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A message from Gary M. Pollack

May 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

It’s May already. I know this because (a) we no longer have snow in our pasture and (b) the Chicago Cubs have been playing meaningful games (and looking more like their former selves as opposed to World Series champions) for a month. I never thought I would write “Chicago Cubs” and “World Series champions” in the same sentence…makes me feel a bit like John Candy in what was undoubtedly his finest movie role.

May is, of course, when our fourth-year pharmacy students cease being students and become professionals in their own right. For a variety of reasons, which include but are not limited to more flexibility in their schedules and easier access to parking, faculty often identify commencement as being the best day of the academic year. It is a privilege and pleasure to present our graduating class, and to help our newest alumni to celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends. It is truly an uplifting experience, and our staff and faculty work extremely hard to make this a very special occasion. My thanks, in advance, to all.

This year’s commencement is particularly meaningful for our Doctor of Pharmacy program in that it marks the first cohort of graduates who will have completed their program of study in a completely competency-based format. I have commented previously on the profound positive effects this approach has had on the culture of our program and the progression of our students toward their degree. Graduation, however, is where “the rubber meets the road.” Over the next several years we will have the opportunity to see how this fine group of individuals will progress through the professional ranks, and how they will begin to change the landscape of health care delivery in Washington state and beyond. I am confident that they will make us just as proud of them as alumni as we have been of them as students.

Best wishes to all for a joyous commencement season,

signature: Gary M. Pollack

Gary M. Pollack
Dean, College of Pharmacy
Washington State University

5/4/17 Commencement
The FOX, Spokane
1:00 p.m.
View details
5/11/17 CougaRx Reception Columbia Tower Club
Seattle, 5:00 p.m.
6/3/17 CougaRx Nation &
Mentor Reception

NW Pharmacy Convention
6/13/17 TIPed Institute
WSU Spokane
June 13- 15
View details
More college events »


Mechanism triggers spread of prostate cancer to bones
By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer
SPOKANE, Wash. – A Washington State University researcher has found a way that prostate cancer cells hijack the body’s bone maintenance, facilitating the spread of bone cancers present in some 90 percent of prostate-cancer fatalities. Read more »


New program at College of Pharmacy aimed at faculty to increase interprofessional opportunities for students
The delivery of health care is evolving to become more collaborative, high tech and patient-centered. Read more »

thank you

College of Pharmacy says thank you, celebrates students, alumni and donors
The Washington State University College of Pharmacy celebrated with alumni and donors at its annual spring recognition event, Friday, April 21, on the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane, Washington. Read more »

TIPed 2017 A message from Linda Garrelts MacLean

Dear Alums, Colleagues and Friends of Pharmacy,

As the landscape of medicine moves toward personalization with genome mapping and Nano-drug targeting, our profession faces some big changes in the not-so-distance future. In order for the profession of pharmacy to capitalize on these future opportunities, students preparing to be pharmacists must be open to change. In fact, the pharmacists practicing today must be open to change. Within pharmacy, health care delivery, and the student experience: it is all about change.

At WSU we have made a concentrated effort to innovate the way we educate our students in order to develop outstanding health care professionals and scientists who will lead tomorrow’s health care solutions. The format of our classrooms and how we assess student success are changing to keep pace with the evolution of the team-based, patient-centered health care environment that is emerging.

One of the elements of our pharmacy educational model that we absolutely could not be successful without is our outstanding network of pharmacy preceptors who teach our students in experiential settings. They are the innovators who lead our student pharmacists to think differently about patient care. It is easy for me to provide examples: Josh Akers with Kelley-Ross and Erik Nelson the owner of Sixth Avenue Pharmacy are role models for advancing community practice, Chris Greer with St. Luke’s Rehabilitation challenges student pharmacists to consider all options for improving a patient’s outcome, and Nick Eckert with Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima who works with our students in the new primary care model being piloted in their clinic.

