May 15: Medical college presentation follows regents’ OK

By Doug Nadvornick, medical sciences

Roberts-Ken-80SPOKANE, Wash. – The Washington State University Board of Regents voted today to create a new college that encompasses the university’s medical education and research programs.

The College of Medical Sciences merges WSU’s growing clusters in sleep and cancer research with the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) medical education program that WSU shares with the University of Washington School of Medicine in Spokane and Pullman.

“I know that, to someone outside the university, this won’t mean much,” said Ken Roberts, director of WSU Medical Sciences. “But at WSU Spokane, it is a big deal.”

The new college will become official May 15.

Roberts will speak about the goals of the College of Medical Sciences and its research programs at the WSU Spokane Chancellors’ Research Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, May 15, in the Nursing Building, room 205. The public is welcome, but must RSVP to

Also part of the new college is WSU’s Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, with more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students and a robust research program on the Spokane campus.

“We are delighted to be part of this education and research enterprise focused on professions and disciplines that impact the quality of human health and well-being,” said Gail Chermak, chair of Speech and Hearing Sciences.

The Medical Sciences program began in 2008 with expansion of the WWAMI program to Spokane. At that time, Roberts began recruiting his first group of researchers to campus; they also teach medical students.

Medical Sciences now employs more than 25 full-time faculty, a similar number of part-time faculty and several dozen clinical physician preceptors from the Spokane area who participate in teaching.

In the last year or so, Medical Sciences has hired five new researchers, some of whom will move to Spokane this summer from places such as Duke University and the universities of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

“We are happy to have these talented scientists joining our faculty,” Roberts said. “Each will enrich the academic environment in Medical Sciences and bring unique opportunities for students who are training in Medical Sciences.”

Ken Roberts, director, WSU Medical Sciences, 509-358-7516,
Doug Nadvornick, WSU Medical Sciences communications, 509-358-7540,