Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vote for more research funds!

You get 5 votes, so you can vote for both CAA and WPI.  That still leaves you 3 votes to trade with friends, you'll vote for their pet project if they vote for yours.  Post this to all your groups, Facebook, the pages of Facebook friends who have zillions of friends.....
The second round of the Chase Community Giving contest is to start on
May 19, 2011 and go through May 26. Both the CFIDS Association and the
Whittemore Peterson Institute won $25,000 in Round 1. In Round 2 they
both again are eligible for even more money. Each voter gets 5 votes
which can only be used once per charity, leaving 4 extra votes. If
these votes are not used then they are wasted and so potentially is
this great opportunity to score hundreds of thousands of dollars for
much needed CFS research. Please vote for the CFIDS Assoc. and the WPI
with your votes. Thank you.

CFIDS Assoc. contest page-

WPI contest page-

•Round 2: Chase will donate to the 25 Charities receiving the most
votes in Round 2 in the following amounts:
◦$500,000 to the Charity receiving the most votes (rank 1);
◦$400,000 to the runner-up Charity (rank 2);
◦$300,000 to the next runner–up Charity (rank 3);
◦$200,000 to the next two runner-up Charities (ranks 4-5);
◦$100,000 to the next five runner-up Charities (ranks 6-10);
◦$40,000 to the next five runner-up Charities (ranks 11-15); and
◦$20,000 to the next ten runner-up Charities (ranks 16-25).

Round 2: From May 19, 2011 to May 25, 2011, users can vote for any of
the Round 2 Charities through the Chase Community Giving application
on the Facebook platform. On or about May 26, 2011, the votes will be
tallied and the 25 eligible Charities receiving the most votes will be
considered the winners of Round 2 and will share in $2,500,000 in
donations from Chase.



Research: Research Grants Program

The first program funded by the Association was its research grant
program. Since 1987 the Association has provided nearly $5.33 million
in direct support of CFS research studies, has hosted scientific
symposia and has cosponsored meetings to identify promising areas of

The CFIDS Association of America issues funding announcements as part
of its research grants program. Its most recent Request for
Applications was issued on April 6, 2011. This Request for
Applications (RFA) solicited research proposals that will advance
objective diagnosis and effective treatment of CFS. Letters of intent
are due June 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm (EDT). For more information about this
funding opportunity, please visit

The current purpose of the CFIDS Association's research program is to
accelerate progress toward accurate diagnosis and effective treatment
of CFS by directly supporting research studies, facilitating
collaboration among investigators and pursuing increased investment in
CFS research by public, private and commercial institutions.

2008-2010 Awarded Research Grants


During the 2008-2010 funding cycle, six CFS research projects totaling
$647,940 in support were awarded, as described below.

PI Name: Gordon Broderick, PhD
Institution:  University of Alberta
Title:  Molecular patterns of persistent immune activation in a
post-infectious adolescent cohort

Objective: To use network analysis of gene expression and endocrine
measures to identify biomarkers that describe the events from
infectious mononucleosis (IM) to post-infection CFS.
Method: Construct immune and endocrine profiles for 12 post-IM
subjects and 12 matched controls.  Examine blood from acute IM, 6, 12
and 24 months by gene expression and correlating with blood cell
subsets and endocrine measures.
Why This Study is Important:
Epstein-Barr Virus causes IM that can trigger (possibly cause) CFS.
By studying the immune and endocrine response in people from the time
of IM to development of CFS, we can identify early disease and disease
progression biomarkers.
Studying subjects over time allows identification of the series of
events that precede disease and perturbed pathways.
These markers are important for early detection, objective diagnosis,
targets for intervention.
About Dr. Broderick: Young, new investigator to CFS. Associate
Professor in the Department of Medicine since 2007. Intrigued,
engaged, innovative. Recently voted Small Group Teacher of the Year by
the Medical Students' Association at University of Alberta.
Collaborators: Renee Taylor (University of Illinois-Chicago); Ben Katz
(University of Illinois-Chicago); Sol Efroni (National Center for
Biotechnology Information and Weizmann Institute)


PI Name:  Kathleen  Light, PhD
Institution:  University of Utah Health Sciences Center
Title:  Novel ion channel-based biomarkers in CFS

