Advancing the science of integrative health by conducting and disseminating rigorous research
Rick Hecht, MD, and Selena Chan, DO

The Osher Center for Integrative Health advances the science of integrative health by conducting and disseminating rigorous research. We focus on all facets of patients’ health and wellness — biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. Much of our research emphasizes the effects of mind-body health approaches, including meditation, acupuncture, and yoga. We seek to improve our understanding of how treatments work, and how well they work. Our goals are to strengthen the base of scientific evidence for integrative medicine and support the inclusion of effective approaches in medical care. 

The core aims of the research program are to

  • Test the effectiveness and safety of integrative health approaches.
  • Determine how integrative medicine treatments work, and how treatment effectiveness can be optimized.
  • Assess how to best use technological, behavioral, and integrative healthcare tools to achieve healthy lifestyles.

We focus on issues for which conventional pharmacological or surgical treatments have significant limitations, such as pain, mood regulation, stress management, and obesity. Non-pharmacologic approaches for pain and symptom management are an important priority, and integrative oncology is an emerging focus. We also test the ability of integrative medicine to improve health for medically underserved populations.

An additional priority of the Osher Center is developing the next generation of researchers. We have a highly successful pre- and postdoctoral fellowship program that prepares clinicians and health science researchers for research careers in integrative medicine. 

Explore Our Research Program

Research Stories

Blake Gurfein, PhD
The postdoctoral research fellowship allowed me to continue building my skills as a scientist. The training I received in grant writing, study design, and research methods was invaluable for my research career.
Blake Gurfein, PhD, Vice President, Research and Scientific Affairs, Tivic Health Systems, Inc.
Helen Weng
The postdoctoral research fellowship gave me the support to develop independent research interests that strengthened what I learned in graduate school and set me on the path to becoming an independent investigator.
Helen Y. Weng, PhD, Affiliated Research Faculty, UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Health
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