ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Harvard
(May 23, 2018) We are proud to announce that OMF has funded $1.8 million for the establishment of a new ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at the Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals, which includes Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The new Harvard Center will be led by OMF Scientific Advisory Board members Ronald G. Tompkins, MD, ScD, and Wenzhong Xiao, PhD, and will work synergistically with the ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford led by Ronald W. Davis, PhD, of Stanford University, also funded by OMF. All science funded by OMF continues to be under the overall direction of our Scientific Advisory Board, directed by Ron Davis.
The goals for this new Harvard Collaborative Center are twofold. First is a basic research goal: to collect molecular data on muscle and other tissues affected by ME/CFS. Studies will include evaluation of patient muscle biopsies as compared to controls including genomics, proteomics, and ultrastructural analysis. Dr. Tompkins has extensive experience with such analysis on tissue from burn patients. He will be able to perform muscle biopsies, and possibly biopsies of other tissue types, greatly expanding the research, which has so far involved the analysis of blood cells. One focus of this new work will be to investigate the etiology of Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM).
The second goal is to establish a Clinical Trials Network to facilitate multi-center clinical studies on potential effective treatments for ME/CFS. The clinical resources at the MGH under Ron Tompkins, MD, are very extensive, making this an ideal site for overseeing and conducting clinical studies. This is a great opportunity to establish standards and the infrastructure for rigorous clinical trials.