Objective: 30 to 70% of CFS patients have chronic muscle and joint
pain. Acid-sensing and ion channel receptors affect pain sensation and
in CFS, this receptor sensing system is overactive. The objective of
this study is to expand the findings of post-exercise increases in
acid-sensing and ion channel receptors on blood cells.
Method: 30 CFS (60-70% likely to have chronic widespread pain) and 30
pain-free healthy controls.  Blood drawn before and after physical
exertion for 25 minutes on Airdyne bicycle. Measure cardiovascular
function and assess cytokines, acid-sensing, ion-channel and SNS
receptors on blood.
Why This Study is Important:
Receptors important for the sensation of pain and fatigue are found on
blood cells.
By expanding NIH-funded pilot study, investigators will identify blood
biomarkers of post-exercise pain and fatigue.
Combination of blood markers will identify CFS subtypes that will help
guide and improve treatment.
Will guide research on ways to alleviate symptoms by studying markers
in CFS subjects on certain medications and physical exercise programs.
About Dr. Light: Recipient of an NIH R21 to study neuroimmune
mechanisms in CFS in 2006; this grant will extend her preliminary
data. Very well published on the topic of pain conditions, but new to
Collaborators: Alan Light, PhD (University of Utah) and Lucinda
Bateman, MD (CFS expert in private practice)


PI Name: Marvin Medow, MD
Institution: New York Medical College
Title: Splanchnic vasoconstriction is impaired by microbiomic nitric
oxide production reducing cerebral blood flow in CFS

Objective: To determine if postural hemodynamic changes cause
neurocognitive deficits as a result of impaired cerebral blood flow
and modulation of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Methods: 15 CFS/POTS, 15 CFS, 15 matched controls from same cohort as
those patients studied by Dr. Shungu. Extensive cardiovascular
measurements during tilt. Plethysmography, transcranial Doppler,
real-time cutaneous readings of nitrous oxide bioavailability and ROS.
Why This Study is Important:
Provides the measurements necessary to determine if chronic
inflammation and oxidative stress help explain increased brain
Identify autonomic nervous system (ANS) subtypes of CFS.
Provides objective evidence of sympathetic nervous system
activation/excitation in CFS.
Findings could implicate the "root" of the problem since investigators
have noted patients develop POTS after infection.
About Dr. Medow: Established physiologist and associate director of
the Center for Hypotension at New York Medical College.
Collaborators: Benjamin Natelson, MD; Julian Stewart, MD, PhD (New
York Medical College); Dikoma Shungu, PhD (Weil Cornell Medical
College); Bud Mishra, PhD (New York University)


PI Name: Bud Mishra, PhD
Institution:  New York University School of Medicine
Title:  Translate science to a cure for CFIDS

Objective:  To seek an etiologic explanation for CFS symptoms by
designing a system that combines published literature with
experimental data.
Methods:  Construct a database of full text articles, existing
databases (e.g., KEGG) and develop a statistical method to capture
meaningful relationships that allows the construction of models that
describe aspects of CFS.
Why This Study is Important:
Unbiased approach to explain CFS (compared by reviewers to creating a
"Google for CFS").
Build an invaluable knowledgebase of CFS.
Provide mechanistic explanations for CFS only possible by integrating
existing and experimental data.
Provide a suite of tools that will allow investigators to query all
aspects of the CFS system, all of which will be available to other
investigators as open access tools.
Computer hardware and software required to conduct this study would
cost millions of dollars.
Exciting discovery potential
About Dr. Mishra: Established mathematician who has published
extensively and holds many patents. 28 graduate students,
collaborations with IBM, Google and biomedical industry.
Collaborators:  29th graduate student; Dikoma Shungu, PhD (Weil
Cornell Medical College); Julian Stewart, MD, PhD (New York Medical


PI Name: Sanjay Shukla, PhD
Institution:  Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
Title:  Metagenomics approach to study chronic fatigue syndrome patients

Objective: Determine if there is an altered ratio of gut commensal and
pathogenic bacteria in CFS and if exercise increases microbe
translocation to cause post-exertion symptoms.
Method: 6 CFS and 6 household controls. Exercise challenge with stool
and blood samples taken before and after exercise. Catalogue bacteria
in stool; examine blood for inflammatory markers.
Why This Study is Important:
Metagenomics involves sampling the genome sequences of a community of
organisms inhabiting a common environment (in this case the intestinal
Could explain increase gut disturbance and post-exertional relapse
common in CFS;
Could provide evidence for metabolic disturbance;
Could provide evidence for chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction; and,
Could suggest intervention strategies.
About Dr. Shukla: Established microbiologist. Introduced to CFS in
2000.  Novel and powerful approach, strong team.
Collaborators: Dane Cook, PhD (University of Wisconsin); Dan Frank,
PhD (Colorado University); Steve Yale, PhD (Marshfield Clinical
Research Foundation)


