About Us

The Washington State University Analytics and PsychoPharmacology Laboratory (APPL) is home to a thriving body of transdisciplinary addiction science research with approximately 15 staff and faculty. APPL’s lead scientist, Dr. Sterling McPherson, has emerged as an internationally recognized expert in the field of drug and alcohol abuse. Since coming to WSU in 2010, he has secured more than $40 million in grants and contracts as PI or Co-I from the National Institute of Health and 14 other agencies. APPL ranges in disciplinary representation from health policy and economics to experimental therapeutics and human toxicology.

APPL is one of several units housed within the larger Program of Excellence in Addictions Research (PEAR). Dr. John Roll is the PEAR director. He trained Dr. McPherson and has been his primary mentor for over 10 years. APPL houses some of Spokane’s largest health science projects and collaborates with more than 150 investigators globally. Notably, APPL maintains a uniquely international presence with collaborations across 7 countries. We have also collaborated recently with five different industry sponsors (Optum, Pillsy, Managed Health Connections, Intent Solutions and Ringful Health) on technology-enhanced addiction treatment platforms.

As a member of the PEAR, APPL maintains the PEAR mission statement:

The mission of the PEAR is to advance innovative, scientifically rigorous approaches to the understanding, treatment, and prevention of addictions. We accomplish this by:

  • Conducting transdisciplinary research in interrelated areas
  • Training future scholars and clinicians
  • Promoting active participation of program affiliates in relevant policy arenas


Abigail Bowen
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Serena McPherson
Laboratory Manager

You can find out more about our research and that of our sister lab, PRISM Collaborative.