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: