TITLES: Professor of Health Sciences, RMIT University Doctor Board Member, Global Wellness Summit Honorary Board Member and Past President, Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (President from 2000-2008)
QUALIFICATIONS: MBBS(Hons), PhD(TCM), PhD(Elec Eng), BMedSci (Hons), DipAc, FAMAC, FICAE
Professor Marc Cohen is one of Australia’s pioneers of integrative and holistic medicine and has made significant impacts on education, research, clinical practice and policy. He is a registered medical practitioner with degrees in western medicine, physiology and psychological medicine along with PhDs in Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering. In 2002 he became Australia’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine and Head of the Department of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University, which was the largest such department in the country with around 100 staff and 1000 students.
Prof Cohen served as Professor of Health Sciences in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University from 2002-2019 where he supervised postgraduate research students, performed research in the area of wellness and complementary medicine, lead online postgraduate and undergraduate Wellness Programs and Courses, and Co-ordinated Courses on medical diagnosis and medical examination. He is now Adjunct Professor at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University and Director of the Extreme Wellness Institute. He has previously supervised 8 Honours, 7 PhD and 2 Masters students and is currently primary supervisor for 6 PhD students.
Prof Cohen is a Board Member of the Global Wellness Summit, Past-President (from 2000-2007) of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA), a Member of the RACGP-AIMA Joint Working party on Integrative Medicine and the AIMA Inter-professional Communication Working Group (AICWG), and sits on the Editorial Board of five international journals. Prof Cohen has previously held positions as Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education at Monash Expert Advisor to the TGA Complementary Medicine Evaluation Committee, Member of the NHMRC Grant Review Panel on Primary Healthcare, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Complementary Medicine and multiple ministerial appointments on Registration and Accreditation Panels, He previously held the position as Director of the Centre for Complementary Medicine at the Monash Institute for Health Services Research.
As a medical practitioner and researcher Prof Cohen has pioneered the introduction of complementary, holistic and integrative medicine into mainstream settings. He has been involved in two landmark surveys of Australian General Practitioners and their attitudes towards, and use of, complementary medicines, which were instrumental in the development of the AMA policy on complementary medicine. He helped establish the RACGP-AIMA Joint Working Party on Integrative Medicine and the AIMA Inter-professional Communication Working Group (AICWG) and has been involved in establishing acupuncture as a form of standard care in emergency department settings and developing hospital policy on practitioner accreditation. He has coauthored high level reports including a report for the World Health Organisation on quality assurance in CM education, reports for the National Asthma Council on complementary medicine in Asthma, and a report for the Victorian Department of Human Services on the risks and regulatory requirements of naturopathy and western herbal medicine.
Prof Cohen has published more than 100 peer–reviewed articles, authored more than 20 book chapters and edited 8 books on holistic health. He co-authored the landmark text; “Herbs and Natural Supplements an Evidenced Based Guide”, with the first two editions being short-listed for an Australian Publishing Award in the scholarly reference section. He is also co-editor with Oxford University’s Prof Gerry Bodeker of the landmark text ‘Understanding the Global Spa Industry’ which is the first academic book documenting the global spa and wellness industry. He has previously written regular monthly columns for Prevention Magazine and is regularly requested to examine PhD thesis from local and international universities and review articles for numerous scientific journals.
Prof Cohen has extensive experience in running clinical trials and other multidisciplinary projects. He has been involved in running more than 10 industry-funded randomized controlled trials as well as being CIA on two NHMRC funded trials on the use of yoga for geriatric insomnia and the use of acupuncture for analgesia in Emergency Departments. Prof Cohen is currently involved in research into various aspects of holistic health including the use of herbal teas to enhance human metabolism and performance, the health impacts of saunas, hot spring bathing and health retreat experiences, and the use of various lifestyle interventions for detoxification from environmental chemicals.
Prof Cohen has been one of the most active people in Australia when it comes to organising conferences on holistic and integrative medicine. He has organised more than 10 International Holistic Health Conferences and in 2003 he chaired the Organising Committee for the First World Congress on Chinese Medicine. He also organised the Complementary Medicine Symposium at the XIIIth World Congress on Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics as well as organising the RMIT School of Health Sciences Research Conferences from 2005-2007. He sat on the Scientific Committees for the Third International Conference on Complementary Medicine Research and National Prescribing Service Scientific Conference and currently sits on the Board of the Global Wellness Summit. In this last role he has been involved in commissioning and conducting landmark econometric research into the global wellness economy and been instrumental in the development and implementation of the free online evidence-based portal wellnessevidence
As well as organising conferences, Prof Cohen is a sought after speaker and has presented at over 100 conferences including more than 50 international and 50 national conferences in Australia, Germany, Morocco, Mexico, the United Kingdom, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Switzerland, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, The Philippines, New Zealand, the United States and Hong Kong. Prof Cohen’s impact on the field is recognised by the media and he has contributed to more than 100 articles in the print media including a biographical piece in the Medical Journal of Australia, two full page biographical pieces in the Melbourne Age and extensive biographical pieces in ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Spa Life’ magazines. He is frequently quoted by media outlets including multiple interviews on news programs and news-talk programs including Channel 9 News, Channel 7 News, ABC National News, Today Tonight, A Current Affair, Health Dimensions, Good Medicine, Today Show. Sunrise, Features on ‘The Nature of Healing’, (SBS) and ‘Second Opinion’ (ABC) as well as articles in most major Australian papers including: The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin, Medical Observer, Australian Doctor Weekly, The Age (Melbourne), The Herald Sun (Melbourne), The Courier Mail, New Idea, Vogue Magazine, Women’s Day, Women’s Weekly. Prof Cohen’s media exposure has been recognised with five consecutive RMIT Media Star Awards and his contribution to his field was recognised by the inaugural award for leadership and collaboration from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine.
