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Winter 2014 Newsletter
In This Issue
Newly Graduated!
Congratulations to our newest MSiMR graduate Corinne Maul de Soto!

Welcome New Faculty!
Helfgott is excited to announce the addition of some new faculty members to our growing family.

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Deanne Tibbitts, Dr. Amy Peterson Case, Dr. Laurie Menk Otto, and Dr. Siobhan Maty.

This new group of faculty all teach within the Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research program.

Morgan Schafer has been appointed Chair of the Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research program.

Andrew Erlandsen has been appointed Chair of the Master of Science in Nutrition program.

We are honored to have such strong leadership at the helm!

Newly Published!
Multiple Sclerosis Journal accepted this paper in late November:
Angela Senders, Douglas Hanes, Dennis Bourdette, Ruth Whitham and Lynne Shinto. "Reducing survey burden: Feasibility and Validity of PROMIS measures in Multiple Sclerosis."

Dr. Douglas Hanes wrote two reviews of math articles for Mathematical Reviews  last fall. They are short reviews of recently published papers in mathematics that appear in the standard mathematics database. The articles were:

Caviglia, Giulio; Kummini, Manoj. Poset embeddings of Hilbert functions. Math. Zeitschrift 274: 805-819.

Migliore, Juan; Nagel, Uwe. Gorenstein algebras presented by quadrics. Collect. Math. 64 (2013), no. 2, 211-233.

Seasonal Recipe
This pie recipe, adapted by NCNM's Ericha Clare, ND, MAc from Raw Food Made Easy: For 1 or 2 People, has surprising health benefits. Chocolate contains antioxidants, the avocados and nuts have healthy fats, and the dates are a great source of minerals. Plus, there is no refined sugar, no gluten, no dairy, and no eggs!  

No-Bake Healthy Chocolate Pie
Yields one pie.

1 1/2 c. raw walnuts (or other raw nut or seed)
1 c. pitted dates (if dry, soak in warm water for 20 minutes)
1 1/2 c. coconut, shredded and unsweetened

Process nuts, dates, and coconut in food processor or chop very fine and mix together. Hand press mixture evenly into bottom and sides of an ungreased pie plate.

3 1/2 - 4 small or 2 1/2 large ripe avocados
3/4 c. pitted dates (if dry, soak in warm water for 20 minutes)
1/4 c. honey or agave syrup
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 t. vanilla (optional)
1/2 c. water (or less) for processing

In food processor, process dates and honey or agave syrup until smooth. Add avocado, then the cocoa and vanilla. Continue processing, slowly adding water as needed to create a mousse-like texture. Adjust cocoa and honey or agave syrup to taste.

Spoon filling into the prepared crust. For best results, chill pie at least two hours before serving. Garnish with fresh fruit or nuts.

More dessert ideas.

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.

Research Partnership
Helfgott Research Institute Announces Research Partnership with Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine
Our institutions will be partnering on a study to further develop a novel method of diagnosis.

The Sasang Constitution Diagnostic Tool has been created by Korea Institute of Medicine to use data from photos and voice recordings in people of Korean descent to match them to their Sasang constitutional type. This project aims to develop a similar program for those with European ancestry.

Post-doctoral fellow Sarah Hourston, ND, MS will be the principal investigator for the Helfgott Research Institute portion of the study.

Faculty Spotlight
Deanne Tibbitts, PhD
Adjunct Faculty

Medicine and research go hand in hand. Just as the work of clinicians and healers is bolstered by understanding how therapies work, scientific discoveries open new doors for how we treat patients. As a new member of the Helfgott Research Institute community, I'm excited to contribute to this partnership: advancing the practice of natural medicine that is rooted in science.


To broaden the scope of research at NCNM, I am delighted to share that I am setting up a cell culture laboratory at Helfgott. This facility will allow us to ask important questions about how botanical and natural medicines work and it will greatly expand the range of projects our students can pursue. I am also working one-on-one with students to provide them with foundational lab skills--the bedrock of reliable experimentation--so they can embark on their research projects with confidence.


Finally, as a mentor in the MSiMR program, I am drawing on my background in genetics and cancer biology to guide students as they develop laboratory-based research projects. I have already learned so much from our amazing students and I look forward to working alongside them as they pursue their innovative research investigating the cellular effects of botanical medicines.


Dr. Deanne Tibbitts joined NCNM in the fall of 2013 as an adjunct faculty member and research student mentor. She holds a PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics from Oregon Health & Science University and a BS in Genetics and Cellular Biology from the University of Georgia.


More about Dr. Tibbitts.

Maria Valdez, ND
Adjunct Faculty
After graduating from NCNM in 2010, I pursued a path in global health studying traditional medicine practices around the world. All roads led me to Africa, eventually landing in Tanzania, where I was genuinely welcomed with open arms. Throughout the last few years while working in Africa, I have had the opportunity to shadow local doctors, work with various humanitarian organizations and learn about the challenges of medicine in the developing world.

