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Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine - Special Colloquium

"Acupuncture, connective tissue and purinergic signaling"

Thursday, March 6 starts at noon (12-1pm)

Medical Education Building, Telemedicine Theatre B001


Speaker: Helene Langevin, MD

Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Helene Langevin, MD

Lecture Topic

A growing literature on the physiological effects of manual acupuncture needling in animals and humans is providing new insights into basic cellular mechanisms including connective tissue mechanotransduction and purinergic signaling.  These mechanisms may be relevant not just to acupuncture, but also to our general understanding of both connective tissue physiology and peripheral sensory modulation.  This presentation will outline a model combining connective tissue plasticity and peripheral sensory modulation in response to the sustained stretching of tissue that results from acupuncture needle manipulation.  

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Langevin received an MD degree from McGill University in 1978. She did a post doctoral research fellowship in Neurochemistry at the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit in Cambridge, England, residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a Professor in Residence of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is also a part-time Professor of Neurology, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She is the Principal Investigator of two NIH-funded studies investigating the role of connective tissue in low back pain and the mechanisms of manual and movement based therapies. Her previous studies in humans and animal models have shown that mechanical tissue stimulation during both tissue stretch and acupuncture causes dynamic cellular responses in connective tissue.

Dr. Helene Langevin was appointed as Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in November 2012. Through translational research, the Osher Center aims to test and implement integrated patient care, positioning itself as a thought leader in forging medical connections at the physiological, clinical, and community levels. In order to fulfill this mission, the Osher Center’s strategic vision is to build a “center without walls.” This consists of a network of integrative medicine research, education and patient care throughout HMS, with ties to the Osher Centers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Recently published article:
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35301/title/The-Science-of-Stretch/