Summer 2013 Newsletter 
In This Issue
SPARC 2013
SPARC 2013
On May 4 NCNM hosted the seventh annual Symposium for Portland Area Research on Complementary & Alternative Medicine (SPARC). This year's program focused on The Evolution of CAM Research including talks about biofield therapies, mindfulness research, and methods in integrative medicine research.
One hundred and fifty researchers, clinicians, educators and students came together from participating colleges to share research philosophies and discuss current research in progress.
As in years past, SPARC was accompanied by a traveling poster session. Nine research posters prepared by professional and student researchers were displayed on consecutive days at seven partner institutions during the week prior to the conference.
For the first time, SPARC also included a Student Research Pre-Conference. Fourteen students from six colleges presented their research. Research mentors gave feedback on the work and prizes were awarded to the top projects.
SPARC 2013 Success!

In the words of several participants....


"...it is always inspiring, interesting and GREAT NETWORKING."


"Important forum and point of connection for local researchers."


"Inspiring and a great place to for me as a student to begin to be involved and engaged. I also appreciated the student conference and was grateful to be part of that poster session."


"Great to hear about cutting edge CAM research and connect with colleagues."

Conference Updates
Adjunct Faculty
Corey McAuliffe
This spring I had the opportunity to speak about ethical considerations in chronic malnutrition interventions at two conferences.
The first opportunity was at the 10th Annual Western Regional International Health Conference at Oregon Health & Science University on April 7. The second was at the 3rd International Health Conference on May 18 at Oregon State University.
Both conferences elicited great questions and ideas around the issues of focused nutrition interventions lacking complementary preventive or holistic solutions.
Student Research Specialist
Morgan B. Schafer, MA
I had the privilege to attend a research practicum offered by the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The practicum accepts 100 individuals per year to attend this 3-day intensive and attracts researchers from conventional medicine, biochemistry, cancer, nutrition, epidemiology, alternative medicine, pharmacology, and botany.
The objectives of the practicum are to provide the regulatory aspects, controversies, research "dos and don'ts," industry regulations, and resources for those pursuing research in this area. I was able to network with scientists from NIH, FDA, FTC, NSF International, AHPA and numerous other industries. It was a wonderful learning experience that provided great resources and connections.
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
Faculty Spotlight
Jill Edwards, ND  
Assistant Professor
Jill Edwards, ND
The bridge between research and clinical practice is sometimes a long one which I strive to shorten. Natural medicine research ensures our patients receive the best possible care, while also making this form of healing accessible to the broader medical community. However, research must be rooted in clinical practice. To be useful, the correct dosage and form must be applied to appropriate subject.
As a mentor to naturopathic students in the Master of Science in
Integrative Medicine Research program, I delight in teaching them how to be the bridge. I strive to help my students understand how their project will further clinical practice or the understanding of natural medicine. While I push the students to learn how to conduct their research project and communicate their findings in writing, they push me to learn new forms of research which are more fitted to their individual topic than the randomized placebo controlled trial.

Dr. Edwards is a graduate of National College of Natural Medicine where she received her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and graduated with Honors in Research and a certificate in Midwifery. Dr. Edwards completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Helfgott Research Institute investigating the effects of cruciferous vegetables on estrogen metabolism in healthy women and strontium's effect on bone health. She has also enjoyed teaching the teachers as part of the Evidence-Based Medicine Short Course facilitated by Helfgott Research Institute and Oregon Health & Science University each year. Dr. Edwards currently has a private practice in Gresham, OR where she focuses on family medicine, digestive health, balancing hormones, pediatrics, and midwifery. 
Carolyn Nygaard, ND  
Assistant Professor
Carolyn Nygaard, ND
I have been passionate about research for many years, it is one of the reasons I chose Portland and NCNM to study naturopathic medicine and midwifery. The Helfgott Research Institute is perfectly positioned in a city with a robust integrative medicine culture that is ever-changing and I feel truly blessed to be part of it, from both a clinical and a research perspective.

While in school at NCNM, I worked with Dr. Zwickey as a student researcher and published a short communication on herbs and immune modulation. I also explored the use of vitamin A and T regulatory cell activation, which sparked my interest in the use of immunology in clinical practice. The field of reproductive immunology is growing, and understanding its role in women's health, pregnancy, and pediatric conditions is my current research focus.

I began teaching evidence-based medicine in the ND program at NCNM in 2010, and in the MSiMR program in 2011. Teaching students how to integrate research into clinical practice and mentoring master's students interested in women's health research has been a rewarding and enriching experience. I currently teach Evidence Informed Practice to first year ND students and Conducting Clinical Research to MSiMR students. This summer I am excited to teach a new elective in Women's Health Research that will help students develop relevant studies from a scientific perspective on medical issues women face. Designing clinical trials that adequately evaluate natural modalities is extremely important for a field that is lacking in evidence to support its practices. Helping students understand that importance is an interest of mine and I continue striving to find new ways to integrate research into my teaching strategies.

