November 15, 2013 - Medical Anthropologist Kim Kelly, MPA, is a Senior Research Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry who works on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) interventions in mental health. She is also a doctoral candidate in the School of Anthropology at the UA where she studies CAM, clinical trials and animal-human relationships and was a Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Research Fellow with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2010-2012.
She was recently interviewed by Arizona Public Media as part of a story on the growing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine. The video can be viewed here.
Ms. Kelly spent many years studying vaccines and devices for diseases affecting the developing world through clinical research. However, she says there are systems of medicine that have hundreds of years of evidence that are based on different frameworks and understandings of how the body works that could serve to help heal people, but its difficult to study them via the gold-standard necessary for approval of drugs and devices in the United States: the randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT).
Because of U.S. regulations, stringent research studies are necessary to prove that a drug, device, or therapy works for its intended use. Ms. Kelly contributes to this effort through the University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry Research Program. She coordinates studies of whole body hyperthermia (WBH) for the treatment of depression. For more information on these studies, click here.