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IN THIS ISSUE

From the Executive Director
Industry News
In the Media
Profile
International Visitors
Call for Papers
New Staff
Congratulations
Reports and Resources
NICM Projects
Recent Publications
Events


 
 
ProfAlanB webFrom the Executive Director

Welcome to the first NICM eNewsletter for 2015, what a sensational start we have had!

We have witnessed several important announcements in the political arena. We welcome the new Federal Health Minister, The Hon Sussan Ley, and thank The Hon Peter Dutton who moves to Immigration and Boarder Protection. The addition of Science Minister to the portfolio of The Hon Ian Macarlane has also been well received.

Distinguished medical researcher, Professor Anne Kelso AO, has been appointed the new CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and officially takes up her new position in April. We look forward to briefing her on the specific issues and opportunities relating to complementary medicine use by Australians, integrative care and the wellness agenda.

The Federal Government is now calling for submissions on the regulations for complementary medicine as part of its Expert Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation. The Review is to be welcomed for the opportunity it provides to affirm the high quality and value of Australia’s regulatory regime for complementary medicine, as well as to put forward ideas for the streamlining of approvals in particular instances.

As you will read in our story with our Adjunct Fellow, Michael Smith, Australia is recognised internationally for the quality of its regulatory systems and he has some interesting things to say on this topic.

We will be making our submission shortly to the Federal Government and will be encouraging greater investment in complementary medicine research and strengthening the evidence-based practice. We believe that improving the TGA regulation will boost local manufacturing and export opportunities as well as health outcomes.

I was very proud to hear last week our Institute and achievements being spoken of so highly by the House of Representatives and the Members of Parliament from Macarthur, Throsby, Bennelong, Kingsford Smith, and Lindsay. Member for Macarthur, Mr Matheson highlighted the importance of complementary medicines and practices to the international healthcare landscape, discussed our strong credentials in the field, our top ranking of five in the Commonwealth Excellence in Research for Australia scheme and our recent developments with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Read the Hansard record or watch the address from the Member for Lindsay, Ms Scott.

In other news, we have been pleased to welcome visitors from Korea and Japan over the last two months, as well as visiting a number of our current partners at various locations overseas.

It’s also very pleasing to see the outstanding talent that we continue to attract and have by our side at the NICM. We would like to extend a warm welcome to our eight new staff that join us for what will be an exciting and memorable year ahead.

This year, we plan to provide and participate in key forums for Chinese medicine and oncology; integrative medicine service delivery; clinical research and our early career researchers will be proudly hosting the Royal Australian Chemistry Institute’s NSW Branch Natural Products Forum in October.  There is a great deal to look forward to both across our important sector and here at the Institute.



Professor Alan Bensoussan

3 March 2015

 


INDUSTRY NEWS

Integrative Health Pushed in New Name

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in America has formally changed its name to the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Taking place towards the end of 2014, the name change was mandated as part of the omnibus budget measures signed by President Obama and is aligned with the Center’s research priorities and strategic plan.

The move and decision to change is timely, as similar discussions are being raised in the NICM’s strategic review, which is still underway, and expected to be completed in April – so watch this space.

According to NCCIH, their name change was implemented “to more accurately reflect the Center’s research commitment to studying promising health approaches that are already in use by the American public.”

“Americans are generally using complementary approaches as adjuncts to conventional care, integrated together with conventional care, and integrated care is increasingly offered in hospitals, hospices, military facilities and a variety of health care settings across the country,” said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., Director of NCCIH.

NCCIH say the scientific foundation for many complementary approaches is still being built and their mission will remain unchanged. The Center will continue to focus on the study of usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative interventions, and provide the public with research-based information to guide health care decision-making.

Any practices and products studied by the NCCIH are prioritised by its four guiding principles: scientific promise, amenability to be studied using the highest quality research methods, use by the American public, and the potential impact on public health.

Watch NCCIH’s Director talk further about the name change.

March graphic videolink web
 
 


IN THE MEDIA

Chinese medicine and cancer research overview
   
ABC logoNICM researcher Dr Xiaoshu Zhu presented a review of acupuncture and other forms of Chinese medicine at the recent Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne.

