Tuesday, February 12, 2008
A former leading official at the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Margaret A. Chesney, Ph.D., is joining the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine as associate director.
Dr. Chesney served for five years as deputy director of NCCAM, the primary federal agency supporting scientific research in complementary medicine. She will assume the newly created position at the Center for Integrative Medicine on Feb. 14, 2008. She will also join the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, with joint appointments in the departments of Medicine and Family and Community Medicine.
"Dr. Chesney brings to the center an exceptional record of scientific achievement and leadership in complementary and integrative medicine," says Brian Berman, M.D., director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine.
"She is recognized internationally for her scientific research on the role that lifestyle factors can play in influencing a person’s risk of developing disease or their potential to fight off illness. She will be instrumental in helping the center forge research partnerships with other programs within the University of Maryland School of Medicine," adds Dr. Berman, who is also a professor of family and community medicine at the School of Medicine.
Prior to joining NCCAM in 2003, Dr. Chesney was a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, where she was director of the behavioral medicine and epidemiology section of the UCSF Center for AIDS Research.
Throughout her career, Dr. Chesney has designed and conducted original research on the relationship between behavior and chronic illness, and on behavioral factors in clinical trials, addressing such issues as recruitment, adherence and retention. She also worked on the development and evaluation of psychosocial and behavioral interventions for health promotion, illness prevention and treatment. These are all experiences deemed critical to the success of the Center for Integrative Medicine’s research program, with its emphasis on clinical trials.
"I am honored to join the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine," Dr. Chesney says. "The center is recognized throughout the integrative medicine community here in the United States and abroad for the quality of the science it consistently brings to the study of complementary and integrative medicine."
Deborah Cotton, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, says, "I applaud the University of Maryland in selecting Dr. Chesney for this key leadership role. She has been an international leader in the field of integrative medicine and is highly respected among researchers and clinicians from all backgrounds. With her rigorous research expertise and bold vision, she can leverage emerging opportunities and attract the best and brightest young investigators to the university."
Dr. Chesney has served as president of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research,
the American Psychosomatic Society and the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA). She received the annual award for Outstanding Contributions to the APA's Division of Health Psychology in 1982 and in 1986, the President's Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research in 1987 and the Charles C. Shepard Science Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1999. In 2000, she was a senior fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Health in Washington, D.C., and in 2001 was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.
An author and co-author of more than 250 scholarly research papers and publications, Dr. Chesney is associate editor of Psychology, Health and Medicine and serves on a number of editorial boards.
Founded in 1991, the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine, which is located at Kernan Hospital, is an interdisciplinary institution, focusing on research, patient care, education and training in integrative medicine. The center is a leader in applying rigorous science to the study of complementary medicine. Research includes investigations into many complementary and alternative therapies, including acupuncture, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Reiki, yoga and herbs for a broad range of conditions. It is a National Institutes of Health a Center of Excellence for research in complementary and alternative medicine.