The donation was made by the American Bernard Osher and his Swedish wife Barbro Osher. Bernard Osher is a retired former businessman with a strong interest in alternative medicine, particularly traditional Chinese medicine. His wife Barbro is the Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco. This is one of the largest private donations in the history of Karolinska Institutet.
Integrative medicine involves combining alternative forms of treatment with Western science-based medicine. This integration can only be achieved after a strict scientific assessment of these alternative forms of treatment, such as acupuncture, healing, herbal medicine, naprapathy, chiropractic, massage therapy, diet therapy and – within the field of psychology – treatments such as relaxation, meditation, hypnosis and other forms of psychotherapy. The impact of lifestyle factors on health will also be examined, such as the significance of sleep, stress, eating habits and sexual and social relationships.