ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford University

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Innovative, collaborative, open-data research to end Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS)


What we hope to achieve


Our fundamental philosophy


List of scientific collaborators


research projects

About the research center

The ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center (previously known as the CFS Research Center) at Stanford University was established in 2014 and is part of the Stanford Genome Technology Center. Both centers are directed by Ronald W. Davis, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and of Genetics at Stanford.

Director: Ronald W. Davis, PhD

Throughout his career, Dr. Davis has conducted cutting edge, innovative, interdisciplinary research and technology development on cancer, immunology, genetics, infectious disease, novel drug development, and nanofabrication of diagnostic instruments. His emphasis has always been to increase accuracy and decrease cost. He has made significant contributions to research on numerous organisms, including bacteria, yeast, plants and humans.

Dr. Davis was the first to physically map the genome of any organism (1968).

Dr. Davis discovered a simple way to join together DNA from two organisms (“sticky ends”), and was the first to generate a hybrid DNA molecule that could replicate inside of cells (DNA cloning).

He developed most of the technology for the molecular genetics of yeast, which made it the most advanced model for conducting molecular genetics research.

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Core Aims


the molecular basis of ME/CFS


diagnostic and drug screening technology for ME/CFS


treatments and a cure for ME/CFS


any hereditary factors underlying ME/CFS


strategies for prevention of ME/CFS

full group crop

Fundamental Philosophy

Collaborative, multidisciplinary research
Open data sharing whenever possible
Recruit world renowned researchers to the field
For any project, recruit the best qualified scientist to conduct the research
Bring young scientists into the field
Research carefully targeted and efficient ways to make the best use of resources
Focus on results rather than number of publications
Most accurate, minimal materials, lowest cost solutions
Use of extensive observations and data to generate hypotheses
Involve patients’ expertise, experience and ideas

Current Studies

Extended big data study in families

Extended Big Data Study in Families Study Aim Beginning in 2016, the aim of this study was to extend the Severely ill Patient Study (SIPS) and conduct a comprehensive “Big […]

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T cells and immunology

T cells and Immunology Study Aim Beginning in 2016, the aim of this study was to establish the role of T cells and the immune system in ME / CFS by examining […]

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Severely ill Patient Study

Severely iIl Patient Study Study Aim The aim of the Severely Ill Patient Study (SIPS), which started in 2015, was to conduct a comprehensive “Big Data” analysis on severely ill […]

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Metabolic Trap Study

Metabolic Trap Study Study Aim Beginning in 2018, the aim of this study was to test the hypothesis developed by Dr Phair that a crucial component of metabolism in ME / CFS patients […]

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Developing Technology

Developing blood-based diagnostic and drug screening technology

There is currently no biological test to diagnose ME/CFSMyalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) and as a result, diagnosing patients is a lengthy and costly process, constituting a fundamental impediment in patient care. This lag in diagnosis also erects barriers to research, complicating patient recruitment and potentially engaging a heterogeneous sample of patients with only superficially similar conditions.

Dr. Davis’s team is dedicated to developing inexpensive tests that can be easily used in a doctor’s office.  Patients will be measured on multiple diagnostic platforms, enabling  comparisons of efficacy to determine what combination of platforms would be most useful  for diagnostic testing.

Mitochondrial Function Test

Mitochondrial Function Test TECHNOLOGY VALUE Demonstrates a significant difference between ME / CFS patients and healthy controls. LEAD INVESTIGATORS Julie Wilhelmy Ronald W. Davis, PhD UPDATES AND POTENTIAL Coming soon…   TECHNOLOGY […]

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Magnetic Levitation Platform

Magnetic Levitation Platform TECHNOLOGY VALUE This could be a very inexpensive and effective diagnostic test for ME / CFS. LEAD INVESTIGATORS Gozde Durmus, PhD Ronald W. Davis, PhD UPDATES AND POTENTIAL Coming […]

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Red Blood Cell Deformability in ME / CFS

Red Blood Cell Deformability in ME / CFS TECHNOLOGY VALUE This work has been accepted for publication in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation and also has been accepted as an abstract for the […]

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Nanoneedle technology

Developing Nanoneedle Technology TECHNOLOGY VALUE The technology will be optimized for easy clinical adoption and scaled up so that numerous FDA-approved drugs can be simultaneously screened as potential treatments LEAD […]

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Developing a Clinical Diagnostic Assay

The Collaborative Center will continue this work to engineer a blood-based diagnostic device that would also be useful for in vitro drug screening. Dr. Davis’ team has already tested chemicals in two platforms, some of which have made the patient samples behave more like healthy samples. To validate these findings and test large numbers of samples and candidate drugs, they will further develop and optimize the technology. Eventually, the developed technology will be shared across the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) research community to accelerate its evaluation and adoption as a clinical diagnostic assay. The Stanford Genome Technology Center has developed a number of very successful diagnostic assays for other purposes that have been commercially exported and are now in clinical use. Dr. Davis’ team has experience in the complex process of developing and implementing assays that have been approved for clinical use.

Scientific Team

To carry out this ambitious work, Dr. Davis has assembled a team of extraordinary scientists with expertise in a wide variety of areas directly relevant to ME/CFS research.


Ronald W. Davis, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine; Director, Stanford Genome Technology Center; Director, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Center at Stanford University; Director, Open Medicine Foundation ME/CFS Scientific Advisory Board.

Collaborative Research Center / Stanford Genome Technology Center

Robert Phair, PhD

Wenzhong Xiao, PhD

Mohsen Nemat-Gorgani, PhD

Peidong Shen, PhD

Laurel Crosby, PhD

Michael Jensen

Fereshteh Jahaniani, PhD

Gozde Durmus, PhD

Julie Wilhelmy

Alex Kashi

Anand Ramasubramanian, PhD

Amit Saha, PhD

Layla Cervantes

Ami Mac, MD

David Kaufman, MD

Bela Chheda, MD

Chris Armstrong, PhD

Katrina Hong

Anna Okumu

Ashley Haugen


Juan Santiago, PhD

Eric Shaqfeh, PhD

Mark M. Davis, PhD

Michael Sikora

Mike Snyder, PhD

Craig Heller, PhD

Lars Steinmetz, PhD

Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD

Rahim Esfandyarpour, PhD

Ron Tompkins, MD, ScD

Curt Scharfe, MD

Robert Naviaux, MD, PhD

William Robinson, MD

Lucinda Bateman, MD

Jennifer Frankovich, MD

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