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A message from Gary M. Pollack

September 2018

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Well, the summer has flown by, as summers tend to do (although the rate of flow seems to increase exponentially from one year to the next), and we already are a couple of weeks deep into the fall semester. We had the honor of welcoming students in Spokane and Yakima into our Doctor of Pharmacy program with a traditional white coat ceremony, as well as welcoming seven new students into our Ph.D. program. Watching a new group of students take the first steps on the next leg of their academic journeys is a distinct pleasure. The WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is fortunate to have such a talented group of young professionals and scientists, and I look forward to seeing how their journeys unfold.

The pharmacy profession continues to provide outstanding opportunities for our graduates. A recent analysis by Glassdoor of the 25 highest-paying professions in the United States placed pharmacy professionals (“pharmacy managers” and “pharmacists”) second and third, respectively, behind “physicians.” This is tangible evidence of the value placed on the pharmacy profession by our society. Compensation, while important, is of course only part of the picture. The opportunity to have a positive impact on individuals and communities is an intrinsic element of the pharmacy profession, and one that is valued highly by practitioners.

Opportunities for pharmacists in our own state continue to be robust. Labor projections indicate that the need for new pharmacists will exceed the number of new graduates from the two in-state programs over the next five years. Much of this need falls outside of the urban corridors in Seattle and Spokane, and speaks to the crucial need to address disparities in access to care in rural areas, in Washington and throughout the United States. Our program extension in Yakima is preparing future practitioners to meet this need, and we are looking forward to the first Yakima-based graduating cohort in May 2019.

With one final welcome to the new students, staff and faculty who have joined our college, best wishes for the coming semester.

signature: Gary M. Pollack

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

9/11/2018 Career Seminar
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
PBS Walgreens Auditorium, Spokane
View details
9/12/2018 Virtual Pharmacy
School Fair

9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Event details
9/13/2018 CPPS Research Seminar
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
PBS Walgreens Auditorium, Spokane
Event details
8/13/18 Pharmacy Homecoming Weekend
September 28-29
Spokane & Pullman
Event details

More college events »


Woman smoking

CPPS researchers develop potential drugs to help curb smoking
Washington State University researchers have created more than a dozen candidate drugs with the potential to curb smokers’ desire for nicotine by slowing how it is broken down in the body. The researchers hope the substances can help people reduce their consumption of tobacco, if not quit altogether.
Read more »

Ruby Siegel

Better treatments for RA the focus of this graduate fellowship award
Ruby Siegel is searching for a better way to treat rheumatoid arthritis. She recently received a Graduate Student Fellowship from the Rheumatology Research Foundation (RRF) to fund her research.
Read more »

Cardiff WSU Experience

Spokane: an international summer destination for pharmacy school
Two student pharmacists from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University in Wales came to Spokane this summer to participate in specialty pharmacy experiences hosted by the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS).
Read more »

Homecoming Weekend 2018
  A message from Linda Garrelts MacLean

Dear Alums, Colleagues and Friends of Pharmacy,

We are so fortunate to have an alumni base that is committed to our college. It is the contributions from many that make our pharmacy school so special—second to none across the country. Our Crimson Gala this year celebrates that alumni dedication as we invite classes to gather and reminisce, honor all of the individuals recognized as Alumni of the Year, Preceptor of the Year or Mentor of the Year, and remember a very special person: Dean Emeritus Larry Simonsmeier.

If you are part of the 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, or 2008 classes, be sure to join us at Crimson Gala for your class reunions! Our class captains are rounding up classmates for the September 28 event. For example John Swenson, class captain for 1968, has been helping us by reaching out to classmates to attend. Gerald Briggs, though not able to attend this year, will be writing a recap to his class (as he did when the class gathered together twenty years ago ). Holly Whitcomb Henry, class of 1978, has been in communication with our class and we already know that Linda Peterson (and Stan, class of 1976) and Phyllis Chun Robinson are looking forward to seeing everyone during the Pharmacy Homecoming Weekend. So, class of ’78, send those reservations in and we will seat everyone together! (Do you all still want to sit at the back of the room?)

