Skip to main content

Division of Extramural Research

Division Director: Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.  
Phone: 301-594-7102

Deputy Director: D. Craig Hopp, Ph.D.  
Phone: 301-496-5825

Clinical Research Branch:

The Clinical Research Branch oversees NCCIH-supported clinical trials of natural products and mind and body interventions. The clinical portfolio includes early-phase testing to assess biological signatures of these interventions in humans (and replication of these effects), such as appropriate dosage; refine intervention delivery; determine optimal frequency or duration of the intervention; assess feasibility; and enhance adherence ( The Clinical Research Branch also oversees full-scale efficacy, effectiveness, or pragmatic trials when the evidence base is sufficient to justify the trials. Finally, the branch oversees health services research, epidemiologic studies, and dissemination and implementation studies on complementary and integrative health approaches.

Basic and Mechanistic Research Branch:

The Basic and Mechanistic Research Branch oversees NCCIH-supported basic and mechanistic studies of complementary health approaches, including natural products, pre/probiotics, manual therapies, meditation, and meditative movement interventions. This portfolio utilizes in vitro, animal, and/or human studies to investigate mechanisms by which complementary health approaches have their putative effects on symptom management, especially for chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. Additional areas of interest include neurobiological and physiological mechanisms of complementary and integrative health interventions, gut-brain interactions and related regulatory networks, natural product–drug interactions, improved methodologies for studying natural products, mechanisms by which natural products modulate fundamental biological networks, and naturally occurring modulators of brain function.

Scientific Questions?

You may find it helpful to discuss your proposed research with a staff member prior to submitting a grant application.

The most efficient way to get the answer to your scientific question is to email the most appropriate program director at NCCIH. If the question concerns the appropriateness of a research project, formulate a short description of the project and email it the most appropriate program director (refer to specific interest areas). This will allow the program director the time needed to provide you with the most informed answer to your question. It also provides an efficient means for the parties to schedule a teleconference for an in-depth discussion when required.

If you have general questions about NCCIH, please contact the NCCIH Clearinghouse at