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NIH to Fund Biomarker Research for Alternative Medicine

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine wants researchers to develop new tools to study complementary and alternative medical (CAM) approaches, including new biomarkers that are linked to well-being and stress.

The new Translational Tools for Clinical Studies of CAM Interventions program will use $1.25 million in fiscal 2010 for Small Business Innovation Research grants that can be used to understand the effectiveness and validity of CAM approaches such as massage, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture.

The program will not fund research connected to studies on natural products, such as herbal therapies, minerals, or dietary supplements.

The funding may support a variety of tools that can be used to understand CAM interventions, including development of protein, genetic, and epigenetic biomarker sets that are associated with perceived psychological stress, well-being, and wellness.

The budget for the SBIR funds may include up to $250,000 for up to one year in phase I support, and up to $750,000 in total costs per year for up to two years in phase II funding.

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