Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, PhD, is the founder and executive director of the Institute of Qigong & Integrative Medicine. He is also a research scientist and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. Dr. Sun earned his PhD in molecular genetics from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in Japan in 1993.
Dr. Sun is also a Qigong teacher with over 35 years of practice in a program which he began learning at the age of nine from his granduncle in China. Dr. Sun’s Yi Ren system of medical Qigong initiates students to activate and develop their internal energy to cultivate and promote the prevention and healing of chronic illnesses. Dr. Sun’s understanding of modern molecular genetics and scientific principles, as well as his experience with internal energy cultivation, allows him to create a unique bridge between cultures.
One of Dr. Sun’s contributions as a Qigong therapist and instructor is his ability to communicate with individuals at the subtle energy level and to transmit healing energy to others. He has developed specific Qigong healing methods for type 2 diabetes, chronic lower back pain, arthritis, and other common health concerns.
Academic Experience I – Molecular Genetics and Molecular Biology
During graduate school, Dr. Sun completed accredited scientific training in various molecular biological techniques, including preparation of DNA and RNA, southern and northern blot hybridization, western blot, genomic and cDNA library construction, gene cloning, restriction mapping, DNA sequencing, oligonucleotide synthesis, RT-PCR, organ, tissue and cell culture, protein expression and purification, and DNA-protein interaction gel mobility shift assay. In graduate school, Dr. Sun also conducted a research project: A study of gene cloning and expression. He cloned a nuclear hormone receptor, BmFTZ-F1 from Silkworm Bombyx mori and successfully produced and purified the BmFTZ-F1 antibody.
Dr. Sun was awarded a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to study the developmental expression of BmFTZ-F1 from 1993 to1994. The research outcomes were published in Developmental Biology (1994). From 1994 to 1997, Dr. Sun conducted postdoctoral research in molecular endocrinology at the University of Washington. During his time as a postdoctoral researcher, he cloned two nuclear receptors, MHR4 and b-FTZ-F1, from the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, and studied the developmental expression of these two nuclear receptors.
Academic Experience II – Clinical Trial Studies
In March 2007, Dr. Sun received a T32 postdoctoral fellowship at Bastyr University to focus on clinical trial studies. Also in 2007, he completed a K30 Series (A Clinical Research Training Program) at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and a Certificate Program in Clinical Trials at the University, which included scientific method and study design, statistical concepts, the role of the Food and Drug Administration and Institutional Review Boards, the Code of Federal Regulations and clinical trials, ethical principles, informed consent, conflict of interest, implementation and conduct of clinical trials, and project management and the business of clinical trials in 2009.
Academic Experience III – Immunotherapy
In 2011, Dr. Sun received an opportunity at the University of Washington as a research scientist to work on the immunotherapy potential of a mushroom extract on breast cancer. He has updated his molecular biology techniques and mastered various new immune assays including multi-color flow cytometry, ELISA, cell culture, and real-time RT-PCR.
Early Qigong Training: Dr. Sun was fortunate enough to learn about qigong in his youth. From 1973 to1977, he received Taoist internal and external qigong training from his maternal granduncle, a Taoist expert in Shandong, China, and successfully completed the training courses. His early years of intensive qigong training has provided him with a strong foundation in developing his ability to experience the internal qi flow within his body and to observe the conditions of internal qi flow in others.
Studies of the Ancient Classics: Dr. Sun’s experience of internal qi cultivation has enabled him to understand the qi-energy theories of ancient classics including The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, Dao De Jing – The Way of Virtues, Yi Jing -The Book of Change, Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun -Treatise on the Causes and Manifestations of Diseases, etc. Dr. Sun has been studying the above ancient classics deligently since 1992. His experiential understanding on the ancient wisdom strongly inspired him to develop a new system of Qigong, called “Yi Ren Qigong”.
Significant Career Change
The academic modern life science training and the experiential understanding on ancient classics through internal qi cultivation together led Dr. Sun to see the functions of Qigong on human potentials including personal growth, healthcare, and spiritual development. He decided to leave the fields of molecular genetics and molecular biology to start his new career in complementary and alternative medicine. In 1997, Dr. Sun founded the Institute of Qigong & Internal Alternative Medicine (IQ&IAM) for promoting self-healing and self-care with qigong education and research. Dr. Sun began observing the synergistic effects between Qigong and other modalities including allopathic medicine, Acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, nutrition, herbs, psychotherapy, etc., which led to the name of IQ&IAM to the Institute of Qigong & Integrative Medicine (IQ&IM) in 2010.
The Development of Yi Ren Qigong Certification Programs
In 2006, Dr. Sun developed and offered a Yi Ren Qigong Instructor Certification Program through the IQ&IAM and 16 Yi Ren Qigong instructors were trained and certified in 2008. In 2008, Dr. Sun offered a Qigong course at Bastyr University for integrative health care professionals entitled, “University of Washington Faculty Integrative Health Program.” In 2010, Dr. Sun developed a curriculum for a series of academic qigong programs for Bastyr University, School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM). In 2011, Dr. Sun developed two Certification Programs: Medical Qigong Self-Care Certification Program for Health Care Professionals and Medical Qigong Therapist Certification Program for Licensed Health Care Providers. The Bastyr certificate programs began in Fall 2012.
Qigong Research Experience
Dr. Sun was fortunately invited to participate in an NCCAM-sponsored Qigong research project in 2005 about the “Evaluation of Cultured Human Cells in Response to Qigong,” PI: Dr. Garret Yount. The outcomes of this research project were published in Explore (Mager et al., 2007).
