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Research Priorities

As a leader in the field of integrative care, the Osher Center for Integrative Health at UC is involved in several federally-funded research projects. We are currently investigating mind-body and food-as-medicine interventions.  

Priorities Include:

  • Conducting comparative effectiveness studies
  • Comparing integrative care models to usual care
  • Examining sustainable models of integrative care
  • Building academic and community research partnerships

Integrative Medicine Research Lab

Harini Pallerla

Harini Pallerla, MS

Sian Cotton headshot

Sian Cotton, PhD

Student Research Assistants

Adam Beucler

Adam Beucler 

headshot of Olivia Dillman

Olivia Dillman

Christen Hohman

Christen Hohman

Knauer, Megan

Megan Knauer

Katie MacVittie

Katie MacVittie

Trichy, Nithya

Nithya Trichy

Current Projects (Updated 2024)
  1. Workplace Mindfulness: 5-week or 8-week virtual programs, one-hour presentations, and half or full-day retreats options, for businesses to support associate wellness focused on building resilience and managing stress.  All programs are evaluated with input from the client to address pain points and growth/change after the mindfulness training is implemented. Includes programming through the Universal Provider Grant through the University of Cincinnati Provost’s Office and programming with clients such as P&G, Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati Bar Association, Kilgour Elementary School, and Withrow High School.
  2. Practice-Based Integrative Health Research: To promote wellness through the prevention and treatment of various diseases with lifestyle and behavioral approaches including nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction and connectivity, and evidence-based integrative therapies. All integrative health clinical programs are evaluated for feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness using a practice-based research approach.
    1. Integrative Medicine Modality Usage and Impact on Patients with Chronic Pain Conditions in an Urban Clinic Setting.
    2. Efficacy of Integrative Medicine Therapies on Chronic Headache Severity: A Retrospective Study.
  3. Alternatives to opioids for pain in the emergency department: Implementing Integrative Health approaches and expanding local nerve block initiatives: In partnership with Emergency Medicine, this SAMHSA-funded grant will expand the use of available evidence-based options for pain management in the emergency department (ED), focusing on pain relief and empowering people with tools to use for pain management while minimizing the risk of potential harms from opioid exposure. A full menu of integrative health and medicine techniques will be introduced and available for novel outpatient follow-up (e.g., acupuncture, yoga), with patients receiving information on mindfulness and stress reduction techniques to use immediately. Mindfulness and resilience training sessions will be offered to ED prescribers in an effort to decrease personal burnout through experiencing the benefits of this mind-body modality firsthand and allowing them to be more informed when offering these interventions to patients.
  4. MSSP and Summer Student Research Program: Students will learn mixed-methods program evaluation and clinical research skills through the Osher Center for Integrative Health in lifestyle medicine outpatient clinics, the UC Cancer Wellness Clinic, lifestyle medicine group visits, and Workplace Mindfulness programs. Typical tasks may include: literature reviews, data collection, building databases, data entry, shadowing data analysis and reporting, building tables/graphs, Microsoft Office and Canva formatting, abstract writing, creating poster presentations, and manuscript writing

Past Projects
  1. Mind-Body Skills Program: 9-week 2-hours/week experiential course that provides students, faculty, and staff with self-care and reflection skills combined with group support to adaptively deal with stressors and build resilience. Faculty and staff facilitators are trained to lead groups during a 3-day immersive, experiential retreat. This course has trained faculty/staff in the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Allied Health, Law, DAAP, CCM, CECH, Arts & Sciences, Blue Ash, and CCHMC. Mixed method data collected pre-post 9 week program and at one-year follow-up.
    1. Novak, B. K., Gebhardt, A., Pallerla, H., McDonald, S.B., Haramati, A., & Cotton, S. (2020). Impact of a university-wide interdisciplinary mind-body skills program on student mental and emotional well-being. Global Advances in Health and Medicine.
  1. Mindful Stress Reduction at the Free Store Food Bank Cincinnati COOKS! Program: 6-week group stress reduction program modified from the evidence-based Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn. This program has been piloted at Cincinnati COOKS!, a second-chance job training program offered through the Free Store Food Bank. Mixed method data collected pre-post each program series. 
  2. College of Medicine Student Wellness Assessment: annual assessment of all College of Medicine medical students to develop and test a cross-institutional standard evaluation for student emotional and mental well-being. Currently we are on year 4 of longitudinal cohort data collection.
  3. Build it Bites: BUILD-IT-BITES workshops created at Cincinnati Children’s by Dr Carina Braeutigam combines hands on teaching kitchen practices with mindfulness to avoid overall malnutrition and create positive culinary experiences for young children/adolescents with cancer and their families. Post-intervention mixed-method evaluations are collected.
  4. Parkinson’s wellness program: To promote wellness through the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s disease with lifestyle and behavioral approaches including nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction and connectivity, and evidence-based integrative therapies. All integrative health clinical programs are evaluated for feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness using a practice-based research approach.
  5. Creating Caring Communities: 7-week 1-hour/week program that provides students, faculty, and staff with group support and encourages self-care and wellness. This program is designed to create an environment to connect in a safe, authentic setting that allows participants to speak freely about how they are adjusting professionally and personally in these virtual times and to share challenges, joys, and to be there for each other. 
    1. UC Creating Caring Communities Program: Additional Information (PDF)
    2. Evaluating ‘Creating Caring Communities’: A medical student pilot wellness program to aid in the transition to medical school during COVID 19 (PDF). Emily Williams, Harini Pallerla, MS Susan McDonald, MA, Laura Malosh PhD, Sonali Doshi, Sian Cotton PhD. Poster Presented at the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health Virtual Symposium. April 11-13, 2021.
Faculty Scholarly Activity

For individual affiliated faculty research areas, priorities and activity, please visit our Directory Page and click on the faculty member for research information. 

UC-wide Integrative Research Search

Search the UC-wide research database by keyword or name of researcher.

Current and previous funding sources include National Institute of Child Health and Development, Cincinnati Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and foundation grants.

From the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine & Health


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Contact Us

Osher Center for Integrative
Health at UC

Medical Sciences Building Suite 4358
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670582 
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0582

Mail Location: 0582
Phone: 513-558-2310
Fax: 513-558-3266