The funding, which is also backed by the Jacka Foundataion, will support two new research fellowships within the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) at the University of Technology Sydney, led by Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Australian Research Council Professorial Future Fellow, Jon Adams.
ARCCIM focuses on traditional, complementary and integrative health care that brings together experts in epidemiology and health economics. Its work has received substantial government research funding, including research fellowships from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC).
One half of the $1.5 million donation will come from Marcus Blackmore’s personal philanthropic trust, the Blackmore Foundation.
He said: “My commitment to naturopathy and natural health therapies has been life-long as has my passion for research into complementary medicines and, in particular, naturopathy. Australia is regarded as a world leader in this research, largely due to the work of centres like ARCCIM. I look forward to seeing the results of this ongoing research.”
Professor Adams said the funding would lead to rigorous, public health research into the opportunities and challenges of therapies like naturopathy.
Connect and communicate
“It will help us answer important research questions such as the reasons people use naturopathy and other complementary medicines, how they make decisions about the medicines and the therapies they use and how practitioners such as naturopaths connect and communicate with mainstream hospital and primary care systems.”
Eyal Wolstin, managing director of BioCeuticals, added: “The complementary and integrative medicine landscape involves an array of medicines and practitioners and the work of ARCCIM will help to build the broad evidence base needed to inform policy development this significant area of health care.”
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt commended investment by individuals and companies into Australian health research.
He said: “People like Marcus Blackmore and the team at BioCeuticals are making a significant contribution through their funding of Australian research centres, giving us a better understanding of natural therapies. Medical research creates a pathway to better healthcare which ultimately benefits the entire community,” ends the Minister.
This new funding builds upon existing support from the three donors for the ARCCIM International Naturopathy Research Leadership Program, which mentors early career researchers from around the world.