Fund to help students reach meetings

PULLMAN – WSU alumnus Dr. Bruce Gibbins has established a fellowship fund to help graduate students attend professional meetings in their fields.

Gibbins, who earned bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees in the College of Sciences at WSU, remembers his days as a graduate student when he needed to go to professional meetings across the country but had barely enough money to cover his living expenses in Pullman. He watched long-time WSU bacteriology professor Herb Nakata “scrape together and scrounge cash from all kinds of sources” so that graduate students could go to professional meetings.

In establishing the fellowship fund, Gibbins wants to help the next generation of young scientists take advantage of the wider professional world available to them at national and regional meetings in bacteriology and related fields.

After leaving WSU, Gibbins went on to found AcryMed. Based in Portland, Ore., the company is a pioneer in the development of advanced wound care and infection control technologies.

In 2006, WSU’s College of Sciences presented Gibbins with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding achievements in the field of infection control and wound-healing technology.

Seeds for the fellowship that’s just been created at WSU were first sown by AcryMed’s participation with the Entrepreneurs Foundation of the Northwest (EFNW), an organization providing opportunities for high-growth companies to give back to local communities. 

The fundamental motivation for the gift to WSU resides in Gibbins’ good memories of his time at WSU and his desire to be useful to the next generation of life science students.

“As a graduate student at WSU, I found my participation in scientific conferences and exposure to national peers within the scientific community to be invaluable to my education and ultimate success within the field of science,” Gibbins said.

“This would not have been possible if not for the efforts of Professor Herb Nakata and others who worked diligently to find the resources necessary to allow myself and other graduate students to attend these events.  I hope this foundation will help future scientists benefit from these same types of crucial experiences.”

For more information on AcryMed visit their website at or call 503-624-9830.

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