Donald J. Messner, PhD

Current Roles

  • Professor, Department of Basic Sciences and the Bastyr University Research Institute



  • Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from University of California, Davis  in 1978
  • PhD in pharmacology from University of Washington School of Medicine in 1986
  • Postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis completed in 1989


Teaching Interests

Dr. Messner teaches courses in pharmacology, biochemistry, and research methodology. He supports student research and welcomes student participation in projects being conducted in his laboratory.


Research Interests

Dr. Messner investigates causes of liver disease and corrective actions of plant-derived natural products. One project is focused on the use of curcumin and turmeric for prevention of liver cancer associated with iron overload.  A second seeks novel therapies for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a major problem in type 2 diabetes.  His research experience includes serving as principal or co-investigator on research grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health.  A partial listing of his research articles, reviews, and book chapters may be found on PubMed.   



Dr. Messner’s goal as a teacher is to help students develop a solid scientific base on which to build a successful career in the health sciences.   

Dr. Don Messner
Donald J. Messner PhD
School of Natural Health Arts & Sciences
Department of Basic Sciences