The Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI) announced the recipients of the 2017 Ramsay Award Program on Tuesday. The Ramsay Award Program, now in its second year, is a competitive grant that funds Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) researchers at every stage of their careers. The five winning proposals receive one year of funding to research a diverse range of topics including immunology, bioenergetics, metabolomics, microbiome and neuroendocrine biology.
The awardees hail from six different countries across the globe.
SMCI President Carol Head observed, “Given how little is understood about this disease, this new 2017 class of Ramsay Grants projects is a big step. , We’re proud to diversify our research into these many rigorous projects. We’re not betting on one horse.”
The 2017 Ramsay Award winners are:
Team 1 (Sweden) – Dr. Blomberg of Upsala University Hospital, Dr. Bergquist of Uppsala University and Drs. Gottfries and Olof Zachrisson of the Gottfries Clinic. Team 1 is exploring biomarkers for initiation (infection) and metabolic derangement in ME/CFS.
Team 2 (USA & Spain) – Drs. Lubov Nathanson, Vladimir Beljanski and Malav Suchin Trivedi of Nova Southeastern University and Dr. Elisa Oltra of Universidad Católica de Valencia. Team 2 is researching the effect of ME/CFS on epigenetic regulation in specific immune cell types.
Team 3 (United Kingdom) – Fiona Newberry (PhD candidate) and Dr. Simon Carding of the Quadram Institute of Bioscience and Dr. Tom Wileman of University of East Anglia. Team 3 is investigating alterations in the intestinal virome in ME/CFS.
Team 4 (Germany) – Drs. Carman Scheibenbogen and Franziska Sotzny of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Team 4 is looking into immunometabolism of T-cells and monocytes in ME/CFS.
Team 5 (Israel) – Dr. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Segal is working to decipher the antibody reactives against autoantigen and the microbiome in ME/CFS.
The abstracts from each recipients’ proposal can be found online at:
SMCI’s Vice President for Research and Scientific Programs Dr. Zaher Nahle noted, “through this program, we seek to encourage participatory investigations, accelerate new discoveries, and reduce barriers for entry into the challenging yet rewarding field of ME/CFS. This worldwide program is part of our organization’s overall research strategy to unravel the complexity of ME/CFS and find a cure.”
The Ramsay Award Program, launched in 2016, has three main objectives:
1) Invest in original ideas that could clarify the onset, progression, root causes, and natural history of ME/CFS;
2) Create permissive environments to attract, support, and retain talent in the ME/CFS community, and help awardees generate relevant data to compete for long-term federal funding; and
3) Facilitate collaboration and cross-pollination among dedicated researchers through the sharing of resources and access to additional programming and the organization’s network.
In August, we shared with you that we and six other ME/CFS organizations had submitted a proposal to the National Center of Health Statistics (NCHS) to fix the coding of ME/CFS in the US International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM). Today, we are writing with an update on that proposal and asking that you sign the