MSiMR Course Schedules and Descriptions

Course Descriptions – Required Courses

RES 501 – Journal Club (1 credit each)

In this course, students present and discuss recently published articles in natural medicine. All MSiMR students are required to take two terms of Journal Club.

RES 502 – Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)

In this course, concepts in epidemiology such as multivariate causality, relative risk, odds ratio, sampling error, and different types of bias (selection, information, definition biases) and confounding factors are introduced and applied to integrative medicine. Students discuss study designs, survey and sample selection, cross-sectional, cohort, casecontrol; prospective and retrospective designs are discussed from the epidemiological and integrative medicine perspective. A review and discussion of current literature is used in the class to highlight epidemiological issues.

RES 505 – Bioethics (2 credits)

Students learn about ethical issues in research, with special attention to vulnerable participants. Additionally, students discuss concepts related to study regulation, study design, reporting data, and ethics in clinical and biomedical research. Students review common problems encountered in protocols and informed consent, and discuss the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the conduct of human research.

RES 510 – Introduction to Integrative Medicine (2 credits)

The field of integrative medicine involves many complex disciplines. This course explains the basic philosophies and practices of Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, shamanic healing and other integrative medicine practices.

RES 520 – Integrative Research Fundamentals I (1 credit)

The Integrative Medicine Research Fundamentals series provides foundational knowledge to support students through the MSiMR program. All three courses emphasize professionalism, ethics, and critical appraisal of published research. Fundamentals I covers landmark studies in integrative medicine and integrative medicine research concepts. Students learn about researchers, mentors and projects at NUNM and locally; and develop their individual research interests and program goals.

RES 521 – Integrative Research Fundamentals II (1 credit)

This course focuses on development of each student’s specific research question and career development plan. Students learn about assessment and evaluation of current research publications, and begin literature searches to establish a gap in knowledge where they may focus their own research agenda. Students continue to explore the diversity of research happening locally and globally in integrative health.

RES 533 – Integrative Research Fundamentals III (1 credit)

This course emphasizes the practical application of knowledge to the design and conduct of a specific research project. Students identify experts currently involved in integrative medicine research, investigate funding mechanisms for researchers, and continue career planning specific to their field of interest.

RES 530 – Research Methodology (3 credits)

This core course provides an introduction to research design, including how to formulate a research question, identify primary and secondary hypotheses, distinguish between types of experimental designs, and methods to identify bias and flaws in study designs. Students develop a study proposal as they learn to develop inclusion and exclusion criteria, identify outcome measures, and provide rationale for choices. Participant recruitment, screening, retention and adherence will be addressed. Students will develop a preliminary research proposal for their own research in this course.

RES 531 – Integrative Medicine Research Seminar (2 credits)

This course is meant to inspire and inform students about integrative medicine research ideas and the researchers in the field by attending a local research conference. MSiMR students are required to take two terms of Integrative Medicine Research Seminar.

RESN 535 / RES 537 – Research Practicum (2-3 credits each.

Total practicum credits are dependent on length of program.) Students work on an integrative medicine research study with their mentors. This class is taken every quarter with mentor assignment. Students identify a specific research project, implement the study, analyze data, and synthesize the results for presentation and publication.

RES 600 – Biostatistics I (2 credits)

This course covers different statistical designs, concepts and procedures that are commonly used in clinical and integrative medicine research. This course will also equip students to understand the statistical rationale and analysis presented in medical literature. Students are introduced to basic concepts of probability, random variation and common statistical probability distributions, and understand the roles of descriptive versus inferential statistics. They will also understand the different statistical designs, concepts and analysis.

RES 601 – Biostatistics II (3 credits)

In this advanced course, students learn techniques appropriate for handling a single outcome variable and multiple predictors. They develop skills in the use of appropriate statistical procedures for estimation and inference, according to underlying assumptions and type of study design. The interpretation of statistical analysis and understanding the limitations of the data and its consequences will also be discussed. The other component of this course includes developing basic skills for analyzing data using statistical computing software packages.

