May 2016 Letter from Dr. Zaher Nahle

Zaher1-260x300Last month I shared with you our news on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation PEER award for a national registry for ME/CFS patients. This month, I have two additional developments at the Solve ME/CFS Initiative to share with you.

First, I am glad to announce that the Solve ME/CFS Initiative is launching a new program, a research grants competition open to basic scientists and clinical researchers interested in studying ME/CFS. We plan to make grant awards annually. Individual awards in 2016 will range between $35,000 and $55,000, made for a one-year period, with the possibility of renewals to projects yielding promising results. Submitted proposals will undergo a rigorous, peer-review process to select the most meritorious applications. The program is part of our organization’s research strategy to encourage participatory investigations, accelerate new discoveries and reduce barriers for entry into the challenging field of ME/CFS.

Second, I am thrilled to announce our new Research Advisory Council (RAC). I am truly excited that many thought leaders are aligning themselves with our organization’s research and scientific programs. I welcome to the fold ME/CFS experts Anthony Komaroff of Harvard University, Jose Montoya of Stanford University, Cindy Bateman of the Bateman Horne Center, Peter Rowe of Johns Hopkins University, Andy Kogelnik of the Open Medicine Institute, Susan Levine of the ME/CFS Levine Clinic in Manhattan and Michele Silvestri of the Medical Laboratory Center in Gotland, Sweden.

I am equally thrilled to welcome industry leaders not previously associated with ME/CFS like Sheila Stewart of Washington University in St louis, an authority in immunobiology; Daan Archer a technology expert of Context and MIT Media Labs specializing in big data platforms; Tarek Absi of Vanderbilt University, a cardiothoracic surgeon with unique expertise in research; Nathalie Block an internist at the front line of patient care and a founder of several medical endeavors; as well as Zeina Nahleh, a clinical trials expert and a founder of many national health disparities and fellowship programs. This is in addition to our own board member John Nicols, the CEO of Codexis and a leading biotech expert. Morgan Fairchild, longtime medical activist and actress will lend her years of experience in advising our programs and helping to promote the visibility of our plight.

This council with science, medicine, policy and biotechnology experts signals a new phase of collaboration at the Solve ME/CFS Initiative. Now more than ever, all hands are needed on deck as we tackle this complex and insidious disease. We keep pushing forward!