The Solve ME/CFS Initiative was founded in 1987 and our first dollar was invested in research. Over the first 20 years of service to the community, you helped us fund $4.6 million in research grants, host three research symposia and support numerous conferences and meetings. Over those first two decades, our approach to research followed a traditional model and the studies we funded contributed to a knowledge base of 4,000 small studies.
In 2007, we carefully evaluated the gaps and opportunities. Three important themes emerged from this review:
• The literature was essentially a collection of “one and done” studies with few attempts to validate early observations or extend findings. These had limited benefit for improving patient care.
• Studies were hampered by the use of multiple case definitions and the lack of standardized ways of collecting data about patients or samples from them.
• Research priorities were driven by “in vogue” hypotheses, with few organized efforts to connect the dots or link findings from one study to another.
We knew there was a better way to approach research, and so did you.
In 2008, we added a full-time scientific director, Suzanne D. Vernon, Ph.D., to our staff and we asked you to help us:
• fund innovative studies;
• leverage existing data;
• strengthen international collaborations;
• recruit new talent to the field; and
• expand communication among scientists to share ideas, knowledge and data.
You came through and helped us accelerate the pace of CFS research. Now we want to transform it.
During the week of Nov. 28, we posted two reports each day on Research1st that describe how we have delivered on the promises made in 2008 and what we propose to do next with your participation and support through THECatalystFUND. We also introduced you to some of the Catalysts who are inspired by the Association’s research program and are helping build THECatalystFUND to support the next phase of our research program.
It is an exciting and pivotal time, with many opportunities to seize. We hope you agree!
Dikoma Shungu, PhD: http://bit.ly/sTYFnm
Marvin Medow, PhD: http://bit.ly/umPtH2
Kathleen Light, PhD: http://bit.ly/uo6mIR
Sanjay Shukla, PhD: http://bit.ly/uDPrQI
Gordon Broderick, PhD: http://bit.ly/uxmTBp
Bud Mishra, PhD: http://bit.ly/vbG1K2
Hi-Fi Sci-Di: Dr. Suzanne Vernon Orchestrates High-Fidelity Research: http://bit.ly/sbXCmG
Looking to the Future: http://bit.ly/vcWAkd
Newsworthy Highlights of 2011 (So Far): http://bit.ly/tsRcya
Transforming Research: A Slideshow: http://bit.ly/tE0PTP
We invite you to become a Catalyst and to help transform research and speed progress for better patient care. For a limited time, through a challenge issued by the McGrath Family Foundation, donations made through our secure online portal will be tripled.
Gifts of every size are needed to reach the $2 million goal and will be gratefully recognized as part of The Catalyst Fund. Thank you for your generous support!November 28, 2011