New Maurice Blackmore Chair in Integrative Medicine established at University of Sydney

Understanding complementary medicine’s role in healthcare, research and teaching takes a leap forward with the establishment of the Maurice Blackmore Chair in Integrative Medicine at the University of Sydney.

Made possible through a $1.3 million donation by the Blackmores Institute, the new term Chair honours Maurice Blackmore, a pioneer of Australian naturopathy.

“Over the next five years the Maurice Blackmore Chair in Integrative Medicine will undertake research into the impact of complementary medicines in health outcomes, including how complementary and alternative medicines interact with the current standard treatments prescribed by medical professionals,” said the Dean of Sydney Medical School, Professor Bruce Robinson.

“With this support, we will be able to develop data and guidelines for consumers and healthcare professionals based on solid evidence.

“The Chair will undertake high quality basic and clinical research into complementary and integrative medicines, and look to develop education programs which mean young doctors will graduate knowing what complementary medicines can and can’t achieve, and how they interact with other treatments.”

Responding to the announcement, Blackmores’ Chairman Marcus Blackmore said:  “Integrative medicine with its focus on prevention and well-being holds serious promise as a solution to the ever increasing cost of healthcare in our community.

“The establishment of this Chair will provide for ongoing research and education in integrative medicine and we applaud the efforts of the Dean Prof. Bruce Robinson for his foresight in establishing this Chair.

“It is our hope that our support for this Chair will contribute towards a holistic approach in medical practice that combines modern western medicine with established and proven practices in the area of integrative medicine.”

Director of Blackmores Institute Dr Lesley Braun also commented on the announcement: “Blackmores Institute is very proud to be supporting this Chair at Sydney University. We see this as a milestone event and a very important step forward for the development of Integrative medicine in Australia.”

Already, Sydney Medical School’s researchers are examining complementary treatments in a modern context including high-definition imaging of the brain stem to understand why acupuncture works.

The Maurice Blackmore Chair in Integrative Medicine will galvanise these efforts and enable further collaboration and evaluation to translate these discoveries into holistic treatments through integrative medicine.

The person appointed to the Chair will leverage the full spectrum of research and clinical expertise across the university and its extensive health and medical networks. He or she will draw on the university’s established research strengths, networks and expertise in biological, clinical and social sciences.

“We will collaborate with our international partners in Canada, China and Asia, and proposed schools in the USA and UK,” said Professor Robinson. “The role will also work closely with leading centres within the university, such as the Charles Perkins Centre, the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, the Woolcock Institute, the Kolling Institute and our eight clinical schools.”