Breaking News: NIH Announces Results of ME/CFS Program Awards
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today the outcome of its ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) competitive consortium grants, marking an unprecedented and tangible commitment from the federal agency to the disease. The NIH announced four recipient teams; one Data Management Coordination Center (DMCC) and three Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs).
The team selected to lead the development of the Data Management Coordination Center (DMCC) will serve as the keystone to centralize, share and standardize the data of the ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers.
- Dr. Rick Williams (RTI International) in partnership with Dr. Peter Rowe (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHSM)) and Dr. Zaher Nahle (SMCI).
- Dr. Ian Lipkin (Columbia University) and team, with SMCI as collaborator
- Dr. Maureen Hanson (Cornell University) and team, with SMCI as a collaborator
- Dr. Derya Unutmaz (the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JAX) ) and team.
The Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI) was honored participate in seven proposals during the application process. SMCI works to serve as a credible scientific partner and a trusted resource for everyone who is creating value in our disease space. SMCI will continue to maintain and pursue those collaborations with proposals that were not funded, in addition to our role with the NIH-funded centers.
The forthcoming SMCI patient registry is a key component of the DMCC effort. As collaborators with the new CRCs lead investigators, Dr. Ian Lipkin (Columbia CRC), Dr. Maureen Hanson (Cornell CRC and SMCI RAC) and longtime SMCI colleague Dr. Derya Unutmaz (JAX CRC), SMCI continues to create value and facilitate the work of all investigators, through the CRCs, DMCC, and beyond.
Carol Head, SMCI President, noted “The NIH consortium grants are a much anticipated commitment of federal funds to solve this devastating disease. We hope and trust these consortia, along with the NIH intramural study, represent the dawning of a desperately needed, rapid expansion of the Federal commitment to ME/CFS.”
The awarded proposals emerged from a competitive process in response to two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) in January 2017. These grants are a mechanism by which federal agencies announce their intent to fund discretionary grants or cooperative agreements.
- A U54-designated FOA invited applications for ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs); the goal of the ME/CFS CRCs is to create a network of specialized centers that will both advance independent initiatives and work collaboratively to establish the cause(s) of ME/CFS and work towards the development of improved treatments.
- A U24-designated FOA was created to establish a Data Management and Coordinating Center (DMCC). The goal of the ME/CFS DMCC is to streamline and improve data management and sharing to support the efforts of the ME/CFS CRCs. The network of CRCs, linked with the DMCC, will create a robust infrastructure and bring a comprehensive and integrated approach to ME/CFS research.