Top minds in industry, government, and academia collaborate with WSU scientists to pursue hidden realities and pioneer solutions

USDA Agricultural Research Service and WSU:

A unique research partnership

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) funds more than 800 research projects annually at nearly 100 research locations, many of them jointly operated by universities.

At Washington State University, unlike most research sites, USDA-ARS scientists work side-by-side with WSU faculty in labs on campus. It’s a fruitful partnership, and you’re probably munching those fruits on a regular basis.

The Western Wheat Quality Laboratory does what may be the most delicious research in the world: they bake batches of cookies daily to evaluate the milling and baking quality of wheat. Researchers in this lab ensure the economic vitality of the wheat industry in seven western states by optimizing wheat cultivars for commercial productivity and for the baking qualities desired by consumers.

WSU researchers have also developed some of the Northwest’s most productive commercial wheat varieties. A $5 million gift from the Washington Grain Commission will provide WSU and USDA-ARS scientists with 20,000 square feet of new greenhouse and lab space to make sure the innovation continues.

The Grain Legume Genetics Physiology Research Unit developed Essex, a high-yielding new variety of lentil. The lab also seeks to develop commercial crops that provide erosion control and works on mapping the genes in legumes to identify disease resistance and quantify traits such as time to maturity, resistance to environmental stress, and seed size.

The Animal Disease Research Unit searches for solutions to infectious diseases that inflict devastating livestock losses worldwide. Vector-borne diseases are one of the lab’s specialties; they’re currently developing new methods to prevent the spread of diseases carried by ticks.

Partners across disciplines, across the nation


The utility giant teams with WSU’s Energy Systems Innovation Center to advance Smart Grid technology.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment is co-led by Washington State University and MIT.

National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR)

The State of Washington Water Resource Center, a member of the NIWR, conducts and facilitates applied water-related research, educates future water professionals, and disseminates research results to water managers and the public. WSU faculty collaborate with the Center’s experts in water science and management.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

University energy researchers accelerate discovery through collaboration with scientists at PNNL and utility companies throughout the region.

Spokane Teaching Health Consortium

Empire Health Foundation and Providence Health Care have joined forces with Washington State University to expand the number of medical residency spots available in the state. The consortium sponsors residency programs in internal medicine, family medicine and rural training, along with a transitional year program that trains new doctors for a year until they enter a specialty residency.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID addresses poverty fueled by lack of economic opportunity. Scholars in WSU’s School for Global Animal Health work with USAID to manage food and livestock production in developing nations in the face of climate change.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Materials Program

The program seeks out and tests plants and plant technologies that restore and sustain healthy natural ecosystems, conserve and enhance critical wildlife habitat, mitigate diverse environmental and natural resource concerns, provide economic and socially acceptable solutions, and support a safer human environment.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

WSU conducts research and outreach programs to increase global food security.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories:

The Institute for Shock Physics has had excellent scientific interactions with 3 NNSA Laboratories (Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Sandia) resulting in joint, peer-reviewed publications.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

The NNSA is sponsoring the development of the Dynamic Compression Sector, a first-of-a-kind user facility dedicated to dynamic compression science.