Suzanne D. Vernon Steps Down from Scientific Director Post

Eight years after joining the Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI), Suzanne D. Vernon, PhD, will be stepping down as Scientific Director in late June. She will continue with the organization in a consultancy role. SMCI has begun an international search for a Research Director.

As the organization’s first Scientific Director, Vernon played a key role in transforming SMCI into a patient-centered research organization—one that translates donor-funded research into tangible results and progress.

Shortly after joining SMCI in 2007, Vernon tapped into her professional network to spark interest in ME/CFS research. Her efforts resulted in more than 10 new investigators becoming engaged in ME/CFS research. “ME/CFS is a blank slate, and for scientists this represents a great opportunity for discovery,” says Vernon.

Suzanne D. Vernon, PhD

Suzanne D. Vernon, PhD

During her time with the organization, Vernon established the SolveCFS BioBank, which is one of the few biobanks focused on ME/CFS. “Our SolveCFS BioBank puts patients as partners in the research pipeline,” says Vernon. This patient-centered research approach engages patients in being part of the solution.

Vernon’s contributions to SMCI have left the organization well-positioned to continue its leadership role in funding forward-thinking investigators from the best institutions. The Solve ME/CFS Initiative is one of the largest private funders of ME/CFS research.

Vernon is excited about the opportunities that are ahead of her. She is considering a return to her infectious disease roots, as well as embarking on quantified self research in the chronic disease space.

“Suzanne has made an indelible contribution not only to our organization, but also to the field of ME/CFS research broadly,” says Solve ME/CFS President Carol Head. “Her efforts will continue to bear fruit for many years to come.”

Head adds that this is an exceptional time for research into ME/CFS, given the impetus of the Institute of Medicine report. “We look forward to building on the current research momentum, which is beginning to bring clarity to this complex, insidious disease,” Head says.


Tags: , , , , , , , April 8, 2015
  • What! This is not good news in my book…

    • andrewkewley

      Agreed, Vernon was the bright spot of an otherwise dull SMCI/CAA.

    • JustinReilly

      This is great news.

  • Chris Messina

    “ME/CFS is a blank slate, and for scientists this represents a great opportunity for discovery,” says Vernon.


  • Erik Johnson

    Neither Kim McCleary or Suzanne Vernon made the slightest move to study the incident that started CFS.
    Far from it.
    When a prototype for the syndrome personally told them about evidence that was overlooked, they acted with deliberate malevolence to suppress these clues.
    A CFS researcher must be interested in the incident and evidence that was the reason and basis for the syndrome.
    Dr Vernon betrayed the principles of science and created harm by deliberate negligence.

  • Erik Johnson

    After Dr Vernon showed her “True CDC colors” with that absurd “Childhood abuse risk factor” paper with Bill Reeves, combined with NON interest in the history of CFS, I predicted that after her service to the CDC in crushing CFS clues was over,
    a professorship at Emory will be her reward.

    Let’s see if it comes to pass.

  • Lucinda Bateman

    Suzanne Vernon has been one of the most influential forces for positive progress in the MECFS scientific and research community. Most of her work goes on behind the scenes, networking broadly to attract new scientists to the field, building professional relationships, developing creative new solutions to solve seemingly insurmountable problems. She is passionate about helping the people impacted by this illness complex. Thank you Suzanne for everything you have done.

    • Erik Johnson

      Dr Bateman. Your recent rejection of the actual phenomenon that started the “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” disqualifies your “expertise” in this matter.

      As with Dr Vernon, had you been sincere in wishing to “solve CFS”, it is inexcusable to dismiss and disregard the first eight years of CFS history,
      as if the entire inception of this syndrome happened for no reason whatsoever..

    • JustinReilly

      Vernon is co-author of the fraudulent Reeves CFS Criteria. Very glad she’s gone.

  • Lynn Fuentes

    Suzanne was not only a galvanizing and innovative force in CFS research, she was someone who genuinely cared about patients and worked tirelessly to help them. Her capabilities, enthusiasm, and dedication will be much missed.

    • JustinReilly

      Why did she co-author the Reeves CFS Criteria when she worked at CDC, and org which has done nothing but abuse patients and lie about the science?

  • davidbecker2

    Biobanks are not people- and people are the ones with ME/CFS. Rats are not people either. The reductionist approach to ME- what else is new? Oh and the neologisms- how quaint. The problem the researchers dont get is the failure to recognize their own limitations and biases in looking at the issue. So Suzanne- as someon who cares about pain issues and fatigue- we all need to pick up the pace- including researchers. And yeah my mitochondial cristae density is pretty god as is the methylation of my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.