GW Explores Innovative Treatments Using Medicinal Fungi

Healthcare thought leader Andrew Weil, MD, to open GW Medicinal Fungi Conference.
January 5, 2023
Mushrooms on a woven basket

Shiitake mushroom extracts may help prolong the lives of stomach cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy; maitake (hen-of-the-woods), scaly wood, and Turkey tail mushrooms seem to strengthen the immune system of some breast cancer patients; and psilocybin-assisted therapy is proving to be an efficacious treatment for major depression disorder in some patients.

On September 22, 2023, the GW Office of Integrative Medicine and Health (OIMH) will hold day-long continuing education (CE) conference to explore innovative treatments using fungi. During the GW Medicinal Fungi Conference, the OIMH will bring leading researchers together to give talks and discuss the use of fungi for illness and to promote well-being including new treatments and what needs to be done to expand research in this area of study.

A growing body of research–animal and human–on fungi, particularly mushrooms, supports the use of these plants to treat Alzheimer’s, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, substance use disorders, MDD, post-traumatic stress disorder, high risk of stroke, and support the immune system. They are also being utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis due to anti-tumor attributes. Mushrooms act as antibacterial, immune system enhancing, and cholesterol lowering agents.

Research into medicinal fungi is expected to grow exponentially. For instance, Allied Market Research reported that the “global functional mushroom market” generated almost $8 billion in 2020 and is expected to create over $19 billion in 2030.

We are pleased to announce that healthcare thought leader Andrew Weil, MD, founder and Director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, will open the conference. We are in the process of applying for continuing education for MDs, DOs, NPs, PAs, and pharmacists.

Register now.

Tentative Agenda

Plenary Session I: Mental Health 
1.    Opening Remarks: Andrew Weil, MD (10 min)
2.    Psychedelic mushroom therapy: William "Bill" Richards, PhD,  (45 min)
3.    Mushrooms cognitive support: Mikhail “Misha” Kogan, MD (45 min)
4.    Support for death and dying: Sunil Aggarwal, MD (45 min)
5.    Botanical Medicine: Christopher Hobbs, PhD (15 minutes)
6.    Panel Discussion (30 minutes)

Plenary Session II: Immune modulators 
1.    1,3/1,6-beta-glucan: Andrew Heyman, MD and James “Jim” LaValle, RPh, CCN (45 min)
2.    COVID and mushrooms as immune modulators: Gordon Saxe, MD, PhD, MPH and Paul Staments, DSci (Hon.) (45 min)
3.    Intro to clinical use of mushrooms in cancer: Deirdre Orceyre, ND, MSOM, LAc (45 min)
4.    Traditional World Medicine: Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu (15 minutes)
5.    Panel Discussion (30 minutes)

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