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A message from Gary M. Pollack

November 2018

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, we are looking forward to Election Day (please take the time to vote, as it is intrinsic to government of, by, and for the people). November 6 also is important to us for another reason: we will be hosting President Kirk Schulz and Provost Dan Bernardo for the annual town hall meeting.

This event provides an important opportunity for our students, staff and faculty to hear directly from the university’s leadership. Given the geographic separation of the Health Sciences campus from the Pullman campus, the town hall meetings for the Spokane-based colleges are perhaps of special importance and we very much appreciate the time and effort the president and provost invest in communicating their perspectives and priorities directly to our community.

A likely focal point for the town hall meeting will be WSU’s goal of becoming one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030 (the Drive to 25 initiative), and how the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is contributing to that goal. Because we are a relatively small college (in context of the university as a whole), our quantitative contributions to D25 are correspondingly modest. However, the trajectory with which our college is contributing to university goals and priorities has been simply outstanding:

  • We have had strong year-over-year increases in research expenditures and enrollment in our Ph.D. program.
  • Our expansion of the Pharm.D. program resulted in CPPS accounting for an astonishing fraction (nearly 40%) of the doctoral degrees awarded by WSU in 2017.
  • Our extension to Yakima addressed important issues with respect to diversity and outreach.
  • Our educational initiatives have resulted in a demonstrably transformative experience for our students.
  • Our faculty are increasingly productive as scholars.
  • Our students and faculty are increasingly recognized for their excellence through external awards.

In short, CPPS is punching above its weight. The national reputation of our college and its programming is correspondingly improving. We continue to look to the future with optimism and excitement.

Wishing each of you a happy Thanksgiving as we slide towards the end of the fall semester.

signature: Gary M. Pollack

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

11/06/2018 Yakima Career Fair
November 6-8
Red Lion Hotel, Yakima
Event details
11/08/2018 Spokane Career Fair
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
CCRS, Spokane
Event details

11/30/2018 CougaRx Holiday Party
5:00 p.m.
WSU Health Sciences
Spokane, Wash.
Event details
12/08/2018 CougaRx at ASHP
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
nFuse Bar & Kitchen
Anaheim Mariott, Cali.
Event details

More college events »


NCPA business plan winners

WSU student pharmacists win national competition
Pharmacy students demonstrated their acumen, capturing the championship in a National Community Pharmacists Association business plan competition.
Read more »

Megan Undeberg

Pharmacy program welcomes back alumna as professor
Megan Undeberg rejoined us this August as a clinical associate professor. She will work to expand rural health research, looking at transitions of care (especially to rural areas) and the role of the pharmacist in internal medicine, as well as integration of pharmacy and other health care providers in education and experiential experiences.
Read more »

Tarana Arman

Student moves from India for Ph.D. program in Spokane
Arman had never been to America, never heard of Washington State University, nor had she ever imagined that her education in biotechnology would fit into a pharmaceutical sciences program. Now she is entering her third year of the pharmaceutical sciences Ph.D. program.
Read more »

A message from Linda Garrelts MacLean

Greetings to our friends, colleagues, and valued alumni,

As we enter November and the season of Thanksgiving, I would like to take a moment to reflect on how grateful we are to so many! We celebrated pharmacy appreciation week in October, so I would like to highlight the critical role preceptors serve in our Doctor of Pharmacy program. Through their teaching and mentorship during pharmacy practice rotations, they directly contribute to our mission of developing outstanding health care professionals. They are at the front lines of patient care, and are the reason we produce practice-ready graduates and leaders in pharmacy.

CPPS Director of Experiential Services Anjie Bertramson and Clinical Assistant Professor Taylor Bertsch were able to visit several sites within the Providence Health Systems last month to thank our preceptors personally. Being able to visit sites one-on-one continues to be a valuable opportunity to hear from our pharmacy community and find further opportunities to strengthen our relationships. While we could not visit all our partnering sites during pharmacy appreciation month, we continue to find ways to recognize and appreciate our many partners.

We honored our two Preceptors of the Year during the Crimson Gala in September: Monica Graybeal, class of 2008, with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in Spokane; and Chris Greer, class of 1991, with Spokane St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute. Both were nominated by student pharmacists to receive this honor.

Monica’s nominator wrote that she exemplifies, “exactly what they teach us in school of what we should push ourselves to be. Monica strives to help everyone she comes into contact with.”

Chris’ nominator was equally enthusiastic about his influence on —and contributions to —our students, saying, “Chris is by far the best preceptor I’ve had during my time at WSU. He is great at teaching things to us in a way that’s easy to understand. He’s patient, kind, makes every day at the rotation fun, and teaches us more than just the basics that we need to know.”

Going into the Thanksgiving season, it is evident how important it is for us to stay connected. I am grateful that we are able to accomplish so much through the simple act of coming together as colleagues, preceptors, student pharmacists, collaborators, and friends.

