Heather Zwickey, PhD
Heather Zwickey is recognized internationally as an expert and educator in the fields of integrative medicine, natural therapies and the immune system. Dr. Zwickey has been leading
natural medicine research for 20 years. She has a Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology from the University of Colorado in Immunology and completed her postdoc at Yale. She spent 17 years at the National University of Natural Medicine serving as the founding director of the Helfgott Research Institute and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Heather speaks at conferences world-wide, sharing her enthusiasm for naturopathic medicine and science. She currently serves as the Director of Communication and Innovation at Thaena Inc., a microbiome-based company.
Addiction research has focused on genetic variability, the central nervous system and external cues that trigger addictive behavior. This research has suggested that cocaine, opiates, nicotine, alcohol and food addiction share many of the same underlying neurologic and genetic influences. However, there’s a new paradigm emerging in addictive behaviors. Specifically, we are beginning to understand the importance of the gut-microbiota-brain axis and inflammation in the pathogenesis of addiction. This talk overlays the nervous system, immune system and microbiome to elucidate important clinical pathways of addiction. We will share new ways to think about addiction, and microbiome-based approaches to address addiction.