Amy Brown, Ph.D., RDN

Amy Brown, Ph.D.


Office: MEB 411 C
(808) 692-0907


  • Ph.D. in Nutrition
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • M.S. Nutritional Sciences
    University of Hawaiʻ i at Manoa
    Honolulu, HI


Textbook: Understanding Food Principles and Preparation by Amy Brown, Ph.D., R.D.

Research Focus

Clinical and bench research in the area of Medical Nutrition Therapy as it relates to foods that may hold therapeutic potential for disease.

Dean’s Certificate of Distinction in Research

Selected Publications

  • Brown AC. Hepatotoxicity related to herbs and dietary supplements: Online table of liver toxicity case studies. Part 2 of 5 series. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017; 107(PtA):472-501.
  • Brown AC. Gluten sensitivity: problems of an emerging condition separate from celiac disease. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012; 6(1)43-55. doi:10.1586/egh.11.79. PubMed PMID: 22149581.
  • Brown AC, Devi Rampertab S, Mullin GE. Existing dietary guidelines for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2011; 5(3)411-425. doi:10.1586/egh.11.29. PubMed PMID: 21651358.
  • Brown AC, Onopa J, Hock P, Kaufusi P, Craig WJ, Kabasawa D, Dragull K, Levine AM, Baker JD. Traditional kava beverage consumption and liver function tests in a predominantly Tongan population in Hawaii. Clinical Toxicology 2007; 45 (5):549-556.
  • Brown AC, Liu J, Jadus MR, Reitzenstein JE. The anti-cancer effects of poi (Colocasia esculenta) on colonic adenocarcinoma cells in vitro. Phytotherapy Research 2005; 19:767-771.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAAM) Courses Offered

Available to all University of Hawaiʻ i students

CAAM 401 Mindfulness Meditation and Stress Reduction (1 credit)
The principles of mindfulness meditation are put into practice to reduce burnout and live life more fully in the present moment. Life skills are learned to enhance awareness and self-mastery resulting in increased gratitude, joy, compassion, forgiveness, and contentment, while becoming more skilled at handling stress, frustration, anger, pain, grief, and death. Enhance effective communication, resolve conflicts, and deepen relationships. Respond rather than react to life. No experience necessary. Repeats allowed. Pre: None.

CAAM 415 Clinical Nutrition (3 credits)
Overview of applied clinical nutrition that includes nutrients, dietary recommendations for healthy populations, and medical nutrition therapies for patients with diet related diseases or conditions. Repeatable one time. Junior standing and higher. Pre: CHEM 151 (or higher) or BIOC 241 (or higher); PHYL 141 or ZOOL 141; highly encouraged: FSHN 185 or any other basic nutrition course.

Available to medical students only

CAAM 595 Nutrition for Clinicians (1 credit)
Provides in-depth lectures and case studies reviewing the role of nutritional therapy in health and illness. MD majors only. CR/NC only. Pre: MDED 554 or consent. (Fall only)


In 1979, physicians at the University of Massachusetts Medical School asked Jon Kabat-Zinn, (doctorate in Molecular Biology), to develop a program for patients dealing with untreatable pain from certain medical conditions. He founded the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Medical School. Classes were offered in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Mindfulness is not a new practice, but rather an ancient technique first developed in Hinduism where people concentrate on their breath during yoga and meditation, and then by Buddhists who also followed the breath, but changed it slightly by simply focusing on thoughts in the present moment. Jon Kabat-Zinn, and others that he learned from, secularized ancient religious philosophy to present day utility without the religion. One of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s best books explaining mindfulness is, “Wherever You Go, There You Are”.

Mindfulness Education Resources

What is Mindfulness?

"Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad." - Psychology Today

  • Sometimes, our minds are like a "monkey's mind" pulled in multiple directions; ruminating in the past, and/or concerned about the future.

  • Mindfulness is a learned, therapeutic technique of quieting those thoughts, and the feelings that follow, by being aware of the present moment.

  • What is the space between your thoughts? It is you watching your thoughts. This space becomes wider and calmer as you notice yourself watching your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

  • What is the result? Over time, you are not so easily moved by outside events in your life, but rather become more peaceful and content. Instead of reacting, you learn to respond, and ride the waves of life that will sometimes flair up during life's natural storms.

