Spring 2013 Newsletter  

In This Issue
Our Top Doc is in Portland Monthly! 
Director of Helfgott Research Institute Dr. Heather Zwickey is quoted in the "2013 Portland Alternative Medicine Guide." Read the feature.

MSiMR Open House

Visit us on Saturday, April 20 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Schedule of events and more details.

Prospective Student Webinar Series

Not in Portland? Meet us online through webinar discussions about research areas at Helfgott. Webinar schedule and archive.

Congratulations to our First Class of Graduating MSiMR Students!

Megan Choy, Sarah Hourston, Cassandra Robinson, and Jennifer Ryan. Best of luck to all of you!

Conference Updates
SPARC 2013
Symposium for Portland Area Research on Complementary & Alternative Medicine 2013
Portland's own conference on complementary and alternative medicine research. Clinicians, researchers, and students from different backgrounds and disciplines come together to learn about new research. Join the conversation on Saturday, May 4.

Location and details. 

SPARC 2013: Student Research Pre-Conference

The Friday, May 3 pre-conference events include:

* Student posters and presentations

* Talks and workshops by researchers from OHSU and Yale 

* Student awards.


See the complete schedule.

Study Participation Opportunities
Apple in Hand
Do you or does someone you know have Autism?

We are conducting a study about nutrient levels in adults with autism spectrum disorders.

More information about this study.

pregnant woman
Trying to get pregnant?

A new research study is examining if an herbal supplement can increase pregnancy rates.

More information about this study.

Are you concerned about your cholesterol levels?

A new research study is looking at the effects of a probiotic supplement on cholesterol levels.

More information about this study.

Did You Know...?
In a recent study, Aurelice B. Oliveira et al. found that the total phenolic content in organically grown tomatoes was +139% higher than in the tomatoes from conventional farming. Read the study: The Impact of Organic Farming on Quality of Tomatoes Is Associated to Increased Oxidative Stress during Fruit Development.

Welcome to our latest edition of the Helfgott Research Institute newsletter! We're pleased to share our successes, keep you updated on our progress and let you know of special upcoming events. We're grateful for your interest and your support. For more information or to learn more about Helfgott, we encourage you to check out our website at  www.helfgott.org.

Faculty Spotlight
Doug Hanes, PhD
Assistant Professor
Doug Hanes, PhD 
I have been the research biostatistician in the Helfgott Research Institute at NCNM since early 2012.

This has been a great opportunity for me to teach, to contribute to a wide variety of research, and to think and write about quantitative issues in biomedical research. I teach two Biostatistics courses in the MSiMR program, and though students may tell you that the classes are hard, we've
so far had nothing but successful outcomes. In fact, our students seem very aware of the need to learn proper analysis for their research endeavors. Another important focus of these classes is on how to interpret statistical results in literature; that's something I hope we at Helfgott can increasingly try to convey to the whole natural medicine community.


There are a range of interesting projects that I've already been involved with at Helfgott. We've considered dietary effects on inflammation, environmental effects on stress, effects on glucose and lipids of traditional herbs, treatment of chronic pain by moxibustion, and effects of the traditional Indian herbal medicine Ashwagandha on T cells. Many exciting student projects are in process, and we all look forward to seeing the results of those in the coming years.


Personally, I'm always happy to keep learning. I've been to many classes and talks at NCNM, and I enjoy hearing about student experiences and goals. Even though I'd never worked in natural medicine before joining NCNM, the culture is a good fit for me: I love the Northwest wilderness and clean air, I'm a big supporter of local agriculture and Portland's many farmers' markets, and I've been doing yoga to stay healthy for many years. I look forward to much more research and education at NCNM, and I hope that I can continue to learn about the diverse approaches to health and life that are being carried forward by the College.


Doug Hanes is an assistant professor in Biostatistics at the Helfgott Research Institute. Dr. Hanes completed a PhD in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1999. Before joining NCNM, he served for three years as an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, then for six years as Research Associate at the Legacy Clinical Research and Technology Center in Portland, Oregon. He continues to serve as non-teaching adjunct faculty in the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Portland State University. Dr. Hanes' past research has focused on mathematical modeling of human sensation, balance, orientation, and movement. And, if you ever feel a strange urge to learn about Hilbert functions of Noetherian local rings, he's definitely the person to see.

