photo of dean gary pollackCollege of Pharmacy Dean Gary M. Pollack assumed the additional role of Vice Provost for Health Sciences, effective July 1, 2011.

WSU Spokane is the health sciences campus for Washington State University, and the Division of Health Sciences is currently composed of the Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy; WWAMI/WSU Medical Sciences; and the Departments of Speech and Hearing Sciences and Health Policy and Administration. A certificate in public health is under development.

At full maturity, the health science programs centered on the WSU Spokane Riverpoint Campus and associated activities in the healthcare industry and other business sectors are projected to have an annual economic impact of over $2.1 billion on the statewide economy, with over $1.6 billion of that impact in eastern Washington.

Dean Pollack succeeds Bryan Slinker as vice provost. Slinker held the position for two years while continuing to serve as Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, a position he continues to hold.

In the 2011 legislative session the legislature appropriated $35 million toward the construction of the next building on the Riverpoint Campus. The Biomedical/Health Sciences Building (Phase I) will house the WSU College of Pharmacy as it consolidates its operations in Spokane along with medical faculty in the WWAMI/Medical Sciences program. WSU leaders will ask the legislature for the balance of the funding needed for the building in the 2012 session.

“We are particularly grateful to the Legislature and the citizens of Washington for supporting our current building project,” Pollack said.  “We can’t achieve our goal of being a high impact health sciences campus without new buildings to house pharmacy education, medical education, pharmaceutical and biomedical research.  Our goal is to build a fundamentally different academic health sciences center, one that is built around the concept of interdisciplinary education, research and service.”

Pollack joined WSU as Dean of the College of Pharmacy in August 2010. From 1984 to 2010, he was a member of the faculty of the School of Pharmacy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as Chair of that School’s Division of Drug Delivery and Disposition (1992 through 2004) and Executive Associate Dean (2004 through 2010). Dr. Pollack received his B.A. in Chemistry and Psychology from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, with a concentration in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics, from the School of Pharmacy, State University of New York at Buffalo.

Pollack’s research has centered on the disposition and action of drugs and toxicants in the central nervous system. He has mentored more than 40 graduate, undergraduate, and postdoctoral students in his laboratory, and has authored over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and scientific abstracts. He is a Fellow of both the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.