CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Osher Integrative Medicine Professor Appointed

The Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine in Sweden has a new professor.

Martin Ingvar, former professor of neurophysiology, has been appointed Professor of Integrative Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, where he will run the recently opened Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine.

Integrative medicine involves the combination of alternative therapies with western, science-based medicine. To achieve this, alternative therapies are first subjected to formal scientific evaluation. Areas of interest include acupuncture, herbal medicine, naprapathy, chiropractics, meditation and hypnosis. The health impact of lifestyle factors, such as sleep, stress, diet, and sexual and social relationships, will also be studied.

The Osher Centre began its first projects last autumn. One study, being led by Ingvar is into the placebo effect, whereby subjects given placebos in clinical trials show improvements in their symptoms.

Karolinska Institutet's move into integrative medicine was made possible by a donation from the American businessman Bernard Osher and his Swedish-born wife Barbro Osher. The donation of some SKr 43 million, made in 2005, is the largest in Karolinska Institutet's almost 200-year history as a medical university. The Oshers have started similar centres at the University of California in San Francisco and the Harvard Medical School in Boston.

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