Dr Zhu's evidence review suggests acupuncture can help with cancer symptoms including pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, hot flushes and numbness.

"In the past, complementary Chinese medicine such as acupuncture hasn't been recommended or researched by conventional medical practitioners involved in cancer care," said Dr Zhu. "I want to challenge this view by presenting a range of evidence that demonstrates that acupuncture has a valuable role to play in patient care."

Dr Zhu, who is also the Director of the Chinese Medicine Academic Program in the UWS School of Science and Health, is currently working with researchers at the South West Sydney Local Health District Cancer Services exploring evidence based approaches with integration of complementary therapies in cancer survivorship.
 



The NICM’s Director, Professor Alan Bensoussan, was interviewed in February by ABC 702 Sydney's Morning program.

 Host, Linda Mottram, discussed with Professor Bensoussan the developments and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine to set up a new Chinese Medicine research-led clinic in Sydney.  Mottram mentioned the “huge interest in alternative medicine in Australia, and in particular Chinese Medicine.” She discussed how very reputable medicos in Australia are coming round to some of the benefits which are scientifically justifiable of Chinese Medicine, stating that it was an interesting time.
Professor Bensoussan agreed and spoke of how thrilled he was with the MOU and developments taking place. He talked about the integration of Chinese and Western medicine - the intense effort in trying to validate more of the Chinese medicine and understanding better how to use Chinese Medicine appropriately in the context of Western medicine and integrative care.

Professor Bensoussan put forward how Australia has been the vanguard of the world, in leading the Western world in terms of recognising the need to standardise clinical practices in Chinese medicine.

He explained the plans for the new research-led clinic, and discussed the longevity of Chinese Medicine - having been around for centuries - and spoke of the enormous progress in research and translation in the last 20 years with examples of malaria, chronic back pain and acupuncture.

Professor Bensoussan talked about the regulation of Chinese Medicine practice and the attitudes among practitioners towards alternative and Chinese medicine – concluding that “people need to see the evidence and know that the interventions work and understand better how they do work.”
Read the full transcript


 


 

NICM’s Adjunct Associate Professor, Vicki Kotsirilos in Sydney Morning Herald.

SMH logo In February we also saw the NICM’s Adjunct Associate Professor, Vicki Kotsirilos, be the voice of reason in a story covered by Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald regarding the American paper released which stated that herbal supplements didn’t always contain the ingredients on the label.

Associate Professor Kotsirilos was quick to state that it wasn’t the case in the Australian market, with Australia “having one of the highest regulatory systems for complementary medicines in the world.”

She told the Sydney Morning Herald that, “Australian consumers can be confident that, as long as it has been regulated through the TGA – as AustL (listed) or AustR (registered) product – that they’re very likely to contain the dosage and ingredients recorded on the label.”  For this reason she advised people against buying their supplements from the internet or overseas.

Associate Professor Kotsirilos also stated in the article that “some complementary medicines, such as evidence based nutritional and herbal supplements in their final product form have evidence of clinical efficacy for clinical conditions,” and that “it is important that people are guided by professionals who are aware of the evidence and which products carry the evidence.”
Read the full article  

 


 

Proposed Integrated health and medical Research hub in Western Sydney.

DailyTele logo News Limited’s Daily Telegraph recently wrote a feature piece on Western Sydney and a bold plan to create an innovation corridor through the region, and becoming Australia’s own Silicon Valley.

The Daily Telegraph reported that, “the blueprint, developed by the University of Western Sydney, plans for medical, science, technology, aviation and agribusiness hubs, each dotted along the outer Sydney orbital corridor and centred around the long-awaited Badgerys Creek airport.”

The report proposes a large integrated health and medical research hub, built around the NICM and the University of Western Sydney’s School of Medicine at Campbelltown.

Read the full article

 
Ch7 logo Channel 7 News also aired that night a similar story to that which appeared in the Daily Telegraph.

