Traditional Medicine & Systems Biology, MIT
Dr. V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D.
Lecturer, M.I.T. Department of Biological Engineering
Founder, International Center for Integrative Systems
Dr. Andrew Ahn, M.D.,MPH
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dr. C. Forbes Dewey, Jr., Ph.D., FEng.
Professor, M.I.T. Department of Biological Engineering
Professor, M.I.T. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Sen Song, Ph.D.
Professor, Tsinghua University, China
The purpose of this workshop is two fold: to provide an intensive background of Traditional Systems of Medicines (TSM) e.g. Siddha, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc. and Modern Systems Biology, and to review in depth the concrete problems and opportunities in pursuing convergent research across both of these systems. The International Center for Integrative Systems develops research programs, curriculum and events to explore the integration of Traditional Medicines Systems with Modern Systems Biology. This workshop represents a condensed curriculum of the Center’s course, offered in a 13-week period. For thousands of years, traditional systems of medicine have employed modalities such as herbs, movement, sound, meditation, and other therapeutic approaches. These traditional systems have been developed across many cultures: Indian, Chinese, Native American, Korean, African, to name a few. Thousands of individual treatments exist across all of these systems, whose benefits have been reported. The public in the United States alone has begun adopting nutraceuticals (herbs and vitamins) and alternative and complementary therapies (yoga, massage, acupuncture, meditation, etc.). Currently, it is estimated that Americans spend $60 Billion annually, which is growing at 30% per year. While the growth of the use of these therapies is significant, from a modern and Western perspective, the biological principles and molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying these modalities are not well understood. Recognizing this, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) now supports basic and clinical research programs to verify health claims and to determine the molecular and cellular mechanistic basis of these modalities. This workshop will offer attendees the opportunity to: 1) acquire a deeper understanding of the nature of these traditional systems of medicine (TSM) and 2) understand the modern biological engineering approaches being now employed to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms of these modalities
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