With warmest regards and much appreciation,

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


When speaking about allergies Dr. Universe consulted CPPS Clinical Associate Professor Jennifer Robinson.
Read more »


John Grunden, class of 1991, sent us this photo waving Ol’ Crimson during College Game Day at State College—the 214th consecutive appearance of Ol’ Crimson at College GameDay!
View photo »


If you missed your chance to pick up your Crimson Gala photo booth pics, we have them posted. We also added more Tailgate photos.
Crimson Gala photo booth »
Homecoming Tailgate photos »


  • Gerald G. Briggs, class of 1968, received the Russell R. Miller Award at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) 2018 Global Conference awards and recognition ceremony on October 21, 2018, in Seattle. The award recognizes an ACCP member who has made substantial contributions to the literature of clinical pharmacy, either in the form of a single, especially noteworthy contribution or in sustained contributions over time.
  • Patrick Stolz, class of 2016, recently checked in with us from just outside Washington, D.C., where he is working as a behavioral health pharmacist at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. His patients include active duty service members, their family members, and retirees.

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

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  • Visiting Scholar Shaman Luo (Lazarus Lab), Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate Research Professor Gang Chen, Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate Research Professor Zuping Xia, Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor and Chair Philip Lazarus, and two co-authors published, “Identification and quantification of novel major metabolites of the steroidal aromatase inhibitor, exemestane,” in the peer-review scientific journal Drug Metabolism Disposition in September 2018. View abstract »"
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Adjunct Professor Joseph Ashmore, Shaman Luo, Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate in Research Christy J.W. Watson (Lazarus Lab), and Philip Lazarus published, “Carbonyl reduction of NNK by recombinant human lung enzymes: identification of HSD17β12 as the reductase important in (R)-NNAL formation in human lung,” in Carcinogenesis in May 2018. View abstract »
  • Pharmacotherapy Professor and Associate Dean of External Professional and Continuing Education Danial E. Baker published, “Drug evaluation – cannabidiol (Epidiolex),” in Wolters Kluwer Health’s The Formulary monograph Service (FMS) in October 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.
  • Danial Baker published, “Drug evaluation – omadacycline: preliminary evaluation,” in the FMS in October 2018.
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Professor Terri L. Levien and Danial Baker published, “Drug evaluation – elagolix (Orilissa),” in the FMS in October 2018.
  • Danial Baker published, “Drug evaluation – galcanezumab (Emgality): preliminary evaluation,” in the FMS in October 2018.
  • Danial Baker with two co-authors published, “Drug evaluation – binimetinib (Mektovi) and encorafenib (Braftovi),” in the FMS in October 2018.
  • Danial Baker published, “Drug utilization evaluation – elagolix,” in the FMS in October 2018.
  • Allen I. White Distinguished Professor Joshua Neumiller with one co-author published, “Oral semaglutide,” in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Diabetes, a publication from the American Diabetes Association in October 2018. View abstract »
  • Pharmocotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Kim McKeirnan published, "Academic fellowships: a new addition to traditional pharmacy residencies," in Pharmacy Times in October 2018. Read article »


  • Philip Lazarus was the keynote speaker at the American Cancer Society Annual Event, Spokane Chapter in August 2018.
  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Julie Akers presented, “Utilization of pharmacists as patient care providers for hepatitis C patients,” at the 78th International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in September 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Julie Akers presented, “Efforts of pharmacists in Washington state to screen patients at risk for HCV,” at The Pharmacy/Public Health Issues Conference in September 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Julie Akers co-chaired the session, “Better outcomes for hepatitis C patients in your community,” at the 78th FIP World Congress.
  • Kim McKeirnan and one other delivered the podium presentation, “Training pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations,” at the 78th FIP World Congress.
  • Kim McKeirnan and Julie Akers presented the poster, “Training student pharmacists to perform rapid strep, influenza and HIV point-of-care testing,” co-authored with Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Jennifer (Czapinski) Miller, Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Taylor Bertsch, and Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Christina Buchman at the 78th FIP World Congress.
  • Kim McKeirnan presented the poster, “Identifying drug-related problems through patient home visits,” co-authored with Pharmacotherapy Instructor Kyle Frazier at the 78th FIP World Congress.


  • Pharmacotherapy Clinical Assistant Professor Jeffrey Clark is the incoming president-elect for the Washington State Chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). He will be president-elect for two years, then president for two years before moving into their advisory role for an additional term.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students

  • Sihan Wang (Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhenjia Wang Lab) with faculty co-authors Jin Gao, Zhenjia Wang and two co-authors published, "A facile approach for development of a vaccine made of bacterial double-layered membrane vesicles (DMVs)" in Biomaterials in December 2018. Read article »
  • Panshak Dakup (Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gaddameedhi Lab) delivered the platform presentation, "The impact of circadian clock disruption on solar UVB-induced DNA damage signaling in SKH-1 mice,” at the Environmental and Mutagenesis Genomics Society (EMGS) annual meeting on September 26, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Panshak Dakup received a Student and New Investigator travel award of $750 from the EMGS to present his research at its annual meeting.
  • Panshak Dakup presented, “Role of the circadian clock- and sex-related mechanisms in UVR signaling and melanomagenesis,” for the Center for Reproductive Biology Seminar Series on October 10, 2018, in Pullman, Washington.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) students

  • Vinh Bui with faculty co-author Joshua Neumiller published, “Oral semaglutide,” in Clinical Diabetes in October 2018. Read abstract »

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