 


 

NATURAL FELLOW - MICHAEL SMITH

Proponent of complementary medicine and informed consumer choice, Michael Smith accepted an adjunct role with the NICM in 2014.
During his first visit to campus, we gained some insights into the depth of knowledge and experience he brings after a 20-year career studded with achievements.
For such a ‘heavy-hitter’ in the industry, Michael Smith is remarkably down-to-earth, although always composed.

 

He has a knack for approaching certainly complex subject matter with composure, yet a clear sense of humour is never far away.

Broaching how it was that he came to be a NICM Adjunct Fellow, with tongue firmly in cheek the Canada-based NICM Fellow laughs and says, “to get away from the snow”.  

Longstanding collaborations with the NICM Director, Professor Alan Bensoussan, certainly helped lead Smith to take an active role.

“I’ve known Alan for 10 years, working with him at the Therapeutic Goods Administration on loan to the Australian Government from Health Canada,” said Mr Smith. “Alan was on the Advisory Committee in Complementary Medicine and became its Chair so I worked very closely with him.”

A trained pharmacist and naturopathic doctor, previous government official and member of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicine, his experience is eclectic.

“I’ve worked as practitioner – both conventional and complementary, in government both in Australia and Canada and in regulatory policy development. So I’ve been very fortunate to experience complementary medicine from a number of different aspects and different viewpoints across the international stage, so a good blend for the NICM stable - seeing it is an international centre working with collaborations all over the world,” he said.

“I think that I add to the extensive existing expertise here, and see my direct involvement with NICM as being in regulatory policy, international cooperation and stakeholder engagement.”

Mr Smith believes Australia and Canada are amongst the most experienced countries in regulating this field as a group of diverse products and Australians should be proud to have such a quality regulator.

“Australia and Canada are facing and dealing with issues, challenges and opportunities that other countries are only beginning to realize and comprehend,” said Mr Smith.

“Both regulatory systems, for their flaws and for their strengths, are considered to be innovative and forward-thinking. When you look internationally, you can see that there are very few countries that regulate these products as a comprehensive group as completely as Australia or Canada.

“Australians should be very proud of the work that organisations such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration does. Australia has one of the true leaders in regulation, they are incredibly highly respected, and in my opinion that respect is completely warranted.”

He also spoke very highly of the research being conducted at the NICM and generally within Australia.

“The NICM is one of the best institutes researching complementary medicine and integrative health. The whole Australian research group in this world, they are a little gem that much of the rest of the world doesn’t know about,” said Mr Smith.

"I’ve been to a lot of international conferences and meetings where the research being presented, and the idea of consensus networking and the pragmatic approach taken by the Australian sector, is light years ahead of many other leaders in the field. NICM is one of the strongest in the world and there are lots of stellar Australian researchers, and they need to be supported to get out there on the world stage.”

Mr Smith voiced why partnerships and collaboration were essential to build research capacity in the complementary medicine world. “It is essential because there are so many different skill sets, and so many perspectives that you need to bring together many to answer many questions,” he said.

When it comes to regulatory framework he says it has to have a strong base in science and research, and an innovative environment, but that it must be applied across the whole spectrum.

“NICM is well-placed because it has the full spectrum of skills, even past the bench-to-bedside, and that is very, very important,” said Mr Smith.

“NICM is well-placed to be the voice of reason; the collaborator, the consensus builder, and the voice  that  will state categorically if something is correct or incorrect, whether it is positive or negative. That is the independent voice.

“I think industry has to continue to be responsible as well, and respectful and innovative.

“The role of the regulator is firstly to protect the consumer, the informed-choice question should be front-and-centre.

“If ‘Joe or Josephine Australian’ walks into a pharmacy or health food store, they should be able to know that what is on the label is what is in the bottle. Also, that there is evidence, either ‘science-based’ or from a respected traditional source, behind what the product claims to do. Then they can decide to take it, or not take it, safely and with confidence.

“Something that very few governments in this field have taken up, and it would be wonderful if the Australian government would, is communication, education about the regulatory system itself: ‘what exactly does an AustL mean? What exactly does an AustR mean?’ I feel that this simple step will go a long way to support Australians in making an informed choice with regards to complementary medicines.”

