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Funding puts focus on natural and complementary medicine


Brigid Veale
24 November 2006
Southern Cross University has given its strong support to a decision by the Commonwealth Government to provide $5 million for research into the use and effectiveness of natural and complementary medicine.

The funding, through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), was announced yesterday by the Federal Minister for Health Tony Abbott and will be available to researchers by application.

Professor Jenny Graham, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Applied Science, said this was a landmark decision which would bring research in the field of natural and complementary medicine in line with general medicine.

“We congratulate the Minister for providing these funds, which will allow for a significant and much-needed increase in research in this area,” Professor Graham said.

“Southern Cross University, through its Department of Natural and Complementary Medicine and its Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology, is a leader in this field and we look forward to the opportunity to apply for project funding.”

Professor Stephen Myers, head of the Department’s NatMED research unit, has been among stakeholders involved in discussions with the NHMRC.

“Given the widespread community usage of complementary medicine there is a great need to ensure we have the scientific research to back it up,” Professor Myers said.

“We are already conducting a large amount of research into the effectiveness of various natural products and methods, and this funding will allow an even greater focus in this area.”

Southern Cross University’s Department of Natural and Complementary Medicine and NatMED are involved in a number of ongoing clinical trials and research ranging from the benefits of seaweed extract and antioxidants to zinc testing and the traditional Indian medicine ‘brahmi’ and its impact on memory.

Photo: Professor Stephen Myers.