By Cort Johnson.
In May the Open Medicine Foundation announced they’d committed a major chunk of change – $1.8 million – to fund an ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals. With the addition of the Harvard Center, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) research centers are now found at two of the top four medical research universities in the U.S. (Harvard #1, Stanford #4). (With Peter Rowe at Johns Hopkins and Ian Lipkin at Columbia we have active research efforts/research centers in four of the top eleven medical research universities.)
The advent of a new research center at Harvard, of all places, further demonstrates Ron Davis’s reach at the top universities in the country. The new center will be lead by OMF Scientific Advisory Board members Ronald G. Tompkins, MD, ScD, and Wenzhong Xiao, PhD. Both have been involved in Davis’s ME/CFS work from the beginning and both are longtime collaborators.
A Focus on Muscles
For the time ever in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) a concentrated effort to assess the molecular dynamics of what must be a core part of ME/CFS – the muscles – is underway. Ron Davis and other researchers are collecting mountains of data on the immune cells in the blood, but few researchers have assessed where the rubber meets the road with regards to exercise problems in ME/CFS. With Workwell’s two day exercise and David Systrom’s invasive exercise studies suggesting that profound problems exist with the delivery and utilization of oxygen at the muscle level this muscle study fulfills a crucial need in ME/CFS research and couldn’t have come at a better time. It’ll be fascinating to see how the blood and muscle results intertwine to tell us more about ME/CFS.
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