Academic and Clinical Trials

The research we conduct at the Marcus Institute is essential for improving all aspects of integrative medicine and care, for our patients and beyond. As we explore new and developing approaches, we evaluate the link between their clinical effects, such as reduced pain or improved function, with our participants’ physiological changes, which we measure using state-of-the-art imaging techniques.    

We utilize the region's only PET-MR scanner for adults to determine structural and functional changes associated with various integrative methods for neurological and psychiatric conditions, as well as specific diseases such as cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.

Daniel Monti, MD

Andrew Newberg, MD

Anthony Bazzan, MD

George Zabrecky, DC


Physiological Effects of Nutritional Support in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease 

  • Explored the impact of NAC in patients with Parkinson’s disease
  • Evaluated neurophysiological changes in response to NAC utilizing Datscan imaging


Physiological Effects of N-Acetyl Cysteine in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis 

  • Explored the impact of NAC in patients with multiple sclerosis 
  • Evaluated neurophysiological changes in response to NAC utilizing FDG PET-MRI


The Neurological Correlates of Creativity: 

  • Designed to use fMRI to explore brain function in individuals who are highly creative within a variety of fields including business, music, education, mathematics, psychology and engineering


Imaging Dementia—Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study

  • PET-MRI imaging site for a nation-wide study of the use of amyloid PET imaging in patients with cognitive impairment


Evaluation of MBSR Program in the Elderly Using fMRI

  • Evaluated the effects of the MBSR program on brain function using fMRI in an elderly population


Use of a Functional Neuroimaging Battery for the Evaluation of a Meditation Practices

  • Supported by the Fetzer Institute 
  • Evaluated meditation program using fMRI and Datscan imaging


Desensitizing Distressing Recollections in Cancer Patients

  • Used fMRI to explore the neurophysiological effects of the NeuroEmotional Technique intervention in cancer patients with distressing memories related to their cancer diagnosis.



A Pilot Study of Intravenous Ascorbic Acid and FOLFIRINOX in the Treatment of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

  • Utilizes intravenous vitamin C with chemotherapy in patients with pancreatic cancer


Defining Neurobiological Signatures for Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury Using PET-MRI Technology: 

  • Developing a PET-MRI imaging battery for patients suffering from chronic concussion symptoms 
  • Will be used to evaluate integrative medicine approaches for managing these patients, including the use of n-acetyl cysteine


Physiological Effects of an Integrative Medicine Approach in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Evaluating inflammation in the gut using FDG PET-MRI in patients with IBS
  • Evaluating the effects of integrative medicine approaches


PET Imaging Pre and Post Chiropractic Therapy for Chronic Pain Syndromes 

  • Exploring the physiological effects in the brain and body of chiropractic techniques in patients with chronic pain using FDG PET-MRI


Pilot Study Using PET-MRI in Patients with Insomnia with Integrative Management

  • Exploring the neurophysiological correlates of insomnia and how they are modified by management using acoustic and vibratory stimulation



We continue to build a robust academic program for Integrative Medicine through the Marcus Institute. We have one of the nation's only CME-approved Grand Rounds program in Integrative Medicine at an academic institution.

One of our key faculty, Dr. Birgit Rakel, teaches the "Healers Art" course in the medical student second-year curriculum. This highly acclaimed course is based on a curriculum developed by Integrative Medicine guru, Naomi Rachel Remen, MD. 

We also provide medical student rotations for Jefferson medical students in the fourth year who want an intensive clinical exposure to Integrative Medicine in practice. The same type of rotation experience also is provided for Jefferson Residents in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, and for those enrolled in Jefferson's Psychosomatic Fellowship program.

New certificate programs

As technological advances and scientific breakthroughs continue to transform healthcare at a rapid clip, certificate programs provide students and healthcare professionals with the skills necessary to meet these evolving healthcare needs. To help these professionals adopt a more holistic approach to patient care, we will develop new certificate programs on the myriad disciplines comprising integrative medicine.

Integration in traditional curricula

Despite the overwhelming popularity of integrative medicine in the United States, it is still not part of the traditional medical curriculum. We will develop a new innovative curricula that will provide the next generation of graduates with the knowledge and training necessary to perform the latest evidence-based integrative therapies and potentially shift medical attitudes about the discipline as a whole.

Leadership: George P. Zabrecky

Dr. George P. Zabrecky has been in practice for over 35 years, during which time he has significantly contributed to the field of integrative medicine. His patient base extends throughout the United States and around the world, including Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, South Korea and China.

As Associate Director of Integrative Medicine, he collaborates extensively with Jefferson faculty to develop treatment protocols for complex medical disorders and the design of related clinical research studies examining the efficacy of new approaches to integrative care.

Dr. Zabrecky’s unique combination of knowledge, training and experience distinguishes his approach to the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of his patients.

Marcus Institute
Of Integrative Health