The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is 1 of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is one of eight agencies under the Public Health Service (PHS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The Center’s mission is to support rigorous research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), to train researchers in CAM, and to disseminate information to the public and professionals on which CAM modalities work, which do not, and why.

Our four primary areas of focus are:

  • Research – We support clinical and basic science research projects in CAM by awarding grants across the country and around the world; we also design, study, and analyze clinical and laboratory-based studies on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Research training and career development – We award grants that provide training and career development opportunities for predoctoral, postdoctoral, and career researchers.
  • Outreach – We sponsor conferences, educational programs, and exhibits; operate an information clearinghouse to answer inquiries and requests for information; provide a Web site and printed publications; and hold town meetings at selected locations in the United States.
  • Integration – To integrate scientifically proven CAM practices into conventional medicine, we announce published research results; study ways to integrate evidence-based CAM practices into conventional medical practice; and support programs to develop models for incorporating CAM into the curriculum of medical, dental, and nursing schools.