Conference close to the Arctic

Sunrise and sunset were put on hold when 400 researchers of excellence gathered in Tromsø, Norway, for the 5th International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research. With two months of midnight sun, and only 2,000 km from the North Pole, it is no wonder that Tromsø is called “The Gateway to the Arctic”.

The congress took place on May 19-21, and researchers from 35 countries took the opportunity to meet, network and participate in the sessions - a total of 50 hours were scheduled for the conference. More than 150 speakers addressed the issue of CAM research in different ways, and several workshops took place.

One of the keynote speakers, Åke Wennmalm from Sweden, gave a lecture about “Steps on the road to sustainable therapy”, which attracted a big audience. Wennmalm is a physician and specialist in clinical physiology, and he has been working on classification and elimination of chemicals for many years, in Sweden as well as on a European level.

“He pointed out an interesting perspective on medicine and health care by talking about sustainability, seen from several points of view. Among other things he drew the attention to chemical pollution from the use of health care pharmaceuticals,” the Norwegian conference host, Dr Vinjar Fønnebø, told NIFAB after the conference.

The concept and the work packages of CAMbrella were presented in a separate symposium, chaired by George Lewith. The Coordinator of CAMbrella, Wolfgang Weidenhammer, described the background and history, and Benno Brinkhaus, the project’s Scientific Technical Manager, outlined the individual work packages. Finally, work package 1 (Terminology) was presented by its leader, Bernhard Uehleke. In addition, work packages 1 and 8 (Communication and dissemination) used the opportunity to hold internal meetings during the conference.

Scientific Officer joins CAMbrella meeting

The Management Board of CAMbrella had scheduled the first meeting of the Scientific Steering Committee to take place in Tromsø. Accompanied by representatives of the Advisory Board, the Committee, which consists of the leaders of the different working groups cooperating in CAMbrella, meets routinely once a year to review the progress in all work packages with respect to the project’s overall scientific concept.

Under the leadership of the Project Coordinator, the Committee discussed the reports from all working groups and adjusted the future steps to proceed with the project. Jan Paehler, the project’s Scientific Officer of DG Research at the European Commission in Brussels, joined the meeting, thus taking the opportunity to hear straight from the horse’s mouth about the progress of CAMbrella.

After three intense days the participants left Tromsø, taking home lots of inspiration, contacts and knowledge - some of them, though, did not leave right away, due to the Icelandic ash cloud...

Text: Jesper Odde Madsen

The 6th International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research will be held in Chengdu, China, May 7–9, 2011. The theme of the conference will be “Evidence-based decision making for Traditional and Integrative Medicine”.