As managing director of the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine, Lauray MacElhern oversees the business administration, strategy, operations, marketing, finance, management and development of the Center and its four mission areas and related committees: clinical, education, research and community partnerships. MacElhern is co-founder, teacher and trainer of the UC San Diego Natural Healing & Cooking Program. She is also co-founder and elected co-chair of the Business of Integrative Medicine sub-committee of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM).
MacElhern joined UC San Diego after running a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, The Cancer Project, dedicated to nutrition education and research for cancer prevention and survival. As part of that role, she worked with and trained more than 100 chefs around the world on how to teach the organization’s award-winning cooking and nutrition courses. Under her leadership, the organization reached millions through its public outreach efforts and within community centers, hospitals and medical centers in more than 160 cities across the U.S., U.K., Canada, Panama, Jamaica, India and Spain.
For the past decade, MacElhern has specialized in technology, management, marketing and leadership roles contributing to the successful start-up of three ventures. She has achieved formal recognition from NASA and the Telly Awards for her work. From an early age, MacElhern has been personally immersed in healing cooking, naturopathy, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine modalities. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and commerce through coursework in the Wharton School and Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and advanced degree coursework in nutrition sciences through extension programs at Harvard University, UC Berkeley and American University.