Research Board

Clinical Trials Committee:

Co-Chair:

Jennifer Rioux

Dr. Jennifer Rioux

Dr. Jennifer Rioux has international reputation in the fields of Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga Therapy as an educator, clinician and researcher. She holds a doctorate in Medical Anthropology and is certified in Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga. Dr. Rioux has been on faculty at the University of North Carolina and University of New Mexico School of Medicine and was an NIH-funded Researcher at the University of Arizona Medical School. Dr. Rioux has conducted research in community health, health promotion, and clinical trials for holistic health care disciplines. She specializes in designing and implementing clinical trials using a whole-systems approach and focusing on patient-centered outcomes.  She completed the first ever whole-system pilot study of Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga Therapy treatment for obesity. Her other research and clinical interests are chronic pain, women’s and children’s health, and mood and digestive disorders.  She is passionate about increasing access to holistic medicine for underserved communities and low-income/minority populations. Dr Rioux spearheaded the development of Standards for the Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurvedic Wellness Coach and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist credentials through the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. Dr. Rioux designed instrumentats to collect outcomes data relevant for the integrative medical disciplines. Dr. Rioux leads courses, workshops and seminars that promote deep understanding of what traditional world medicines have to offer contemporary societies.

Co-Chair:

RajaHeadshot_Kurtha

Dr. Raja Sivamani 

Dr. Raja Sivamani is a board-certified dermatologist and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Dermatology at the University of California, Davis. He has a graduate bioengineering degree from UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco prior to completing his degree and dermatology residency training at UC Davis. He received Ayurvedic training at the California College of Ayurveda.  He currently engages in clinical care, teaching, and research. His clinical care focuses on medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. He works with undergraduates, medical students, physician assistant students, nursing students, pediatric resident physicians, family practice resident physicians, and dermatology resident physicians. He serves on the Institutional Review Board committee at UC Davis and has been conducting clinical studies for the past 15 years. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, over 10 book chapters, and served as lead editor on the textbook Cosmeceuticals and Active Cosmetics, 3rd Edition.

Committed to individualizing patient care, he is passionate about collaborative and integrative research. By bridging concepts from Ayurvedic medicine, plant sciences, and food sciences, he looks to better understand how we these can be adapted for medical therapies. Also, by adapting concepts from engineering with medicine, he looks for innovative, effective, and practical ways to deliver medical care.

Cindi Laukes

Cindi Laukes, MA

Cindi Laukes is Chief Operating Officer for the Neural Injury Center at The University of Montana, and Research Manager for the Montana Cancer Institute. She is Chair of the Montana Brain Injury Consortium, a regional TBI network she co-founded, and Project Director for several community health projects in Montana’s Tribal communities.  Over the past 24 years, she has managed over 300 clinical research projects in neuroscience, oncology, alternative medicine, and cardiology. She is on the steering committee of the University of Washington ITHS Regional Clinical Research Network, as well as on a Tribal advisory committee for the SpectrUM (children’s science) Museum.  She has been a clinical research preceptor for the University of Montana PharmD and Public Health Programs for 10 years. She also works as an independent clinical research consultant.  Prior to relocating to Montana in 2001, she managed clinical research programs at The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center-Tucson, and before that, at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. She has co-authored many medical research publications, and has illustrated scientific books related to neuroscience.  She holds a degree in English Literature, as well as an MA and MFA in Painting and Art History from the University of Iowa-Iowa City where she was a Pelzer-Lynch Fellow and Madison Scholar.

Sanjeev Rastogi

Sanjeev Rastogi, Masters in Ayurveda

Sanjeev Rastogi has a Masters degree in Kaya Chikitsa (Ayurvedic medicine) from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

He worked as Associate Professor and Head, Dept of Pancha Karma, State Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Lucknow, India and currently is Director, Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidhyapeeth, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Ayush , Govt. of India , New Delhi .

