OMF Scientist Receives
Grant Funding for ME/CFS Study
Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) is thrilled to share that our staff science liaison, Christopher W. Armstrong, PhD, has been awarded a grant to further his research into the relationship between the altered metabolism of nitrogen and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). The research will be completed at the ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford University, under the direction of Dr. Ron Davis, Director of OMF’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Armstrong first noted increased usage of amino acids, which contains nitrogen, in the metabolism of people with ME/CFS while working at the University of Melbourne. He was the first to apply metabolomics to the field of ME/CFS, publishing his results in 2015. Metabolomics is the study of small molecules (metabolites) using common standards of detection that enable different studies to be comparative and additive.
In 2018, he defined a hypothesis that “nitrogen-containing by-products of energy production accumulate more readily in the cells of people with ME / CFS, these nitrogen-containing by-products can be damaging to the cells and their process of producing energy.” This means that the process of producing energy in people with ME/CFS may be causing damage and could reduce their ability to make further energy.
Chris was recruited to join Open Medicine Foundation in 2019 as a science liaison to communicate between the research collaborative groups at Stanford, Harvard, Uppsala, and Montreal universities, as well to help communicate their work to the broader ME/CFS community. During this time, he further developed the nitrogen hypothesis as it pertains to the broader research findings in the ME/CFS field.
“I’m extremely excited to have received funding for the continuation of this research. This hypothesis is the culmination of the many research studies on people with ME/CFS,” Dr. Armstrong says. “We will be able to test the hypothesis, and in the process, we will be providing a large body of data on nitrogen metabolism in ME/CFS.”
The grant will fund over 10,000 measurements of molecules in biofluids and cells from people, with and without ME/CFS, to track how nitrogen flows through the energy production system.
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