Bastyr University Announces New Research Institute Director

Portrait of Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD
Group Health Research Institute

Bastyr University and Group Health Research Institute are pleased to announce that Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, will become director of Bastyr University Research Institute (BURI). Dr. Cherkin is currently a senior investigator for Group Health Research Institute (GHRI).

"Through my long-standing collaborations with Bastyr University, I have appreciated the significant role it plays in the development of a science-based approach to natural medicine," said Dr. Cherkin. "I am delighted to have this opportunity to help the University further develop its capacity for conducting research to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities."

"Bastyr University is pleased to welcome Dr. Cherkin to lead our research institute,” said Bastyr University President Daniel K. Church, PhD. “With his wealth of experience, he is well poised to not only maintain the integrity of our evidence-based studies but also expand their range and impact."

Dr. Cherkin has strong ties to Bastyr University: He served as an instructor in 1981 and he recently co-authored a study about the positive effects integrative care can have on diabetes patients. Highly regarded in his field, Dr. Cherkin has served on numerous boards and committees, been frequently published and earned several accolades, including Prevention Magazine’s 2011 Integrative Medicine Award for his research on how massage therapy can relieve back pain. In 2010, he was appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to a three-year term on the National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Cherkin will have a joint appointment to GHRI, continuing his current research projects in complementary and alternative approaches to back pain.

"Dan Cherkin has made tremendous contributions to research in complementary and alternative medicine," said Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, vice president for research at Group Health and executive director of Group Health Research Institute. "This leadership position at Bastyr University is a logical and welcome way for him to share his experience and further enhance his superb reputation, while continuing to contribute to discovery through his ongoing research projects here at Group Health."

Since 1986, Bastyr University has completed more than 100 research studies and was the first school of naturopathic medicine to secure funding from the NIH. Dr. Cherkin’s first day as director of BURI will be September 4, 2012.

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