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
K. Michael Brooks
kmbrooks( at )
Elfriede Pahl, MD

Resilience Intervention for Pre-Operative Stress and Emotion (ROSE) is a positive emotions course that teaches 8 skills to families of children on the wait-list for a heart transplant.  The intervention was designed by Dr. Judith Moskowitz and tested on several clinical populations. Her research shows that positive emotions can help people cope with stress, get through difficult times, and even have benefits for health. Each skill is delivered to the family unit in the hospital by trained facilitators.  We are testing the feasibility and acceptability of Dr. Moskowitz's positive affect intervention with this clinical population. We are also testing how the ROSE intervention impacts positive affect, anxiety, depression, and stress in the children and satisfaction and quality of life for the immediate caregivers. We are collecting data from 12 participants, following them until at least one month after their transplant.

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

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.