September 2018

Interim Update from 2017 Ramsay Class member Dr. Eran Segal

The lead investigator tells us more about his project exploring the gut microbiota-immune system interaction in ME/CFS

Eran Segal, PhD, is a computational biologist specializing in the role of the human microbiome in health and disease. He focuses on the development of personalized medicine approaches that combine human genetics, the microbiome, and nutrition. Dr. Segal summarizes his work in a fascinating TEDx talk here.

Dr. Segal is lead investigator of a Ramsay 2017 project exploring the gut microbiota-immune system interaction in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). His research group is using a multidisciplinary approach that combines both experimental and computation-based methods.

Solve M.E. Funds Extension of 2016 Ramsay Class project led by Dr. Geraldine (Jo) Cambridge

As part of their 2016 Ramsay Award supported project, Geraldine (Jo) Cambridge, PhD, University College London, Fane Mensah, a PhD candidate at UCL, and Chris Armstrong, PhD, a metabolomics expert at University of Melbourne, investigated how metabolic activities in B cells, a type of white blood cell, might differ in individuals with ME/CFS as compared to healthy controls. The team established an experimental setting to follow up on their novel finding of increased CD24, a cell surface molecule on B cells in the immune system, in patients with ME/CFS. Solve M.E. is thrilled to announce a funding for an extension of their project to apply this experimental method to an expanded pool of samples. Read more here.

Solve M.E. Represents ME/CFS at the Genetic Alliance Conference in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 30 disease organizations were represented at the “People Driven: Empowering Advocacy-and Community-led Research” conference

On September 20-21 disease advocates, investigators, and biomedical research innovators came together in Washington, D.C. for a conference convened by Genetic Alliance, a nonprofit that engages individuals, families, and communities to transform health. Dubbed “People Driven: Empowering Advocacy-and Community-led Research,” the conference was filled with panels, presentations, and discussions in exploration of that theme. Speakers addressed the concepts and tools of people-driven research and how cross-discipline stakeholders can collaborate and innovate at the speed of patients’ needs.

Nearly 30 disease advocacy and research organizations were represented at the conference, including a number of conditions with ties to ME/CFS. Solve M.E. was the only organization representing ME/CFS. Our team worked shoulder to shoulder with advocates from Ehlers-Danlos Society, Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis IBD Plexus Program, and two organizations working on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research – the National MS Society and Accelerated Cure Project for MS. 

Dr. Len Jason Answers Your Follow-Up Questions to His Webinar “Appropriately and Accurately Assessing Symptoms in Patients with ME”

The DePaul professor addresses questions arising from his recent webinar on the multi-year effort to develop patient symptom questionnaires for ME/CFS.

Our webinar this month featured Leonard A. Jason, PhD, professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and a prolific researcher in the field of ME/CFS. In his presentation, Appropriately and Accurately Assessing Symptoms in Patients with ME,” Dr. Jason provided an overview of the multi-year effort to develop patient symptom questionnaires for ME and CFS. In the webinar, he explains why it is important to reliably assess domains of this illness so that more homogenous groups can be studied that are comparable across labs. You can watch video of the presentation here.

The positive response to his presentation included thoughtful questions from several attendees. Prof. Jason provided responses to some questions we did not have time for during the webinar.

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