Robert B. Saper, MD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Family Medicine

MD, Harvard University
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health



Dr. Saper is the Director of Integrative Medicine for the Boston Medical Center Department of Family Medicine and an Associate Professor in the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Saper attended Brandeis University for his undergraduate education. After graduating Harvard Medical School in 1988, he completed a family medicine residency and chief residency at UCSF from 1988-92 and was in private practice for 8 years in the San Francisco Bay area. While in California he worked closely with Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversal of Heart Disease. In 2000 he moved back to the Boston area and retooled professionally by entering the three year NIH-funded Integrative Medicine Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School which included an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. As a fellow, he published the first nationally representative survey of yoga use in the United States.

In 2004 he joined the Boston University faculty and medical staff of Boston Medical Center where he directs the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities. The mission of the Program is to bring evidence-based integrative medicine approaches to all, regardless of ability to pay. Soon after arriving at Boston Medical Center, he received a five year Academic Career Development Grant from the NIH National Center for Complementary Alternative Medicine. With this support, he published a pilot study of yoga for chronic low back pain in predominantly low income minorities recruited from federally qualified community health centers. In 2010 Dr. Saper was funded by the NIH to conduct a randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness and cost of yoga, physical therapy, and education for back pain in 320 adults. He is also funded by NIH to study yoga for back pain in veterans. Other major areas of research include the safety and efficacy of traditional Indian herbal medicines.

Dr. Saper is the Vice Chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health and the Co-Editor in Chief of Global Advances in Health and Medicine.

Associate Professor
Boston University School of Public Health
Epidemiology


Active Staff Hospital Privileges
Boston Medical Center
Family Medicine



2014 South Boston Community Health Center: Best Preceptor Award
2010 Society for Teachers of Family Medicine: Honorable Mention, Best Research Paper Award
2006 South Boston Community Health Center: Best Preceptor Award
2006 Society for Teachers of Family Medicine: Honorable Mention, Best Research Paper Award
2003 Harvard Medical School Class of 2003: Recognition for Outstanding Teaching
1998 Alta Bates Medical Center: President's Award
1983 Brandeis University: Summa cum laude with highest honors in biology



Targeted Interventions to Prevent Chronic Low Back Pain in High Risk Patients:A Multi Site Pragma…
07/01/2015 - 06/30/2020 (PI)
University of Pittsburgh PCORI

Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations
09/01/2013 - 08/31/2017 (PI)
NIH-NCCIH
3R01AT005956-05S1

Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations
09/01/2010 - 08/31/2017 (PI)
NIH-NCCIH
5R01 AT005956-05

Yoga vs Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations
09/01/2013 - 08/31/2016 (PI)
NIH-NCCIH
3R01AT005956-05S2

Moving Massage from Nice to Necessary: An Inpatient Pilot Study
01/01/2014 - 12/31/2015 (PI)
Muscular Therapy Institute Foundation

Integrative Medicine Group Visits: An Innovative Model of Care for the Future
11/01/2011 - 12/31/2015 (PI)
Chigier Family Fund

Academic Career Dvelopment in CAM Research and Education
08/01/2005 - 06/30/2011 (PI)
NIH-NCCIH
5K07AT002915-05

Therapeutic Massage for Cancer Patients at Boston Medical Center
09/01/2006 - 08/31/2007 (PI)
Massage Therapy Foundation



Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2015 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 3R01AT005956-05S1 6
2015 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 3R01AT005956-05S2 6
2014 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 3R01AT005956-04S2 6
2014 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 5R01AT005956-05 6
2014 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 3R01AT005956-04S1 6
2013 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 5R01AT005956-04 6
2012 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 5R01AT005956-03 6
2011 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 5R01AT005956-02 6
2010 Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in Minority Populations 1R01AT005956-01A1 6
2009 Academic Career Development in CAM Research and Education 5K07AT002915-05 12
Showing 10 of 14 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Gardiner P, Lestoquoy AS, Gergen-Barnett K, Penti B, White LF, Saper R, Fredman L, Stillman S, Lily Negash N, Adelstein P, Brackup I, Farrell-Riley C, Kabbara K, Laird L, Mitchell S, Bickmore T, Shamekhi A, Liebschutz JM. Design of the integrative medical group visits randomized control trial for underserved patients with chronic pain and depression. Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 Mar; 54:25-35.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27979754; DOI: 10.1016/j.cct.2016.12.013;.
  2. Penti B, Liebschutz JM, Kopcza B, Xuan Z, Odell C, Saper R. Novel peer review method for improving controlled substance prescribing in primary care. J Opioid Manag. 2016 Jul-Aug; 12(4):269-79.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27575828; DOI: 10.5055/jom.2016.0342;.
  3. Saper RB, Lemaster CM, Elwy AR, Paris R, Herman PM, Plumb DN, Sherman KJ, Groessl EJ, Lynch S, Wang S, Weinberg J. Yoga versus education for Veterans with chronic low back pain: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2016 Apr 29; 17(1):224.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27129472; PMCID: PMC4850721; DOI: 10.1186/s13063-016-1321-5;.
  4. Hore P, Ahmed MS, Sedlar S, Saper RB, Nagin D, Clark N. Blood Lead Levels and Potential Risk Factors for Lead Exposures Among South Asians in New York City. J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 Mar 25. PMID: 27015835.
  5. Saper R. Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities. Glob Adv Health Med. 2016 Jan; 5(1):5-8. PMID: 26937308; DOI: 10.7453/gahmj.2015.133;.
  6. Sakallaris BR, Miller WL, Saper R, Kreitzer MJ, Jonas W. Meeting the Challenge of a More Person-centered Future for US Healthcare. Glob Adv Health Med. 2016 Jan; 5(1):51-60. PMID: 26937314; DOI: 10.7453/gahmj.2015.085;.
  7. Keosaian JE, Lemaster CM, Dresner D, Godersky ME, Paris R, Sherman KJ, Saper RB. "We''re all in this together": A qualitative study of predominantly low income minority participants in a yoga trial for chronic low back pain. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Feb; 24:34-9. PMID: 26860799; PMCID: PMC4791585; DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.11.007;.
  8. Berz JP, Gergen Barnett KA, Gardiner P, Saper RB. Integrative Medicine in a Preventive Medicine Residency: A Program for the Urban Underserved. Am J Prev Med. 2015 Nov; 49(5 Suppl 3):S290-5.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26477906; DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.07.031;.
  9. Kreitzer MJ, Saper R. Advancing a Global Vision. Glob Adv Health Med. 2015 Nov; 4(6):3. PMID: 26665012; DOI: 10.7453/gahmj.2015.115;.
  10. Kreitzer MJ, Saper R. Exploring the Biofield. Glob Adv Health Med. 2015 Nov; 4(Suppl):3-4. PMID: 26665036; DOI: 10.7453/gahmj.2015.105.suppl;.
Showing 10 of 60 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 60 publications over 12 distinct years, with a maximum of 19 publications in 2015

YearPublications
19911
20044
20071
20085
20093
20102
20112
20121
20139
20147
201519
20166
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Ayurveda
complementary alternative medicine
health disparities
integrative medicine
low back pain
yoga

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