study says

People are more likely to listen to advice couched in confident language, no matter if the speaker is a man or a woman, according to a recent study out of Washington State University.

Office of Research Annual Report

2019 (pdf)

2018 (pdf)

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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