PI Name: Dikoma Shungu, PhD
Institution:  Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Title:  MR neuroimaging assessment of cerebral metabolic substrates
and regional blood flow in CFS

Objective: Use magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS, an advanced MRI
method) to measure specific brain chemicals. The investigators build
upon preliminary evidence showing elevated lactate in CFS patients.
Examine chemicals in blood and brain that are indicators of oxidative
stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Method: Compare the brain profiles between 20 CFS, 20 MDD and 20
healthy controls. Examine blood samples for markers of oxidative
stress. CFS subjects will come from Drs. Medow and Natelson.
Why This Study is Important:
Increased brain lactate indicates abnormal metabolism in CFS.
By expanding study to additional disease control groups, can determine
whether elevated lactate is specific to CFS.
Provides objective evidence of metabolic problem in CFS that could be
used for disability.
Findings could implicate the "root" of the problem causing CFS.
About Dr. Shungu: Established researcher in neuroimaging and
neurometabolism. Relatively new to CFS research, although is a past
Association grantee. Dr. Shungu's earlier study was recently published
in NMR Medicine.
Collaborators: Sanjay Mathew, MD (Columbia University); Benjamin
Natelson, MD; Marvin Medow, MD; Julian Stewart, MD, PhD (New York
Medical College); Bud Mishra, PhD (New York University)


All research projects funded received the highest evaluation scores
for scientific and strategic merit as assessed by two independent
panels. All investigators have agreed to conditions of award
identified by the reviewers, one of which was to collaborate as the
first funded CFS network of investigators. All awardees must fully
comply with the Association's Policies Governing the Award of Research
Grants, including rigorous reporting requirements, for funding to
continue in a timely manner.

Additional Required Meetings for All Investigators:

First Investigators Meeting, January 18-20, 2009

Investigators receive background information on CFS and objective
classification of subjects and controls. Establish consistent study
entry criteria, per the hypothesis being studied
Investigators present respective studies to gain input from other
investigators and selected invited reviewers.
Link all investigators and establish active collaborations.
Ensure full understanding of reporting and other compliance
requirements for timely grant distributions.
Solidify project timelines and milestones.
Interim Investigators Meeting, September 13-16, 2009

Funded investigators present mid-term data to Association staff and
other funded investigators with generous question and answer periods
to optimize remaining stages of study.
Invited subject matter experts deliver presentations to expand context
of studies.
Strengthen ongoing collaborations
Ensure appropriate compliance with reporting and other policy requirements.
Facilitate site visits (if warranted).
2008 Research Papers by Dr. Suzanne Vernon, the Association's
Scientific Director


Smith AK, Dimulescu I, Falkenberg VR, Narasimhan S, Heim C, Vernon SD,
Rajeevan MS.  Genetic evaluation of the serotonergic system in chronic
fatigue syndrome. PNE. 2008 Feb;33(2):188-97.
Fuite J, Vernon SD, Broderick G.  Neuroendocrine and immune network
re-modeling in chronic fatigue syndrome: An exploratory analysis.
Genomics. 2008 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print].
Bolshin C, Aspler AL, Vernon SD, Broderick G. Evidence of inflammatory
immune signaling in chronic fatigue syndrome. Behavioral Brain
Function 2008 Sep 26;4:44.
Ben-Zvi A, Vernon SD, Broderick G. Model-based therapeutic correction
of hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis dysfunction. PLoS Computational
Biology, in press.
Sorensen B, Jones JF, Vernon SD, Rajeevan M. Transcriptional control
of complement activation in an exercise model of chronic fatigue
syndrome. Molecular Medicine, in press.


Hickie I, Davenport T, Vernon SD, Nisenbaum R, Reeves WC, Lloyd A and
the International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group.  The construct
validity of chronic fatigue syndrome is supported by a multi-national,
cross-cultural study.  Under consideration with BMJ.
Presson A, Sobel E, Papp J, Whistler T, Rajeevan MS, Reeves WC, Vernon
SD, Horvath S.  A systems genetic analysis implicates FOXN1 in chronic
fatigue syndrome. BMC Systems Biology, under consideration.
Nater UM, Whistler T, Lonergan W, Mletzko T, Vernon SD, Heim C.
Impact of acute psychosocial stress on peripheral blood gene
expression pathways in healthy men. Submitted to
Whistler T, Fletcher MA, Lonergan W, Zeng XR, Lin JM, LaPerriere
A,Vernon SD Klimas NG.  Natural killer cell function is depressed in
Gulf War Illness. BMC Medical Genomics,

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