Centers, institutes and labs

WSU’s many research units bridge disciplines to answer difficult questions

Research centers

Scientists in WSU’s research centers zero in on specific topics, uncovering new knowledge that empowers communities.

Arboretum and Wildlife Conservation Center

Hosts facilities devoted to wildlife ecology, conservation, and the study of biological diversity, including the WSU Bear Center, Endangered Species Lab, Large Carnivore Conservation Lab, Raptor Rehabilitation Program, and Wild Ungulate Facility. The woodland forest within the arboretum is managed as a wildlife sanctuary and includes rare native plants.

Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center 

The WSU Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center is a one-of-a-kind facility that aims to provide information and the necessary understanding to conserve bears around the world.

The Provost’s report on the Bear Center can be found here; the VPR’s statement on the report can be found here.

Biomolecular X-Ray Crystallography Center (BXCC)

Provides biophysical and biochemical data for a wide range of research projects, and serves as a center of teaching and outreach.

Center for Behavioral Business Research

An interdisciplinary research and education center that unites industry leaders, academics, and students to study behavioral and consumer issues affecting modern organizations

Center for Cannabis Policy, Research, and Outreach (CCPRO)

Four specific themes have been identified to establish WSU as a global leader in cannabis research, policy, and outreach: improving health and well being, public policy and safety, economics, and agricultural research.

Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation

Fostering the creation of digital tools, projects, public programming, and educational opportunities, with an emphasis on ethical curation and collaborative scholarship

Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach (CEREO)

Academic and industry leaders applying innovative technologies and management tools to the challenges of global climate change and environmental sustainability

Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Applying innovative methods to foster entrepreneurial skills

Center for International Health Services, Research and Policy

Conducts international comparative analyses regarding health system priority areas, emphasizing low- or middle-income countries

Center for Non-Thermal Processing of Food

Exploring new methods in nonthermal food processing (processing methods that do not use heat)

Center for Precision Agricultural and Automated Systems

Developing research and educational programs in the areas of agricultural automation and precision farming

Center for Reproductive Biology

Provides opportunities for reproductive biologists across the Pacific Northwest to collaborate and learn from one another

Center for Social and Environmental Justice

Fostering analysis of social, economic, racial and environmental justice issues and promoting human rights and conflict resolution at the local, national and global levels

Center for the Study of Animal Well-Being

Aims to improve the well-being of animals, enhance the mutual benefits of human-animal interactions, and offer related educational programs

Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources

Conducting research and providing education on critical issues facing agriculture, such as climate change, energy and water security, and ways to make agricultural production systems more sustainable

Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership

Providing learning and leadership experiences that build essential success skills in three areas: foundation, integration and translation

Clean Plant Center Northwest

A collaborative effort of scientists, researchers, nurseries, and growers, working to increase the economic sustainability of specialty crop production in the U.S.

Energy Systems Innovation Center

Uniting research faculty, business leaders, and governmental organizations to address the demand for clean, reliable energy, including using Smart Grid technology to make the power system more efficient, responsive, and secure

Francheschi Microscopy and Imaging Center

A research and educational facility for the imaging and ultrastructural study of biological and non-biological materials. Available to all WSU researchers and students, the Center provides electron microscopy and light microscopy equipment for observation and analysis of a diverse array of specimens.


Addressing economic, social, political, and technical problems that affect the competitiveness of Washington’s agricultural and related sectors

Intensive American Language Center

Teaches English as a second language and prepares international students for study at U.S. colleges and universities

Learning and Performance Research Center

Studies factors related to success in work and learning environments, develops and evaluates statistical and methodological innovations, and provides evidence-based evaluations of program interventions

Marriott Foundation Hospitality Teaching Center

Providing students in the School of Hospitality Business Management with experiential learning opportunities in a dining room, “business of wine” classroom, production kitchen, and culinary lab for instruction

Monoclonal Antibody Service Center

Researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences use the center’s technology to study the immune system and how microorganisms can cause disease. The technology is pivotal in vaccine development.