Dr. Sun was deeply inspired by Dr. Yount’s work to integrate his training in Qigong with rigorous scientific inquiry. In 2007, Dr. Sun received a T32 postdoctoral fellowship position at Bastyr University to focus on clinical trial studies. During his T32 training, Dr. Sun has successfully completed a randomized, controlled three-armed pilot clinical trial as the research project PI studying the effects of qigong on adults with type 2 diabetes. He also mentored a master’s student through a T32 pre-doctoral training grant. Outcomes from this pilot study were published in Diabetes Care.(Sun et al., 2010), and in Alternative Therapies (Putiri et al., 2012). In addition, four abstracts about the pilot study were accepted by reviewers for the following conferences: Experimental Biology Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 18 – 22, 2009; The North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine, Minneapolis, MN, May 12 – 15, 2009; The 3rd Annual Symposium for Portland Area Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SPARC), Portland, OR on April 18, 2009, and; The 11th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, Washington D.C. August 4 – 7, 2010.
In 2009 Dr. Sun had an opportunity in participating in a fMRI brain imaging team at the Bastyr University and University of Washington to study the effects of distant qigong on blood flow in tumors in patients with malignant brain cancer. The outcomes of this research are interesting and inspiring. A part of the outcomes were reported in Bastyr University newsletter (2012). The results indicated Dr. Sun was able to change the vibration of the patients’ tumors from outside of the fMRI room.
Dr. Sun is currently engaged in Qigong education and research at the Institute of Qigong and Integrative Medicine and the Bastyr University.
Selected peer-reviewed publications
- Ueda H, Sun GC and Hirose S. A novel DNA binding motif abuts the zinc finger DNA binding domain of insect nuclear hormone receptors FTZ-F1 and mouse ELP. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 1992. 12: 5667-5672. PMID: 1448096
- Sun GC, Hirose S, and Ueda H. Intermittent expression of BmFTZ-F1, a member of steroid receptor superfamily during development of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Developmental Biology. 1994. 162: 426-437. PMID: 8150206.
- Li FQ, Sun GC, Ueda H, and Hirose S. Sequences of two cDNAs encoding silkworm homologues of Drosophila melanogaster squid gene. Gene. 1995. 154: 295-296. PMID: 7890181.
- Weller J, Sun GC, Zhou BH, Lan Q, Hiruma K, and Riddiford LM. Isolation and developmental expression of two nuclear receptors MHR4 and βFTZ-F1, in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2001. 31: 827-837. PMID: 11378418.
- Sun GC, Lovejoy J, Gillham S, Putiri A, Sasagawa M, and Bradley R. The Effects of Qigong on Glucose Control in Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Diabetes Care, 2010. 33(1):e8. PMID: 20040671.
- Putiri AL, Lovejoy JC, Gillham S, Sasagawa M, Bradley R, Sun GC. The Psychological Effects of Yi Ren Medical Qigong in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 Jan-Feb;18(1):30-4. PMID: 22516850.
Engel AL, Sun GC, Gad E, Rastetter LR, Strobe K, Yang Y, Dang Y, Disis ML, Lu H. Protein-bound polysaccharide activates dendritic cells and enhances OVA-specific T cell response as vaccine adjuvant. Immunobiology. 2013 Dec; 218 (12):1468-76. PMID: 23735481.
Sun GC, Ding XB, Zhou XH, Putiri A, and Bradley R. Effects of Yi Ren Medical Qigong on Body Weight in People with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. J Integrative Med Ther. 2014;1(1): 5.
Additional recent publications of importance to the field (in chronological order)
- Gonet J and Sun GC. Developing Character Through Qigong Practice. The New Times – October 2000 Vol. XVI, No.5
- Sun GC. Developing the body’s information system and experiencing the meridians through Qigong practice. Medical Paradigm. 2004. 1: 49-59.
- Sun GC. The Physiology of the Three Gates in the Process of Energetic Development Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness. 2004.14 (2): 34-39.
- Sun GC. The Plum Flowering Mind Method of Divination. 2006. The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness. 16 (1)
- Sun GC. Qigong: Bio-Energy Medicine. J Altern Complement Med. 2008. 14(8): 893. PMID: 18823262.
- Sun GC. The Art of Internal Observation and Panoramic Knowing: Laozi’s Classic on the Way of Virtues. Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness. 2008. 18 (1): 18-25.
- Sun GC and Gonet J. The Middle Path of Qi Cultivation: Balancing Wu Wei and You Wei. Qi Dao. 2010. Jan/Feb. 20-23.
- Sun GC and Gonet J. Cultivating the Shen and Nourishing the Spirit. Qi Dao. 2010. May/Jun. 21-23.
- Sun GC and Gonet J Qi Cultivation for Healing Chronic Health Conditions. Qi Dao. 2010. Jul/Aug. 24-26.
- Gonet J and Sun GC. The Happiness of Returning to Dwell. The Empty Vessel, 2011. Fall. 7-12.
- Gonet J and Sun GC. Integrating Theory With Expereince: Medical Qigong For Healing and Healthcare. Part I. Yang-Sheng (Nurturing Life) 2012. July/Aug. 22-27.
- Gonet J and Sun GC. Integrating Theory With Expereince: Medical Qigong For Healing and Healthcare. Part II. Yang-Sheng (Nurturing Life) 2012. Sept/Oct. 40-44.