Our preceptors are agents of change for the pharmacy profession and they inspire this quality in our student pharmacists. So this month, as we send the newest generation of pharmacy graduates into the profession, I want to say thank you to all our WSU pharmacy preceptors who helped us develop this class of truly outstanding health care providers!

With Cougar Pride,

Linda Garrelts MacLean
Linda Garrelts MacLean, BPharm, RPh
Vice Dean of External Relations
Clinical Professor

Student news STUDENT NEWS

Karl Nacalaban, class of 2018, is wrapping up his year at the helm of the Associated Students of Washington State University Spokane (ASWSUS).
Read more »

service SERVICE

Our student pharmacists volunteered with the group Blessings Under The Bridge this March to gain experience through service to the community. Read more »

Kari Ann Gaither HONOR

Pharmaceutical sciences doctoral student, Kari Ann Gaither, received the Karen P. DePauw Leadership Award from the WSU Association for Faculty Women. Read more »


  • Heidi Medford, 2015 Ph.D. graduate, has been hired by the WSU Office of Commercialization in Spokane and was recently featured by the Spokane Journal of Business. View article »
  • Vicky (Choi) Ristau, class of 2013, checked in with us recently from Long Beach. Vicky and Ryan Ristau, class of 2014, were married last November. She is a community pharmacist at Rite Aid and he is a clinical pharmacist at VA Long Beach.
  • Michelle Hatchett, class of 2015, is living in Colorado Springs and working at Compass Pharmacy, a closed-door pharmacy that provides medications to long-term care facilities. Michelle and her husband, who teaches physics at University of Colorado Denver, have a six-month-old son named Kepler. View photo »
  • Bob Chase, class of 1966, is enjoying retirement in South Cle Elum. He recently donated an antique book of scripts that sits on a mahogany and oak book cradle that he handmade in his woodworking shop. This beautiful item is now on display at the College of Pharmacy—thank you Bob!
  • David E. Bell, class of 1976, is coming out of retirement to return to work at Madigan Army Medical Center, due to staffing shortages. Bell serves on the WSU College of Pharmacy Dean’s Advisory Council and has named the Bell-Schleif Conference Room in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building with WSU pharmacy alumni Ron ’76 and Carol ’79 Schleif. Bell also funded the Die Apotheke Scholarship in Pharmacy endowment at the College of Pharmacy.
  • Nick Bruck, class of 2004, was honored earlier this month by the Inland-Northwest-Service-Learning-Partnership with their annual “Impact Award” for his significant contributions to the coordinated response to the Mumps outbreak in Spokane this past winter. Great job Nick!

Want to be listed in our alumni updates? Send us your career information or let us know what you’ve been up to!


  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Travis T. Denton and five co-authors published, "Reductions in the mitochondrial enzyme α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex in neurodegenerative disease - beneficial or detrimental?" in The Journal of Neurochemistry, a peer-reviewed journal from the International Society for Neurochemistry. (online August 31, 2016, DOI: 10.1111/jnc.13836)
  • Pharmacotherapy Professor and Chair John R. White, Jr., published the section, “Titratable fixed-ratio combinations in Type 2 diabetes mellitus: focus on GLP-1R agonists combined with basal insulin,” in Hot Topics in Primary Care, a special peer-reviewed supplement to The Journal of Family Practice in April 2017.


  • Travis Denton presented the poster titled, "Phosphonate analogues of lanthionine ketimine as potential therapies of autophagy-related pathologies," at the American Society for Neurochemistry Annual Meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas.


  • Pharmacotherapy Professor K. Michael Gibson was awarded $1,581,766 over four years from the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, for the project, “Rapalog therapy in heritable and vigabatrin-induced GABA metabolic disorders.”


