What is the basis for the effect of herbal agents that are used, for example, to support cancer therapy? How can nutrition influence autoimmune diseases, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis? What is the contribution of acupuncture in the therapy of chronic diseases (stress and pain)?

The members of the Academic Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (AZKIM) are investigating these and other questions. The aim is to research the effect and safety of complementary medicine procedures with scientific methods.

In addition, AZKIM evaluates the opinions and experiences of patients, doctors and nurses on the topic of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) and what expectations they have of progressive health care in the future.



Doctoral Program

"Elucidation of molecular mechanisms of action as a foundation for evidence-based complementary and integrative medicine."

Further information at: www.cimresearch.org/train4CIM


Dietary supplements, herbs, acupuncture, yoga - to name just a few of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) options - are used by approximately 60% of adults in Germany. Despite this wide acceptance, CIM is often seen as the complete opposite of conventional academic medicine, mainly because meaningful studies on potential benefits, effects or safety are lacking for the majority of CIM procedures. Furthermore, the search for underlying molecular mechanisms is still at an early stage, although research is gaining momentum, particularly for plant-based preparations.

The Academic Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (AZKIM) aims to investigate possible effects of CIM using sophisticated scientific methods as applied in academic medicine.

Complementing the research efforts of AZKIM, the doctoral program train4CIM was established. This interdisciplinary doctoral program is dedicated to the study of the molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of complementary medicine. Topics include herbal agents and photobiomodulation with respect to their effects on the immune system, on tumor defense, on the regulation of the natural intestinal barrier, and on wound healing. The goal is to gain scientifically sound knowledge in order to critically evaluate methods of complementary medicine for future treatments of tumors or chronic inflammatory diseases.