Davis-Lab 600 pix

Today’s post is about health sciences research teams on the WSU Spokane campus. The photo above features a Medical Sciences team, led by clinical assistant professor Chris Davis (L-R: Davis, technical assistant Teresa Nguyen, research analyst Will Clegern and research assistant Priynaka Bushana).

This week, Davis wrote to tell me that his Ph.D. student, Marcella Oonk, had last week successfully defended her doctoral dissertation: “The Effects of Sleep Loss in Animals.” Congratulations, Marcella!

Though Oonk will be the recipient of her Ph.D. degree, her (and any) dissertation project involves a team effort. Her committee of faculty advisors includes Davis, associate professor Eva Szentirmai, Regents’ professor James Krueger and research assistant professor Janne Gronli.

Much high-level research, such as that done on the WSU Spokane campus, is conducted by teams of researchers, often led by a senior-level faculty member. That’s especially apparent when you read all the people listed in the citations for published research, such as this entry for an article written last year by Davis, Oonk and Krueger, among others.

  • Davis CJ, Dunbrasky D, Oonk M, Taishi P, Opp MR, Krueger JM. (2014) The neuron-specific interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein is required for homeostatic sleep and sleep responses to influenza viral challenge in mice.

Research teams, like sports teams, are comprised of people with different skills. In the lab, there are technicians, data analysts, writers, etc. All play a role in the success of a research program.

And when it comes to a medical school, these research teams play an important role. Some of the faculty teach classes, some mentor students on research projects. It isn’t always glamorous work, but it’s important work. These teams bring in outside funding, sometimes in the millions of dollars, to campus and the community. And some, such as James Krueger, are among the most respected researchers in their fields.

On the Spokane campus, WSU researchers from Medical Sciences, Pharmacy, Nursing, Health Policy and Administration, Speech and Hearing Sciences and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology often combine efforts on research. We salute their work and look forward to continued growth of the research enterprise here on campus.

One final note: Congratulations to Dr. Krueger, who has been invited to give a keynote address at the Australasian Sleep Association conference in Adelaide, Australia in October 2016.