PULLMAN, Wash. — Marc W. Fariss, an associate professor in the Washington State University College of Pharmacy, was recently awarded a traveling lectureship by the Society of Toxicology.

The Colgate-Palmolive Traveling Lectureship in Alternative Methods in Toxicology includes a $10,000 grant, which Fariss will use to cover the first few weeks of a five-month sabbatical at the University of Washington.

Dr. Fariss will be lecturing to students and faculty in the UW’s Toxicology Program in the Department of Environmental Health about the research techniques he has developed for studying cell damage caused by oxidative stress and about his research into the role of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, in protecting cells from these oxygen-free radicals.

“Many disease states are thought to be caused by oxidative stress,” Fariss said, which is an imbalance between the antioxidants and the pro-oxidants in a cell in favor of the pro-oxidants. Some examples of the disease states are Parkinson’s disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetic complications, drug-induced toxicities, Alzheimer’s disease and others.

During his five-month sabbatical at UW, Dr. Farris will collaborate with Dr. Terrance Kavanagh to apply the new research techniques to measure changes caused by oxidative stress in the mitochondria of cells. Researchers suspect that’s where the oxygen-free radical damage is occurring, which is responsible for cell death.

After his sabbatical ends at UW on Dec. 1, Dr. Fariss will continue on sabbatical for another seven months at Emory University in Atlanta. He will be doing research there in the Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases with a $367,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health. In that project, he will examine the protective role of vitamin E treatment in Parkinson’s disease.