Bastyr Research Week 2017

Student in lab conduction experimental research

With its major focus on research, Bastyr University recognized the studies underway by both faculty and students at its Annual Research Week at the Kenmore campus. Hosted by Bastyr University Research Institute, the week offered a Faculty Research Symposium on Wednesday, May 31st, followed by a Student Research Symposium on Friday, June 2nd.

The following five faculty researchers presented on their research efforts at the Wedneday evening symposium.

“Reducing Racial Health Disparities through Contextual Behavioral Science” - Dan Rosen, PhD

Dr. Rosen’s research program is aimed at developing and assessing clinical interventions designed to reduce racial health disparities in the United States.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, people of color in the United States experience significantly more illness, worse health outcomes, and premature death compared to their white counterparts. Dr. Rosen is studying physician bias as a key factor in such disparities, as well as the impact it has on physician decision making and doctor-patient interactions.

“Religion, Values and Qualities of Character as Predictors, of Marital Well-Being”-  Jonathan Olson, PhD

Various forms of religious participation have been linked to increased marital satisfaction, higher levels of marital commitment and lower rates of divorce. Dr. Olson and his colleagues have examined the positive effects of qualities like humility, forgiveness, and compassion that may help couples overcome a variety of stressors that can occur within a marriage.

“Prostate Cancer: Role of Tight Junctions and Influence of Natural Products” -  Jing Meng, MD (China), PhD

Dr. Meng is studying the role of tight junctions in prostate cancer development. Tight junctions are proteins that limit the passage of molecules and ions through the space between cells. Tight junctions are critical to maintain barriers between one compartment and another in specific tissues, glands and organs. She is looking at how the loss of these tight junctions in the testis and the prostate gland, for example due to androgen deprivation, may lead to inflammation in these organs that may ultimately lead to cancer recurrence. Dr. Meng and her colleagues are also interested in identifying natural products that may influence these tight junctions and also promote apoptosis (or cell death) of cancerous cells in the prostate gland.

“Professional Competence, Wellness and Care: Contextual Influences in Training and Beyond” - David Shen-Miller, PhD

Many psychologists acknowledge struggling with competence at some point during their career. In fact, 37-60% of psychologists have reported that their distress resulted in reduced quality of client care. Dr. Shen-Miller’s research examines the underlying causes of these competency issues and addresses how both trainers and trainees in the field of psychology (and other fields) can begin to understand the complex factors that are involved in developing competency in any profession.

“Women of Color Entering Midwifery: An Assessment of Unmet Needs” - Nancy Anderson, MD MPH

There is a significant unmet need for midwives of color to practice in the United States. Dr. Anderson is looking to understand the underlying factors that create barriers to women of color successfully entering the midwifery profession.

At the Friday evening Student Research Symposium, poster sessions presented the collaborative work of 42 groups consisting of Bastyr students and faculty across multiple departments and schools. Some of the poster topics included:

  • Antimicrobial properties and active compounds of three Caribbean herbs
  • Anticancer/immunomodulatory effects of Anemopsis californica root on Jurkat E6.1 cells
  • Apoptosis-inducing herbs for prostate cancer prevention and treatment
  • Assessment of commercial formulations of Mucuna Pruriens and Indian ethnobotanical analysis
  • Cannabis and Parkinson's Disease tremor
  • Comparing the concentration of secondary constituents in herbs grown under natural light versus supplemental UV light
  • Evaluation of consumer acceptance and dietitian experience concerning food products containing processed mealworms
  • Evaluation of US RDNs of Islamic dietary practices
  • Increasing parental knowledge of important concepts of infant mental health
  • Inhibitory effects of Rose Geranium essential oil
  • Investigating predictors of time time AIDS-defining event in patients with HIV
  • Knowledge and beliefs regarding nitrate in food: a survey based examination of RDNs
  • Mindfulness exercise for increased physical activity and community health
  • Sleep, Eat, Thrive: Effects of worksite health education program for shift workers