The Solve ME/CFS Initiative has built a unique resource to accelerate ME/CFS research. – The SolveCFS BioBank. Since its inception in 2010, the SolveCFS BioBank has provided clinical information and biological samples to eight investigators; all but one of these are new to ME/CFS research. There are many curious scientists who love to tackle challenging science and the SolveCFS BioBank is proving to be a great resource that attracts the brightest investigators from some of the best institutions into the field of ME/CFS research.
Our design for the SolveCFS BioBank is like no other. Individuals choose to voluntarily participate in the SolveCFS BioBank and make their sample available for research. We begin by collecting basic information from people who want to participate in ME/CFS research – just enough information so we can match the right person with the right project:
- your full birth name, birth date and place and current contact information
- specific demographic information (age, gender, ethnicity)
- symptoms (important to define ME/CFS)
- medical history and medication use (so we can determine if you qualify for specific research)
This is important because different types of biological samples and specific types of information are required for research. For example, an investigator may use an experimental test that requires blood cells collected in a very specific tube. Or an investigator may require subjects that are not taking certain types of medications. Our SolveCFS BioBank provides this type of customized, on-demand sampling because we know there is no such thing as one-size fits all for ME/CFS research.
In this 4-part series, we’ll tell you more about the exciting research underway, some early results in various stages of being published, as well as more on how you can take part and actively help move the research forward. Here’s some of the research projects we’ll write about:
- Patrick McGowan, PhD has identified genes important for immune function that have significantly different epigenetic patterns
- Eric L. Delwart, PhD continues to chase down differences in viruses in ME/CFS patients in order to be used as a possible “virus profile” biomarker
- Stephen J. Elledge, PhD is using blood samples from the SolveCFS BioBank to create an “antibody barcode” that is a history of virus infections in an individual. He seeks to prove the hypothesis that viruses may cause ME/CFS
- Michael Houghton, PhD is using blood from the SolveCFS BioBank to validate a possible ME/CFS biomarker. Houghton and his team have discovered a biomarker that may have clinical relevance for ME/CFS
This schematic illustrates how the SolveCFS BioBank works and how easy we’ve made it to participate in research:
Stay tuned to the blog for more – OR – Contact the Association’s BioBank Coordinator to learn more now:
Gloria E. Smith