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Dr. Ron Davis gets NIH grant!

Neunistiva

Senior Member
Messages
442
The big multi-year, multi-million dollar RO1 grant titled “Molecular and Single Cell Immunology of ME/CFS” lasts for five years and pays out a cool $745,000 this year.

...

In this study Mark Davis will look at an array of T-cells to determine the breadth and extent of the T-cell activation in ME/CFS. He’ll pair that with new technology developed by Ron Davis which gives researchers a better handle on the genes used to capture those pathogenic antigens.
...

By the time the study is done we could know if ME/CFS is an autoimmune disease or is caused by a pathogen (or both!), Plus we could know what specifically has tweaked our immune systems. Plus Ron Davis, in a section of the grant, which shows his predilection for long term thinking, envisions the study as the opportunity to build a new (and precise) molecular framework for understanding, diagnosing and treating ME/CFS.

https://www.healthrising.org/blog/2018/06/25/davis-nih-grant-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/
 
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Neunistiva

Senior Member
Messages
442

Gemini

Senior Member
Messages
1,176
Location
East Coast USA
Thanks for posting the link to the Project Description @wigglethemouse. Very helpful! Here's excerpts, my bold:

Recent developments have more clearly defined this mysterious illness, and it is now clear that it afflicts up to 2.5 million in the United States and millions more worldwide. While the symptoms present at various levels, including neurological and cognitive, widespread molecular and immunological abnormalities have also been observed. This is consistent with a majority of patients reporting infection prior to the onset of ME/CFS, although it remains unclear why common infections would serve as triggers for a chronic illness only in some people.

Nevertheless, there is compelling evidence for an active immune response in ME/CFS, as suggested by elevated levels of signalling molecules called cytokines and activity of killer T cells, which are triggered in cases of infection or autoimmunity. This proposal aims to uncover the immunological basis of ME/CFS, by characterizing T cell activity and genetic factors that may be contributing to it using cutting-edge technologies invented by this team.

Firstly, the activity of different T cells will be examined using single-cell DNA sequencing methods that will determine the extent and nature of their activation, and its regulation by gene expression. Secondly, the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) locus – the most challenging region of the human genome to sequence, and the most relevant to individual differences in immunology – will be sequenced in a large cohort of ME/CFS patients to determine whether HLA variants may be contributing to the T cell activity observed, and/or to increased susceptibility to the disease.

Finally, the molecular triggers of the immune response will be hunted using cell-free DNA sequencing to detect pathogens, and through methods to identify which molecules are being targeted by the activated T cells. Taken together, these findings will help to identify the molecular and immunological factors that trigger and/or sustain ME/CFS as a chronic illness, and whether its basis is infectious, autoimmune, or both.

More broadly, this project will build a precise framework for ME/CFS as a molecular and immunological disease, opening up broad new possibilities for research, diagnosis, and treatment. Understanding the molecular nature of the immune response in ME/CFS may lead to the definition of clinically valuable subtypes, refined diagnostics, risk prediction, and personalized immunomodulatory therapies. Moreover, the similarity of ME/CFS to other medically challenging diseases like Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, Gulf War Illness, fibromyalgia, and more means that the insights derived here could be relevant to many millions of patients.
 
Messages
73
Absolutely fantastic news!

Like you say @Sundancer : we will see the end to this!
We just need to hang on and keep the hope alive. There is more reason to be hopeful than ever!

The idea that this maligned disease could lead to a better understanding of autoimmune disease in general...that would be beyond spectacular.
 

Gemini

Senior Member
Messages
1,176
Location
East Coast USA
Congratulations Ron Davis and team for an outstanding grant application!!!:balloons::balloons::balloons:

Thank you for your "perseverance" in getting it approved!!!:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


Project Number:
1R01AI139550-01 Contact PI / Project Leader: DAVIS, RONALD WAYNE
Title: MOLECULAR AND SINGLE-CELL IMMUNOLOGY OF MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS/CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Awardee Organization: STANFORD UNIVERSITY
 

minimus

Senior Member
Messages
140
Location
New York, NY
It is great news that Ron Davis finally got an NIH money. While I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, it should not have taken this long.

On a related note, I went to see Nancy Klimas' clinical group earlier this month. Klimas did stop in to talk to me for about 20 minutes during my appointment with a nurse there. She mentioned that the NIH is still way behind the eight ball and that their research center grants are, in her view, a waste of money. One of those grants was for $10.6 million to Jackson Laboratory. That's a lot more than Ron Davis just got.

I guess I will be happier when Ron Davis and the Open Medicine Institute get the money it and the patient community deserves after so many decades of neglect.
 

wigglethemouse

Senior Member
Messages
776
I guess I will be happier when Ron Davis and the Open Medicine Institute get the money it and the patient community deserves after so many decades of neglect.

I am in agreement with you @minimus. When you click on the Special Projects Tab of the NIH project reporter you quickly realise that the money granted for the size and scope of this type of project is really very little, and that this project is in the typical range for grants for ME/CFS.

One non-ME/CFS example in this list is "NEURAL-IMMUNE MECHANISMS AND SYNAPTIC CONNECTIVITY IN PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS" has $2MM granted PER year. ME/CFS still has a long way to go for equitable funding.

I'm guessing the Stanford team will have to supplement this project with the previously announced OMF funding in order to progress. Ground-breaking research that invents new techniques is expensive.
 
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raghav

Senior Member
Messages
809
Location
India
A 5-year grant for a complex monster like ME/CFS should have been at least 15-20 mil USD. Lets hope as the research progresses and results come out, the NIH increases the grant (from the second year itself).
 

Sundancer

Senior Member
Messages
569
Location
Holland
yep, and my initial happiness was e a reading error, i thought that the amount of money was per year.... which would be the substantial amount that @raghav mentions above.

In the mean time over here in Holland the psychobabblers are getting on again, something in me says were losing again.

thinking of denmark here...
sad