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WSU Research Sustaining Health

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 …

Connecting communities for health

Join us April 18 at WSU Innovators in Seattle to learn more about how WSU’s work in Africa affects health in North America

Attend WSU Innovators to hear from two researchers working with Dr. Call, as well as Dr. Guy Palmer, the Allen School’s co-founder and senior director for global health at WSU. Tina Vlasaty of the Washington Global Health Alliance will moderate the panel.

The panelists will discuss the global-to-local approach needed to curb the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, and WSU’s role in developing solutions.

Learn more and register for this free event at innovators.wsu.edu

Stopping the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Young lady being treated in hospital bed

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 …

Tasmanian devils evolve to resist deadly cancer

Tasmanian Devil

Exploring evolutionary genetics to stop disease

Ornery marsupials about the size of a small dog, Tasmanian devils reign as the dominant carnivore on their native island of Tasmania, 150 miles south of Australia. But in the past 2 decades, these ferocious creatures have faced a lethal threat: a fast-spreading, contagious cancer.

Devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) causes painful red welts to erupt on the animal’s mouth and head. Victims become unable to eat. They either starve to death or suffocate. Spreading like a virus, DFTD has wiped out 80 percent of Tasmanian devils in the wild. Epidemiological studies said that extinction was inevitable.

But some … » More …

Predicting the Progression of Cancers

Grant Trobridge

Pharmacy research paves way for genetic tests

Physicians may soon have another diagnostic tool to help treat cancer patients, thanks to a new partnership between WSU and a genetic testing company based in India. Under a recently signed licensing agreement, Datar Genetics Ltd. will use a set of genes identified by College of Pharmacy researchers to develop tests to predict prostate cancer recurrence and breast cancer survival. The partnership was facilitated by the WSU Office of Commercialization, which is looking for additional licensing partners in other countries.

The research that led to the identification of the 20 genes was conducted in the lab of Grant Trobridge, … » More …

Collaborative to study health reform impact on disabled

Inquiry to see if reforms address cost and access disparities faced by people with disabilities

Professor of Health Policy and Administration Jae Kennedy is heading up a new initiative to establish the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living, a multi-institutional effort to evaluate the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the well-being of working-age adults with disabilities. Funded through a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the collaborative brings together disability advocates and researchers from WSU, the University of Kansas, George Mason University, and the Independent Living Research Utilization program at TIRR Memorial … » More …

REM sleep vital for young brains

child in rem sleep

Sleep’s final stage key to development

A recent study of the role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in the development of young brains suggests that it makes experiences “stick” in the brain. The discovery was published in Science Advances by Professor of Medicine Marcos Frank and his former graduate student Michelle Dumoulin Bridi.

Frank said their findings emphasize the importance of REM sleep in early life and point to a need for caution in giving young children REM-suppressing medications like antidepressants and stimulants for ADHD.

The idea for Frank’s study came from earlier research that suggested a relationship between sleep and developmental brain … » More …

Measuring community well‑being

WSU Vancouver’s Probst looking at mix of stressors, employment, resources

Does where you live affect your ability to cope with financial and employment stress? That question is on the minds of policymakers with limited dollars to spend on social services. The answer could help them determine how best to support struggling individuals.

The question was also on the mind of Washington State University psychology professor Tahira Probst. It seems logical that people with access to more services would fare better. But Probst wondered whether, instead, people might compare their situations’ with their neighbors’ in a “keeping up with the Joneses” fashion. If so, those … » More …

Ion mobility spectrometry

Investigating one of society’s most powerful workhorses

On a cool evening last April, at exactly 8:01 p.m., the International Space Station traced a bright silver arc over Pullman. Inside, a small sensor scanned the air for hazardous vapors and relayed the data to flight controllers in Houston.

Meanwhile, 200 miles below in the Syrian desert, soldiers searched through rubble carrying a handheld device that sounds an alarm in the presence of chemical warfare agents. At airport security gates and customs stations all over the world, similar devices sniff out explosives and narcotics.

The technology behind those detectors is called ion mobility spectrometry or IMS. While … » More …

Marshaling communities to stop substance abuse

Program engages community members in research, training, and outreach

Substance abuse exacts a heavy toll on American Indians and Alaska Natives. John Roll, professor and senior vice chancellor for WSU Spokane, aims to stem that population’s tide of addiction by launching a community-based research, training, and outreach center.

The Behavioral Health Collaborative for Rural American Indian Communities will examine multiple influences on behavioral health throughout patients’ lifespans. It is funded by a $5.5 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (part of the National Institutes of Health).

Working with co-investigator Sterling McPherson and other investigators at the University of … » More …

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