The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIHI) recently announced the appointment of four new members to its National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The mission of NCCAM is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of CAM interventions, including massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, herbs and more, and their roles in improving health and health care.
The council is composed of physicians, scientists, licensed CAM practitioners, and members of the public who contribute their time and expertise over a four-year term, according to an NCCAM press release. Members meet three times per year to provide second-level peer review, as well as other advice and recommendations on prioritization, conduct and support of CAM research, including research training and communication of evidence-based health information.
The new members are:
Daniel C. Cherkin, Ph.D., senior scientific investigator with the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle and affiliate professor of family medicine and health services at the University of Washington. Cherkin’s research has focused on improving care for back pain and he has conducted several clinical trials evaluating therapies such as chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, and massage for low-back pain. He is particularly interested in identifying more effective strategies for responding to the needs of persons with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Brian M. Berman, M.D., a professor of family medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. He is a practicing family physician and pain-management specialist. He chaired both the ad hoc advisory committee to the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine as well as the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. Berman also co-founded the complementary medicine field within the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical practices through systematic reviews of research literature. In addition, Berman is trained in homeopathy and has a membership in the Faculty of Homeopathy, has a diploma from the London School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is a licensed acupuncturist.
David G.I. Kingston, Ph.D., a university distinguished professor of bioorganic and natural products at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. He served as the president of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and is currently a research associate of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Kingston is involved in the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group program administered by the Fogarty International Center at the NIH, and he is particularly interested in training scientists from developing nations. Kingston’s current research focuses on the chemistry of biologically active natural products related to cancer, the discovery of new anticancer agents from plants, and biodiversity conservation and drug discovery in tropical rainforests.
James Lloyd Michener, M.D., chairman of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University, Durham, N.C. and director of the Duke Center for Community Research. He is also a clinical professor in the Duke School of Nursing. Michener’s interests include community health, prevention, informatics, and faculty training. In addition to developing a master’s program in clinical leadership at Duke, Michener also managed obesity and chronic disease prevention programs in North Carolina. Michener served as president of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research and as chair of the Council of Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges.