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Washington State University

Study identifies key protein that drives rheumatoid arthritis damage

By Judith Van Dongen, WSU Health Sciences Spokane Office of Research

SPOKANE, Wash. – Scientists have identified a protein known as sulfatase‑2 that plays a critical role in the damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. A chronic disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own joint tissues, rheumatoid arthritis affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans.

Published in the journal Cellular & Molecular Immunology, the discovery sheds new light on the molecular processes that drive inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis. It could also someday lead to improved treatment of the disease, which currently has no cure.

“Tumor necrosis factor‑alpha — or TNF‑alpha for short … » More …

WSU pharmacist creates a haven for Ukrainian refugees

Sixth Avenue Pharmacy, located in the heart of Spokane’s health care hub, reflects the monumental development the city has undergone over the last two decades. The former QualMed Plaza, which houses the nearly 60-year-old pharmacy, has laid vacant for 50 years. The medical building is now being renovated into high-rise luxury apartments touting amenities such as a dog spa and a rooftop sky lounge. Yet, Sixth Avenue Pharmacy has stood the test of time since it opened its doors in 1964. The frenzy of construction outside mirrors the frenetic pharmacy inside where roughly a dozen employees busily fill prescriptions, compound tailor-made medicines, and prepare orders … » More …

Discovery could improve cancer immunotherapy

By Sara Zaske, WSU News

A type of white blood cell previously known only as a helper in the immune system appears also to be the instigator of the body’s defenses against cancerous tumors. The discovery could lead to more effective cancer immunotherapy, a promising treatment which uses the body’s own immune system, rather than radiation, to attack cancer cells.

In an animal study, Washington State University researchers found that a population of T cells called CD4-positive helper T cells helped start a chain of antitumor immunity defenses that allow killer cells to better infiltrate melanoma and breast cancer tumors. T cells belong to a … » More …

Former firefighter finds passion for pharmacy

First-year student pharmacist Amanda Whitehead, age 33, is one of five students in the inaugural class in the rural health track. The track is part of the college’s Rural Health Initiative to recruit, educate, and embed pharmacists in rural communities across Washington state.

As someone who has always lived and worked in rural areas throughout my life, I am truly passionate about bringing much needed health care resources to underserved populations. Living in a close-knit, small town has always been a great comfort to me and I want to support the people in my community in my future pharmacy career in a rural … » More …

CPPS Announces Faculty Promotions

From the first days in kindergarten, to the last days of a doctoral program, educators serve a critical role in their students’ lives. They guide students through the curriculum, sharing their own experiences and expertise to help students forge their own paths.

At the Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) faculty members are passionate about inspiring the next generation of health care providers and scientists. By giving faculty the opportunity to excel through professional advancement and research, both faculty and students benefit. University promotions recognizes a faculty member’s growth through activities in teaching, research and service.

“These promotions represent years … » More …

Bringing health and wellness education to the Spokane community

Over the month of February, pharmacy student volunteers from the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences spent a few hours each Saturday at the Mobius Discovery Center teaching children and families in the Spokane community about health and wellness. The activities were arranged by Spokane chapters of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) and Kappa Psi (a professional fraternity).

Olivia Hiskey, class of 2023, served as the primary organizer and communicator between the college and Mobius, and helped organize the supplies and volunteers needed to successfully host the activities each week. Hiskey shares her experience and why … » More …

Student Spotlight: APhA-ASP regional member at large Tajana Vujic

Second-year pharmacy student Tajana Vujic was recently appointed in the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacist (APhA-ASP) as regional member at large, a national position, where she will be able to advocate for her peers. Vujic shares how she hopes to help the profession and why she encourages future pharmacy students to get involved with student organizations.

What does the regional member at large do? 

The regional member at large position makes sure that we are … » More …

Alumni Spotlight: Pharmacy Career in Oncology

Natasha Olson, class of 2014, shares her professional journey from becoming a pharmacy intern at Rite Aid to manager of clinical initiatives with NCODA (National Community Oncology Dispensing Association). Her passion for patient-centered care led her on a path to oncology pharmacy, where she now shares her experience and best practice with other clinicians. Hear her story to learn about the various opportunities from a career in pharmacy. » More ...

Driving a reproductive health campaign during a pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the country in early 2020, student pharmacists Brooke Kotlarz, Kaitlan Belocura and Kennedy Erickson worked with various stakeholders in the community to educate and empower individuals on reproductive health. They share their experience of pivoting to a virtual campaign in Washington state and discuss the vital role that pharmacists play in helping to inform local communities about reproductive health.  » More ...