  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor (Yakima) Damianne Brand-Eubanks was voted 2016-17 Teacher of the Year by College of Pharmacy first-year student pharmacists.
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor (Yakima) Anne Kim was voted 2016-17 Teacher of the Year by the College of Pharmacy second-year student pharmacists at the Yakima extension.
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for Assessment and Accreditation Brenda S. Bray was voted 2016-17 Teacher of the Year by College of Pharmacy second-year student pharmacists.
  • Pharmacotherapy Associate Professor and Director of Experiential Services Joshua J. Neumiller was voted 2016-17 Teacher of the Year by College of Pharmacy third-year student pharmacists.
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Shobhan Gaddameedhi was voted 2016-17 Teacher of the Year for the College of Pharmacy graduate program.
  • Pharmacotherapy Postdoctoral Research Associate (Yakima) Yili Zhong was selected as the 2016-17 Trainee of the Year for the College of Pharmacy.
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Kimberly McKeirnan received a Laboratory Innovation and Teaching Excellence (LITE) Award honorable mention by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Lab SIG based on her implementation of Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) training into the WSU College of Pharmacy Applied Patient Care skills lab. McKeirnan has been invited to present on her work incorporating TST training into her lab at the AACP Annual Meeting in July.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students

  • Kari Gaither (Liu Lab, pharmaceutical sciences) received travel awards of $500 each from the WSU Graduate School, Associated Students of WSU Spokane, and the College of Pharmacy to present the poster, “MicroRNA mediated regulation of ATF5 contributes to homeostasis and benign to malignant transformation in breast cancer cells,” at the 2017 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting on April 1-5 in Washington, D.C.
  • Madalyn Brown (Gibson lab, pharmaceutical sciences) was voted 2016-17 Teaching Assistant of the Year by College of Pharmacy student pharmacists.
  • Madalyn Brown presented as part of the WSU College of Pharmacy Graduate Research Seminar Series on April 7, 2017.
  • Shamema Nasrin (Lazarus lab, pharmaceutical sciences) presented as part of the WSU College of Pharmacy Graduate Research Seminar Series on April 14, 2017.
  • Tarana Arman (Clarke lab, pharmaceutical sciences) presented as part of the WSU College of Pharmacy Graduate Research Seminar Series on April 21, 2017.
  • Soumyadeep Sarkar (Gaddameedhi lab, pharmaceutical sciences) presented as part of the WSU College of Pharmacy Graduate Research Seminar Series on April 28, 2017.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) students

  • The College of Pharmacy APhA student organization, in collaboration with SNPhA and Walgreens, received the Outstanding Service Award as part of the 2017 Students Serving Washington Awards. This award includes $7,500 to fund future service projects that address critical issues in the state of Washington. Read more »
  • The WSU Professional Pharmacy Student Organization (PPSO) received a 2017 President’s LEAD Award, an honor bestowed annually to students and others who advance leadership and engagement at WSU and beyond.
  • James Kent received a 2017 President’s LEAD Award.
  • Vincent Quach received the U.S. Public Health Service “Excellence in Public Health” Pharmacy Award.
  • Lauren Pollock received a 2017 NCPA Outstanding Student Member Award.
  • Joanna Gourley was selected as the WSU College of Pharmacy Student of the Year for the class of 2020 in Spokane.
  • Zachary Miller was selected as the WSU College of Pharmacy Student of the Year for the class of 2020 in Yakima.
  • Boris Zhang was selected as the WSU College of Pharmacy Student of the Year for the class of 2019 in Spokane.
  • Meredith Matsen was selected as the WSU College of Pharmacy Student of the Year for the class of 2019 in Yakima.
  • Kathryn Rand was selected as the WSU College of Pharmacy Student of the Year for the class of 2018.
  • Yongmin Ko won the WSU APhA-ASP local Patient Counseling Competition. Yongmin represented WSU at the national competition at the APhA Annual Meeting in March.
  • Courtney Mayo was selected by her peers to speak at the 2017 Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2017.


  • The date and time for the College of Pharmacy commencement ceremony was incorrectly stated in our April 2017 issue. The ceremony will take place at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, May 4.

WSU College of Pharmacy logo

Washington State University College of Pharmacy
PO Box 1495, Spokane, WA  99202