Lydia Norby-Adams collaborates with OHSU to look at gut metabolome in ADHD

ND student at NUNM also researches food environment impact on health, as well as transgender healthcare.

Lydia Norby-Adams standing in front of pink wall

With the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) gearing up to host Research Week from April 29 to May 3, we’re shining a spotlight on the work of our researchers.

Lydia Norby-Adams ’25

Program: Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND); Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR)

Hometown: Mill Valley, California 

What are your research interests?

My research interests are pretty expansive, but my primary focus recently has been on the gut microbiome and metabolome in neurodevelopmental conditions. My background is in agriculture, and this has really informed my interest in the connection between food + food environment and its impact on human health.

I also have interest in transgender healthcare and how communities that have often been excluded or harmed by the medical establishment interact with complementary and integrative healthcare.

Following this, I would love to learn more about systems research that looks at the efficacy of integrative medicine in order to expand knowledge and access to these therapeutic modalities. 

What research are you working on now? 

My current research looks at the gut metabolome in ADHD. I got connected with a team at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) that conducted an international study on micronutrients in ADHD, and my work explores some of the mechanisms that may underly the success that was seen with this intervention.

NUNM has been a great place to do research for many reasons.

Essentially, I’m trying to draw the connection between how specific micronutrients could change what gut microbiota are producing, and how those products (metabolites) could change behavior and cognition in ADHD. The gut metabolome is a relatively new area of research, and it’s been such a benefit to my career development to feel like I am involved in a new frontier in medicine.

Through this project, I’ve been able to work with researchers at NUNM, OHSU, Oregon State University, Ohio State University, and even University of Lethbridge in Canada.

I’ve learned so much from being in meetings about the larger project, collaborating with others, and having mentorship from different institutions. 

Why is NUNM a good place to do research?  

NUNM has been a great place to do research for many reasons.

The students in the research program are all incredibly passionate, and there is a sense of genuine support and excitement for each other’s independent research pursuits. The leadership of the NUNM research program are skilled, knowledgeable, and well-connected individuals. So much of my development as a researcher has come from my experience working with OHSU. This would not have been possible without the connection that Heather Zwickey, one of the leaders of the MSCR program, made for me.

Additionally, other NUNM grads paved the way for me. Three other NUNM grads and ND researchers already work on my OHSU team. NUNM may be small, but our leaders and graduates have been proving the value of our unique skillset in far-reaching ways for decades.