IHPC Connects Webinar Watch Now

Dr. Helene Langevin, Director

NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health


Research for Integrative and Whole Person Health

Watch Dr. Helene Langevin, Director of the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), discuss NCCIH’s mission, the research it supports, the concept of whole-person health, and critical insights and opportunities to expand and build on NCCIH’s current research portfolio. Dr Langevin explains current research conducted by NCCIH in the context of Whole Person Health.  Highlighting that traditional research focuses on treating illness in single organ systems, Dr. Langevin outlines a new research approach which expands the spectrum of inquiry to the whole person, involving the interaction of multiple organ systems.  She introduces the concept of a period of “unhealth” as individuals transition from health to illness and highlights that this period is not well understood and may offer important opportunities for intervention.  Dr. Langevin describes how NCCIH is pursuing its mission, often in collaboration with other Institutes and Centers at NIH


Dr. Langevin is positioned to serve as an ambassador for integrative health to the other Institutes and Centers of the NIH, helping to broaden their perspectives.


unnamed (1)Speaker – Helene Langevin, M.D., was sworn in as director of the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) on November 26, 2018. Prior to her arrival, she worked at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Langevin served as director of the Osher Center and professor-in-residence of medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2012. She has also served as a visiting professor of neurological sciences at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, Burlington.


As NCCIH director, Dr. Langevin oversees the Federal government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. With an annual budget of approximately $142 million, NCCIH funds and conducts research to help answer important scientific and public health questions about natural products, mind and body practices, and pain management.


As the principal investigator of several NIH-funded studies, Dr. Langevin’s research interests have centered around the role of connective tissue in chronic musculoskeletal pain and the mechanisms of acupuncture, manual, and movement-based therapies. Her more recent work has focused on the effects of stretching on inflammation resolution mechanisms within connective tissue. She has authored more than 70 original scientific papers and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.


Dr. Langevin received an M.D. degree from McGill University, Montreal. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in neurochemistry at the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit in Cambridge, England, and a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.


unnamed (2)Moderator – Margaret Chesney, PhD is Professor of Medicine at UCSF, and served as director of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine from 2010 to 2015. Prior to returning to UCSF, where she had previously worked as professor-in-residence and co-director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, she was the first Deputy Director of NCCIH from 2003 to 2008, and associate director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland.


With a focus on health promotion and disease prevention, she has served as principal investigator of NIH-funded research studies identifying pathways by which behavioral factors, such as stress, are associated with chronic disease, and testing biopsychosocial interventions to promote health. She has explored the role that individuals and communities can play in the promotion of health and maintenance of optimal well-being across the lifespan, even in the face of serious illness such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. Her current research efforts are particularly focused on the health challenges faced by women, seniors, Veterans and the underserved.


Dr. Chesney has served as president of the Society for Health Psychology, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and American Psychosomatic Society. From 2014 to 2016, she chaired of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.


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