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Researcher on the Rise: Q&A with Chris Szlenk

By Judith Van Dongen, originally published via WSU Spokane Research News

Looking for a change after completing his undergraduate degree in chemistry, Chris Szlenk left his home state of Alabama in 2017 to pursue a PhD at Washington State University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. A rotation in the lab of assistant professor Senthil Natesan got him interested in the field of computer-aided drug design. Szlenk’s research in that area recently got him honored as a highlighted trainee author in the October 2021 issue of the journal Molecular Pharmacology.

What exactly is computer-aided drug design?
Drug design as a process is expensive and … » More …

Cannabis use could cause harmful drug interactions

Using cannabis alongside other drugs may come with a significant risk of harmful drug-drug interactions, new research by scientists at Washington State University suggests. The researchers looked at cannabinoids—a group of substances found in the cannabis plant—and their major metabolites found in cannabis users’ blood and found that they interfere with two families of enzymes that help metabolize a wide range of drugs prescribed for a variety of conditions. As a result, either the drugs’ positive effects might decrease or their negative effects might increase with too much building up in the body, causing unintended side effects such as toxicity or accidental overdose. » More ...

December 2021 Updates

FACULTY SCHOLARSHIP

Publications

J. Roberts and Marcia Fosberg Distinguished Regents Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Director of the Drug Information Center Danial Baker published, “Drug utilization evaluation – asparaginase erwinia chrysanthemi (Recombinant) (Rylaze),” in Wolters Kluwer Health’s The Formulary Monograph Service (FMS) in October 2021. Wolters Kluwer Health is a drug and health information publisher, the FMS is a resource used in the formulary decision making process for hospitals and managed care systems on recently released and investigational drugs.

Pharmacotherapy Clinical Professor and Director of Quality Assurance Improvement & Accreditation Preparation Terri Levien and Danial Baker published, “Drug Utilization evaluation – belumosudil (Rezurock),” in the FMS in October 2021.

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A new path for future pharmacy students in Pullman

Washington State University Honors College students who are interested in working in the growing health care industry and protecting the health of the communities they serve can now do so through the WSU Doctor of Pharmacy program. Thanks to a new agreement between the two colleges, Honors College students admitted to the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences during their sophomore or junior year will be able to use PharmD courses to complete their bachelor’s degree electives while in the first year of their pharmacy education. » More ...

Preceptors recognized for impact on next generation of Cougar pharmacists

Through teaching and mentorship, preceptors guide pharmacy students as they work with patients in a variety of health care settings. These experiences are pivotal in determining a pharmacy student’s future career. The WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences network of pharmacy educators extends across the state of Washington and beyond, with 250 sites and more than 400 annual volunteer preceptors and faculty members. Together, they form the backbone of WSU student pharmacists’ introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPE) and advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE).

To recognize the importance of preceptors, every year the college asks pharmacy students to nominate preceptors who go above and beyond … » More …

WSU faculty, alumni recognized at WSPA Annual Meeting

It is always a time to celebrate when any member of our Cougar community is recognized for their commitment to the profession. This year the Washington State Pharmacy Association (WSPA) honored several Coug pharmacists on October 30 for their contributions to the profession. Congratulations to the following College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences alumni and faculty. » More ...

November 2021 Updates

Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Travis T. Denton and three co-authors published “The metabolic importance of the overlooked asparaginase II pathway,” in Analytical Biochemistry, a peer-reviewed journal by Elsevier. Travis Denton and 4-co-authors published, “The metabolic importance of the glutaminase II pathway in normal and cancerous cells,” in Analytical Biochemistry, a peer-reviewed journal by Elsevier. Pharmacotherapy Associate Professor and Director for the Center for Pharmacy Practice Research Kimberly McKeirnan and ten co-authors published, “Advancing a global pharmacy support workforce through a global strategic platform,” in the Journal of Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy in October 2021. » More ...

Pharmacy students to be trained in Mental Health First Aid

In any given year, approximately one in five American adults is living with a mental illness. A recent survey published by the CDC found 40% of adults surveyed in the U.S. experienced adverse mental or behavioral health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting a critical need for people trained to intervene in a mental health crisis.

With approximately 90% of Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy, pharmacists are one of the most accessible health care providers and uniquely positioned to aid patients living with mental health conditions. The Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is making sure its … » More …

Spokane WSU SNPhA chapter recognized nationally

Student organizations allow current pharmacy students to get involved with their peers making an impact on their communities both within Washington State University and the areas that surround them. This summer, one such organization, the WSU Spokane chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), was recognized for their service during the NPhA/SNPhA 2021 Virtual Convention. » More ...