Bethesda, MD–Marc R. Blackman, M.D., has been appointed the first clinical director of the new Division of Intramural Research of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Establishment of the new Division allows NCCAM to develop a research program within the NIH Clinical Center–the world’s largest medical facility dedicated solely to patient-oriented research. As Clinical Director, Dr. Blackman will oversee the activities of clinical scientists he will recruit to conduct exacting studies of the safety and efficacy of widely used complementary and alternative medical (CAM) practices, as well as studies of their underlying mechanisms of action. “The rich intellectual and scientific resources of the NIH provide an ideal environment for the kinds of multidisciplinary collaborations that best suit many CAM investigations,” Dr. Blackman commented.
Following a nationwide search, Dr. Blackman was identified as the ideal candidate to direct NCCAM’s new clinical research program. “He brings to this position a rigorous scientific background, an exceptional record in the design and conduct of clinical research programs, and the proven ability to lead and inspire young scientists,” said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director. “Dr. Blackman’s appointment comes at a crucial time when the public’s interest in, and use of CAM therapies has burgeoned–creating a major public health opportunity for NCCAM to provide the American people with reliable information about the efficacy and safety of these practices,” Dr. Straus concluded.
A native of Boston, Dr. Blackman received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in 1968 from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He received his medical degree in 1972 from the New York University School of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He trained in internal medicine at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and then undertook clinical and research fellowship training in endocrinology and metabolism at the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Board certified in internal medicine, and endocrinology and metabolism, Dr. Blackman is currently Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he is also program director of the NIH-funded General Clinical Research Center.
Dr. Blackman is an authority on and the recipient of numerous research grants to investigate age-related alterations in various neuroendocrine and other hormonal systems, both in health and disease. Given the prominent roles assigned to various CAM approaches in sustaining health and treating age-related degenerative illnesses, Dr. Blackman brings vital insights to the design and implementation of NCCAM’s new clinical research enterprise.
In addition to his vast clinical and research knowledge, Dr. Blackman is a recipient of many academic awards and honors, including several for outstanding teaching. Widely sought as a lecturer and participant in research conferences, Dr. Blackman has published over 250 original articles, book chapters, and abstracts and serves frequently as a reviewer for scholarly journals.
Dr. Blackman will officially assume his new responsibilities for NCCAM on April 16, 2001.