As the industry continues to mature and becomes more complex with a global supply chain, Mr Smith sees both determining appropriate regulations, and appropriate standards and testing as the biggest issues concerning the industry.

“The Australian complementary medicine industry has a solid global presence with, unlike that in many other parts of the world, a history and experience of being a regulated sector.”

“The question of safety is pertinent; and unlike some types of claim you cannot base safety and quality on traditional evidence.

“There are established testing mechanisms, there are standards, there are guidelines, there are collaborations, there are certification programs. USP, NSF, WHO, you name an acronym, they are out there: these are developed by top-quality scientists and researchers. New standards have to be developed for new products and there is no reason for those standards, the right and appropriate standards, to be applied. This is not necessarily going to be a one-stop shop with the best approach often based on the complementary medicine in question.”

He says that for the industry, for the entire sector to continue to be robust, it needs to continue to be based on quality.  

“I think that is the number one question for the regulator, for the researcher, for industry and especially for the consumer,” said Mr Smith.

“I can’t predict what is going to happen, but it is going to be interesting to see how the Australian regulatory framework is going to evolve and develop into the next stage.

“It is also going to be interesting to see if there is cohesion around the development of the self-care sector. Self-care is one of the priorities identified in the new WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 and I feel Australia could continue to be the leader here.”

He also sees shifting definitions as an ongoing issue to be addressed by the regulatory framework.

“I think the other questions are going to be ‘What exactly is a complementary medicine now?’ As things evolve, when is a natural health product (as complementary medicines are referred to in Canada) a natural product? When is it a drug developed from a herb? When does it cross that barrier, if at all? Obviously the regulatory framework has to keep up. As here in Australia, any regulatory framework has to reflect the changing times.”

March graphic MRSP web 

 


 INTERNATIONAL VISITORS

Morinomiya University of Medical Sciences, Osaka Japan.

March grahic yamashita webEarlier in February the NICM’s Professor Caroline Smith and Dr Sue Cochrane hosted Professor Hitoshi Yamashita, Director of Acupuncture Information Center and Dean of Graduate School of Health Sciences, Morinomiya University of Medical Sciences, Osaka Japan.
 
Professor Yamashita was interested in learning more about the NICM, particularly in the field of acupuncture and information on education of safe practice – while visiting the Campbelltown campus, he also observed students in clinic.

Professor Yamashita has recently been working on collection, summarisation and provision of information on acupuncture. He is currently assessing better education programs on safer practice in acupuncture schools in Japan, which is supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

His research area is safety of acupuncture and clinical research methodology of acupuncture.

 

 


 

Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine.

It was a pleasure to host three visiting delegates in December from the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM). The delegation headed by Dr Ki-Hoon Koo, Team Leader of Department of Research Policy at the KIOM, and the NICM Director, Professor Alan Bensoussan discussed at length Traditional Medicine in Korea and the international research collaboration between research institutions and universities.  

Researchers from the NICM will visit the KIOM later this year to follow up on the recent discussions and encourage further cross collaboration and research interaction.
A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of Western Sydney and the KIOM was signed in 2014. The MOU was established to enhance academic knowledge between the two institutions, providing a mechanism for increased academic and research collaboration. The KIOM, under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, is the national hub of research and development of Traditional Korean Medicine (TKM) and has been in operation since 1994. It is vitally interested in introducing well-evidenced TKM to western clinical practice.

March graphic Korea 

 


 

The new Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences (JTCMS) is now calling for papers.

Submissions embracing research results in scientific experiments, clinical practice and theoretical studies of Chinese Medicine, herbs and acupuncture will be considered.

The JTCM was recently launched by Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM), and aids international recognition for Traditional Chinese Medicine, and contributes to the internal medical advancement with Chinese Medical researchers.

The journal is supported by China’s Ministry of Education and co-published by the Tsinghua University Press.

Submit your paper.

 

 


 

New Staff

It’s pleasing to see the outstanding talent that we continue to attract and have by our side at the NICM. We would like to extend a warm welcome to our latest recruits that join us for what will be an exciting and memorable year ahead.

