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Washington State University

Inflammation-fighting protein could improve treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

New research led by scientists at Washington State University has found that a protein known as GBP5 appears to play a key role in suppressing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, a potentially debilitating disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own joint tissues. Published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, the discovery could someday lead to new treatments to slow or halt the progress of the disease, which affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans. The researchers said it may also have applications in other inflammatory diseases. » More ...

How summer on the lake may impact your liver

As the weather warms, daydreams of summer set in; the sounds of birds chirping, the smell of freshly mown grass, the feel of a cool swim on a warm day. But as the flowers begin to bloom so do algae unleashing a green scum across bodies of water and toxins that can affect the health of anyone exposed to too much.

Microcystin-LR is the most common and the most potent toxin produced by freshwater blue-green algae. It was first identified as a potent liver toxin in the 1980s and has since been linked to liver damage and cancer. Today, levels of the toxin are monitored … » More …

Use of goldenseal may compromise glucose control in diabetics on metformin

By Judith Van Dongen, WSU Health Sciences Spokane Office of Research
Originally published in the WSU Insider February 8, 2021

SPOKANE, Wash. – Diabetic patients taking the natural product goldenseal while taking the prescription drug metformin may be unwittingly sabotaging their efforts to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. This concern arose from a recent study published in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Metformin—the world’s most-prescribed oral glucose-lowering medication—was included in a cocktail of selected drugs given to participants in a clinical study led by scientists at Washington State University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The study sought to determine the impact of … » More …

Finding health care solutions for medically underserved rural areas

In the United States there are 14 million people living in medically underserved areas where access to health care continues to be a chronic problem with no clear solutions. Many residents who live in rural areas don’t have access to doctors, nurses, or pharmacists, and getting medical attention often translates to a several hours drive to the nearest city. College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) Associate Professors of Pharmacotherapy Kimberly McKeirnan and Megan Undeberg are finding ways to bridge this health care gap.

“There is such a disparity of care for the rural sector,” said Undeberg, who also grew up on a farm … » More …

Medicine-carriers made from human cells can cure lung infections

By Sara Zaske, WSU News

SPOKANE, Wash. – Scientists used human white blood cell membranes to carry two drugs, an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory, directly to infected lungs in mice.

The nano-sized drug delivery method developed at Washington State University successfully treated both the bacterial growth and inflammation in the mice’s lungs. The study, recently published in Communications Biology, shows a potential new strategy for treating infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

“If a doctor simply gives two drugs to a patient, they don’t go directly to the lungs. They circulate in the whole body, so potentially there’s a lot of toxicity,” said Zhenjia Wang, … » More …

WSU awarded distinguished NIH grant to study natural product-drug interactions

The botanical dietary supplement that you’re taking may be natural, but is it safe? It was 2006 when Dr. Mary Paine, a professor at the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, first published her clinical research study on the interaction between grapefruit juice and felodipine, a medication used to treat high blood pressure. Her work builds on the foundation laid by Dr. David Bailey from the University of Western Ontario, who discovered the “grapefruit juice effect” approximately 30 years ago. Through years of research, multiple investigators, including Dr. Paine and her post-doc mentor Dr. Paul Watkins, both while at the University of North Carolina … » More …

Treating the incurable: WSU researcher makes strides in prostate cancer research

In 2019 alone, there will be an estimated 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men and approximately one man in 41 will die of prostate cancer. Dr. Boyang (Jason) Wu, an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, wants to change that. » More ...

WSU student group helps international students navigate life in Spokane

When Shamema Nasrin and her husband moved from Bangladesh to Spokane to attend the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, they didn’t know how to drive.

They didn’t know how to use a swipe card, pay taxes, or how to register for a Social Security number, which is required of international students.

“Everything was new,” Nasrin said recently of the couple’s experiences when they arrived in 2015. She and her husband both were pursuing doctoral degrees at WSU Health Sciences Spokane.

To help a growing number of international students attending the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nasrin … » More …

Pharmaceutical Sciences student awarded for research in nanotechnology to treat stroke and brain tumors

Xinyue (Sheena) Dong has spent the last four years as a pharmaceutical sciences graduate student researching how nanoparticle-based systems could be used to deliver treatments and treat brain disease. Recently, she was recognized for her hard work with the annual Harriett B. Rigas Outstanding Woman in Doctoral Studies Award presented by the Association for Faculty Women. » More ...