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HMS Research Fellowship in Integrative Medicine

The Research Fellowship Program in Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School accepts M.D. and Ph.D. applicants for two to three-year academic fellowships in Integrative Medicine with three tracks

  1. Health Behavior Research
  2. Mind-Body Therapies 
  3. Placebo Studies

The Program offers each Fellow an appointment at Harvard Medical School and one or more of its affiliated hospitals. All fellows participate in the intensive summer program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health. Fellows qualifying for acceptance to the Harvard School of Public Health pursue a rigorous curriculum that could lead to a Master of Science or Master of Public Health degree. The Program also includes structured experiences to improve teaching skills and supervised clinical activities under the direction of experienced faculty in general internal medicine and integrative medicine. Each Fellow is expected to design, conduct, present, and publish at least two original investigative projects. This research fellowship in integrative medicine was first funded in 1999 by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and was the first of its kind in the United States. We are have now trained more than 25 fellows in more than a decade of operation, most of whom have gone on to successful careers as research faculty in academic medicine.

We are now accepting applications for a fellowship start date of July 1, 2013. Please  click here to download the application. Completed application forms should be submitted no later than October 1st, 2012. Any application-related questions or inquiries may be directed to Rachel Quaden at

Program Goals: 

  • Prepare our graduates for successful careers as independent investigators in integrative medicine research.
  • Obtain an advanced understanding of the basic disciplines of integrative medicine research - The primary vehicle for this is the MPH degree program at HSPH.
  • Develop a working knowledge of the most common therapies in integrative medicine- We expect our fellows to take two to three integrative medicine training courses over the course of their three years of training. These courses are in their particular area(s) of interest and they use these educational experiences to help inform the development of their research projects and their understanding of the uses of integrative medicine in patient care.
  • Develop improved skills in the practice of integrative medicine. All MD fellows participate in the clinical programs offered to fellows at different sites under the direction of experienced faculty preceptors

Participating Institutions: 

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Marino Center for Progressive Health
  • Massachusetts General Hospital

Integrative Medicine Fellowship Faculty 2012-2013

Julie Buring, ScD, is Professor of Medicine at HMS and Professor of Epidemiology at HSPH.  Dr. Buring also serves as the chair of the IRB at HMS.  Her primary research focus is on the epidemiology of chronic disease, primarily cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially in women.  Dr. Buring is currently principal investigator or co-investigator on three large-scale epidemiologic studies or trials: the Women's Health Study;  Physicians' Health Study II; and VITAL, a large-scale trial of vitamin D and fish oil in primary prevention.  Our fellows have access to these data for secondary data analyses.  She is also actively involved in teaching and training, serving as the director of a core course in introductory epidemiology at HSPH, and is the co-director of an NIH-funded T32 training grant in the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease.   Dr. Buring is actively involved in the mentoring of our fellows, serves as a co-mentor on Dr. Weidong Lu's K01 award, and provides expertise and training in trial design and implementation of research studies conducted by the fellows.

Paula Gardiner, MD MPH is the Assistant Director of Integrative Medicine in the Boston Medical Center Department of Family Medicine and an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine.  She has over 10 years of experience integrating the complementary therapies such as herbs and dietary supplements, yoga, massage and relaxation techniques with conventional medicine. She completed a three year Complementary Medicine Research Fellowship at Harvard which included an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She received a five year Academic Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). She has consulted on several NIH grants focusing online dietary supplement curriculum for health care professionals .She has published over thirty peer reviewed papers in herbal medicine and dietary supplements. Her expertise is in herbal safety and maternal child health and drug herb interactions. Dr. Gardiner has numerous publications in journals such as Archives of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, American Family Physician, and Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

Matthew Gillman, MD is Professor of Population Medicine at HMS and HPHCI and leads the fellowship program and the Obesity Prevention Program at DPM.  He has received numerous US research awards for his work in developmental origins of health and disease, obesity prevention, childhood cardiovascular risk factor screening, and nutritional epidemiology.  He received the A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring at HMS as well as the Harvard School of Public Health Mentoring Award. Dr. Gillman's expertise in diet and nutrition positions him to be a mentor for our fellows.