Welcome to the NICM team:

  • Danielle Parker, Research Officer - Trial Manager
  • Dr Genevieve Steiner, Research Assistant   
  • Jason Holland, Research Assistant
  • Dr Jennifer Hunter, Research Officer
  • Dr Karren Beattie, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Lilly Li, Visiting Scholar, Beijing University Cancer Hospital
  • Natalie Connor, Communication Strategy Manager
  • Dr Sai Seto, Research Fellow  
  • Dr Zhu Yunyan, Visiting Scholar, Sun Yat-sen University Hospital 

 


March graphic KarenPhelps web 

Congratulations to the NICM’s Advisory Board member and Adjunct Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, who has been awarded the title of Honorary Doctorate of Letters, honoris causa, as part of the University of Western Sydney School of Medicine graduation ceremony, which took place on 19 December 2014.

Professor Phelps is also an Adjunct Professor at Sydney University in the Faculty of Medicine in the School of General Practice and Conjoint Professor at the University of New South Wales in the faculty of Public Health and Community Services.

A familiar face to many Australians over the last 20 years, she has appeared regularly on television, radio and the print media informing the Australian public on health issues.  She writes regularly for Australian Women's Weekly, Medical Observer magazine and The Australian. In 2009, Professor Phelps hosted Channel 7's 'Last Chance Surgery'.

In 2000, Professor Phelps was the first woman to be elected Federal President of the Australian Medical Association.

She is also a patron of The Pinnacle Foundation, which was established to provide scholarships to lesbian, gay, transexual, queer, intersex and bisexual youth who are marginalised or disadvantaged.

Professor Phelps is the recipient of a Centenary Medal and an Order of Australia for services to health and medicine.

Currently, Professor Phelps is founder and principal clinician at Sydney Integrative Medicine and Cooper Street Clinic in Sydney. She has been a long term supporter of integrative medicine and is a founding member of the NICM Advisory Board.

March graphic AwardedBestr web 


The NICM recently held its inaugural award for the best paper submitted and/or published by a postgraduate student in 2014. All submissions were of a high calibre and were reviewed and judged by a sub-committee of the NICM Research Committee. A monetary prize of $250 was awarded to the two winners; Jarryd Pearson and Debra Betts.

Jarryd’s paper described a method to determine the amount of key actives in Xu Duan (Radix Dipsaci). The herbal medicine, Xu Duan is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, Xu Duan and most herbal medicines are very complex mixtures of compounds, with varying amounts of active ingredients. Developing a method such as Jarryd’s allows for any sources of Xu Duan to be tested for these active ingredients and will lead to a better understanding on the level of actives present within Xu Duan samples. Jarryd’s research helps work towards better quality control, regulation and understanding of herbal medicines in general.

Debra’s paper focused on how and if acupuncturists in Australia and New Zealand treated bleeding in early pregnancy. Half of the 378 practitioners involved in Debra’s research had treated women over the past year with the condition. All practitioners saw themselves as providing a safe and useful treatment for these women, although they used different acupuncture points and methods.  With an absence of an accepted medical treatment for these women, an interest by acupuncturists in treating this common complication of pregnancy and the conflicting recommendations for acupuncture treatment, Debra concluded that further exploration of acupuncture treatment options is required to inform clinical practice.

The Best Postgraduate Student Paper Award is intended to promote excellence in research and encourage NICM’s early career researchers to continue writing up the research findings from their doctoral work.

Congratulations to our 2014 inaugural recipients; Jarryd and Debra.

 
Full citations:

Pearson JL, Lee S, Suresh H, Low M, Nang M, Singh S, et al. The liquid chromatographic determination of chlorogenic and caffeic acids in Xu Duan (Dipsacus asperoides) raw herb. ISRN Analytical Chemistry. 2014;2014. DOI: 10.1155/2014/968314.

Betts D, Smith C, Dahlen H. "Well I'm safe because…"—Acupuncturists managing conflicting treatment recommendations when treating threatened miscarriage: A mixed-methods study. J Altern Complem Med. 2014;20(11):838-45. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2014.0139.
 

March graphic Reports
 


The 2012 American National Health Interview Survey provides the most comprehensive information
on the use of complementary health approaches in the United States.


