Research Studies

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University is focused on clinical research that defines the value of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) practices in disease care and wellness. Below is a selected list of our current active protocols.

CoordinatorPIStudy Description
Andrea Kim at )
Kim L Feingold, PhD

ACU-HEART: Postoperative Afib Lowering Intervention with Acupuncture Therapy & Evaluation - Through this study, we evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of acupuncture therapy on reducing post-operative AFIB and symptoms of pain, nausea/vomiting, depression, and treatment-related factors in patients undergoing mitral valve (MV) surgery.

Co-Investigators: Melinda Ring, MD, Judy Moskowitz, PhD, Patrick McCarthy, MD, David Victorson, PhD, Charlie Davidson, MD

Bruriah Gutierrez
sandra.gutierrez( at )
David E Victorson, PhD

HPDR (Health Promotion During Residency) - This study examines the effects of a brief, mindful awareness training intervention (called a PIT STOP) on outcomes of stress, burnout, self-compassion, and performance on simulation of an internal jugular line insertion compared to a placebo control (health promotion video).

Co-Investigators: Jeffrey Barsuk, MD, Melinda Ring, MD, Richard Gannotta, DHA, FACHE

Eva Shiu
eva.shiu( at )
Judith T Moskowitz, PhD

PRIMIER (Patients Receiving Integrative Medicine Interventions Effectiveness Registry)  The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University is part of Bravenet, an integrative medicine practice-based research network. As part of PRIMIER, the Osher Center and other Bravenet locations are uniformly collecting patient-reported outcomes and extracted electronic health record data into a large dataset.  The PRIMIER registry utilizes a web-based survey that collects patient-reported data on key health symptoms and health-related quality of life, including pain, depression, fatigue, and physical function. These data, grouped by health condition, are easily matched with data regarding laboratory tests, patient functionality, and other measures routinely collected in patients’ medical records. By clustering participants at the multiple clinical sites with the same medical condition, researchers are able to conduct innovative research by comparing the impact of various integrative therapies on patient-reported and clinical outcomes.  PRIMIER also provides much-needed clinical information on which real-world approaches to common clinical problems appear most effective, and which appear ineffective.  

Co-Investigator: Melinda Ring, MD

Elaine Cheung
elaine-cheung( at )
Melinda Ring, MD

Assessing the Efficacy of a Culinary Medicine Elective in Medical Students The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of a new culinary medicine elective that will be offered to medical trainees in the Feinberg School of Medicine (  We plan to evaluate the efficacy of this course in preparing medical students to counsel patients in successful behavior change around nutrition and cooking, as well as to improve medical students’ nutrition knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, cooking skills, diet, self-care, and self-efficacy. ​

Kelley Park
kelley.park( at )
Danny Bega, MD

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Cervical Dystonia The purpose of this pilot study is to obtain information about the feasibility and efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment to routine care with botulinum toxin for patients with chronic Cervical Dystonia (CD). This data will be used to fuel a larger randomized study comparing the efficacy of botulinum toxin injection with acupuncture to toxin alone in patients with CD.

Eva Shiu
eva.shiu( at )
Judy Moskowitz, PhD

Maximizing Affect Regulation Intervention with the Goal of Lowering Depression(MARIGOLD) is an online, self-paced, positive emotions course that teaches 8 skills to people with symptoms of depression.  The intervention was designed by Dr. Judith Moskowitz and her research shows that positive emotions can help people cope with stress, get through difficult times, and even have benefits for health.  We are testing how the MARIGOLD intervention impacts psychological outcomes such as depressive mood,  positive emotion, negative emotion, perceived stress, mindfulness, and positive skills usage over time.  Each skill is paired with an online home practice exercise.  This study is an R34 grant funded by NIMH and we are testing preliminary efficacy, adherence, and retention.  We are also testing 3 course enhancements: 1) Weekly Facilitator Contact 2) an Online Discussion Board and 3) Gamification.  We are randomizing 600 participants to a 9-arm trial with a factorial design including an emotion-reporting group in order to test which combinations maximize retention and engagement.

Elaine Cheung, PhD
elaine.cheung( at )
Judy Moskowitz, PhD & Elaine Cheung, PhD

The purpose of the study is to assess the efficacy of the LAVENDER intervention (Leveraging Affect and Valuing Empathy for Nurturing Doctors’ Emotional Resilience) that will be delivered to third-year medical students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The LAVENDER program teaches medical students 8 skills for coping with stress more effectively, and increasing positive emotion in their daily lives. This intervention was developed by Dr. Judith Moskowitz and has shown promise for promoting well-being in individuals coping with life stress. We plan to evaluate the efficacy of this program for protecting against empathy decline and burnout in medical trainees.