Message from the Director

The welcome arrival of spring also heralds the exciting completion of our scientific laboratories dedicated to the chemical analysis and pharmacological study of herbal medicines and nutritional supplements and our Jacka Foundation Conference Centre. They are stunning state-of-the-art facilities which we welcome you to visit at your convenience. It also means that our full population of researchers will finally be brought together to work under the one roof at Westmead.

I’m pleased to announce also in this newsletter our inaugural Symposium for the new Jacka Foundation Conference Centre will be held on 11 March 2020 and will focus on celebrating influential women in natural therapies, in celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March) and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Convenor, NICM’s Jacka Foundation Senior Researcher, Dr Carolyn Ee, is putting the final the program in place, which will be available in November on the symposium event page.

Dr Carolyn Ee has also been busy taking part in RACGP’s ‘The Good GP’ campaign, which she featured in a short online video (opens in a new window) discussing her passion for integrative medicine, and the combination of Chinese medicine and general practice.

In other exciting news you will read our call for applications for our three new Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowships. Although these do close this Sunday (22 September), I encourage those interested to apply or spread the word on these wonderful opportunities. More can be read in this newsletter’s featured story.

It is with great pleasure that I also share with you the successful promotion of Professor Chung Guang Li. ‘CG’ has supervised many of our higher degree research students and heads much of our effort in the herbal pharmacology laboratories with Australian Research Council and other grants.  His promotion is a very deserved success.

In other congratulatory news, Carl Gibson and the team at Complementary Medicines Australia took out the highly-sought prize as Australian Association of the Year. It is a true testament and recognition of their efforts over the years and the value they provide to the industry and our field. This award acknowledges the enormous contributions and commitment that CMA makes to providing leadership, strategy, advocacy and support to the sector.

On our research front, you will read in this issue several important and high level studies involving our researchers, including Dr Firth’s Lancet Psychiatry Commission paper which investigated health inequalities experienced by people with mental illness, as well as his recent paper, which was the world’s largest evidence review of nutritional supplements for mental health. Both these papers received significant media attention around the world and from fellow academics and researchers.

I hope you enjoy our spring edition.

With best wishes,

Professor Alan Bensoussan

19 September 2019