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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine


Sustaining health

Research conducted in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine helps people throughout Washington and the world live healthier, more productive lives.

Health: A top WSU research priority

Washington State University has established an ambitious set of research priorities, which it calls the Grand Challenges. Addressing pressing health concerns is a key area of focus. Researchers across the institution collaborate to advance the physical, social, and mental health of individuals and communities. Their investigations seek to optimize health by:

  • Preventing and treating disease
  • Probing social, cultural, and environmental determinants of health and wellness
  • Improving population health worldwide
  • Enhancing health care delivery and preventive health care for at-risk populations

Sustaining health: Bridging disciplines to find answers

Countless factors shape human health, among them the food we eat, air we breathe, and conditions in which we live. Research that seeks ways to improve human health can yield new insights by examining the interplay of these elements.

Washington State University researchers bridge disciplines as they seek ways to sustain the health of individuals and populations. The University has long demonstrated research strengths in the fields of animal health, agriculture, engineering, education, and the social sciences. Studies in the College of Medicine build upon those areas of research strength.

The University’s culture of collaboration fuels transdisciplinary investigations. Members of the medical college faculty team with scholars in other WSU colleges, such as pharmacy, nursing, and veterinary medicine, to name a few. Together they study connections among animal health, human health, nutrition, and the environment.

Their investigations complement research conducted at scholarly institutions worldwide. Partnerships with researchers at other institutions accelerate life-changing and life-saving discoveries.

Areas of focus

With its statewide presence, the medical education program provides an ideal infrastructure for performing foundational, clinical, educational, and population health research. Investigations in the College span levels of analysis, from genetic to community-based studies.

The College is building multidisciplinary teams to conduct translational and clinical studies in key areas of focus. The College will also pursue investigations in the University’s existing spheres of excellence.

Primary areas of research focus include the following:

Video: autism research

Research highlights

WSU Sleep Center lab

Unraveling the mystery of sleep
At WSU’s internationally recognized Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC), scientists investigate the effects of reduced and displaced sleep on performance and health.

Spokane skyline

Smart Cities: A living laboratory
The Smart Cities initiative is a public-private partnership that seeks innovative ways to make urban environments healthier, safer, and more sustainable.

Using Spokane’s University District as a living laboratory, students in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine will be able to help investigate connections between the built environment and health. Their findings will be used to forge strategies for cities of the future.

wrist health monitor

Addressing the health and well-being of the underserved
A $10 million grant supports work with American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities to reduce health risks related to high blood pressure.

Boon to Washington’s Economy

Health care research fuels the state’s economy. It attracts funding to the state. It makes Washington a magnet for top researchers, who build an infrastructure to support their investigations. It spawns intellectual property development and technology transfer. Perhaps most important, it drives discovery that improves the health of Washingtonians.

With the launch of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and continuing growth of the Spokane Health Sciences campus, WSU will play an increasing role in sustaining Washington’s position as a global health care leader.

Find out more

WSU: Major contributor to the state’s research productivity

Over the last decade, WSU grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health have risen by 45 percent, now totaling more than $31 million.