ACEF is lucky to have Francisco “Frank” Munoz, an expert in integrative medicine serve on its Board of Directors.
Frank has a busy year coming up as he will present research about integrative medicine and mindfulness exercises at three major scientific conferences.
Frank’s Integrative Medicine Research at 3 Major Conferences
- At The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on p53 tumor suppressor gene expression and a Mind-Body Medicine Epigenetic Technique (MET) he developed.
- At The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), Frank will present about Spiritual Care and Gene Expression.
- At The Center for Advancement of Palliative Care (CAPC) Conference, Frank will present on how to capture the spiritual beliefs and effects of palliative care with electronic charting.
Frank worked for the last 12 years as a clinical chaplain in a hospital setting. Frank also has a background in Army and Air Force chaplaincy. His clinical specialty is palliative care chaplaincy.
Frank’s NIH and NCI Educational Grants
In 2010, Frank received a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) to train as a healthcare researcher. The grant provided funds to pay for his doctorate as part of research training in integrative medicine at Saybrook University’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences. Being from the same cohort, Frank and Werner met in 2010. They have remained colleagues and close friends ever since, discussing the potential of mindfulness exercises such as yoga, meditation, qigong and hypnosis in cancer care every chance they get.
Frank chose Saybrook University’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences because of the schools innovative and creative spirit. Being a trailblazer, Frank is not certain how many chaplains have received NIH/NCI grants to train as healthcare researchers.
As a clinical chaplain, Frank works with patients and families in emotional and spiritual distress. That distress is usually rooted in the physical and emotional pain of a terminal illness. At Saybrook’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences, Frank hoped to learn about mindfulness exercises to support people overwhelmed with the burden of a life-threatening diagnosis.
Frank’s Investigations of Mindfulness Exercises
His investigations of mindfulness exercises drew Frank to meditation, hypnosis, and guided imagery. Meditation, hypnosis, and guided imagery give ways to manage chronic stress and offer support for self-awareness and the search for meaning. The tools that measure gene expression provide evidence to support the efficacy of meditation, hypnosis and guided imagery in the palliative care setting.
The results of Frank’s investigations have resulted in two poster presentations and one published abstract. The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), accepted his poster on “Spiritual Care and Gene Expression.” With that poster, Frank shares what he has learned about the efficacy of spiritual care and how this efficacy can be seen in gene expression. Frank will present that poster at APC’s next national conference in June.
In November, Frank will present a second poster at the Center for the Advancement of Palliative Care’s (CAPC) national conference. With that poster, Frank shares how to capture, in electronic charting, the emotional effects of palliative care patients’ religious or spiritual beliefs on their healthcare choices and preferences.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) accepted for publication his abstract from a pilot study that he conducted. In this pilot study, Frank quantified the effects of a Mind-Body Medicine Epigenetic Technique (MET) he developed during his investigations of mindfulness exercises on p53 tumor suppressor gene expression. The expression of the p53 tumor suppressor gene is important in the control of cancer growth. ASCO will publish his abstract after May 13th, 2015 on their website. Frank plans to continue his research on the potential of integrative medicine and mindfulness exercises to modulate gene expression.
ACEF’s Focus on Integrative Medicine Research
Frank’s latest research achievements are illustrative of the Absenger Cancer Education’s Third Focus of integrative medicine and mindfulness exercises: Research
ACEF will actively extend research into integrative medicine and mindfulness exercises that show promise in cancer survivorship, albeit not thoroughly explored in conventional biomedical research.
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