GP-TCM is a European Coordination Action funded under the 7th framework programme. The overall aim of the project is to inform best practice and harmonise research of the safety and efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in EU Member States using a functional genomics approach through exchange of opinions, experience and expertise among scientists in EU Member States and China. The main objectives of the GP-TCM consortium are:

  • Develop a European-Chinese network collaborating on functional genomics research in TCM
  • Review current practice of TCM research, identifying problems and proposing ways out
  • Propose standard protocols of methodology
  • Propose priority areas of future research
  • Develop online resources to support and enhance Pan-European studies of TCM research
  • Facilitate and foster a sustainable European Collaboration by founding the European Society of CM Research (ESCMR)

In contrast to the reductionist approach of Western medicine that is based on modern anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology as well as cell and molecular biology, TCM uses a unique theory system and an individualised and holistic approach to describe health and disease, based on the philosophy of Yin-Yang balance and an emphasis on harmony of functions. These two medicine systems disagree with each other in many situations as both of them may observe health from their limited perspective. GP-TCM aims to inform best practice, and harmonise research of safety and efficacy of TCM, especially Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) and acupuncture, in EU Member States and China.

This Coordination Action has grouped together a network of institutions and experts to discuss the application of functional genomics approaches to revisit TCM, especially to address its holistic and function-based view of drugs and patients. The consortium aims to achieve this overall objective through networking and dialogue between more than 150 scientists, clinicians and TCM practitioners from 13 EU Member States, and 6 Non-EU countries including 5 leading Chinese TCM institutions. To facilitate multilateral interaction, this project is being delivered in 10 independent and interacting Work Packages (WPs), in which there are both specialists of TCM research and experts of functional genomics. The project is being managed by a Steering Committee and supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee and a Functional Genomics Technology Committee.

During the funded lifetime of the project, the European Society of Chinese Medicine (CM) Research will be established and will be kept running autonomously to continue the guidance and coordination of EU-China collaboration in TCM research.

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