GSGH 705 – Biostatistics – Secondary Data Analysis (3 credits)

Secondary Data Analysis builds off the foundation of Biostatistics I (RES 600), presenting an advanced understanding of, and the practical implementation of, statistical methods in data analysis. This course will use the software package SPSS to calculate statistics from raw data, focusing on techniques that are particularly applicable to analysis of secondary data sets, as well as meta-analysis of published results.

RES 610 – Technical Writing (2 credits)

This course provides students with practical experience in forms of technical communication, emphasizing academic products such as research protocols, theses and manuscripts. Students learn organization and presentation of technical information for both professional and lay audiences.

RES 620 – Introduction to Laboratory Methods (2 credits)

In this course, students learn about the methodology, data analysis, and critical literature evaluation of common laboratory techniques. Students have hands-on exposure to a variety of lab techniques, including ELISA, flow cytometry and cell culture, and learn how these techniques are applied to answer a scientific question. In addition, students read and critically evaluate primary articles in order to advance their understanding of appropriate experimental design.

RES 630 – Public Health Policy (2 credits)

Students explore the role of policy in public health and examine government responses to public health issues. Various topics related to healthcare access, environmental health and integrative medicine are discussed, with emphasis on current issues of the term. Guest lecturers (varied each term) from local agencies provide professional perspectives on the issues facing public health, including addiction, mental health, environmental health, vaccination, obesity and tobacco use, to name a few. Students will exercise their oral and written communication skills to present evidence-based perspectives on relevant public health issues.

RES 636 – Capstone (2 credits)

Students complete the capstone credit during the quarter that they finalize and defend their master’s thesis. Students work closely with their mentors and thesis community members, as well as with their graduating peers, sharing and editing each other’s theses and practicing their defense presentations.

RES 700 – Nutrition (2 credits)

This introductory course explores fundamental concepts in nutrition, macro- and micronutrients, as well as diet and its relationship to health and disease.

RES 701 – Anatomy and Physiology (2 credits)

This course takes a system approach to gross and microscopic anatomy, physiology, and internal organ, endocrine and central nervous systems. It provides basic descriptions and functions of the body, with emphasis on how biological outcomes are collected to measure function of different organs.

RES 702 – Integrative Immunology (3 credits)

The basic functions of the immune system, with emphasis on using immunological outcomes to track health outcomes, are the focus of this course. Students learn basic immunology, as well as how to measure white blood cells, antibodies and cytokines.

RES 703 – Integrative Microbiology (2 credits)

This course provides an overview of the major infectious bacteria and viruses, as well as normal microflora. The course also includes the etiology, epidemiology, prevention and control of communicable diseases from a public health point of view.

Course Descriptions – Elective Courses

At least half of the eight required elective credits for the MSiMR degree must be taken from courses designated as counting toward the program. The remainder may come from any approved graduate-level elective course offered at NUNM, as long as course prerequisites are met.

RES 538E – Teaching Strategies and Course Development (2 credits)

Many physicians and researchers become faculty at colleges and universities. This course prepares students with practical skills and teaching strategies. Students learn how to develop course outcomes, competencies, syllabi and notes. Educational theory, teaching, and assessment strategies and techniques are discussed and practiced.

RES 611E – Grant Writing (2 credits)

This course teaches students to draw together their skills in communication, problem-solving and critical thinking in order to write high-quality grant proposals. Students are introduced to types of grants, as well as the process of submitting a grant to NIH and other potential funding sources. Students write an NIH-level grant and participate in a mock study section review.

RES 615E – How to Write and Publish Case Studies (2 credits)

This practical course teaches how to conduct case studies and case series. Students use real-world cases to learn to form hypotheses, collect clinical data, analyze data, and write a case report. While this course requires substantial work outside the class, students finish the course with a publishable case report in just 12 weeks.

RES 621E – Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine: Philosophy and Evidence (2 credits)

Students in this course read the seminal acupuncture research papers and familiarize themselves with the breadth and depth of acupuncture research. Students discuss the challenges and limitations to conducting acupuncture research. Students also develop the skills to conduct a research project on acupuncture or acupressure.