Dr. Tippens
Assistant Professor 
Kim Tippens, ND, MSAOM, MPH 

I am committed to a career in health services research that will inform policies that enhance access to CAM and integrative health care among low income, uninsured and minority populations.


My research goal to develop feasible, affordable, and culturally acceptable models of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has grown out of my years of professional and personal experiences. My background--growing up in a medically marginalized community--inspired my career path addressing health disparities as a person, physician, and researcher.


Throughout my undergraduate education, I sought opportunities to understand sociocultural factors that affect health. I became interested in prevention and natural therapies and, ultimately, chose a career in natural medicine. During medical training, I worked in underserved communities, homeless shelters, and international settings. Later, my clinical residency emphasized naturopathic community health care. Since my naturopathic training lacked evidence-based medicine, I volunteered at the Helfgott Research Institute where I developed my continuing interest and focus on research. Now, as a faculty member at Helfgott, my research weaves together CAM, disparities, and public health, and contributes to setting the agenda for health disparities research in CAM.


There is little information about the potential for CAM or integrative medicine to mitigate health disparities. As such, my current focus is on accessible models of CAM, assessing Community Acupuncture as a sustainable model of low-cost CAM. Past studies include assessment of naturopathic care for type II diabetes, which disproportionately burdens racial and ethnic minorities. Additionally, in my position at NCNM, I am involved in the R25 Research Education grant with projects related to evidence-based medicine and cultural competency in CAM practitioner training. The NCCAM 2011 Strategic Plan emphasizes training a CAM workforce. Cultural competency and EBM are two issues that need to be addressed within this context.


Dr. Tippens is a graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, where she received her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Master in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She completed a family practice residency at the National College of Natural Medicine with an emphasis on community health. After residency, Dr. Tippens was awarded a National Institutes of Health-funded post-doctoral fellowship, during which she received a Certificate in Human Investigations through the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), and participated in research evaluating expectancy in the treatment of metabolic syndrome and obesity. She has recently completed a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Fellowship Award (F32), receiving training in health disparities and health services research. She received her Master of Public Health degree from OHSU in 2012.

More about Dr. Tippens. 
Current Student Research

Steve Chamberlin, ND Candidate 


Descriptions and Comparisons of 300,000 Naturopathic Visits Sourced from Academic Clinical Administrative Data, 2006-2010

At this time I have just a completed a paper in CAM health services research, which has not yet been submitted for publication. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2011 when I received T32 pre-doctoral training at Bastyr University. Our goal was to compile a large database of naturopathic electronic clinical records and use this to characterize and compare practice patterns in our profession. This research has been done by survey before, but never using complete clinic records from multiple large clinics across North America. For this purpose we chose to extract data from the North American naturopathic academic clinics since these are some of the largest repositories of clinical data available. We collected data on about 300,000 visits from four schools spanning the years 2006 to 2010, and then used conventional survey data from the Centers for Disease Control for comparison to practice patterns for primary care office visits by MDs and DOs. About one third of the top 25 diagnoses were in common between our professions, with the conventional visits tending toward acute conditions and the naturopathic visits tending toward chronic conditions. This seems to indicate that naturopathic physicians are doing primary care as practiced conventionally, but also providing services for a different medical niche not addressed in conventional health care. The conventional visits also saw a larger percentage of pediatric and geriatric patients, and had a much higher rate of third party payment for services. Almost half of the naturopathic visits were out-of-pocket payments, where only 4% of conventional visits paid out-of-pocket.


Steve Chamberlin will be presenting this paper at SPARC 2013.
MSiMR Student Q & A

Corinne Maul, 4th Year ND/MSiMR

Q: Where is your hometown?

A: Davis, California


Q: What was the focus of your undergraduate study?

A: My undergrad training is in Optical Science and Engineering with a focus in Lasers and Spectroscopy and a Minor in Japanese... I know, nothing to do with medicine. I enjoyed research and the intellectual stimulation of my field, but felt so far from the societal benefits of my work. A search for something that would be intellectually stimulating, personally meaningful and tangibly helpful to society is what led me down a twisty-turny path to naturopathic medicine and the MSiMR program.