Practicing Mindfulness

The University of Hawaiʻ i John A. Burns School of Medicine does not endorse any of the following links, but is simply providing an avenue to list available classes that vary widely in quality and cost. Before attending, please contact providers to confirm time and location as some classes may no longer be offered between website updates.


Public Classes

Oʻ ahu
Big Island
University of Virginia

University Classes (in person)


Mindfulness Centers at Universities

Conferences & Workshops on Compassion
Mindful Education (Children, Pre-Teens, Teens & School Programs)
Mindful Parenting
Mindful Eating
Mindful Mental Health
Mindful Leadership
Mindful Justice (corrections system, law)
Online Classes
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Theraphy (MBCT)
CME, Continuing Education Credits, and Grand Rounds
Certification (Professional Classes) — Mindfulness or MBSR or MBCT
Certification (Professional Classes) — Mindfulness or MBSR or MBCT
  • Amazon's Mindfulness in Eight Weeks
  • Amazon's Mindfulness in Plain English
  • Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are, John Kabat-Zinn; Hyperion
  • When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron; Shambala Classic
  • Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn; Delta
  • Insight Meditation, The Practice of Freedom, Joseph Goldstein; Shambala Press
  • Mindfulness in Plain English, Henepola Gunaratana; Wisdom Publications
  • A Path with Heart, Jack Kornfield; Bantam Books
  • Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Sharon Salzberg; Shambala
Meditation Articles
Youtube: "Mindfulness Meditation"
Frequently Asked Questions


American Mindfulness Research Association

A Mindful Society

Greater Good in Action — University of California at Berkeley

Mindful Hawaii — Honolulu

Mindfulness Research Resources

PubMed is the main major medical search engine index for medical research journal articles. It contains more than 26 million citations from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books ( As of October 2017,

  • 4,618 studies were published using the keyword "mindfulness"
  • 864 were clinical trials
  • 681 were reviews

Studies have been conducted on mindfulness to test if it is beneficial for managing the diseases/conditions listed below.

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Burnout
  • Cancer (specify type)
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Grief
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Mental health
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pain
  • Panic Attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Well-being

Mindfulness Centers at Universities

Columbia University Medical Center
Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus on a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, promote relaxation, and enhance person and spiritual growth.

Harvard University's Center for Wellness
The Center for Wellness offers innovative programs and workshops designed to support you in improving your wellbeing. Whether you are exploring complementary therapies, practicing new ways to enjoy physical activity, restoring balance to your life, or better managing stress, our programs provide opportunities for optimal wellness.

Oxford Mindfulness Center — UK
Our mission is to reduce suffering, promote resilience, and realise human potential across the lifespan. We employ rigorous science to make the benefits of MBCT attainable for all.

The Penn Program for Mindfulness
The Penn Program for Mindfulness provides powerful tools for coping and personal growth. Combining modern cognitive science with ancient mindfulness techniques, the program teaches participants to change the way that they experience themselves and their world.

University of California at Los Angeles Mindness Awareness Research Center
MARC's mission is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society.

University of California at San Diego Center for Mindness
The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is a multi-faceted program of clinical care, professional training, education, research and outreach intended to further the practice and integration of mindfulness into all aspects of society.

University of California at San Francisco's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Program
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention from moment to moment in a non-judgmental way. This simple, but powerful practice opens the door to self-healing and insight. It can also provide options for coping with the stress of everyday life and the stress of illness.

University of Massachusetts Medical School
The key aspects of any definition of mindfulness involve purposeful action, focused attention, grounded in the current experience, and held with a sense of curiosity. The Center for Mindfulness believes that we all have the capacity for mindfulness.

University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing
MBSR is about taking control of our lives, being aware of influences that affect our health and wellbeing, and finding peace-of-mind and returning to balance with the throes of an oftentimes chaotic world.

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Tegardless of whether our stress is based in work pressures, financial security, relationships, health problems, or internal pressures such as self-criticism and perfectionism, we can develop skills to effectively improve the quality of our lives. The UVA Mindfulness Center offers intensive training courses to develop mindfulness skills – the practice of focusing our attention on our inner experience at the moment that it is happening. By practicing these skills, we learn to be more “awake,” more alert to the moments of our life as they unfold.



651 Ilalo Street, Medical Education Building, Suite 411, Honolulu, HI 96813

Phone: 808.692.1840 / Email:


© Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine