Scientific Research

Continued research on natural medicine practices and care delivery models is vital to the sustainability and evolution of a healthcare approach that encourages disease prevention and promotes wellness. NUNM is committed to fully integrating research with existing academic and clinical activities. While not all physicians and practitioners wish to become career researchers, our goal is to train all of our graduates in the critical analysis of research studies. As a student, you will learn the principles and practices of research to assist them in accurately evaluating the quality of medical literature and determine its potential application to their practices. In addition, learning about case reporting standards enables our graduates to critically evaluate their practices and patient outcomes, and share these results in peer-reviewed journals.

NUNM’s Helfgott Research Institute

Established in 2003, Helfgott Research Institute has earned a reputation as one of the most respected clinical research centers for natural medicine research in the world. Helfgott supports a diverse portfolio of research projects, conducting high-quality, rigorous scientific studies ranging from mechanistic research to research that examines models of healthcare delivery. From basic science to clinical trials, Helfgott investigators from diverse postgraduate training backgrounds apply their expertise to evolve the science of natural medicine. Their research includes the development and application of methods for studying complex treatments and models of care that may not fit well in the traditional models of biomedical research. Faculty and student projects are regularly published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. At Helfgott, we believe in multidisciplinary research and routinely collaborate with leading scientists from other educational institutions to ensure the highest quality products from our research, while building long-term scientific relationships and expanding the reputation of NUNM as a research-driven institution of wellness and natural medicine.

Since 2013, NUNM has received over $3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), making it the #1 recipient of NIH grants in natural medicine in the United States. For those with a deeper interest, there are many opportunities to participate in a wide range of compelling research studies at NUNM’s Helfgott Research Institute. Our faculty are currently participating in NIH-funded grants, including collaborations with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and University of Washington. NUNM also partners internationally within a network of accredited naturopathic universities and colleges to learn more about the outcomes from naturopathic medicine practices from around the world. Find some of our most recent research below. For the full list of current research projects click here.

NIH-Funded Research

Building research across interdisciplinary gaps (BRIDG) clinical research training program
Researchers: Zwickey H, Bradley R
Funding: NCCIH R90, 2015-2020

The effect of respiration rate during pranayama practice on the autonomic nervous system
Researchers: Lacombe A, Bradley R
Funding: NCCIH R90, 2015-2020

Mindfulness-based stress reduction for multiple sclerosis: feasibility, durability, and clinical outcomes
Researchers: Senders A, Shinto L,Bourdette D, Oken B, Zwickey H
Funding: NCCIH K23, 2015-2020

Privately-Funded Research

Safety and Tolerability Study of Divinia water on Liver and Renal Function
Researchers: Bradley R, Phipps J, Hanes D

Evaluation of a targeted methylation balancing intervention on biomarkers of methylation and quality of life
Researchers: Erlandsen A, Bradley R

Multi-biomarker exploration of SIBO: an observational study
Researchers: Menk Otto L, Saunders D, Bradley R

Prospective safety and tolerability assessment of intravenous vitamin C for lyme disease
Researchers: Erlandsen A, Tichauer C

Current Student-Led Research Thesis Projects

Associations between nutritional factors and hsCRP in adults with pre-diabetes
Researchers: Pickworth K, Bradley R

Blood micronutrient analysis, dietary habits, and Parkinson’s disease symptom severity: a cross-sectional study
Researchers: Fiordalisi C, Zwickey H

Case report: use of the classical Chinese science of bazi suanming in a Chinese medicine clinical setting
Researchers: Littlefield R, Zwickey H

Herbal tinctures to enhance or replace antibiotics
Researchers: Corn J, Vasilevsky N

Intestinal permeability and its relationship with food sensitivity and autoimmunity
Researchers: Tiroke N, Bradley R

In vitro analysis of medicinal mushrooms for cancer
Researchers: Costa M, Panutich E, Tibbitts D

Meditative neuroplasticity: the effect of qi gong meditation on brain-derived neurotrophic factor and cortisol levels
Researchers: Whitney T, Gard M, Zwickey H

A mixed-methods evaluation of local community health education on food intake and behavior change
Researchers: Tippens K, Graybill R

Natural treatments for type 2 diabetes management and their effects on insulin like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) incolorectal cancer cell lines
Researchers: Thompson B, Tibbitts D

Find a full list of current research projects, publications, and oral presentations here.