Ted Kaptchuk is Associate Professor of Medicine at HMS, the director of the Program in Placebo Studies and Therapeutic Encounter, and associate director of the Training Program.  He is one of the world's leading authorities on placebo effects, a prominent scholar of Asian medicine and an academic authority on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  His scientific and scholarly career has involved a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates concepts, research designs and analytic methods drawn from the basic, clinical, and social sciences as well as the humanities.  He has published over 150 papers in such leading journals as Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of Neuroscience and Social Science and Medicine.   He has served a ten-year term on the NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's (NCCCAM) National Advisory Panel and a four-year term as an expert panelist for both placebo controls and acupuncture at the FDA.  He has been the principal investigator multiple R01s, a Roadmap R21, several other R21s, and clinical supervisor for a NIH program project (P01) investigating placebo effects, acupuncture or Asian medicine. He co-directs the didactic seminar in CIMT and coordinates the activities of the Training Program with his two Harvard-wide seminars in placebo studies and Asian medicine.  In 2007, he received a NIH K24 award to support his mentoring efforts of fellows in the Training Program and his efforts as an expert in CIMT across all of HMS. He has trained 50 post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty and 10 pre-doctoral students.   Fluent in Chinese, Ted is one of the few graduates of a Chinese medical school in China.

Catherine Kerr, PhD is Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Brown University and a member of the Division's faculty.  Dr. Kerr is also a visiting scientist in radiology at MGH.  She is an emerging expert on the neural mechanisms of mind-body medicine and holds a K01 award from NCCAM. Her primary research focus is on neural processes underlying touch and mind-body interaction and their role as a mechanism for initiating therapeutic change in CIMT, such as mindfulness meditation, tai chi and touch-based interventions, especially in relation to chronic pain and mood disorders. She is actively involved in teaching and training as a co-chair of the placebo, ritual and healing seminar series and actively mentors trainees interested in mind-body medicine.

Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD is Assistant Professor of Medicine at HMS, a member of the Division of Sleep Medicine at BWH and an international authority on yoga research.  He is also the director of research for the Kundalini Research Institute and research director for the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.  The major focus of his research interest lies in the field of mind-body medicine and he directs an elective course in this field at HMS.  He is interested in the evaluation of the clinical effectiveness and basic psycho-physiological mechanisms underlying the practice of yoga and meditation.  He is currently conducting research on yoga interventions for insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic stress and mental health in public school students.  Prior studies have evaluated yoga for substance abuse, back pain, generalized anxiety disorder and performance anxiety.  Dr. Khalsa will be actively mentoring two fellows for a treatment study of yoga for insomnia in post-traumatic stress disorder and for a study yoga practice for mental health within the high school curriculum.

Efi Kokkotou, MD, PhD, DSc is Assistant Professor of Medicine at HMS and the director of the neuropeptide research unit in the Division of Gastroenterology, BIDMC. The current focus of her studies is on the role of neuropeptides on brain-gut interactions under physiological conditions and during inflammation. Her research focuses on diseases such as colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and type-2 diabetes, and includes analysis of human samples using conventional and high-throughput tools, development of transgenic animal models of disease, and cell culture studies. Dr. Kokkotou is also involved in teaching and training in physiology of the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems and in biomedical research methodology. She advises our fellows on proteomics, genomics, and integrating biomarkers into clinical research.

Weidong Lu, MB, MPH, PhD, Lic. Ac. is Instructor in Medicine at HMS and faculty member at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham Women's Hospital. He is also a member of the NESA faculty and has a medical degree from Zhejiang Chinese Medical University with a major in TCM.  He also has an MPH from HSPH and a PhD in Integrative Medicine from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. He has served as chairman of NESA's Chinese Herbal Medicine Department (1996-2006), is the current chairman of the Massachusetts Committee on Acupuncture, and severed on the Chinese herbal medicine exam development group for the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  He served as a co-leader on "Acupuncture for Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia," part of the U19 NESA-HMS collaboration.  He has been a consultant to both of the Division's studies that investigated CIMT for back pain, as well as the grant to develop the integrative care center. In addition, he is an acupuncturist and researcher at the Zakim Center, DFCI. He received a K01 award entitled, "Acupuncture for Dysphagia after Chemoradiation for Head and Neck Cancer" (K01 AT004415), NCCAM's first K award to a CIMT practitioner. Dr. Lu will provide mentorship to our fellows interested in Asian medicine research.

Nancy Rigotti, MD is Professor of Medicine at HMS and founder/director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at MGH and HMS.  She is a practicing general internist and an international expert in smoking cessation and tobacco control policy research, with more than two decades of experience in these fields.  Dr. Rigotti's has received a K24 award in patient-oriented research from NHLBI and a Distinguished Professor Award from the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute. Dr. Rigotti has worked with fellows interested in the use of CIMT for smoking cessation.