2003 Awarded PhD in Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University. Thesis titled: “Bioenergetics, Information and Acupuncture: An Exploration of the Links between Acupuncture, Information, and Bio-electromagnetism”.
2001 Completed Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment
1995 Awarded to the Fellowship of the Australian Medical Acupuncture College.
1994 Awarded PhD from the Open University for Complementary Medicine. Thesis titled: “The Application of Entropy and Information Theory to Pain and Eastern Medicine”.
1991 Graduated MB BS (with Honours) (Ranked 4th out of a class of 130).
1988 Medicina Alternativa, Colombo, Sri Lanka, completed requirements for International Diploma of Acupuncture (Dip Ac).
1985 Completed Bachelor of Medical Science Degree (with Honours) in both the Department of Physiology and the Department of Psychological Medicine at Monash University. Thesis titled: “The Aetiology of Human Disease as Exemplified by the Perinatal Conditions of Asthmatic Children”.
1991 MBBS year 6 Clinical subjects 602 High Distinction
1978-1981 Melbourne High School
HSC Subjects : Physics 95%
Biology 93% (Winner of the Biology prize)
MEMBERSHIPS AND APPOINTMENTS:
Involvement with Professional Associations, Government Bodies and Industry Groups
• Scientific Advisory, Australian Institute of Medical Nutrition (2019 – ongoing)
• Scientific Advisory Board Member, Ananda Scientific LLC (2018 – ongoing)
• Past-President (2000-2007) & current Honorary Board Member of the Australasian
Integrative Medicine Association
• Member Advisory Board, Global Wellness Summit (since 2007)
• Member Hot Springs Initiative at the Global Wellness Institute (2016-ongoing)
• Member AIMA Inter-professional Communication Working Group (AICWG) (2016-ongoing)
• Member RACGP-AIMA Joint Working Party on Integrative Medicine (2005-2014)
• Scientific Advisory Committee, National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) (2007-
2009) (Also a member of the previous NICM Consultative Committee)
• Member, National Health and Medical Research Council Grant Review Panel on primary health care (2008)
• Expert Advisor, Complementary Medicines Evaluation Committee (CMEC) in the Therapeutic
Goods Administration (TGA) (2004-2008)
• National Asthma Council Expert Committee on Complementary Medicine (2004-2005) • Ministerial appointment to the ACT Registration and Accreditation Council National Institute of Health Sciences Accreditation Panel (2002)
• Ministerial Appointment to the Victorian Higher Education Advisory Committee Accreditation
• Member, Victorian Department of Human Services Naturopathy and Western Herbal
Medicine Research Group (2003-2005)
• Member, World Natural Medicine Foundation (Since 2000)
• Examiner for PhD and Masters students at multiple universities
Member of Editorial Board of Peer-Reviewed Journals
• Member, Editorial Board, Advances in Integrative Medicine
• Member, Editorial Board, Annals of Medicine and Surgery
• Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine
• Associate Editor, Journal of Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism
• Member, Editorial Board, Acupuncture and Electrotherapeutics Research
• Member, International Advisory Board, Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese
• Member, Expert database for North American Menopause Society
• Provided peer review for various journals including Medical Journal of Australia, Journal of Complementary Medicine, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Australian Family Physician, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Journal of Applied Physiology, Journal of Rheumatology, Maturitas, Indian Journal of Medical Sciences, Journal of Veterinary Science, International Journal of English and Literature, Advances in Integrative Medicine, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Environmental Research.
