Bastyr University Is Building a List of Firsts

Nestled in Saint Edward Park to the north of Seattle, Washington, the main campus of Bastyr University provides a beautiful, relaxed setting. Inside the halls, the atmosphere is anything but relaxed as the university strives to make history by achieving firsts in naturopathic medicine.


First in Research

Bastyr University was the first school of naturopathic medicine to receive a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1994 and has since completed more than 142 research studies in the areas of healthy aging, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular health, women’s health, immune health, cancer prevention and treatment, nutrition, and pediatrics, to name a few. Currently, ground-breaking research is being done by Drs. Laurie Mischley and Leanna Standish.

First in Parkinson’s Progress




At the World Parkinson Congress in September, Dr. Laurie Mischley will be presenting the results of her work in creating the first internet-based assessment tool designed to capture Parkinson’s disease severity in an inexpensive, clinically relevant, and comprehensive fashion. It is designed to assess patient perception of both motor and non-motor symptoms, and require minimal time and instruction. Dr. Mischley also is looking to redefine the conversation about Parkinson’s with a presentation on her research on the use of intranasal glutathione in the management of the disease.


Leanna J. Standish, PhD, ND, LAc,First in Ayahuasca Trials

Dr. Leanna Standish is conducting the first FDA-approved Phase I clinical trial for Ayahuasca, an herbal drink made from plants grown in the Amazon jungle that is making the headlines because of reported spiritual and therapeutic benefits. Dr. Standish is a founding board member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center (BIORC). 



First in Student Opportunity

These opportunities are not limited to research scientists. Students are invited to join an existing research program with these and other university researchers to gain significant research experience while they complete their degrees. Students are also eligible for Faculty Student Research Grants and work-study funding to gain experience in research. The university’s student council also awards several research grants annually to students to develop and execute their own research projects.


First in California’s Naturopathic History

This year marked another first, not only for Bastyr University, but also for the State of California. Bastyr’s San Diego campus celebrated the graduation of 35 students in their first class of naturopathic doctors. This special day was marked with proclamations and commendations sent by city, county, and state legislators.



First in Partnership

In what represents a huge step forward in bringing integrative medicine approaches to graduate medical education, Bastyr has partnered with Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine to establish a naturopathic medicine residency site starting this fall. This partnership marks the first time conventional medical residents and naturopathic medical residents will be working side by side at a large public academic medical center. This also increases the number of affiliate residencies that Bastyr offers to 41 opportunities in 13 states.


First in Primary Care

Our alumni are also joining Bastyr in blazing trails in naturopathic medicine. Dr. Bill Walter (’09) was the first Naturopathic Doctor to be hired by the Community Health Centers of Lane County in Oregon as a primary care pro­vider (PCP). For the past three years, Dr. Walter has made huge strides helping patients in vulnerable populations and is dedicated to increasing the number of NDs as PCPs at other Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). Dr. Walter spoke about the the role of naturopathic physicians at the Integrative Medicine for the Underserved conference in Irvine in August.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month Spotlight

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which focuses on the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Bastyr University’s Dr. Standish is also working on breast cancer research. Her ongoing outcome study compares conventional breast cancer care with advanced integrative oncology care. She aims to demonstrate that integrative oncology improves patients’ quality of life and decreases cancer recurrence rates.


Keep In Touch

Bastyr University is dedicated to making history and furthering the field of naturopathic medicine. To keep up with the university’s latest accomplishments, sign up for the monthly newsletter here or visit the website.


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