SPOKANE, Wash. – An expert in biochemical genetics is joining the faculty of Washington State University’s College of Pharmacy where he will lead research in the development of new drug treatments for humans.
The hiring of Professor K. Michael Gibson was made possible in part by a grant of $200,000 from the Health Sciences and Services Authority of Spokane County. He begins his appointment July 1.
Gibson has been chair of the Biological Sciences Department at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. He is a past professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.
“Dr. Gibson will build a clinical pharmacology unit, which is a crucial underpinning for drug development research,” said Gary M. Pollack, vice provost of WSU Health Sciences and dean of the College of Pharmacy.
“Large pharmaceutical companies are leaving the work of identifying new chemical entities and examining those entities in preclinical and clinical models to smaller companies, academia and foreign concerns,” Pollack said. Federal agencies have recognized this shift in focus and have responded with grants available for the hard work of developing new therapeutic agents, he said.

Gibson has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at San Diego, an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a B.S. in chemistry from UC at Riverside. He will begin work July 1 and hold dual faculty appointments in the College of Pharmacy and a new emerging Medical Sciences unit in the WSU Division of Health Sciences. He will be dividing his time between Pullman and Spokane until the Biomedical and Health Sciences Building in Spokane is completed.