Meet the Researchers


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2021 |

The Solve M.E. Ramsay Grant Program is designed to build a research workforce for ME/CFS and to allow researchers to generate data to support larger grant applications.

Currently in its fourth year, the Ramsay network now includes more than 60 researchers around the world and has resulted in more than $7 million of additional research funding for ME/CFS.

This year, the number of applications increased by about 130% and they earned the highest ever impact scores from our peer review panel.

Meet the teams below and click on the pictures to learn more about their research projects.

 

Sara Ballouz, PhD “Symptoms, mechanisms and sex: Exploring the sex differences in ME/CFS through integrated computational analyses”

 

Heather Edgell, PhD “Physiological and cognitive function in patients with PASC or ME before and after inspiratory muscle training”

 

David Esteban, PhD “Microbial aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists in ME/CFS”

 

Alon Friedman, MD, PhD “Blood-brain barrier imaging as a biomarker for ME/CFS”

 

Aaron Ring MD, PhD “Discovery of pathological autoantibodies in ME/CFS and post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection”

This year, Solve expanded the Ramsay Program by launching the Stupski Awards to fund projects that analyze You + ME Registry data. These new grants honor Joyce Stupski, whose generous support of research and dedication to Solve M.E. will be sorely missed.

Recipients of the first-ever Stupski Awards are Jennifer Stone, PhD, and Efthymios Kalafatis, MSc.  Click on the pictures below to learn more about their research projects.

 

Efthymios Kalafatis “Application of Machine Learning and Text Analytics in a Cohort of People with ME/CFS and People with Long Covid to Capture Disease Severity, Potential Associations and Sequential Patterns of Events”

 

Jennifer Stone, PhD “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Long Covid: Are They the Same Condition?”

2019 |

2019 was our biggest year yet! We had over 30 researchers working across seven projects. The group represented 12 academic centers and organizations. Three of the studies were done collaboratively, integrating scientists from different labs.

Meet the teams below and click on the pictures to learn more about their research projects.

 

Liisa Selin, PhD, and Anna Gil, PhD “Altered T cells in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)”

 

Bruno Paiva, PhD “Possible class II MHC deficiency in patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)”

 

Shad Roundy, PhD “Defining the postural contributors to post-exertional malaise (PEM) in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)”

 

Kris Fobes, Nikos Kyripides, PhD, David Paez-Espino, PhD “Extensive characterization of the ME/CFS blood and CSF microbiome + virome”

 

Francisco Westermeier, PhD “Unraveling endothelial function in ME/CFS”

 

Kegan Moneghetti PhD, MBBS (hons), FRACP “PARsing post-exertional malaise: does post-exertional autonomic recovery (PAR) impact post-exertional malaise?”

 

Michael Van Elzakker, PhD, and Kenneth Kwong, PhD “Brain perfusion changes in chronic fatigue syndrome before and after exercise challenge”

 


 

Learn more about Ramsay-supported studies from the 2016 – 2018 cycle below

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2018 | The 2018 Request for Applications (RFA) received an enthusiastic response; double the number of applications were submitted compared to the 2017 cycle. From a collection of high quality proposals, seven projects received Ramsay funding at the beginning of 2019. Broadly, the investigators are researching mitochondrial dysfunction, immune-mediated inflammation, cell signaling, genetics, and infectious triggers. 

The Ramsay 2018 PI’s include two expert researchers leading their first original studies in ME/CFS and two highly innovative early-career stage researchers. This group of researchers has a particular emphasis on unbiased bioinformatics approaches and the use of methods novel to the ME/CFS field, such as evaluating exosomes (vesicles released from cells that play a role in intercellular communication) and producing reprogrammed neurons to examine neuro-metabolic and molecular changes. The studies are ongoing and results are anticipated soon.

>>> Click the researcher photos to learn more about each project.

 

Vincent Lombardi, PhD “Characterization of Janus kinase (JAK) activation profiles in ME/CFS subgroups”

 

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

 

Elizabeth Worthey, PhD Camille Birch, PhD “Whole genome sequencing and analysis of ME/CFS”

 

Jonas Blomberg, MD, PhD Anders Rosén, MD, PhD “Biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction and signaling in ME/CFS”

 

Dawei Li, PhD “Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and their expression in chronic fatigue syndrome”

 

Malav Trivedi, PhD “ME/CFS In a Petri Dish” (an Investigation into ME/CFS using reprogrammed neurons)

 

Hector Bonilla, MD “Cross-sectional study to assess the prevalence of APOE e4 alleles in patients with ME/CFS and the association with herpes virus infection”

 


 

2017 |  The second year of the Ramsays supported five projects investigating the involvement of autoimmunity, infectious triggers, immune cell metabolism, and the gut microbiome in ME/CFS. The 2017 cycle funded a graduate student-level PI to lead a study on the gut virome in a cohort of people with ME/CFS and household controls. It also brought in an expert computational biologist new to the field to study a hypotheses of gut microbiota-immune system interaction using a bioinformatics approach. The group has produced two scientific publications in Frontiers in Immunology from a study initiated by Prof. Jonas Blomberg (Uppsala University, Sweden). More manuscripts from this group are in process.

>>> Click the researcher photos to learn more about each project.

 

Jonas Blomberg, MD, PhD Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD “Biomarkers for initiation (infection) and metabolic derangement in ME/CFS”

 

Lubov Nathanson, PhD “Epigenetics in Immune Cells”

 

Eran Segal, PhD “Gut Microbiome & Autoantigens”

 

Fiona Newberry, PhD Candidate “Investigating alterations in the intestinal virome in CFS/ME”

 

Carmen Scheibenbogen, MD “Metabolic Changes in T Cells & Monocytes”

 


 

2016 |  The inaugural group of Ramsay researchers explored hypotheses in diverse areas of science, including: neuroinflammation, autoimmunity, immune cell metabolism, virology, and mitochondrial functioning. To-date, researchers have produced three publications in Frontiers in Immunology, Genomic Medicine (a Nature publication), and Brain Imaging & Behavior. Dr. Geraldine (Jo) Cambridge and Fane Mensah received extension funding from SMCI for their Ramsay project to investigate altered energy utilization in the B cells of ME/CFS patients in an expanded pool of samples. Notably, pilot data from Dr. Jarred Younger’s Ramsay project showing evidence of neuroinflammation in individuals with ME/CFS was used to obtain a large, multi-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

>>> Click the researcher photos to learn more about each project.

 

Jarred Younger, PhD “Evidence of widespread metabolite abnormalities in ME/CFS: assessment with whole-brain magnetic resonance spectroscopy”

 

Geraldine Cambridge, PhD “Metabolic Analysis Of B-cell Maturation In ME/CFS”

 

Bhupesh Prusty, PhD “HHV-6 Mediated Mitochondrial Modulation and Its Association to ME/CFS”

 

Carmen Scheibenbogen, MD “Autoimmune Signature in ME/CFS”