Join the Solve ME/CFS Initiative as part of the Community Advisory Committee for The Center for Solutions for ME/CFS at The Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity.

What you need to know:

  • The NIH-Funded Collaborative Research Center (CRC) at Columbia University, The Center for Solutions for ME/CFS (CfS for ME/CFS), is directed by Dr. Ian Lipkin and comprises three distinct and interrelated ME/CFS research projects.
  • CfS for ME/CFS utilizes a Community Advisory Committee to assist with the development and execution of the Center’s activities.
  • The Solve ME/CFS Initiative is a collaborator that also serves on this committee with MEAction and The Microbe Discovery Project.
  • Applications to join this committee are now open and due Monday July 9th
  • Complete your application to join the Community Advisory Committee at:
  • Each member of the committee will receive a $400 honorarium

About the Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs)

On September 27 2017, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the outcome of its ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) competitive consortium grants, marking an unprecedented and tangible commitment from the federal agency to the disease. The NIH announced four recipient teams; one Data Management Coordination Center (DMCC) and three Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs).

One of the CRC awards was granted to Dr. Ian Lipkin at the Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity. Dr. Lipkin and his team founded  The Center for Solutions for ME/CFS (CfS for ME/CFS) and the Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI) is proud to collaborate in this effort as part of the Center’s Community Advisory Committee.

About the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS

The Center for Solutions for ME/CFS (CfS for ME/CFS) is a multi-institutional, inter-disciplinary research center dedicated to understanding the biology of ME/CFS and developing diagnostic tests and methods for preventing and treating disease. It builds on decades of work by a network of expert clinicians and laboratory scientists with expertise in epidemiology, infectious disease, immunology, genetics and biochemistry, as well as a large cohort of well-characterized patients and biological samples. Our efforts will be linked with those of other Collaborative Research Centers and guided by close interactions with the ME/CFS community.

The Center, directed by W. Ian Lipkin, is conceptualized as a “center without walls.” The administrative core of the Center is housed in the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Scientific and clinical activities comprise three distinct but interrelated projects. Key Center faculty and staff include Dana March (Columbia, Deputy Director, Administrator, Co-Investigator project 3); Oliver Fiehn (UCD, Co-Lead, Project 2); John Greally (Einstein, Co-Lead, Project 2); Anthony Komaroff (Harvard, Lead, Project 3); clinical Co-Investigators for Project 3, Lucinda Bateman (Bateman Horne Center), Daniel Peterson (Simmaron), Susan Levine (Private Practice), and José Montoya (Stanford); and Paul Newswanger (Columbia, Project Coordinator).

The Community Advisory Committee, the Scientific Advisory Board, and the Internal Executive Committee will advise Center activities.


The specific role of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is to assist with the development and execution of community engagement/outreach and partnership activities. It will help focus the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS investigators on patient priorities and challenges, serve as a communications liaison between the ME/CFS community and the Center, assist with study recruitment, and inform the clinical research that the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS conducts.

Specifically, the Community Advisory Committee will:

  • Work with CII to disseminate information to the community about the Center’s research and opportunities for participation
  • Communicate with the Center about community needs, priorities, and current and past research
  • Assist the Center in weighing and balancing the strategic priorities among stakeholders (e.g. patients, caregivers, families, other advocates, etc.)
  • Participate in the development of working groups for select Center activities (e.g. epidemiological analyses, clinical protocols, mobile app development, etc.) In cases where additional expertise will be helpful, working groups may include participants that are not part of the core CAC.


The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) shall comprise 11 members, three of whom will be representatives from partner organizations—#MEAction, The Microbe Discovery Project, and Solve ME/CFS Initiative—that signed on as collaborators during the preparation of the funding application for the Center. The remaining eight members of the CAC will come from the ME/CFS community and shall comprise a diverse group of ME/CFS patients and other community advocates to ensure broad community representation.

Each representative will serve a one-year term, renewable. The Community Advisory Committee will participate in six bimonthly teleconferences annually. An optional in-person meeting once a year may be added if members of the CAC and the Columbia team decide it would help the Center’s activities.

To accommodate possible health status changes of CAC members, the CAC will be considered to have a quorum when at least 6 members are present at any meeting. A simple majority will be used to determine consensus. Meetings will be capped at one hour to accommodate schedules and health status of CAC members unless otherwise discussed.

Participation: To accomplish the Community Advisory Committee’s objectives, full participation of each member is required. Each member serves a 1-year term. The CAC meets bimonthly, meetings are virtual. In-person participation is not required; we will be able to connect through the use of videoconferencing. One annual summative and planning meeting will be convened. Members can serve up to five successive 1-year terms.


Each CAC member will receive an honorarium of $400 for each annual term served.




The CAC application is available in Google Forms. For additional questions, please contact Paul Newswanger via email at or phone at 212 342 3005.


Please do check out the application form. Also important to note – working groups can include participants that do not have to be part of the core CAC. A wide variety of experience and/or skills are being sought after. You do not have to be based in the USA!