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The Institute for EthnoMedicine Dr. Paul Alan Cox learning from traditional healers in the Samoan rainforest.

"We have only one wish at the Institute for Ethnomedicine: to discover new treatments for serious illnesses. This focus has led to the discovery of two promising new drugs for ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other tangle diseases. We have a third drug in development. Our novel path to discovery has been exciting. Each step of this path, beginning in Guam, has brought us closer to a cure." - Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D., Executive Director

The mission of the Institute for EthnoMedicine is to search for new cures by studying patterns of wellness and disease among indigenous peoples.

A major research initiative at the Institute is to find and fight the causes of ALS and other motor neuron diseases. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is characterized by death of motor neurons and  muscle atrophy. Although ALS occurs at about the annual frequency of multiple sclerosis (MS), because of the lethal nature of the disease, it appears to be rarer since at any one time there only 25,000 patients living  in the United States. Well-known examples of persons living with ALS include physicist Stephen Hawking, as well as the courageous professor with ALS portrayed in Mitch Albom’s best-selling book, Tuesdays with Morrie.

The Institute operates a state-of-the-art Research Center in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Institute also maintains a close association with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the University of Dundee, Scotland, Portsmouth University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chiba University, Japan, Stockholm University, and the University of California, Berkeley. The Institute collaborates with anthropologists, botanists, chemists, linguists, microbiologists, oceanographers, neurobiologists, neurologists, and other physicians and scientists throughout the world.

Incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 2004, the Institute is affiliated with the Congressionally-charted National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG.org), and continues the work began at the Garden.

We invite you to learn more about our research and to contact us regarding collaboration, donations or volunteer efforts with the hopes of bringing us one step closer to curing these diseases.

Dr. Sandra Banack and Dr. Peter Nunn discuss their research.