News Release

Thursday, June 21, 2007

NCCAM Welcomes Six New Members to Its National Advisory Council

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) welcomes six new members to the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NACCAM). The Council serves as the principal advisory body to NCCAM, a component of the National Institutes of Health within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Council, which meets three times a year, is composed of physicians, scientists, licensed complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, and representatives of the public who contribute their time and expertise over a 4-year term. Council members offer advice and recommendations on the prioritization, conduct, and support of complementary and alternative medicine research, including research training and disseminating health information derived from NCCAM's research.

New NACCAM members include:

  • Lori Arviso Alvord, M.D., Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH
  • Stephen Barnes, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
  • Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University; University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Fabio Cominelli, M.D., Ph.D., University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA
  • Margery L.S. Gass, M.D., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
  • Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC

Stephen Barnes, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, as well as the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Environmental Health Sciences, Genetics, and the Vision Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Barnes’ research focuses on the biochemistry, chemistry, and analysis of bile acids; the role of isoflavonoids in preventing chronic diseases; and the application of mass spectrometry to biomedical research. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the 5th International Symposium on the Role of Soy in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease.

Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D. is the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also Adjunct Professor of Pathology and of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a Member of the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. His research currently focuses on how interpersonal dispositions and behaviors influence immunity and host resistance to infectious disease. Dr. Cohen has received awards for career contributions from the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Psychosomatic Society. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Fabio Cominelli, M.D., Ph.D. is the David D. Stone Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of the Digestive Health Center of Excellence, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the University of Virginia Health System. Dr. Cominelli researches mucosal immune responses and intestinal inflammation to determine the molecular mechanisms of intestinal inflammation and develop new therapies. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians. He has received an NIH Merit Award and the Clinical Excellence Award from the University of Virginia Department of Medicine.

Margery L.S. Gass, M.D. is a Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the University Hospital Menopause and Osteoporosis Center at the University of Cincinnati Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research areas include menopause, osteoporosis, and female sexual function. She is a principal investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative and is a past member of the Executive Committee for the study. Dr. Gass is a past president and board member of the North American Menopause Society and has been cited in Best Doctors in America.

Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P. is the Charles L. Spurr Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University. Dr. Torti has studied the molecular action of oxidants and cytokines (cellular messengers) and their relationship to cancer and the balance of iron in the body. He is a noted researcher and clinician in the area of genitourinary (GU) malignancies, and is the GU oncology section editor of Current Opinion in Oncology. He recently received an NIH Merit Award.

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

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