New Research Project Launches through SMCI’s Targeted Initiative Research Program

hanson-r1st-targeted-initiativeSMCI recently launched a new partnership as a component of our targeted initiative program, within our Pathways and Biomarkers Discovery Track. The project consists of original research in the areas of bioenergetics, metabolomics, and lipidomics using high-throughput technology. Importantly, this new SMCI research project relies on blood from well-qualified patients from The Levine Clinic; it also builds on recent discoveries in gut microbiome from Dr. Maureen Hanson’s lab, which uses these same patients.

As always, we partner with experts. In this instance, we have brought together the following group: Dr. Hanson, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell University; Dr. Levine, a member of SMCI’s Research Advisory Council and the chair of the Department of Health and Human Services Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee; and Metabolon, an industry leader in the discovery of biomarkers through the use of metabolomics (a “high-throughput technology” and a powerful scientific approach for the discovery and development of drugs and for early disease diagnosis).

Results from this new study have the potential to be quite significant and may include

  • Expanding the gut microbiome findings and providing additional context and clarity
  • Identifying specific biological signatures from well-characterized patients
  • Developing mechanistic insight into comorbidities associated with ME/CFS
  • Uncovering potential new biomarkers that could help with rapid and effective diagnosis
  • Comprehending signaling pathway interactions involved in the disease
  • Supporting existing projects and hypotheses by us and others as well as generating new hypotheses
  • Classifying patients based on molecular alterations
  • Developing precision medicine profiles, categories, and subcategories in ME/CFS with additional patients

We expect that the initial phase of this new project will be completed in the next quarter, with results requiring additional mechanistic investigation to establish findings as reproducible and validated targets.

Dr. Zaher Nahle, SMCI’s vice president for research and scientific programs, stated, “We could not be more excited about our partnership with Dr. Hanson, Dr. Levine, and Metabolon. We look forward to analyzing the metabolome of both early- and late-stage ME/CFS patients and their controls using Metabolon’s multiplex platforms. It is our hope that this study will reveal signatures and identifiers pointing toward biomarkers as well as a molecular basis for the disease and its subgroups. The results from this study will help us to hone or validate our hypotheses. And, what’s more, we will be able to seek new partnerships and assist the work of others by publishing these results alongside our collaborators.”

October 14, 2016
  • Becki Villecco-McDonough

    How can people diagnosed with the disease participate in the research? Both of my sons are affected as well as myself. It has been mentioned that genetics/biomarkers are or may be playing a role.

  • BURNA

    This is great news. Will there be any more specifics forthcoming ?

  • M. Ratcha

    Is there any effort underway, in addition to traditional research, for patients to participate in Big Data ourselves? for example, we can share experiences and information on a site like MyPatientMatch.com … but thousands of us would be willing to do more. we could upload our 23andme.com genetic information. we could participate in rigorous reporting on symptoms and treatments. someone just has to build the interface and run the back end 🙂 . i bet much of the information we collectively seek is ALREADY THERE. we just don’t have a way to access it.

  • Exciting stuff!