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.
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.
There is currently no biological test to diagnose Myalgic 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.
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.
Robert Phair, PhD
Wenzhong Xiao, PhD
Mohsen Nemat-Gorgani, PhD
Peidong Shen, PhD
Laurel Crosby, PhD
Fereshteh Jahaniani, PhD
Gozde Durmus, PhD
Anand Ramasubramanian, PhD
Amit Saha, PhD
Ami Mac, MD
David Kaufman, MD
Bela Chheda, MD
Chris Armstrong, PhD
Juan Santiago, PhD
Eric Shaqfeh, PhD
Mark M. Davis, PhD
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
Averting a second pandemic:
Open Medicine Foundation leads groundbreaking international study of
Long COVID’s conversion to ME/CFS
AGOURA HILLS, CALIF. — Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) is leading a large-scale international collaborative study investigating the potential conversion of Post-Acute Sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection — more commonly known as Long COVID or Post-COVID Syndrome — to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), a chronic, life-altering disease with no known cause, diagnostic test or FDA approved treatments available.
Up to 2.5 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from ME/CFS; the COVID-19 pandemic could at least double that number. An estimated 35 percent of Americans who had COVID-19 have failed to fully recover several months after infection, prompting many to call it “a potential second pandemic.”
OMF recognized a familiar health crisis emerging, one with eerie similarities to ME/CFS. This crisis presented a unique opportunity to understand how a viral infection — in this case COVID-19 — may develop into ME/CFS in some patients. The goal is to find targeted treatments for ME/CFS patients and ultimately prevent its onset in people infected with SARS-CoV-2 or other infections.
The federal government is only now investing in Post-COVID research, with no focus on its connection to ME/CFS. OMF has already engaged researchers for the largest-scale study of its kind, solely supported by private donors who have contributed over one million dollars to date. When fully funded, the five million dollar, three-year study will be conducted across the globe at OMF funded Collaborative Research Centers, led by some of the world’s top researchers and ME/CFS experts.
In a significant percentage of patients, infections preceded their development of ME/CFS. For example, according to the CDC about one in ten infected with Epstein-Barr virus, Ross River virus, or Coxiella burnetti develop symptoms that meet the criteria for ME/CFS.
The ability to follow the development of ME/CFS from a known viral infection is unprecedented to date and crucial to researchers’ understanding of the disease. The focus of this study is to find the biological differences between persons returning to good health after COVID-19 and persons who remained ill more than six months after infection and developed ME/CFS. Understanding these alterations in key pathways can lead to groundbreaking discoveries including new biomarkers, drug targets, and prevention and treatment strategies.
About Open Medicine Foundation
Established in 2012, Open Medicine Foundation leads the largest, concerted worldwide nonprofit effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent ME/CFS and related chronic, complex diseases such as Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Post COVID. OMF adds urgency to the search for answers by driving transformational philanthropy into global research. We have raised over $28 Million from private donors and facilitated and funded the establishment of five prestigious ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers around the world. To learn more, visit www.omf.ngo.
Heather Ah San
Development and Communications Manager