CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

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
Lori Arviso Alvord, M.D. is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Multicultural Affairs and an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School. Her research examines surgical outcomes in American Indians. A Navajo, her autobiography "The Scalpel and the Silver Bear" describes her work to create culturally competent healing environments. Dr. Alvord has received honorary degrees from Albany Medical College and Drexel University. She has also received a Governor's Award for Outstanding Women from the State of New Mexico.

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

The National Institutes of Health (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. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), and Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

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