2018 Ramsay Class AnnouncementsOctober 8, 2018

Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI) is pleased to announce the members of the 2018 Ramsay Award Program Class. The Ramsay Program is designed to encourage participatory investigations, new discoveries, and reduce barriers for entry into the challenging, yet rewarding, field of ME/CFS. This year’s Ramsay class is reflective of this expectant time in ME/CFS research and the projects are building on some of the most promising areas of science.

Firsts for 2018:
>Go forth and replicate! To accelerate discovery, investigators from the 2018 class have been asked to share both positive and negative results to allow other researchers to build on their findings.
>Researcher advocates. The Ramsay 2018 class will also complete a visibility or advocacy action (e.g. writing an op-ed or visiting with a lawmaker to advocate for an increase in research dollars) as part of their projects.
>Patient participation. As part of SMCI’s goal to meaningfully integrate patients into our research initiatives, this 2018 cycle included two individuals with ME/CFS on the review panel.

Meet the Ramsay Class of 2018

“Characterization of Janus kinase (JAK) activation profiles in ME/CFS subgroups”
PI: Professor Vincent Lombardi, PhD, University of Nevada, Reno

Prof. Lombardi, an established ME/CFS researcher, plans to expand on pilot findings of activation of janus kinase (JAK), a signaling pathway involved in cytokine activity, in individuals with ME/CFS. This investigative choice could lead directly to treatments that are already FDA-approved for other conditions, making this project highly significant to progression of the field with the potential for translational benefit to patients. Read the research team’s study abstract here.

“Extracellular vesicles from ME/CFS Patients and their effect on human mast cells and microglia mediators secretion”
PI: Professor Theoharis Theoharides, MD, PhD, Tufts University

Prof. Theoharides’ project will focus on the hypothesis that mast cells and microglia provoke neuroinflammation in ME/CFS patients. Using an innovative approach of examining the contents of extracellular vesicles (membrane surrounded structures released from cells involved in signaling), this study has the potential to bring novel insight to a highly provoking area of research that has only been explored preliminarily. Read the research team’s study abstract here.

“Whole genome sequencing and analysis of ME/CFS”
PI: Dr. Elizabeth Worthey, HudsonAlpha Institute

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Worthey is an experienced investigator newly applying her expertise to the ME/CFS field. Working with Dr. Camille Birch, Dr. Worthey will run whole-genome sequencing (WGS) against network analysis algorithms to test the hypothesis that an intrinsic genetic defect (or defects) in one or more metabolic pathways is stimulated by an external stimulus. Read the research team’s study abstract here.

“Biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction and signaling in ME/CFS”
PI: Professor Jonas Blomberg, MD, PhD, Uppsala University & Dr. Anders Rosén, MD, PhD, Linköping University

Professor Jonas Blomberg (Uppsala University, Sweden), a member of the Ramsay 2017 class (read more here), is partnering with Professor Anders Rosén (Linköping University, Sweden) to study mitochondrial dysfunction and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) signaling. Read the research team’s study abstract here.

 


The Ramsay Awards are named after ME/CFS pioneer Dr. A. Melvin Ramsay, the recognized authority from 1955 until his death in 1990, whose sound descriptions of the disease have stood the test of time.  We embrace his determination and spirit to find the answers to this disease.

The Ramsay Award Program Has Three Main Objectives:

  • PROVIDE SEED FUNDING for innovative projects that will generate data to facilitate applications for larger grants
  • ATTRACT RESEARCHERS to the field of ME/CFS and ensure they stay engaged
  • ADD to the cumulative, scientific knowledge

This investment in seed grants through an open competition reflects our commitment to participatory research and inclusivity to advance the field and amplify the work of our grantee researchers. Each grant award typically ranges between $35,000 and $55,000 for a one-year period, with the possibility of renewal for projects yielding promising results.

Ramsay Award 2017 – READ ABOUT THE PROGRAM RESULTS HERE

Ramsay Award 2016 – READ ABOUT THE PROGRAM RESULTS HERE

Questions and inquiries regarding the Ramsay Award Program should be directed to Allison Ramiller, at research@solvecfs.org.