Dr. Carolyn Nygaard received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine and a certificate in natural childbirth in 2009 from NCNM. She also has a BS in biochemistry from the University of Dayton, where she focused on biomedical and analytical chemistry research. She began teaching as an assistant professor of research for the ND program in 2010 and in the MSiMR program in 2011. Dr. Nygaard focuses on women's health research and mentoring students in the MSiMR program. Her areas of interest are in clinical immunology, vaccines, women's health, and pediatrics. She is a clinical investigator on several projects at Helfgott including studies on women's health and fertility. Dr. Nygaard has a private practice as a naturopathic doctor and midwife in Northeast Portland, where she offers students preceptorships and mentoring opportunities.

More about Dr. Nygaard.
MSiMR Student Q & A
Sarah Hourston
ND/MSiMR student, class of 2013
Q: Where is your hometown?
A: Hood River, OR

Q: What is your undergraduate degree in/what prior degrees did you receive?
A: BS in Biology with an emphasis in cellular and molecular biology

Q: What is the subject of your research for your MSiMR project?
A: Autism and nutrition

Q: Who are your mentors?
A: Everyone! Everyone at Helfgott has been great in helping us with our research questions. Melissa Gard is working with me directly on my project and she has been awesome to work with.

Q: Do you have plans for after graduation? If so, what are they?
A: I'm still figuring it out, but I'm applying for research positions relating to integrative medicine research and/or autism.

Q: When you were a young child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be an astronaut.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up now?
A: Space doctor!

Q: When is your favorite time of year in Portland?
A: Autumn! I love that the trees change color, the weather starts to cool, and there are tons of apples and pears.

Q: If you could go back in time and advise yourself just before starting medical school at NCNM, what advice would you give yourself?
A: I felt well prepared for medical school with my undergraduate training, so academically I was set and I felt ready for the life of a medical student. It is a lot of work going through school here, though, so I suppose the advice I would give is to take advantage of all the breaks that are available and not worry about studying during those times. The work will get done, but the breaks fly by.
Tanzania 2012
This summer I am leading a global health research trip to Tanzania. Our planned projects for this trip are "Herbal Medicine and Ethnobotany in Tanzania" and "Breast-feeding Practices and Childhood Stunting." Be sure to watch for updates from this year's trip when I return in the fall.
Mpaka basi,
Heather Zwickey Signature
Heather Zwickey
Director, Helfgott Research Institute
Dean, School of Research and Graduate Studies at NCNM
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MSiMR Student Profile
Robert Lee, MA
ND/MSiMR student, class of 2014
The MSiMR program is offering me a joyful educational experience with foundational research courses, remarkable mentor support, and great networking opportunities. It is helping me to achieve my goals of both being a doctoral-level researcher and clinician in integrative and academic medicine, and to validate a novel intervention called "Forgiveness and Mindfulness Therapy" for clinical use.
Currently, a survey assessing acceptance and generalizability of this intervention is undergoing IRB approval, a systematic review investigating the effects of forgiveness on cardiovascular disease and its risk factors is evaluating data, a case study is being submitted for publication in a Nature journal, and additional co-authored projects with mentors are underway.
After graduation next summer, the plan is to accept a one-year naturopathic residency and complete study publications. Hopefully, these accomplishments will help offer the NIH an ideal fellow for the following year, where additional
training can be gained to further develop these projects and integrative medicine toward being unlimited in their scope and truly helpful to all.  
Study Participation Opportunities
Autism Apple 
Do you or someone you know have autism?

This study is looking at nutrient levels in adults with autism spectrum disorders*.
* Including Asperger syndrome, PDD, Rett disorder, & childhood disintegrative disorder 
Did You Know...?
Natural Sunblock and Sunscreen
In Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar, people traditionally use a cosmetic yellowish-white powder called thanaka on their faces and arms as sunblock. The powder is produced by grinding with water the roots, bark, or wood from the wood apple tree.
Natural oils that have proven effective as sunscreens include coconut, avocado, sesame, and carrot seed.
Summer Recipe
Looking for healthy foods to bring to gatherings this summer? Try this Tropical Salsa from ECO Project physician Andrew Erlandsen, ND--the pineapple and ginger work as anti-inflammatory agents!

Tropical Salsa

1 pineapple, cored and diced
1 large mango or 2 medium peaches, peeled and chopped
4 1/2 t. flaked coconut
1-2 T. ginger root, grated
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 jalape�os, minced
2 T. rice wine vinegar
1 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 T. sea salt

In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, mango or peaches, coconut, ginger, onion, peppers, rice wine vinegar, cilantro, and sea salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Healthy recipes from the ECO Project.
Helfgott Research Institute at NCNM  | |  research@ncnm.edu  | |  http://www.helfgott.org
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Portland, OR 97201

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