NIH News Advisory
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
Office of the Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 1, 1998

Anita Greene
(301) 496-7790

OAM Awards Clinical Research Grants to Three Additional Centers
Bethesda, MD The NIH Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) recently awarded grants to three research centers to conduct clinical investigations into complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches for the treatment of addictions, cardiovascular diseases, and pediatric conditions. Following the NIH's scientific peer review process of research applications received following the OAM's October 1997 solicitation, grants have been awarded to Thomas J. Kiresuk, Ph.D., principal investigator for the addictions research center at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation; Steven F. Bolling, M.D., principal investigator for the cardiovascular disease research center at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and Fayez K. Ghishan, M.D. and Andrew Weil, M.D., are co- principal investigators for the University of Arizona, Tucson for research in pediatrics.

"The use of unconventional medical therapies in the United States continues to grow; yet, there is insufficient research examining the benefits and risks of many CAM interventions," said Wayne B. Jonas, M.D., OAM Director. "The awarding of these Center grants represents a major step in expanding the national research infrastructure, and number of scientific projects in alternative medicine. The efforts of these Centers will lead to collaborative research between CAM practitioners and researchers in larger-scale CAM research endeavors," Dr. Jonas continued.

Each of the three CAM Research Centers awarded grants will receive a total award of approximately $5 million, to be distributed incrementally over a five year period. The goal of these CAM Research Centers is to examine the potential efficacy, safety and validity of CAM therapies in their respective area of focus, and support a multi-disciplinary group of researchers and clinicians performing basic, preclinical, clinical, epidemiologic and health services research of CAM therapies in several research areas. These Centers will also provide resources necessary for the conduct of high quality research including an environment for training future scientists, and encourage collaboration between basic and clinical scientists and between CAM and conventional practitioners.

The addition of the OAM's new centers on addictions, cardiovascular diseases, and pediatrics brings the total number of clinical research centers supported by the OAM, in cooperation with other NIH Institutes, to thirteen. (The Minneapolis Research Center for addictions research was previously awarded a grant by the OAM in 1995. This Center successfully competed and has received supplemental funding for their work through this 1998 grant award, announced today).

The OAM was mandated by Congress in 1991 for the purpose of developing, coordinating, and supporting CAM research, research training, and disseminating the results of its research efforts to the public. The OAM advocates quality science, rigorous research, and objective scientific inquiry into which CAM practices work, and those that do not work, in order to fulfill its mission of providing reliable scientific information on the benefits and/or risks of CAM therapies to the public.