March practises audultschildren web 


According to two new studies from America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), about a third of Americans use some kind of complementary medicine.

The report stated that “individuals often use complementary health approaches to improve health and wellbeing or to relieve symptoms associated with chronic disease or the side effects of conventional medicine. In the United States, most persons who use complementary health approaches do so to complement conventional care, rather than as a replacement.”
Americans are using various forms of complementary medicine to help ease the pain or feel better. Among some of the modalities are yoga, meditation, chiropractors, osteopaths, fish oil, deep breathing, melatonin, and probiotics.

The study was developed by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The Complementary health questionnaire is included every five years as part of the National Health Interview Survey.
The findings of the report will help guide what natural products NIH choose to study.

“The survey data suggest that consumers are paying attention to medical evidence and using it to inform their decisions, said Dr Josephine P. Briggs, Director of NCCIH.

“This reaffirms how important it is for NIH to rigorously study complementary health approaches and make that information easily available to consumers.”

Survey highlights of the two reports:

  • Approximately 21 million adults (nearly double the number from 2002) and 1.7 million children practiced yoga.
  • Nearly 20 million adults and 1.9 million children had chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation.
  • Nearly 18 million adults and 927,000 children practiced meditation.
  • Children whose parents use a complementary health approach are more likely to use one as well.
  • Fish oil was the top natural product among adults.
  • Adults’ use of fish oil, probiotics or prebiotics, and melatonin increased between 2007 and 2012.
  • Adults’ use of glucosamine/chondroitin, echinacea, and garlic decreased between 2007 and 2012.
  • Fish oil was the top natural product among children. This is a change from 2007, when echinacea was first.
  • Melatonin was the second most used natural product by children in 2012. Its use increased substantially from 2007 to 2012.

Read more about the report


 


New Website Investigates the Hard Science Behind Wellness Approaches

Launching in February, the Wellness Evidence site claims to be the first website that delivers direct access to current medical evidence for 24 of the most mainstream wellness approaches.

Using four highly respected, evidence-based medical databases, integrative medicine experts such as Australia’s Professor Marc Cohen helped shaped the portal by selecting the databases and ensuring that the research process aligned with the medical establishment’s use of evidence-based medicine.

The new site is a project of the Global Wellness Institute. Susie Ellis, president and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) says the new site caters to the growing wellness market and provides clear evidence based information.

“Wellness is a massive $3.4 trillion global sector, but with explosive consumer markets, misinformation on the latest fad diets or ‘miracle’ cures can spawn. This new site, with transparent access to the same databases doctors use, is a much-needed, ‘spin-free’ wellness research zone,” said Susie Ellis, president and CEO of the GWI.

 “And while medical studies on wellness approaches are typically radically under-funded compared to traditional medicine's drugs, devices, and procedures, there’s an important, growing body of evidence to explore. People have questions: Is there strong evidence that acupuncture benefits chronic back and neck pain? Long-term smoking cessation? That highly symptomatic stress significantly increases risk of early death? The answers are yes, no, and yes—and whether the evidence is positive, inconclusive or negative, it’s searchable at Wellness Evidence.”

The site features studies in the news, studies-in-progress focusing in the U.S.A and globally via World Health Organization, evidence-based medical databases, and a section where visitors can contribute and share studies about wellness approaches.

 march graphic wellness left web   march graphic wellness right web


 

 

 

 

 

March projects header

 

New Research Partnership Focuses on Herbal Medicine to Treat Cardiovascular Disease
 
march photo drSaiSeto webCardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and imposes a huge financial burden on the Australian health care system. Herbal medicine has been widely used in cardiovascular care in many countries for centuries. Despite a growing body of scientific evidence in support of the use of herbal medicine for the management of CVD, significant gaps exist in knowledge base surrounding mechanisms of action of these interventions.
 
The NICM and the Cardiac Health Institute (CHI) have teamed up together on a new two-year project that will aim to provide vital mechanistic data to support the use of herbal medicine in patients with CVDs. The project also strengthens the existing research partnerships between the University of Western Sydney and CHI.

