Conference 2019 – Speaker Abstracts can be found here  – Conference 2019 – Speaker Abstracts

NMHNZ is delighted to welcome a fabulous line-up for our 2019 Conference "Enhancing Immune Function: Mind, Body & Naturopathy

Prof Margreet Vissers

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Margreet Vissers is a Research Professor and is Associate Dean for Research at the University of Otago, Christchurch. Margreet has had a long career in medical science, initially specialising in the study immune cell function, chronic disease, oxidative stress and antioxidant protection. Through these investigations she developed an interest in vitamin C. Over the past 15 years this interest has expanded into investigations on the potential role of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of cancer, in immune cell function and in the maintenance of general health and well-being.

Margreet has published in more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and is internationally respected for her research. Her work on the role of vitamin C in cancer has investigated its potential in colon, breast, endometrial and kidney cancer and in leukaemia, and recently resulted in the first pre-clinical study aimed at determining the possible mechanism of action. Her work on vitamin C in cancer and general health has attracted much scientific and media interest.

Margreet’s presentation topic is:
Update on vitamin C: New roles in vitality, immune function and stress responses 


Kiran Krishnan

Research Microbiologist

Kiran Krishnan is a United States Research Microbiologist and has been involved in the dietary supplement and nutrition market for the past 18 years.

Kiran comes from a strict research background having spent several years with hands-on R&D in the fields of molecular medicine and microbiology at the University of Iowa.
He established a Clinical Research Organization where he designed and conducted dozens of human clinical trials in human nutrition.

Co-founder and partner in Nu Science Trading, LLC., a nutritional technology development and research company, Kiran is also the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Microbiome Labs. In his career, he has developed over 50 private label nutritional products for small to large brands in the global market.

Kiran’s presentation topic is:
The spectacular role of the human microbiome in preventing post-prandial or metabolic endotoxemia, the number one cause of mortality worldwide


Paul Kern


Paul has over 25 years’ experience as a practising naturopath, and extensive experience in delivering informative seminars to doctors, chiropractors and naturopaths in Australia and New Zealand for nearly 20 years.

He is a lecturer at South Australian Health Education Centre on physiology, toxicology, nutrition, herbal medicine and homeopathic practice and current president of the Complementary Medicine Association of Australia.

Paul presented in the ‘Toxic Gut’ seminar series (February 2019) in Australia & NZ.

Paul’s presentation topic is:
Cytokine sickness behaviour and use of biological response modifiers (BRMs)


Ian Breakspear

Senior Lecturer Endeavour College of Natural Health

Ian has 26 years of clinical practice as a herbalist and naturopath. He is a specialist in practitioner education around the application of patient-reported outcome measures in naturopathic practice. He is a Member of the Research Management Committee, as well as senior lecturer at Endeavour College of Natural Health, Sydney. He is also a member of the Boundary Bend Olives Expert Scientific Steering Committee and expert contributor to the Olive Wellness Institute.

Ian’s presentation topic is:
Olive Leaf – Not All Extracts are Created Equal


Dr Christine Houghton

PhD, BSc, GradDip Human Nut.
Adjunct lecturer University of Queensland

Christine’s PhD thesis (University of Queensland) focused on phytochemicals with significant clinical potential with considerable focus on mechanisms by which plant-derived bioactives influence human biochemical pathways.

She has conducted extensive research into the science of sulforaphane and its clinical relevance as a potent activator of Nrf2 and has published two peer-reviewed papers on the subject.

A co-author of two Nutrigenomics courses directed at providing evidence-based instruction to clinicians wanting to meaningfully interpret patient nutrigenetic profiles by relating polymorphisms to the biochemical pathways underpinning their expression.

Leader of the development of the Gut Ecology & Metabolic Modulation Protocol as a gateway for clinicians to target the gut-immune barrier in order to address cardiometabolic and other chronic disease.

Christine has close to 30 years experience in the practice of Nutritional and Botanical Medicine and extensive experience as an educator at both secondary and tertiary levels.

Christine’s presentation topic is:
The critical role of the intestinal epithelial as the unsung hero in modulating the dynamics of the gut-immune interface


Sharon Erdrich

Naturopath, Med Herbalist, NZRN, MHSc (Hons) University of Auckland
PhD Candidate (USyd)

Sharon is a well-known clinician in New Zealand with over 40 years in health. Her experience includes nursing, naturopathy, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and massage, as well as lecturing for 15 years in naturopathy, nutrition and nursing.
She completed her MHSc (Hons) at the University of Auckland, publishing two articles in Peer-reviewed journals related to the role of nutrition in prostate cancer.

In 2013 she established and New Zealand’s only SiBO-focused diagnostic service and is a regular presenter on this and related topics. She also offers an internship programme for recent graduates.

