News Release

Friday, February 3, 2006

NCCAM Awards First Director’s Fellowships for CAM Research

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has selected the first two fellows for the NCCAM Director’s Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Research.

“This prestigious fellowship constitutes an important tool through which NCCAM can recruit and train the next generation of CAM researchers. It exemplifies our approach to integrative medicine by fostering CAM research throughout the NIH. We are very grateful for the support of this new concept by our colleagues at the NIH,” said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director.

The primary goal of the fellowship is to prepare new fellows for careers as independent CAM investigators. The fellowship provides full research support for 2 years of clinical, translational, and/or laboratory research. The fellows were selected from a highly competitive international pool of applicants.

The fellows will join the NIH Intramural Research Program and conduct research on CAM topics in the laboratories of senior scientists of other Institutes and Centers across the NIH. Under the mentor’s guidance, the fellow will serve as a “bridge” between the mentor’s laboratory, where the work will be performed, and NCCAM.

“The NCCAM Director’s Fellowship is an innovative new component in NIH’s longstanding commitment to, and responsibility for, training the next generation of biomedical researchers,” said Michael M. Gottesman, M.D., Deputy Director for Intramural Research, NIH.

The first two NCCAM Director’s fellows are:

  • Patrick P. McCue who received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts in 2004. He is currently studying the molecular effect of space radiation on the biology of yeast at NASA Ames Research Center in California. James Phang, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute will mentor Dr. McCue while he studies the effects of chemical compounds from botanical extracts on mechanisms of cancer cell death.
  • Marni N. Silverman who received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2005. She will be working with Esther Sternberg, M.D., of the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Silverman will study glucocorticoid resistance, which contributes to individual variability in responses to stress. Her research will help shed light on the influence of CAM therapies on the responses of the brain and body to stress.

The NCCAM Director’s fellowship is funded in part by the Prince of Wales Foundation. The Foundation distributes funding each year to benefit a wide range of causes throughout the world, including supporting research in CAM and integrative care.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's mission is to explore complementary and alternative medical practices in the context of rigorous science, train CAM researchers, and disseminate authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCAM's Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at NCCAM is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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