Participation in International Associations and Research Centres
• Board Member Global Wellness Summit 2007-ongoing
• Founding Member, Advisory Board of the International Research Centre for Health Ageing and Longevity
• Member, Council of Advisors, Australian Association of Yoga Therapists
• Member International Advisory Board of Vivekananda Yoga Mahavidyapeetham (VYOMA)
• Member, International Advisory Committee for the Centre for Change
• Chair of Organising Committees of 8 International Holistic Health Conferences (2000-2007)
• Member Scientific Committee, National Prescribing Service Scientific Conference 2008
• Member Scientific Committee for the Third International Conference on Complementary
Medicine Research (2008)
• Chair Organising Committee, RMIT School of Health Sciences Research Conferences
• Co-Chair, Organising Committee First World Congress on Chinese Medicine, 2003
• Organiser, Complementary Medicine Symposium XIIIth World Congress on Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Involvement with Charities / Community Organisations
• Co-Founder, Bathe the World Foundation Ltd 2017 – ongoing
• Director, Thinking Positive, A Brighter Future for Australian Youth Ltd, 2018 – ongoing
• Patron, Melbourne Therapy Centre 2003 – ongoing
• Organiser for Healing Arts Festivals from 1998 -2001
• Coordinator Health & Wellbeing Village for the City of Port Phillip’s Global Garden Party 2002
• Judge, Australian Humanitarian Awards 2000 and 2001
• Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University.
• Director, Extreme Wellness Institute
• Professor of Health Sciences, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University. This position involved supervising postgraduate research students performing research in the area of wellness and complementary medicine, leading online postgraduate and undergraduate Wellness Programs and Courses and Co-ordinating Courses on medical diagnosis and medical examination.
2002 – 2004
• Professor and Head of the Department of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University. This position involved managing the largest Department of Complementary medicine in Australia with an annual budget of $10 million and over 100 personnel and nearly 1000 students based in Australia, Japan, China and Korea.
2002 – 2008
• Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Monash Institute of Health Services Research and Senior
Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University
• Director Centre for Complementary Medicine, Monash Institute of Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University.
• Lecturer in Medical Diagnosis at the Australian College of Natural Medicine.
• Director of the Complementary Medicine Research Unit in the Departments of Community
Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.
This position involved coordinating teaching of medical undergraduates, supervising
postgraduate research projects and undertaking independent research in the area of complementary medicine.
• Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Department of General Practice and Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine: Position involved supervision of Bachelor of Medical Science Honours students in addition to implementing option units for year 1 and 3 medical students on medical acupuncture, complementary medicine, and health enhancement.
1993 – 1995
• Lecturer, Monash University, Dept of Community Medicine. Position involved coordinating and conducting medical undergraduate teaching in acupuncture and complementary medicine.
• Lecturer, Dept of Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering. Position involves creating and implementing an option course in biomedical engineering for 1st year medical students.
Clinical Positions 1992 – ongoing
Occasional private general practice
1992 – 2000
Locum tenens at various practices in Melbourne as well as at South Coast Medical Centre in Rosebud. These positions involve general practice as well as working in various emergency departments (often as the sole doctor). Many of these sessions include the practice of acupuncture along with general practice.
Consultant Acupuncturist at Cedar Court Rehabilitation Hospital and Clinical Coordinator of the Health Enhancement Lifestyle Program. This position involved acupuncture practice as well as coordinating the first program in Australia to introduce yoga, meditation, nutrition and lifestyle changes into a hospital setting.
Clinical Supervisor, Monash University, Box Hill Hospital. Position involved co-ordinating and supervising the final year and fourth year medical exams held at Box Hill Hospital.
Internship at the Alfred Hospital.
CONFERENCES AND INVITED PRESENTATIONS
More than 150 conference presentations since 2000, including more than 50 international and national conferences in Australia, New Zealand, United States, China, India, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
NEWSPAPER AND MEDIA ARTICLES
More than 100 articles in the print media including two separate full-page biographical pieces in the Melbourne Age and biographical pieces in the Medical Journal of Australia, and ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Spa Life’ magazines. Quoted in articles that have appeared in most major Australian papers including: The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin, Medical Observer, Australian Doctor Weekly, The Age (Melbourne), The Herald Sun (Melbourne), The Courier Mail, New Idea, Vogue Magazine, Women’s Day, Women’s Weekly.
Multiple interviews on news programs and news-talk programs including Channel 9 News, Channel 7 News, ABC National News, Today Tonight, A Current Affair, Health Dimensions, Good Medicine, Today Show. Sunrise, The Project, and features on ‘The Nature of Healing’, (SBS) and ‘Second Opinion’ (ABC).
Multiple radio appearances over the past 30 years including ABC Radio National and many regional stations Australia-wide.
BOOKS AND MONOGRAPHS
Traditional Medicine. WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2004
Holistic Health” Australian Integrative Medicine Association, Clayton, August 2005
PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
British Journal of Sports Medicine. 0:1–8. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099217
Journal of Tourism Research 22(5):501-511 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10941665.2016.1276946 (Q1)
Exposure, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 8(6): 17921804 doi:10.3390/ijerph8061792
Camphor for Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Journal of Rheumatology, 30 (3):523-8, 2003 (Q1)
Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 7(2): 110-112, 1999. (Q1)
FULL CONFERENCE PAPERS