Sharon’s PhD is an investigation into the relationship between gastrointestinal dysbiosis and fibromyalgia and the impact of a naturopathic approach to this common presentation.

Sharon’s presentation topic is:
A gut-focused approach to moderate-severe eczema


Jacqui Finlayson

BHSc (CompMed), PGDip (Human Nut), MHSc candidate (Human Nutrition)

Jacqui has been in clinical practice as a naturopath since 2006. She was clinical supervisor and tutor at SPCNM for 7 years, in nutrition and herbal medicine, and is currently programme leader at the Naturopathic College of NZ.

She is currently completing her Master’s degree, specialising in iodine (or lack of) in mid-life women.

Jacqui’s presentation topic is:
Iodine and the mid-life women who avoids bread


Dr Corin Storkey


Corin obtained a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. He has undertaken 4 years pf postdoctoral research at the Heart Research Institute (HRI) Sydney and has been the medical liaison in cardiometabolic health in pharmaceutical industry for 4 years.

He has attained 14 authorships in peer reviewed journals and heads New Zealand’s only Maca and Incan medicine research program.

Corin’s presentation topic is:
Maca Masterclass – using maca to treat complex and chronic conditions


Cynthia Hunefeld

Dip Nat, PGDip ClinResarch
Master’s Candidate (Victoria Uni, Wgtn)

Cynthia studied ethnobotany in the Netherlands before moving to New Zealand and completing her diplomas in Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy and Nutrition at Wellpark College. She has worked for a distributor of natural medicines for 8 years, providing area management for retail products and practitioner consultancy and technical support for integrative medicines. In 2017 Cynthia completed a post-graduate diploma in Clinical Research and she is currently completing a Master’s degree in Innovation & Commercialisation. Her thesis focuses on the research and development of a novel natural antibiotic – her project has received a regional AMP scholarship award.

Cynthia’s presentation topic is:
Holistic antibiotics


Dr Craig Hassed

A/Prof. Mindfulness Coordinator
Monash University

Associate Professor Craig Hassed works at the Department of General Practice and is coordinator of mindfulness programs at Monash University. His teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management, mind-body medicine, meditation, health promotion, integrative medicine and medical ethics.

Craig is regularly invited to speak and run courses in Australia and overseas in health, educational, government and corporate contexts and has collaborated with a number of national and international universities helping them to integrate similar content. He was the founding president of Meditation Australia and is a regular media commentator. He writes regularly for medical journals and has published thirteen books. Craig also featured in the documentary, The Connection, and co-authored with Richard Chambers the free online Mindfulness course in collaboration with Monash University and FutureLearn. In 2019 Craig was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to Medicine.

Craig’s presentation topic is:

John Aitken


1 Medical laboratory scientist 47 years
2 Bioprospecting
3 Probiotic research
4 Inflammatory bowel disease focus

John’s presentation topic is:
Autoimmune Diseases – Bacterial Involvement in Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Prof Stephen Myers

Adjunct Professor, Southern Cross University
DipNat, BMed, PhD

Professor Myers obtained a Naturopathic Diploma in 1982 from the Southern School of Natural Therapies and a medical degree from the University of Newcastle in 1991. His PhD was completed in 1999 which explored the effects of lyophilised garlic in pharmacologically modifiable cardiovascular risk factors. He was Foundation Head of the School of Natural and Complementary Medicine at SCU from 1995-2001 and still plays an active role within the Department. He is recognised internationally as a leader in complementary medicine education and research. Professor Myers has been extensively involved with naturopathic education at an undergraduate and postgraduate level in Australia since 1984. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious Lady Cilento Award by the Complementary Healthcare Council for a sustained contribution to the field.

Stephen’s presentation topic is:
Auto-immune joint disease


Ger Tew

Founder of The ReCreators

Ger Tew is the Founder of The ReCreators which is a social enterprise that markets collectively for upcycling artists in Auckland. To fund her new venture, Ger is working as a contractor for NMHNZ providing guidance on operations and IT. Her work experience in the last 20 has been quite diverse, working in both the public and private sector as a project manager, auditor, business process consultant, team leader, SME for research and IT implementations and more recently in marketing for her social and environmental business.

The Re-Creators are a diverse and talented collective of upcycling artists promoting creativity, mindful making and sustainability. They offer various community upcycling workshops for children and adults, as well as an online store. They have a marketing presence on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and using Google Ads to direct consumers to their website

Ger Tew’s presentation topic is:
How to Market your Naturopathic Business, PLUS: Getting the best use of your NMHNZ membership.

Conference Dinner

There will be a conference dinner for those who wish to attend on the Saturday evening. Tickets for this can be purchased with your conference tickets at $65 per head. The conference dinner is a great opportunity to network and relax with your colleagues.

conference dinner image

Conference 2019 – Speaker Abstracts

You can find all our speaker abstracts here Conference 2019 – Speaker Abstracts