Rastogi is widely known for his provocative fundamental and clinical research publishing regularly at various medical journals. In recognition to his work in Ayurveda , he is awarded with a Chinese Govt. fellowship in 1998, Luisa Kreisberg Family Foundation Scholarship 2008 from Teleosis Institute , California  , Consumer Wellness Center Nutritional Grant Award   consecutively for 2 years in 2008 and 2009 from CWC, Arizona, USA and Robert Bosch foundation sponsorship to attend CAM summer school in Pots dam , Germany in 2010

Rastogi has over 60 published research papers and also authored and edited over 9 books and many chapters to few international publications (Springer, Nova). He is on editorial boards of many national and international medical journals related to Ayurveda and alternative medicine and is senior editor to ‘Annals of Ayurvedic Medicine’ a peer reviewed quarterly journal published by Association of Ayurvedic Physicians of India (AAPI).

Vrinda Devani

Vrinda Devani, MD, FACOG, CAyur, RYT

As a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Vrinda Devani, MD has a passion for women’s health and empowering men and women, alike, towards vibrant health and living. She is a believer in unfolding the human body’s potential through a blend of complementary and allopathic medicine. Dr. Vrinda Devani earned her medical doctor degree at UT Southwestern Medical Center and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor University Medical Center. She currently serves as Director of Research for Banyan Botanicals, in addition to being a writer and medical advisor. In Lubbock, Texas, where she currently resides, Dr. Vrinda Devani shares her passion for Ayurveda through her Ayurveda practice and by conducting seminars and workshops with the nearby community. She has been extremely fortunate to study Ayurveda extensively under Dr. Vasant Lad and further her studies in Ayurvedic women’s health with travels in Nepal with Dr. Sarita Shrestha.  In addition to being a physician and certified Ayurvedic practitioner, she also has a love for yoga and is a certified AyurYoga teacher. She has been married for just about ten years to an incredibly supportive husband and is surrounded by family who are all Ayurveda enthusiasts.

Dr Niccos

Nicco Krezdorn, M.D.

Dr. Nicco Krezdorn is a resident surgeon of plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery at Hannover Medical School, in Hannover, Germany. He is currently is doing a post-doc research fellowship at the Center for Reconstructive and Restorative Surgery Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. He received his medical training in Germany, Italy, France and Rwanda and graduated from Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany. He received his Ayurvedic training at the National Library of Ayurvedic Medicine.

He was engaged in numerous clinical trials and is involved in ongoing both experimental as well as clinical research. He has authored and co-authored a variety of peer-reviewed publications as well as book chapters in the field of plastic surgery. Dr. Krezdorn is an active instructor of Hatha and Kundalini Yoga as well as Vipassana Meditation.

Enthusiastic to foster closer collaborations between various medical sciences and approaches, he is committed to explore and combine the best treatment options for his patients. His multi-cultural training enables him to draw from a multitude of experiences and an international network for this endeavor. Engaged in teaching of graduate and undergraduate students, he is also inspired to dissolve misconceptions among health care practitioners and to promote healthy living both for patients and their care givers.

Lisa Conboy

Lisa Conboy, MA, MS, ScD,
Instructor in Medicine, Part-time
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Director of the Research Department, The New England School of Acupuncture at MCPHS University


Lisa Conboy is a social epidemiologist and a sociologist with an interest in the associations between social factors and health.  She is published in the areas of Women’s Health, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and qualitative research methodology. An Instructor Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, she is also the research director and faculty at the New England School of Acupuncture where she teaches research methodology and oversees multiple projects.  She is also a founding member of the Kripalu research collaborative which examines the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and other holistic and mind-body therapies.

Methods Committee:

Namyata

Chair: Namyata Pathak Gandhi, BAMS, Masters in Ayurveda, VSF is an Ayurveda expert trained in India.  In 2011, she was selected as the youngest and exceptional Vaidya Scientist fellow (VSF) in a nationwide screen by the Government of India through Centre of Excellence, Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Bengaluru.

As a Research associate at Mahatma Gandhi’s Kasturba Health Society, she was involved in innovative projects to develop Ayurveda-inspired products and services. She has received an intensive exposure in inter-disciplinary collaboration between conventional medicine and traditional physicians, life science experts and community, government, academic and commercial organizations.