RES 622E – Botanicals: Bench to Bedside (2 credits)

Students in this course read botanical research papers, including basic science, translational and clinical studies. They discuss the challenges and limitations to conducting botanical research and why many large clinical botanical research studies have failed. Students also work in a botanical lab, and develop the skills to conduct research on botanicals.

RES 623E – Mind as Medicine: Mind-Body Therapies (2 credits)

Students in this course experience and read research papers on a variety of different mind-body modalities, such as meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and guided imagery. Students become familiar with the breadth and depth of diseases and conditions for which they are used. They discuss the challenges and limitations to conducting mind-body research. Students practice different mind-body techniques each week.

RES 624E – Psychology and Behavior Change (2 credits)

Because every clinical trial involves some sort of behavioral modification, psychology and behavior change are critical components of research. This course reviews literature of some of the landmark papers in health behavior research, and teaches students how to do health behavior research. Students also learn how to employ behavior change strategies to help with participant compliance, and assist with patients making behavioral changes. Students experience a behavioral intervention, and become familiar with applied psychology outcome measures.

RES 802E – Health Disparities Research (2 credits)

All health professionals need to recognize and understand the factors that contribute to the health of our communities and of our global society. This course introduces students to key areas of research in health disparities, especially pertaining to health care in the United States. Students analyze recent research papers documenting health disparities and discuss how research informs policy. Students become familiar with national data sources used to assess progress in mitigating disparities. Health activism and the role that social movements have played in the global promotion of health equity are discussed.

RES 803E – Advanced Research Methods (2 credits)

This advanced course delves deeper into how to create feasible hypotheses and research aims. It exposes students to techniques and instrumentation through visits to local labs. Small research projects are completed to utilize the new skills gained through this class. This course is offered in independent study format. Permission from the department chair is required for course registration.

RES 805E – Environmental Impact on Health and Disease (2 credits)

Environmental health issues are faced everyday: Which foods to buy? Which water to drink? What neighborhood to live in? What are the safety concerns of backyard farming? This course covers current topics in environmental medicine, including toxicology, air and water quality, food standards and other issues. Environmental psychology and enviro-sociology are also discussed. The course provides evidence for environmental influences on health outcomes such as obesity, chronic disease and stress.

RES 806E – Essentials of Integrative Oncology (2 credits)

Cancer patients who pursue integrative care often receive conventional chemotherapy and radiation with natural medicine modalities. This evidence-based course familiarizes students with the basics of cancer diagnosis, an overview of conventional therapies, and evidence that supports natural therapies for cancer. Students read landmark studies and cutting-edge oncology research. Students discuss scientific validity, clinical benefits, toxicities, and limitations of state-of-the-art integrative therapies when applied to oncology patients.

RES 809E – Women’s Health: Fertility and Beyond (2 credits)

The diversity of health issues that affect women vary from pregnancy, menopause, aging, mental health, illness and more. As students learn to conduct research on women’s health topics, they learn background in female anatomy, physiology and development. Students discuss current women’s health news and research topics.

RES 832E – Vaccinations (2 credits)

This course is designed to bring students up-to-date with the most recent science and issues surrounding vaccinations. The course discusses new vaccine strategies, current vaccines, components and schedules, and vaccine safety. Students identify types of vaccines, ingredients of each vaccine, predicted immune responses to those vaccines, and potential side-effects of each vaccine. This course emphasizes critical evaluation of vaccines from current research, public health, and medical sources such that students can assess future vaccine studies and apply them directly to their medical practice.

RES 833E – Gut Immunology (2 credits)

This weekend elective course is designed to give a comprehensive overview of the immunology of the gut. It teaches students how to better assess how natural therapies and diet affect the gut, and how the immune response in the gut then has systemic effects on health. This course includes the study of the immunology of the gastrointestinal tract, food allergies and hypersensitivities, IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease, colon cancer and nutritional influences on immunity.