March 13: White Lecture features national institute researcher

By Lori Maricle, WSU College of Pharmacy 

okita richard wsu white lecture 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. – Richard Okita, a program director with the National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences, will present the 2018 Allen I. White Lecture at noon Tuesday, March 13, in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building Walgreens Auditorium on the WSU Spokane campus.

Okita’s presentation, titled, “Navigating your life in the biomedical sciences: one person’s perspective,” is hosted by the Washington State University College of Pharmacy in Spokane. The purpose of the lecture series is to discuss scientific, social or political aspects of pharmacy and related matters.

The lecture is open to the public. People planning to attend are asked to click on the following site link to RSVP.

Okita was selected as the speaker based on his expertise in clinical pharmacology and his standing as a nationally recognized leader in pharmaceutical sciences research.

He is a program director in the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). He currently administers research grants in the areas of drug metabolism and transport, drug-induced toxicology and drug delivery. He also manages the NIGMS pharmacology and clinical pharmacology T32 training grants.

Prior to joining NIGMS in 2001, Okita was a WSU professor of pharmaceutical sciences. He earned a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Ph.D. in biochemical pharmacology from the University of Southern California, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas.

“We are pleased to be welcoming Dr. Okita back to WSU,” said Linda Garrelts MacLean, vice dean of the college. “He was an important part of the WSU pharmacy faculty, both for students as well as his faculty colleagues.”

Bringing distinguished and renowned speakers to WSU to engage with students and faculty is part of how the College of Pharmacy strives to advance human health through excellence in collaborative research, scholarship and clinical education, and to develop outstanding heath care professionals and scientists.

This lectureship was established in 1979 by College of Pharmacy Professors Charles Martin and Vishnu Batia as a tribute to Dean Allen White. The two professors wanted to do something to honor White upon his retirement in 1979. White did not want a banquet or a scholarship, and suggested the lectureship.


Media Contact:

  • Lori Maricle, WSU College of Pharmacy communications, 509-368-6679,

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