Her commitment for useful applications of Ayurveda’s fundamentals led to publications like those on Pragnyaapradha, Ayurceuticals, Vaidya – scientists.

At clinics in India, she pursued providing the best available individual care.  Apart from general internal medicine, she focused on improving health through Integrative services for (a) Parkinson’s Disease management and (b) Preventive management of cardio-metabolic disorders in high risk individuals.

She is on the editorial board of international peer reviewed journals, has authored several publications and delivered talks to community, industry, research groups. After shifting a base to the California, USA in 2014, she is now Founding physician at AIM Swasthya.

Meenakshi

Meenakshi Gupta, B.A.M.S., Masters in Ayurveda, is an Ayurveda expert, trainer and teacher of international repute, pursued her Masters in Ayurveda from the National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, India.
She is a gold medalist, has done intense 3 years of clinical research on Ayurvedic herbs in Shayyamutra( Enuresis )The research experience includes literacy research as well as clinical trials with Ayurvedic herbs on Shayaamutra ( Enuresis ) .
She has more than 12 years of extensive international experience in design & delivery of Ayurveda courses such as Ayurveda Cosmetology, Ayurveda Herbology, Ayurveda & Yoga, Panchakarma therapy. She organizes regular workshops on various topics of Ayurveda . She has more than 5 years of extensive teaching experience, and has vast clinical experience with Ayurveda herbs & Panchakarma.
She has authored several papers and writes regular column in several e magazines, health magazines along with various Radio talks & newspaper articles. She is member of the fellowship Board of the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA) and Senior Editor of Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine (JAHM).

 

Asavari pic

Asavari Manvikar, is a classically trained Ayurvedic doctor, who has earned her Bachelor, and Master’s degree in Kayachikitsa (Ayurveda Medicine) from University of Pune, India. She has been awarded with a Gold Medal for her scholarly thesis work by Institute of Indian Medicine.

Before coming to USA, she served as a Faculty Member, at the BSDT’s Ayurveda College & Research Center. She has conducted research projects about integrative approach to diabetes, obesity, and cancer. She has authored several papers and articles in health journals.

She is one of the leading Ayurveda experts in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. She is a very passionate educator and has been organizing regular workshops on various topics of Ayurveda and yoga to increase awareness regarding holistic approach to health and wellness. She has been teaching certificate course on Ayurveda, at Normandale Community college, and 500 hour level module at a yoga center.

She has developed a graduate level course ‘Ayurveda Medicine’ and has been teaching the course for over 5 years at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing.

She is a Faculty Member at Ayuvidya, an Ayurvedic college, in California and a professional member of the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA). Furthermore, she serves as the Vice President for the Minnesota Ayurveda Association.

8

Dr.Priyanka Ingle-Jadhav, BAMS, MS-PhD – Translational Clinical Pharmacologist

Dr.Priyanka has completed Bachelors in Ayurveda from Mumbai, India during which she got multiple opportunities to learn and practice Ayurveda with established practitioners. Following her passion to uncover and understand the fundamentals of Ayurveda, she did her Masters and PhD in Pharmaceutical Medicine from Maharashtra State University and worked as Assistant Professor at KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr.Priyanka did Ayurveda Consultancy in Mumbai for 6 years till she moved to USA. 

She acquired deeper understanding of Immunology in pathogenesis of both communicable and non-communicable disease and importance of immunological methods applicable to Ayurvedic research. She continued her research as Post-doctoral fellow at University of Florida, USA with top of the field mentors. She worked in state of the art institutes and technologies, including single cell analysis and digital pathology in Sjogrens’ and Type 1 diabetes. Her focus was Ayurveda as she conducted multiple studies to comprehend utility of Ayurvedic drugs in various models. 

She has authored chapters (4), papers (15), published book and presented at various conferences (30). She has received awards (11), conducted certificate courses/conferences/CMEs (26) on behalf of State University and ICMR.

Currently she is working on collaborative projects across India and USA to bolster Ayurvedic research ahead.