The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for Center grant proposals, with a promise to fund two to three regional ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers as early as September 2017. The NVCBR research team and their collaborators are working hard to create a competitive proposal based on the knowledge that they have gained through their many revealing studies.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to apply for major federal research support on behalf of all of those who suffer the disabling effects of ME/CFS,” stated Annette Whittemore, President and CEO of NVCBR. “We have always hoped that the federal government would support comprehensive research centers across America. We applaud the National Institutes of Health, particularly Director Dr. Francis Collins and Program Director Dr. Vicky Whittemore, for their commitment to funding comprehensive ME/CFS research centers in addition to other promising ME/CFS research proposals.”
The plan appears to be similar to the ACE (Autism Centers of Excellence) program, which currently comprises three research centers and eight research networks around the United States. Networks such as these have been instrumental to research progress in many other diseases. They can help shorten the time it takes to biologically define a disease and encourage pharmaceutical research and development of effective treatments, something that patients with ME/CFS have been seeking for decades.
“The overarching goal of this initiative is to establish a network of Centers that will work collaboratively to define the cause(s) of and discover improved treatments for ME/CFS,” according to the funding opportunity announcement. “A more immediate goal for each Center is to rapidly advance synergistic, interdisciplinary research programs while serving as local resources and national leaders in ME/CFS research.”
The Centers will be funded by various NIH components, with funding limits for each Center set at 1.2 million dollars per year for up to 5 years. This is a major improvement over previous years in which federal funding was limited to specific research proposals. This increase in a federal commitment to ME/CFS research might also lead to pharmaceutical support of treatment trials within a few years, something that cannot happen soon enough for the millions who are disabled and without treatment.
You can read the entire funding opportunity notice at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-NS-17-021.html
Jen Brea gives an impassioned TED talk about the realities of dealing with the disease known as ME or myalgic encephalomyelitis. Please listen as she tells about her struggles from the effects of the disease and the difficulties she encountered trying to find a doctor who could diagnose and treat her debilitating illness. Sharing this talk with your friends can help them understand the serious impact this illness has on the lives of so many and why Nevada Center for Biomedical Research needs your support to help us find answers to this complex disease.
The Skin–Brain Connection Hypothesis, Bringing Together CCL27-Mediated T-Cell Activation in the Skin and Neural Cell Damage in the Adult Brain
Authors: Nataliya L. Blatt, Timur I. Khaiboullin,Vincent C. Lombardi, Albert A. Rizvanov and Svetlana F. Khaiboullina1,
Publication: Front. Immunol., 16 January 2017
Recent discovery of an association of low serum melatonin levels with relapse in multiple sclerosis (MS) opens a new horizon in understanding the pathogenesis of this disease. Skin is the main organ for sensing seasonal changes in duration of sunlight exposure. Level of melatonin production is dependent on light exposure. The molecular mechanisms connecting peripheral (skin) sensing of the light exposure and developing brain inflammation (MS) have not been investigated. We hypothesize that there is a connection between the reaction of skin to seasonal changes in sunlight exposure and the risk of MS and that seasonal changes in light exposure cause peripheral (skin) inflammation, the production of cytokines, and the subsequent inflammation of the brain. In skin of genetically predisposed individuals, cytokines attract memory cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA+) T lymphocytes, which then maintain local inflammation. Once inflammation is resolved, CLA+ lymphocytes return to the circulation, some of which eventually migrate to the brain. Once in the brain these lymphocytes may initiate an inflammatory response. Our observation of increased CC chemokine ligand 27 (CCL27) in MS sera supports the involvement of skin in the pathogenesis of MS. Further, the importance of our data is that CCL27 is a chemokine released by activated keratinocytes, which is upregulated in inflamed skin. We propose that high serum levels of CCL27 in MS are the result of skin inflammation due to exposure to seasonal changes in the sunlight. Future studies will determine whether CCL27 serum level correlates with seasonal changes in sunlight exposure, MS exacerbation, and skin inflammation.
Humoral Immunity Profiling of Subjects with MyalgicEncephalomyelitis Using a Random Peptide MicroarrayDifferentiates Cases from Controls with High Specificityand Sensitivity
Authors: Sahajpreet Singh, Phillip Stafford, Karen A. Schlauch, Richard R. Tillett, Martin Gollery, Stephen Albert Johnston, Svetlana F. Khaiboullina, Kenny L. De Meirleir, Shanti Rawat, Tatjana Mijatovic, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, András Palotás, Vincent C. Lombardi
Publication: Mol Neurobiol (DOI 10.1007/s12035-016-0334-0)
Abstract Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a complex, heterogeneous illness of unknown etiology. The search for biomarkers that can delineate cases from controls is one of the most active areas of ME research; however, little progress has been made in achieving this goal. In contrast to identifying biomarkers that are directly involved in the pathological process, an immunosignature identifies antibodies raised to proteins expressed during, and potentially involved in, the pathological process. Although these proteins might be unknown, it is possible to detect antibodies that react to these proteins using random peptide arrays. In the present study, we probe a custom 125,000 random 12-mer peptide microarray with sera from 21 ME cases and 21 controls from the USA and Europe and used these data to develop a diagnostic signature. We further used these peptide sequences to potentially uncover the naturally occurring candidate antigens to which these antibodies may specifically react with in vivo. Our analysis revealed a subset of 25 peptides that distinguished cases and controls with high specificity and sensitivity. Additionally, Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) searches suggest that these peptides primarily represent human selfantigens and endogenous retroviral sequences and, to a minor extent, viral and bacterial pathogens.
You may have participated in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today is your chance to participate in #GivingTuesday. This global day of giving reminds us to share our gifts with others in need during the holiday season.
Join the #GivingTuesday movement by giving to Nevada Center for Biomedical Research (NVCBR) in support of local discovery with a global impact. Your tax-deductible donation will help fund our efforts to find answers for millions who suffer from chronic complex neuro-inflammatory diseases, many of whom must live their lives without treatment options.
Donate on our #GivingTuesday donation page or call 775-682-8250 for other donation options. Keep the giving going by sharing your message of giving with your social network by using hashtags #GivingTuesday and #research_nvcbr to encourage friends and family to give as well.
We will accept year-end donations even if it doesn’t fall on #GivingTuesday. Visit the Giving Page on our website or call us for more information about the many ways to give to NVCBR.
Join us on November 29th for #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. Following the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this day of generosity reminds us to share our gifts with others in need during the holiday season.
We encourage you to participate in the #GivingTuesday movement by giving to Nevada Center for Biomedical Research (NVCBR) in support of local discovery with a global impact. Your generous partnership on #GivingTuesday will help fund our efforts to find answers for millions who suffer from chronic complex neuro-inflammatory diseases.
You can easily donate at http://bit.ly/2fWtpbH or call 775-682-8250 for other donation options.