Q: Describe your MSiMR research project. 

A: I examined the barriers to practice, operation and research in naturopathic clinics abroad. This is an exploratory study to identify the unique difficulties associated with running a naturopathic clinic outside of North America in order to inform current and future practitioners and establish a foundation for future research and data collection from identified global health clinics.


Q: Who are your mentors?

A: The amazing Wendy Hodsdon! Plus, many other helpful Helfgott teachers and staff including Morgan Schafer, Kim Tippens, Corey McAuliffe, Doug Hanes and, of course, the one and only Heather Zwickey.


Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: I am hoping to do a clinical residency with a focus in integrative medicine research. Beyond a residency, I plan to start or join a practice dedicated to general naturopathic practice, integrative oncology, community health and clinical research.


Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: A Marine Biologist and Whale Trainer. I had a very special moment with Shamu when I was 6.


Q: Now what do you want to be when you grow up?

A: A doctor, farmer, grandmother, friend, herbalist, community leader and a Whale Trainer... some dreams die hard.


Q: When is your favorite time of year in Portland?

A: Fall. The orange leaves and pumpkins make me feel warm and fuzzy despite the crisp, cool air.


Q: If you could go back in time and advise yourself just before starting medical school at NCNM, what would you say?

A: Explore your options and choose an interest at the beginning. Even if you change, it will give a focus to your pursuit. Take advantage of the unique learning opportunities but make sure to laugh, meditate, and dance a little every day.   


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Current Student Projects
Sarah Hourston,
ND/MSiMR Candidate 

Micronutrient Levels in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This research project is focused on micronutrient levels in the growing population of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).


Currently, there are several research studies looking at nutrient levels and dietary supplements in children with ASD. Much of this research has shown different micronutrient levels in children with ASD compared to neurotypical children and that dietary supplements are beneficial for ASD symptoms.


The goal of this project is to determine if there is a nutritional difference in adults with ASD compared to neurotypical adults. If so, it will encourage further research on micronutrient supplements in this population.


MSiMR Student Profile

Jennifer Ryan, ND; MSiMR Candidate 

Dr. Jennifer Ryan came to NCNM after several years of conducting NIH-funded, basic-science research at the UCSD branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research as well as Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. She says, "It was only natural for me to continue to gravitate toward research while earning my ND degree.  Now that I'm nearly done with the MSiMR program, I have an even stronger background in scientific methodology with expertise in natural medicine."

Jennifer is currently conducting a pilot study for her MSiMR thesis project, "Effect of Probiotics on Cardiovascular Biomarkers." She is investigating whether a probiotic strain shows promise as a treatment for elevated cholesterol which is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. This project is also testing whether the probiotic alters other biomarkers including cardiovascular inflammatory markers and insulin.

Jennifer is actively recruiting volunteers for this study and will be presenting her research at the upcoming SPARC Student Research Pre-Conference.
Her mentors and collaborators include Jeremy Mikolai, Morgan Schafer, Doug Hanes, and Heather Zwickey. This project is also being supported by generous product and service donations from Pure Encapsulations and SpectraCell Laboratories.

Jennifer says, "I am so grateful to have the support of not only the College and my wonderful mentors, but also our industry partners."


After completing the MSiMR program this June, Jennifer's aspirations include conducting a follow-up study based on her current project and applying for an NIH-funded research fellowship.

More information about this study.
ECO Project Recipe

Curious about what's cooking in Charlee's Kitchen? Here's a recipe from the ECO Project.  


Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Serves: 4-6



2 c. quinoa

4 c. water

1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 c. frozen corn, thawed

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes, diced and juice pressed out

1 bell pepper, finely chopped

3-5 green onions, finely chopped

1-2 c. spinach or chard, chopped

1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)



1 t. salt

1 t. cumin

1/8 t. chili powder

Black pepper to taste

4 T. lime juice or white, apple cider, or sherry vinegar

1/4 c. olive oil


Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and add greens to top of quinoa. Cover to steam for five minutes, then fluff. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Combine quinoa and greens mixture with remaining salad ingredients. Toss salad with dressing and adjust seasonings to taste.


Helfgott Research Institute at NCNM | | research@ncnm.edu | http://www.helfgott.org
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Portland, OR 97201

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