News Release

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Stephen E. Straus, M.D., Becomes Senior Advisor to NIH Director

On November 7, 2006, Stephen E. Straus, M.D., Director of the
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM),
stepped down from his leadership of the Center for health reasons.
Straus will become Senior Advisor to National Institutes of Health
(NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

“Steve Straus has done a tremendous job in creating and leading
NCCAM. His total dedication, superb intelligence, extraordinary
vision, high energy, and singular wit are all qualities that make
him an extraordinary leader,” said Dr. Zerhouni. “Steve has been
one of my most trusted advisors, and I will continue to rely on
his experience and perspective.”

During his tenure as NCCAM’s first Director, Dr. Straus built
a comprehensive research enterprise, championing the efforts to
establish the safety and efficacy of complementary and alternative
medicine (CAM) practices while upholding the rigorous standards
of science for which the NIH is known. Under his term of leadership
from 1999-2006, CAM research at NIH grew threefold.

Dr. Straus led the evolution of CAM science beyond the advocacy
and skepticism and polarization it once engendered to earned legitimacy
as a research area. Studies encompassing a wide range of CAM practices
including mind-body medicine, biologically based and manipulative
practices, whole medical systems, and energy medicine have resulted
in more than 1500 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Results
of NCCAM’s first large clinical trials showed the effectiveness
of acupuncture and glucosamine/chondroitin for osteoarthritis of
the knee.

Dr. Zerhouni has named Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D., formerly the Acting
Director of NIH, to be the Acting Director of NCCAM. Dr. Kirschstein
has also served as the director of the National Institute of General
Medical Sciences.

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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