We will also gather to honor the legacy that Larry M. Simonsmeier left for so many of us. We are beginning to hear your stories, but would urge each of you to send us a memory about how Larry touched you! Ron Schleif, class of 1976, sent us this note:

“Carol (Nightingale, class of 1979) and I both knew Larry. He taught the pharmacy law class when I was in my final year and was truly a breath of fresh air. Extremely personable, full of cheer and optimism. I can still remember Larry literally hopping on both feet down the stairs of College Hall one morning. Carol and I applaud the College of Pharmacy for making this effort and are keen to contribute.”
I would like to close with perspective provided by Larry Simonsmeier in The WSU Pharmacist from 1980. I suspect many of you can “hear” his voice:

“This may be the first time you’ve ever read a memo from an acting dean. Some of you have queried as to what an acting dean does, while others have accused me of impersonating a ‘real’ dean or pretending to be a dean! This makes some members of the faculty nervous, and they claim that I am beginning to ‘act more and more like a dean as time goes by!’”
Our “acting dean” who ended up as our emeritus dean was an inspiration to us. His words encouraged us to go on to do “great things for the profession,” provided us with the impetus to strive to be our best and reminded us to value each other and the relationships that were created in pharmacy school. As noted in many of our communication pieces, Larry was a friend to all.

There is still time to register, communicate with your classmates or sign up as a sponsor for this special event. So please join us!

With Cougar Pride,

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


The WSU student organization affiliated with the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) was recognized for its STEM advocacy activity this past year.
Read more »

WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Students   ALUMNI VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

We are looking for some help from our CougaRx Nation on September 12 to live chat with prospective students during the AACP hosted Virtual Pharmacy School Fair.
Sign up online »

WSU white coat ceremony, Spokane WHITE COAT

During August we welcomed our class of 2022! White Coat Ceremonies were conducted in Spokane and Yakima for the incoming class.
View Spokane photos »
View Yakima photos »


  • We are sad to report the death of Thomas Ray Jerrells, Ph.D., in May. Tom was a professor at WSU in the department of pharmaceutical sciences from 1995-1999, and served as the director of the pharmacology/toxicology graduate program from 1996-1999. Our deepest condolences to his family. The academic community and WSU has lost a terrific scientist, educator, and alumni. Read more »
  • Bert Porter, class of 1950, received the Paul Harris Fellow award from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Read more »
  • Professor Emeritus R. Keith Campbell received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. His daughter Kimberlee Campbell accepted the award during the AADE Annual Meeting in Baltimore in August. See her post about it »
  • We discovered Natasha Heimbigner, class of 2014, is an avid blogger! She chronicled her adventures in Ecuador this summer as a pharmacy preceptor for our international APPE partner One Heart Global Ministries. Check out her blog, Tale of the Traveling White Coat

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

We need volunteers for the virtual pharmacy school fair.


