PULLMAN, Wash. – As Washington State University expands its health sciences campus in Spokane, Gary Pollack will assume the role of vice provost for health sciences in addition to continuing to serve as dean of the WSU College of Pharmacy.
 
For the past two years, Bryan Slinker has served as both dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and vice provost for health sciences. He will continue as dean of CVM.
 
Health sciences consolidates in Spokane
“This change accomplishes two things,” said Warwick Bayly, WSU provost and executive vice president, in announcing Pollack’s assignment. �It enables Dr. Slinker to focus his efforts on continuing to expand the wide-ranging portfolio of teaching and research activities in the College of Veterinary Medicine, including those linked to building the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.
 
“It also lets us consolidate leadership of the health sciences at the Spokane campus,” Bayly said, “and facilitates our efforts to take an increasingly interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research in the health professions and public health.”
 
The WSU Division of Health Sciences is composed of the colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy; WWAMI/medical sciences; and the departments of Speech and Hearing Sciences and Health Policy and Administration. A certificate in public health is under development.
 
“We are fortunate to have such a visionary and energetic team of leaders in the health sciences,” said WSU Spokane Chancellor Brian L. Pitcher, who also served as vice provost for health sciences before Slinker. “Dean Patricia Butterfield of the College of Nursing, Ken Roberts in the Spokane medical education program and others are working closely with Dean Pollack to build a culture of team oriented health care and research as we expand the health science center at the Riverpoint campus with all our partners.”
 
The 2011 legislature appropriated $35 million toward construction of the next building on the campus. The Biomedical/Health Sciences Building (Phase I) will house the College of Pharmacy as it consolidates its operations in Spokane, along with medical faculty in WWAMI/medical sciences.
 
WSU leaders will ask the Legislature for the balance of the funding needed for the building in the 2012 session.
 
Interdisciplinary scholarship, economic impact
 
At maturity, the health science programs centered on the Riverpoint campus and associated activities in the healthcare industry and other business sectors are projected to have an annual economic impact of more than $2.1 billion on the statewide economy, with more than $1.6 billion in eastern Washington.
 
“We are particularly grateful to the Legislature and the citizens of Washington for supporting our building project,” Pollack said. “We can’t achieve our goal of being a high impact health sciences campus without new buildings to house pharmacy education, medical education, pharmaceutical and biomedical research.
 
“Our goal is to build a fundamentally different academic health sciences center: one that is built around the concept of interdisciplinary education, research and service, as compared to those that have been built around siloed biomedical disciplines,” he said.
 
Pollack joined WSU as dean of the College of Pharmacy in August 2010. From 1984 to 2010, he was a member of the faculty of the School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as chair of that school’s Division of Drug Delivery and Disposition (1992-2004) and executive associate dean (2004-2010). He received his B.A. in chemistry and psychology from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., and his Ph.D. in pharmaceutics, with a concentration in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, from the School of Pharmacy, State University of New York at Buffalo.
 
Pollack’s research has centered on the disposition and action of drugs and toxicants in the central nervous system. He has mentored more than 40 graduate, undergraduate and postdoctoral students in his laboratory and has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and scientific abstracts. He is a fellow of both the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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