New academic chair to be appointed for research into Ayurvedic medicine

2 September 2021

Western Sydney University is the first Australian university to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Government’s Ministry of AYUSH to appoint an Academic Chair in Ayurvedic Medicine.

The collaboration will build capacity for the evidenced-based validation of Ayurvedic medicine and aligned inventions such as Ayurveda herbal medicine, yoga and meditation.

The MoU was signed by Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, and Professor Tanuja Nesari, Director, All India Institute of Ayurveda, Ministry of AYUSH at a virtual ceremony held today.

Also attending and delivering an address at the event were Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary from the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India; the Honourable Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government; the Honourable Dr Geoff Lee MP, NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, NSW Government; High Commission of India’s High Commissioner, His Excellency, Mr Manpreet Vohra; and His Excellency, Mr Ian Biggs, Australian High Commission’s Deputy High Commissioner to India.

The agreement builds on the Ministry of AYUSH’s visiting scholars program adding to the existing AYUSH Academic Chairs within universities across the globe, and cements further previous ties between the two research organisations, building upon the first Ayurveda research collaboration MoU signed in 2019.

Professor Nesari said, “We are delighted to progress further our partnership with Western Sydney University and our collaborative research endeavours.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi said earlier this year at the Global Ayurveda Festival 2021, that ‘Ayurveda could rightly be identified as a holistic human science. The effect and power of Ayurveda and conventional medicine are tremendous, from the plants to your plate, from physical strength to mental wellbeing.’

“Through such international research initiatives we aim to demonstrate how,” Professor Nesari said.

Professor Glover said the new academic chair will elevate the existing research partnership between All Indian Institute of Ayurveda and Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, and will have a significant impact on the scientific evaluation and internationalisation of Ayurvedic medicine.

“The visiting AYUSH Academic Chair will provide leadership and work within the robust Australian regulatory framework to develop strategies to promote the translation and integration of evidenced-based Ayurveda medicine into conventional healthcare,” said Professor Glover.

“The collaboration strengthens the University’s reputation as Australia’s leader in integrative and complementary medicine, and is a significant step towards developing a new research stream for the NICM Health Research Institute.

“We look forward to this partnership with the Ministry of AYUSH and strengthening the ties between Australia and India, our governments, researchers and industry.”

NICM Health Research Institute’s Director, Professor Dennis Chang, highlighted the importance of advancing international science and research collaboration.

“There is great synergy between All India Institute of Ayurveda and NICM Health Research Institute in preclinical, clinical and translational research of traditional medicine; I look forward to working with the Academic Chair and colleagues in India in this important field of research, exchanging academic knowledge, and sharing ideas and approaches to solving global health challenges,” said Professor Chang.

The chair will be based at Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, located at on the Westmead campus with tenure for a period of three years.

The appointment of the chair is jointly funded by the Ministry of AYUSH and Western Sydney University and anticipated to commence early in 2022.