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Release: Aug. 6, 2002

(Photo: Nicole Nisly, M.D., UI associate professor (clinical) of internal medicine and director of a complementary and alternative medicine program at UI Hospitals and Clinics.)

UI to host complementary, alternative medicine symposium Aug. 15-16

University of Iowa Health Care will host a symposium on complementary and alternative medicine Aug. 15-16 at Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City.

The symposium is designed for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, allied health care, non-medical professionals and students to enhance their knowledge on the use of complementary and alternative therapies typically not taught in medical, nursing and pharmacy schools.

"With the growing use of herbs and dietary supplements in the United States, health care professionals are increasingly aware of their need to obtain reliable scientific information on botanicals in order to provide better care," said Nicole Nisly, M.D., UI associate professor (clinical) of internal medicine and director of a complementary and alternative medicine program at UI Hospitals and Clinics. "This information is rarely available in the graduate or postgraduate training of health care professionals, leaving them unprepared to guide and care for patients in this area. One of the goals of this conference is to review important points that practitioners should know about their patients' use of complementary and alternative therapies."

The program will focus on the role of botanicals and other dietary supplements on women's health, heart disease, mental health and geriatrics. Other presentations will cover topics such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, Chinese herbs and compounding pharmacy.

Keynote speaker Norman Farnsworth, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago department of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, will deliver the Dr. Raymond Sheets Lecture at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15. His lecture is titled, "A Computerized Database on Botanical Dietary Supplements – NAPRALERT."

NAPRALERT, an acronym for Natural Products Alert, is the largest relational database of scientific literature describing the traditional uses, chemistry and pharmacology of plant, microbial and animal extracts. The database contains information from more than 150,000 research articles dating from 1650 A.D. to the present.

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin has been invited to address the conference Friday, Aug. 16. Harkin will discuss research in complementary and alternative medicine.

Continuing education credits are available for physicians, nurses and pharmacists who attend the symposium. The symposium is open to the general public, as well. For fees, registration or additional information, contact Susan Zollo in the UI Health Care Continuing Medical Education Division at (319) 335-8599 or by e-mail at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at