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Doug Nadvornick

Second founding dean candidate visits

DeWitt and Lisa 600 pix

Dr. Dawn DeWitt (here speaking with Chancellor Lisa Brown) is the second of three finalist candidates for founding dean of the new WSU College of Medicine to visit the Spokane campus.

DeWitt has been a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia since 2012. She’s also the associate dean for her university’s MD Undergraduate Program.

Before coming to Vancouver, DeWitt graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed her post-graduation residency training at the University of Washington in Seattle. She worked in the UW’s WWAMI medical education program for several … » More …

Orientation Day for speech, hearing students

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Today was New Student Orientation Day for WSU Speech and Hearing Sciences and EWU Communications Disorders students. Together, the two programs comprise the University Programs in Communications Disorders. The undergraduate students (juniors) met in the morning, first-year graduate students in the afternoon.

Both groups met the faculty members who will teach and advise them for the next two or more years. What’s unique about UPCD is that even though WSU and EWU compete for students, once the students get to campus, they’re taught by faculty from both universities.

The graduate … » More …

First founding dean candidate visits

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Dr. David Gozal (center) meets with assistant professors Chris Davis and Lucia Peixoto after Gozal spoke at a late afternoon open forum on Wednesday, August 19.

Gozal is the first of three finalist candidates for the WSU College of Medicine’s founding dean to make a formal visit to Spokane.

Gozal is a world-renowned pediatric sleep researcher and professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago. He studies disorders such as childhood obstructive sleep apnea and sudden infant death syndrome. His research also focuses on the consequences children face when they … » More …

WSU students work in Guatemala

SHS students in Guatemala, April 2015

For many WSU Spokane health sciences students, summer is a season of work. Some are making money to pay next year’s tuition and living expenses, while others are serving internships or clinical rotations. Most of those school-related sessions are located in Spokane or the state of Washington.

But some require extensive travel. The unofficial “Traveling the farthest distance this summer” award goes to the students who will travel to rural Guatemala on August 7. It’s a delegation of 10 WSU and Eastern Washington University students, led by EWU Communications Disorders … » More …

Celebrating research teams

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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. … » More …

Four faculty added to WSU Sleep Center

Washington State University’s Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC) has added four affiliate faculty members.

Peixoto, Lucia sent 6.11.14 150 pixLucia Peixoto is an assistant professor in the College of Medical Sciences and the college’s faculty adviser to the WSU Spokane genomics core. Her specialty is genomics and computational biology, which she applies to autism spectrum disorder, cognition and sleep. She’s working to understand the underlying molecular basis of autism spectrum disorders and their relationship with intellectual disabilities and sleep impairments.


BSharpless02 - Copy 150 pix» More …

WSU creates Tom Fritz medical school fund

img-xl-coug-hats.fritz and elson 600 pixTom Fritz had a lot of friends in high places. After his recent death, many of those friends spoke publicly about Fritz’s enormous influence in the Spokane community. He was the retired CEO of Inland Northwest Health Services, leading the development of electronic medical records in Spokane’s hospitals. But Fritz was involved in many other business and community projects as well.

When you have that kind of influence, you get to work and play with others at that level. In this picture Fritz (left) celebrates with his friends, the late WSU … » More …

WSU Medicine on cable TV

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Now that WSU has the authority and state money to create its own medical school, how does it go about doing it? It’s a question Acting Dean Ken Roberts addresses on WSU Spokane’s cable TV show, “Health Sciences Update.” The program will soon begin airing on WSU’s cable channel 17 in Spokane; you can also watch it on WSU Spokane’ YouTube channel.

That’s one of four new interviews. Another features Speech and Hearing Sciences Assistant Professor Mark VanDam talking about his recent research that confirms men and women communicate differently … » More …

Marcos Frank and REM sleep

One of WSU Spokane’s newest sleep researchers is receiving widespread media coverage about a new journal article he and several colleagues published last Friday about REM sleep and its importance in developing the brains of young children. Professor Marcos Frank came to Spokane last summer from the University of Pennsylvania and this article is based heavily on work he and his co-workers did in Philadelphia.

Here’s the link to Becky Phillips’ press release from WSU News, announcing the article in the journal Science Advances.

Media outlets such as ABC, Reuters and the Seattle Times asked for copies of Dr. Frank’s article. … » More …

Welcome to College of Medicine news blog

The WSU College of Medicine newsletter is changing from a monthly online publication to this frequently-updated blog, linked from the Medicine home page ( The newsletter reports on WSU’s medical education program and medical research, as well as the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. You can read past newsletters and subscribe here.

WSU Medicine also shares news via its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.