These experiences brought me back to NCNM when, in 2012, I joined Helfgott as a student mentor on a preliminary research trip to Tanzania and as a faculty member in 2013 as part of the Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research program and Global Health Studies concentration. I have since had the opportunity to lecture about the role of naturopathic medicine in global health at NCNM, Bastyr University, Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University. Last summer, I helped lead the first Global Health Experience trip to Tanzania with colleagues Heather Zwickey and Corey McAuliffe. On the trip, students got a glimpse into the realities of the state of medicine and its practices in East Africa.  

I will return to Tanzania this spring to set up a new internship with a traditional herbalist who specializes in the natural treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS. I will also be building upon the foundation we laid for many other academic collaborations, while eagerly awaiting the next group of students. I am grateful to be a part of the School of Research and Graduate Studies and the Helfgott Research Institute at NCNM, where I have been inspired by the students' enthusiasm for getting out into the world as ambassadors for natural medicine.

Dr. Maria Valdez is a 2010 graduate of the Naturopathic Doctorate program at NCNM. She maintains a private practice in Portland, Ore.

More about Dr. Valdez.

MSiMR Student Q & A
Eric Withee, MSiMR student
Eric Withee is a member of the first cohort of stand-alone MSiMR degree students.

Q: Where is your hometown?
A: I'm from Burns, a very small town in Eastern Oregon. It's approximately 15 minutes from the middle of nowhere.  

Q: What was the focus of your undergraduate study?
A: I majored in biology with an emphasis on genetics.  

Q: Describe your MSiMR research project.
A: I am investigating the effects of MSM (a sulfur-based nutritional supplement) on oxidative stress and muscle damage after an exhaustive bout of exercise. The participants will run the Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon after taking either MSM or placebo for three weeks. The study is challenging in many ways. Every detail needs to be addressed and justified--from scientific applicability to safety to personnel. There are so many moving parts that need to align for a successful project. It has really changed the way I see research. The process is dynamic and fluid, making it as characteristic of art as it is science. I guess I previously saw the scientific process as essentially linear, but now I understand it to be like any creative undertaking.  

Q: Who are your mentors?
A: The entire faculty at Helfgott have been enormously supportive. Dr. Heather Zwickey and Morgan Schafer have helped with many facets of my research project and education. Drs. Andrew Erlandsen and Leslie Fuller are on my thesis committee and their input has been invaluable. Krista and Lena have saved me at least a few times. But Dr. Kim Tippens has been the person who has really helped me through the process. I know I can be frustrating at times, so aside from her experience and knowledge, her patience has been most helpful.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: Not completely sure. I'll probably work in the nutritional supplement industry at some point, though.  

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

Q: Now what do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A research ninja.

Q: When is your favorite time of year in Portland?
A: Summer! The days are long and there's always something going on. This is when the weird aspects of Portland really come out.  

Q: If you could go back in time and advise yourself just before starting school at NCNM, what would you say?
A: Relax and enjoy yourself. It goes by pretty quickly. Oh, and put some money on the Sox to win the Series. I've got some good news for you.

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Student Highlight
Jade Hatfield
ND/MSiMR student
Jade Hatfield is an ND/MSiMR student, Class of 2015. Her research interests are mainly in Lyme Disease, borreliosis, as well as co-infections. She is currently preparing a brief report for submission which focuses on atypical Lyme patients.

While not initially drawn to research, Jade now sees its value in bridging the gap between naturopathic and allopathic medicines. She also feels that research on the current ideas around Lyme Disease are lacking and much more is needed. She has been pleasantly surprised by how much she has learned in the MSiMR program, as well as the vast support that she has received. Another important reason Jade chose to pursue the MSiMR degree is that she plans to teach in a university setting as soon as she graduates and this degree will help her expand into many areas of teaching.

Jade's other interests are in geriatrics, pediatrics and transgender health. In addition to teaching in higher education she plans to also see patients while continuing her research. Jade says she cannot imagine not doing the MSiMR program concurrently with her ND as it has taught her many things and given her hands-on research experience that she could not get anywhere else.

Student Research Spotlight
Kirsten Wright
MSiMR/ND Student

Evidence for Phytochemical Synergism in Classical Chinese Herbal Pairs
This project used modern scientific methodology to investigate chemical relationships when herbs are prepared in pairs compared to herbs prepared in isolation.

The goal of this project was to determine if there is a change in the chemical composition of the formula using high performance liquid chromatography to better understand Classical Chinese Medicine formulations.

Samples were prepared at NCNM and data collection was done at the Pharmacokinetics Core at Oregon Health & Science University.

What was observed was an increase and decrease in some chemical constituents and the formation of novel compounds when the herbs were prepared together.

Study Participation Opportunity
OA and Peat Mud_flyer image

Can mud therapy help your arthritis symptoms?

A new study is looking at the effects of therapeutic mud pack therapy on knee osteoarthritis.

More information about this study.

Did You Know...?
Acupuncture's Effectiveness at Treating Subclinical Hypothyroid Disease via the HPA/HPT Axis: A Multiple Case Series
A recent study provides evidence that acupuncture may be a viable treatment for subclinical hypothyroid disease.

According to Hans Selye's general adaption theory, chronic and acute stress can affect thyroid function via the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axes.

The study's paper, published in the journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine, discusses how the body's stress response can be reduced with acupuncture which should therefore improve thyroid function.

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