Murrow Center for Media and Health Promotion

Develops and evaluates health communication campaign strategies that make flexible use of a full range of media platforms to affect social development and quality of life

Nuclear Science Center

The only research reactor in the state of Washington

Pacific Northwest Center for Mestizo and Indigenous Research and Engagement

Conducting research to improve social, economic, educational, and political conditions for Latino/Mestizo and Native/Indigenous communities worldwide

Sleep and Performance Research Center

Studies sleep and wakefulness in normal people to answer critical questions about the effects of reduced and displaced sleep on mental performance and health

Smart Environments Research Center

Making the environments in which we live and work safer, healthier and more productive through advanced data analytics and adaptive systems

Social and Economic Sciences Research Center

Providing high quality survey research services to the University, to citizens, and to policy makers nationwide

State of Washington Water Research Center

Conducting and facilitating applied water-related research, educating future water professionals, and connecting the academic community, water resource managers, and water stakeholders

Translational Addiction Research Center

Explores the problem of drug addiction

Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Wenatchee

Housing the F. L. Overley Laboratory (horticulture, plant physiology, soil sciences, entomology, and plant pathology) and the USDA Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, among other laboratories and facilities, on 200 acres

University Center for Innovation and Value Creation 

Offering technical assistance programs that give inventors and innovators relevant data and interpretation about market forces and whether their products have a good chance of succeeding

Washington Center for Muscle Biology

Seeks new treatments for muscle disease, helps translate research discoveries into life-changing remedies, and prepares future scientists to continue the quest

WSU Health Sciences STEM Education Research Center

Over 100 WSU researchers conduct collaborative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education research from early grades to graduate school, a vital aspect of social and economic opportunity. A key feature of this work is research that focuses on clinical education.

WSU Research and Extension Centers

Conducting research to sustain crop health and Washington growers’ productivity

Western Center for Risk Management Education

Provides tools and training to help farmers and ranchers establish long-term risk management strategies that will strengthen the economic viability of their enterprises

The WSU Center, Institute, and Collaborative Unit Registry can be found here.


The research, education, and outreach activities of WSU’s institutes address critical problems worldwide.

Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service

A nonpartisan, cross-disciplinary center that advances the public’s understanding of democratic institutions, engages students in public service, and supports academic research to address society’s most vexing public policy challenges

Freight Policy Transportation Institute

Addressing the need for improved intermodal freight transportation, as well as policies and actions that can be implemented to lower operating costs, increase safety, and reduce environmental impacts

Hoops Institute of Taxation Research and Policy

Fostering cross-disciplinary exploration of tax policy

Institute of Biological Chemistry

Pursues fundamental research in the molecular biology and biochemistry of plants

Institute of Materials Research

Finding interdisciplinary answers to advanced materials science problems

Institute for Shock Physics

A multi-disciplinary research organization with an emphasis on understanding condensed matter response at extreme conditions

International Business Institute

The hub of international educational programs in the Carson College of Business

Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice

Providing an objective outlet for policy and programming decisions that affect criminal justice agencies


Tests performed in WSU labs address critical challenges in many arenas.

Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory

Working to ensure the quality and safety of food, the long-term sustainability of our food-producing lands and surrounding environment, and the economic viability of the agriculture and food industries of Washington State

Laboratory for Atmospheric Research

Conducting air quality research, emphasizing biosphere/atmosphere interactions and regional air quality measurements and modeling

Laboratory of Astrobiological Investigations and Space Mission Planning

Investigating planets and moons within and beyond our Solar System and how these environments can serve as a potential habitat for microbial life

Molecular Biology and Genomics Core

Providing services and instrumentation to researchers in the fields of molecular biology, genomics, and proteomics

Neurocognition Science Laboratory

Bridging disciplines to examine factors that may impede or enable learning across the lifespan

Sports Science Laboratory

Investigating the dynamics of bat and ball collisions to help regulating agencies better understand equipment performance through experimental testing and numeric models

Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory

Identifies drugs that may be dangerous to dogs with the MDR1 gene mutation, which predisposes dogs to many adverse drug reactions. The VCPL conducts laboratory tests for the MDR1 gene and determines alternative drugs and doses for affected dogs.

Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL)

A full-service diagnostic reference facility that safeguards the health of livestock, pets, poultry, and fish in the Pacific Northwest and protects the public from zoonotic diseases, or animal diseases that can infect humans

Wildlife Habitat Nutrition Lab

Determines the food habits of both domestic livestock and wildlife and performs chemical analyses on plants eaten by those animals, seeking to develop methods for predicting the nutritional well-being of free-ranging animals

Interdisciplinary units

By uniting minds from a range of disciplines, WSU unleashes new dimensions of discovery and innovation. The vice president for research oversees the following interdisciplinary units.