Recruited as part of the new project, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Sai Seto, will play a key role in the project, undertaking mechanistic studies in herbal medicines of interest for CVD using various in vitro and in vivo models.

He will be based at the NICM’s Herbal Pharmacology Laboratory.

 

 

March recent pubs


The NICM researchers have made a great start to publishing their work in 2015.  

  • Sarah Fogarty developed guidelines for the acupuncture treatment of patients with an eating disorder 1
  • Frank van der Kooy, together with Beatrice Venkataya, Jarryd Pearson, Chun Guang Li, Dennis Chang, Alan Bensoussan and colleagues studied methods to determine the sensitivity of the standard NMR based metabolomics protocol (as published in Nature Protocols) for the analysis of plant samples 2
  • Srinivas Nammi and Dennis Chang wrote a chapter on ginger for the book Clinical aspects of functional foods and neutraceuticals 3
  • Tina Naumovski, Srinivas Nammi and colleagues studied therapeutic options for cardiac complications of diabetes (article in press) 4
  • Kelvin Chan (now an Adjunct Professor with NICM) and colleagues examined toxicological approaches to evaluating the safety of Chinese herbal medicines 5


Full citations:

  1. Fogarty S, Ramjan LM. Practice guidelines for acupuncturists using acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. Complement Ther Med. 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2014.12.007.
  2. van der Kooy F, Yergey A, Venkataya B, Pearson J, Torres A, Li CG, et al. Sensitivity of NMR-based metabolomics in drug discovery from medicinal plants. Eur J Med Plants. 2015;5(2):191-203. DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/13747.
  3. Nammi S, Sun YT, Chang D. Effects of ginger on metabolic syndrome: A review of evidence. In: Ghosh D, Bagchi D, Konishi T, editors. Clinical aspects of functional foods and neutraceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2015. p. 381-98.
  4. Ghelani H, Razmovski-Naumovski V, Kyada AV, Parekh HS, Li GQ, Nammi S. Myoglobin and low density lipoprotein glycation in cardiac complications of diabetes: Current perspectives and therapeutic options. Indian J Med Res. 2015 (in press)
  5. Williamson EM, Chan K, Xu Q, Nachtergael A, Bunel V, Zhang L, et al. Evaluating the safety of herbal medicines: Integrated toxicological approaches. The art and science of traditional medicine Part 2: Multidisciplinary approaches for studying traditional medicine. 2015;347(6219 ):S47-S9. DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6219.337-c

 

March events header


Research Week 2015

The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is in the process of completing its plans for the 2015 UWS Research Week – to be held later in the year.

UWS is committed to the pursuit of interdisciplinary research that makes an impact on its communities through practical research translation. The University’s four research themes align UWS research strengths with key challenges in the region, national priorities, and global challenges of significance; urban living and society; health and wellbeing; environmental sustainability; and education.

Research Week provides an opportunity to showcase excellence in research undertaken at the NICM and UWS.  We encourage all staff, students, industry partners and community to attend.  More details will be provided shortly.

 


 


Upcoming Conferences
  

 


Global and National Health Awareness

20 March:  International Day of Happiness – Worldwide –United Nations
2 April: World Autism Awareness Day – Worldwide – United Nations
7 April: World Health Day – Worldwide – World Health Organization
19-25 April: Osteopathy Awareness Week – Worldwide – Osteopathy Australia
25 April: World Malaria Day – Worldwide – World Health Organization
26 April: World Intellectual Property Day – Worldwide – World Intellectual Property Organization
3-9 May: MND (Motor Neurone Disease) Week – Nationwide – MND Australia Inc
16 May: hae day :-) –Worldwide – HAE Australasia Ltd
17-23 May: Food Allergy Awareness Week – Nationwide – Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia
21 May: Doctors Day in May – Nationwide – Twice the Doctor
24-30 May: National Palliative Care Week – Nationwide – Palliative Care Council South Australia
24-30 May: Macular Degeneration Awareness Week – Nationwide – Macular Disease Foundation Australia
31 May: World No Tobacco Day – Worldwide – World Health Organization

 

 

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