Dr. Saper attended Brandeis University for his undergraduate education and Harvard Medical School for his MD. As a medical student, he took a research leave to study holistic health at the Kripalu Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. After graduating medical school in 1988, he completed a family medicine residency and chief residency at UCSF from 1988-92 and was in private practice for 8 years in the San Francisco Bay area. From 2001 to 2004, he completed a three year Complementary Medicine Research Fellowship at Harvard which included an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. Soon after arriving at Boston Medical Center, he received a five year Academic Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). In 2010 Dr. Saper is currently conducting a NIH funded R01 comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of yoga, physical therapy, and education for chronic low back pain in predominantly low income minority populations. Dr. Saper serves on the Executive Committee of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and also on the Organizing Committee for the 2012 International Research Congress in Integrative Medicine & Health to be held in May in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Saper has published two papers in JAMA on the presence of heavy metals in traditional Indian medicines.  He has traveled to India several times to lecture and collaborate.  He has been a Visiting Professor at the Center for Advanced Research in Indian Systems of Medicine at SASTRA University in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.  He has served on Ayurveda PhD thesis committees at SASTRA and Banaras Hindu University.  He has lectured at the Central Council of Research for Ayurveda and Siddha,  Defence Research Development Establishment in Gwalior; the Indian Pharmacological Society, Association of Clinical Biochemists of India Conference, Government Ayurveda College in Bangalore, and The University of Patanjali in Haridwar.

Peter Wayne, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and Research Director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine jointly based at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  His current research, supported by multiple NIH grants, focuses on evaluating how Tai Chi and related mind-body practices clinically impact a variety of health conditions (osteoporosis, balance impairment, heart failure, pulmonary disease, depression), and understanding the physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms underlying mind-body practices' therapeutic effects. Peter also has more than 30 years of training experience in Tai Chi and Qigong, and is an internationally recognized teacher of these practices.

Dr. Christina C. Wee is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Co-site Director of the General Medicine Faculty Development Fellowship Program. She is  directs both the Obesity and Health Behaviors Research Programs within the Division  . Dr. Wee's research interests in obesity  and health behaviors focuses on questions of particular relevance to public health and primary care and can be characterized by three overarching goals: 1) to understand racial and ethnic differences in the costs and health outcomes of obesity; 2) to identify and address the stigma associated with obesity, particularly as it relates to disparities in healthcare and in medical decision-making; and 3) to define and promote the role of primary care physicians in the management of obesity. Dr. Wee is currently engaged in several ongoing projects. She is the Principal Investigator of two R01 projects funded by NIDDK. The first project uses data from several large nationally-representative samples to better understand the influence of race and obesity on health outcomes such as mortality, cardiovascular risk, health disparities, and health care cost. In her second R01 project, she is following a cohort of 500 bariatric surgery patients and interviewing a cross-sectional sample of 350 primary care patients to better understand patient perspectives and their effect on preferences for weight loss and decision-making related to weight loss treatments. In addition, Dr. Wee is broadly interested in health disparities and health promotion research and has mentored several fellows in areas such as immigrant and women's health, cancer screening,  use of complementary and alternative therapies, obesity and  health  decision-making. Dr. Wee was a former deputy editor of the Journal of General Internal Medicine and currently serves on several national scientific review committees including as Co-Chair of the Research Committee for the Society of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Wee has received several awards for excellence in mentoring including the 2010 A. Clifford Barger Award from Harvard Medical School and the 2011 Midcareer Research and Mentorship Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Gloria Yeh, MD, MPH is Assistant Professor of Medicine at HMS and a member of the Division's faculty.  A graduate of the Training Program, her primary research focus is efficacy and mechanism of mind-body exercise, with a specific interest in chronic cardiovascular disease.  She has become an internationally recognized leader in the field of tai chi research and is principal investigator or co-investigator on a number of NIH-funded studies investigating tai chi exercise, including randomized clinical trials in patients with chronic heart failure, pulmonary disease, and obesity and cardiovascular risk factors. She has applied rigorous scientific methodology to the study of mind-body therapies, investigating both physiological and psychosocial outcomes such as autonomic tone, functional capacity, oxygen consumption, neuro-hormonal change, quality of life and self-efficacy. She is actively involved in teaching and training, with invited speaking engagements to healthcare professionals on mind-body exercise, and serves as a faculty preceptor to medical residents in the BIDMC Department of Medicine, postgraduate doctoral students, and undergraduate research interns. Since many of our fellows are interested in mind-body interventions, Dr. Yeh has and will continue to serve as a faculty mentor/advisor to the Division's fellows.