Inspiring innovation from tradition

The Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions is dedicated to bringing ancient medical traditions to light, and to making them available for new applications.

Contextual information

Medical treatments originating with the dawn of human history and handed across generations have preserved humankind’s experience with a broad spectrum of natural products found to be effective in the treatment of many ailments. In many populations the vital substance of this knowledge and experience has been diligently recorded, illustrated, and transmitted through generations in an uninterrupted tradition, arriving in the 21st century in rare manuscripts and books in libraries worldwide. The Institute brings this critical treasure of knowledge to light, and repurposes it for fresh investigations.

Research in the Institute bridges past and future, crosses the borders of scientific disciplines, and creates a new study area at the interface of science, medicine, and the humanities. It is made possible thanks to innovative programs in science, medicine, and the humanities that are deeply intertwined and form a solid basis for further scientific investigations.


Scholars and scientists in the Institute—be they in-house staff and collaborators or extra-mural researchers in the IPMT consortium, promising graduates, or seasoned researchers—are highly talented and innovative thinkers with a solid background in a broad spectrum of traditional disciplines that they blend and master in a unique synthesis.

Current focus

In the current state, the Institute focuses on the Mediterranean tradition, and has special interest in the Greek medical heritage and the contribution of the Arabo-Islamic World to medicine. In the future, it will integrate other traditions into its programs.

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