NIH News Release
National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Press Contact:
Anita Greene, NCCAM
(301) 496-1712

Dr. Richard L. Nahin Named Director of Extramural Research, Training and Review for NCCAM

Bethesda, MD – Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D, M.P.H. has been appointed the first Director of the Division of Extramural Research Training and Review (DERTR) at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Dr. Nahin will direct the division responsible for fostering, designing, and implementing the vast majority of the research and training in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) conducted or supported by the Center, as well as the administration of all grant applications reviewed by NCCAM.

In this role, Dr. Nahin will oversee teams of scientists and grants management personnel who are responsible for executing the Center's rapidly expanding research portfolio, as well as identifying and stimulating opportunities to conduct and support basic and applied CAM research, and research training. He will also continue his role as Executive Secretary for both the National Advisory Council on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NACCAM) and the Cancer Advisory Panel on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAPCAM) – two NCCAM advisory committees that provide valuable input to the Center in carrying out its research mandate and programmatic objectives.

“Dr. Nahin brings to the position, not only his experience with NCCAM, but a rigorous background in science, an unwavering commitment to excellence, and the proven ability to lead and inspire colleagues,” said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director. “Dr. Nahin’s appointment comes when the public’s interest in, and use of CAM therapies has increased dramatically–creating a major public health opportunity for NCCAM to provide the American people with definitive information about the efficacy and safety of these interventions,” Dr. Straus concluded.

Dr. Nahin received his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of California in 1979, and his doctorate in Neuroscience in 1985 at the same university. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health, specializing in epidemiology, which was received in 1997 from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Beginning his NIH career in 1985 as a post doctoral research (NSRA) fellow in the Neurobiology and Anesthesiology Branch of the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR), Dr. Nahin was progressively promoted to the position of senior staff fellow in 1991–positions which lead to his publication of a number of scientific papers and abstracts. Following his stint with NIDR, Dr. Nahin joined the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) as a Scientific Review Administrator, where he remained for three years.

Joining NCCAM (formerly the Office of Alternative Medicine) in 1996 as a Program Officer for Extramural Activities, Dr. Nahin continued in this role until early 1999, when he was appointed Acting Director of NCCAM’s Division of Extramural Research, Training and Review. Following a formal search process, Dr. Nahin was identified as the best candidate for his newly appointed position.

Among the awards Dr. Nahin has received at the NIH include the NIH Merit Award in 1998 for, “extraordinary dedication, scientific insight and persistence in working collaboratively with the NIH’s Institutes and Centers to further the research initiatives in CAM.”

Dr. Nahin officially assumed his responsibilities on January 16, 2000.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is one of 25 Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a federal government agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NCCAM's mission is to conduct and support basic and applied research and research training and to disseminate research information on CAM practices to health professionals and the public. For additional information about NCCAM, please contact our public information clearinghouse at 1-888-644-6226 or access information about our research, programs, and activities electronically through our website at