The current medical model for preventing and treating degenerative diseases lacks the advantage of employing a whole-organism approach — that is, an understanding of the individual that spans from genomic and proteomic factors up through psychosocial and lifestyle factors. We feel that it is time to move past the debate of alternative versus traditional medicine and to focus on what works, what doesn't, for whom, and under what circumstances.
By combining epidemiological evidence, basic research techniques and, eventually, knowledge gained from the developing field of biomarkers, a greater understanding of individual risk factors of disease can be developed. In our CoE, we have already begun research in this area, examining how specific genetic fingerprints influence the risk for sporadic forms of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, etc. We hope to expand this program to identify a large array of markers for a variety of chronic degenerative diseases and to derive protocols for testing and treating individuals with specific biological traits and disease risk factors.
This program will combine integrative medicine, basic science, and preventive medicine to help individuals understand their personal risks and maintain a healthy lifestyle designed to minimize the chance of their acquiring diseases and eventually to address therapeutic intervention.