Published online 30 January 2008 | Nature 451, 511 (2008) | doi:10.1038/451511a

News in Brief

Kidney expert to head holistic-medicine centre

A specialist in kidney disease with a keen interest in non-traditional therapies has been named as the new head of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland.

Josephine Briggs says she grew interested in alternative therapies while overseeing grants at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, where she launched studies on whether cranberry juice helps prevent urinary-tract infections and on the effects of saw palmetto in men with enlarged prostate glands.

Briggs says she isn't worried about disrespect from more traditional researchers. “Some of my friends roll their eyes, but I can deal with that,” she says. “It's very important that this work be done and be done well.” 

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