  • R. Keith Campbell Distinguished Professor and Pharmacotherapy Chair John R. White, Jr. and three co-authors published, “From randomized controlled trials to the real world: putting evidence into context,” in The Journal of Family Practice, a peer-reviewed publication from MDedge, in August 2018.
  • John White and four co-authors published, “Low incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events over time with a fixed-ratio combination of insulin glargine and lixisenatide vs lixisenatide alone,” in the peer-reviewed medical journal Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism in June 2018. View abstract » Video summary of findings »
  • Allen I. White Distinguished Associate Professor Joshua J. Neumiller and one co-author published, “2018 standards of care update: pharmacologic approaches to glycemic management in people with Type 2 diabetes,” in Diabetes Spectrum, a peer-reviewed publication from the American Diabetes Association in August 2018. View abstract »
  • Joshua Neumiller and one co-author published, “Pearls for your practice: a clinician’s guide to recently published guidelines and position statements,” in Diabetes Spectrum in August 2018. View abstract »
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Travis T. Denton, Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate Research Professor Zuping Xia, Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate Research Professor Gang Chen, Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate in Research Christy J.W. Watson, Boeing Distinguished Professor and Pharmaceutical Sciences Chair Philip Lazarus with two co-authors published, “Identification of the 4-position of 3-alkynyl and 3-heteroaromatic substituted pyridine methanamines as a key modification site eliciting increased potency and enhanced selectivity for cytochrome P-450 2A6 inhibition,” in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication from the American Chemical Society, in July 2018.
  • Pharmacotherapy Professor and Associate Dean for Professional and Continuing Education Danial E. Baker published, “Drug evaluation – lofexidine (Lucemyra): preliminary evaluation,” in Wolters Kluwer Health’s The Formulary Monograph Service (FMS) in August 2018. Wolters Kluwer Health is a drug and health information publisher, the FMS is a resource used in the formulary decision making process for hospitals and managed care systems on recently released and investigational drugs.
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Professor Terri L. Levien and Danial Baker published, “Drug evaluation – sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (Lokelma): updated evaluation,” in the FMS in August 2018.
  • Danial Baker published, “Drug evaluation – polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium ascorbate, sodium sulfate, ascorbic acid, sodium chloride and potassium chloride for oral solution (Plenvu),” in the FMS in August 2018.
  • Danial Baker published, “Drug evaluation – avatrombopag (Doptelet),” in the FMS in August 2018.
  • Pharmacotherapy Specialty Resident in Drug Information Kalvin Stoker and Danial Baker published, “Drug evaluation – erenumab-aooe (Almovig): updated evaluation,” in the FMS in August 2018.
  • Danial Baker published, “Drug utilization evaluation – sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (Lokelma),” in the FMS in August 2018.
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Development, Kathryn E. Meier and one co-author published, “The role of CCN4/WISP-1 in the cancerous phenotype,” in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Management and Research in August 2018. View abstract »
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Kimberly McKeirnan and Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Taylor Bertsch published, “ITCA 650,” in Clinical Diabetes, a peer-reviewed publication from the American Diabetes Association in July 2018.
  • Travis Denton and fifteen co-authors published, “Rewiring of glutamine metabolism is a bioenergetic adaptation of human cells with mitochondrial DNA mutations,” in Cell Metabolism in May 2018. View abstract »


  • Joshua Neumiller and three co-presenters presented the Medscape program, “FRC therapies: improving glycemic lowering while minimizing side effects,” at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) on August 18, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Joshua Neumiller and three co-presenters presented the Medscape program, “Basal insulin in the modern era: the CDEs role in improving utilization and outcomes” at the AADE on August 19, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor Zhenjia Wang, was an organizer for the symposium, "Nanomedicines: from fundamentals to applications," at the fall national meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 19-23, 2018, in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Zhenjia Wang presented the invited talk, "Neutrophil-based drug delivery systems," at the fall national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor, Cheyenne Newsome, Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Excellence, Connie Remsberg, and one co-presenter presented “Student perceptions and engagement level in flipped learning vs. lecture-based instruction,” at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting July 21-25, 2018, in Boston, Massachusetts.


  • Travis Denton and two others were selected for the WSU I-Corps program with the team, “MakTay Neurosciences,” Now as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) National Innovation Network, the team is now designated as an “NSF-funded project” which allows them to apply through the NSF National I-Corps program and NSF SBIR/STTR Grants.
  • Travis Denton was named co-PI on a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award for the project, “Acquisition of a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer to Serve as a Regional Resource.” Award No. 1827313

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students

  • Laken M. Kruger (pharmaceutical sciences, Denton lab) presented the poster, "Synthesis of biologically relevant -ketphosphonates," at the American Chemical Society’s 73rd Northwest Regional Meeting (NORM18) on June 24, 2018, in Richland, Washington. Co-authors include: Dunxin Shen (pharmaceutical sciences, Denton lab), and faculty mentor Travis Denton.
  • Dunxin Shen, presented the poster, "Synthesis, in vitro and in vivo analysis of phosphonate analogues of lanthionine ketimine: development of small molecule treatments for neurological disorders," at NORM18 on June 24, 2018, in Richland, Washington. Co-authors include: faculty mentor Travis Denton, and three additional co-authors.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) students

  • Khuntia Porter and Duy Ho placed third in Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) National Clinical Skills Competition.
  • Duy Ho received the Rite Aid Community Leader of the Year Award.

WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences logo

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