On Saturday August 12, the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Center, the Stanford Medicine Genome Technology center and the Open Medicine Foundation hosted a community symposium on the molecular basis of ME/CFS at Stanford University. The collection of scientific presentations featured 10 presentations on scientific research and exploration on ME/CFS, four of whom were scientists who have worked with SMCI as partners, grantees, or collabortors. The symposium presentations featured many promising findings spanning multiple scientific disciplines.
SMCI Ramsay Award recipient, Chris Armstrong of the Univeristy of Melbourne began the scientific presentations following the keynote address from Dr. Robert Naviaux of University of California San Diego. Mr. Armstrong presented on his work on metabolic analysis of B-Cell maturation in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Dr. Jonas Bergquist of Uppsala University, followed Mr. Amrstrong with a presentation about his current work with a Swedish ME/CFS patient cohort exploring biomarkers and pathopysiology. Dr. Maureen Hanson of the SMCI Research Advisory Council and Dr. Alan Light also previously funded by SMCI, presenting on metabolism, including SMCI funded programs on gene regulation and post-exertional malayise (PEM).
The symposium schedule also included two open Q&A sessions with six scientific presenters each, bringing patients and stakeholders into the conversation directly with researchers and scientists.
Two overarching themes of the symposium were the call for research funding and the need for the development of a patient registry. Both of these core items (funding and patient registry) were described as fundamental to the health of the ME/CFS research space. It is affirming to know that our work developing the upcoming PEER Patient Registry and our work in Washington DC to promote additional federal funding is helping to provide the missing pieces identified by the ME/CFS scientific community.