NYMC Hosts Fourth Annual East-West Integrative Medical Symposium for Immunology and Wellness
Organized and hosted by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology
More than 100 attendees from across the U.S. and as far away as the United Kingdom and China, gathered at New York Medical College (NYMC) for the Fourth “East-West Integrative Medical Symposium for Immunology and Wellness—Clinical Practice, Science and Technology” on July 15, organized and hosted by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The forum, with a simultaneous English-to-Chinese translation available for guests, discussed scientific advances in the area of allergies and wellness and sought to bridge international collaborations for research and education, as well as offer clinical applications of integrative models of treatment for allergic disorders and for promoting wellness.
The day began with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NYMC and Henan University of Chinese Medicine to foster collaboration between the two institutions to enhance research, education and clinical programs in allergy, immunology, and the use of traditional Chinese medicine, as well as to facilitate the exchange of visiting scientists and students.
Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, and microbiology and immunology, NYMC, professor of dental medicine, Touro College of Dental Medicine at NYMC and provost for biomedical research and chief biomedical research officer, Touro College and University System, who signed the MOU on behalf of NYMC and gave welcoming remarks, offered his enthusiasm for the developing relationship. “I am thrilled to see this new international connection that will allow us to build a broader research base and I am looking forward to the next steps to increase collaboration,” he said.
In attendance were faculty, scientists, clinicians, graduate and medical students, post-doctoral fellows, and patients, as well as delegate leaders of professional societies and the pharmaceutical industry, and dignitaries from Chinese medical schools. The audience spent the day learning about a wide range of topics such as: integrative medicine in the United States, including public perceptions, regulation, and training; accepted standards of care for common allergic disorders; research in traditional Chinese medicine for developing novel therapies for allergy, asthma and wellness; and clinical opportunities for the integration of traditional Chinese medicine into standard care for inflammatory conditions, including asthma, food allergy, eczema, EoE and allergic purpura. A poster presentation session covered the topics of traditional Chinese medicine, integrative-medicine clinical case studies, clinical observational studies, survey data, and laboratory research findings.
Several prominent guest speakers addressed the audience. Wayne Shreffler, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chief, Division of Allergy/Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, summarized the cutting-edge food allergy research being conducted under the auspices of the Food Allergy Scientific Initiative. Barbara Winston, president of the Bruce Winston Gem Corporation and founder of the Winston Wolkoff Fund for Integrative Medicine for Allergies and Wellness, presented her vision for current and future integrative medicine for allergy and wellness.
Also taking the podium were NYMC’s own Jan Geliebter, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, who discussed why and how we make IgE and its role in protection and allergy; Xiu-Min Li, M.D., M.S., of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, who presented her research translating traditional Chinese medicine to modern therapy for food allergy; Raj K. Tiwari, Ph.D., professor and interim chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and graduate program director, who discussed the fundamental principle of immune checkpoint inhibitors and their role in allergy versus tolerance; and Raymond J. Dattwyler, M.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, medicine and pediatrics, who shared a new vision of acute and chronic Lyme disease.
“The symposium was an excellent opportunity to explore bridging traditional Chinese medicine with currently available allopathic drugs and therapies to enhance the science of allergy treatments for the benefit of patients,” said Dr. Li, who chaired the organizing committee along with Dr. Tiwari.
“It was exciting to host such an important symposium to highlight the significance of integrative medicine, research, practice and new drug development,” said co-chair, Dr. Tiwari. “I believe it was an important stepping stone in collaboration for novel effective treatments for immunological diseases. I look forward to continuing partnerships in this area.”
A recording of the proceedings is being prepared for public distribution.
Photo from left: Junqing Zhao, section chief, International Cooperation Department, Henan University of Chinese Medicine; Baozhong Sun, president, New York International Education Group; Colin Ahyoung, administrator of Department of Microbiology and Immunology, NYMC; Xiangxin Chen, director, human resources, Henan University of Chinese Medicine; Zhenqiang Zhang, director of Research and Laboratories Center, Henan University of Chinese Medicine; Raj K. Tiwari, professor and interim chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and graduate program director. NYMC; Erping Xu, president of Henan University of Chinese Medicine; Xiu-Min Li, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, NYMC; Gang Sun, supervisor, Second Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Chinese Medicine; Jinghui Dou, former FDA botanical review officer; Mazin Al-Khafaji, chief executive officer of Avicenna Centre for Chinese Medicine, UK; and Allen Xue, president of GNT, LLC.