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NCCIH Research Blog

NCCIH Reissues Funding Initiatives for Phased Awards of Mechanistic Studies To Optimize Mind and Body Interventions

May 8, 2017

Wen G. Chen, Ph.D.

Wen Chen, Ph.D.

Branch Chief and Program Director

Basic and Mechanistic Research in Complementary and Integrative Health Branch

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

NCCIH is pleased to announce the reissue of two Program Announcements (PARs) that direct research attention toward investigating the mechanisms by which mind and body interventions might work, as well as strategies to optimize these interventions:

Examples of interventions that might be studied through these PARs include mind- and brain-focused interventions such as meditation and hypnosis; body-based approaches such as acupuncture, massage, and spinal manipulation/mobilization; meditative movement approaches such as yoga, tai chi, and qi gong; or complex approaches such as music and art therapies.

In a previous post, I explained why it’s important to study the mechanisms or biological processes by which mind and body interventions work, as well as ways to enhance or improve the intervention itself through mechanistic studies. Studies funded under the previous PARs (now expired) include the following:

  • 1 R61 AT009340-01 Breathing Interventions for Relaxation: Dosing Through Extended Exhale
    Dr. Gurjeet Birdee; Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • 1 R61 AT009337-01 Mechanisms of Mindfulness for Smoking Cessation: Optimizing Quantity and Quality
    Dr. Judson Brewer; University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester
  • 1 R61 AT009296-01 Effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Intervention on Endogenous Opioid Mechanisms of Hedonic Regulation in Chronic Pain
    Dr. Eric Garland and Dr. Jon-Kar Zubieta; University of Utah
  • 1 R61 AT009310-01 Mechanistic Studies on Video Guided Acupuncture Imagery Treatment of Pain
    Dr. Jian Kong; Massachusetts General Hospital
  • 1 R61 AT009333-01 Optimizing Lifestyle Interventions with Mindfulness-Based Strategies in Type 2 Diabetes
    Dr. Frederick Hecht and Dr. Elissa Epel; University of California at San Francisco
  • 1 R61 AT009306-01 Optimization of brain-based mechanisms supporting psychosocial aspects of acupunture therapy - a hyperscanning fMRI study
    Dr Vitaly Napadow and Dr. Ted Kaptchuk; Massachusetts General Hospital
  • 1R33AT009305-01 Use of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Augment Hypnotic Analgesia
    Dr. Nolan Williams and Dr. David Spiegel; Stanford University

If you’re planning to apply, please read carefully through the FOAs when preparing your application. There is valuable information about the background, research objectives, specific requirements for the R61 and R33 phases of proposed studies, go/no-go criteria, the R61/R33 transition process, and scope under Section I. Funding Opportunity Description. Under Section IV. Application and Submission Information, you’ll find instructions for specific aims, research strategies, the Data and Safety Monitoring Plan, letters of support, and Resource Sharing Plans.

If you have questions about using these two PARs, please contact me directly via email.


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